This comparison simply includes all savings accounts.
Basic Current Account
Why we like it: An alternative banking solution, offering banking services to people who find it hard to open a regular bank account because of their low credit score. Open an account in 10 minutes without a credit check or proof of address. Get your contactless Mastercard® debit card in 3-5 working days. Choose from three account options: ‘Essential’, ‘Premium’ and ‘Premium Plus'. You can manage your account on the go using the online banking app. Make transfer payments from your e-money account whenever, wherever. You can also set up and manage your Direct Debits and Standing Orders. Get access to exclusive partner deals. Shop and earn with your Suits Me card in-store, online or over the phone you can earn cashback rewards, with no limit. Access to a dedicated Customer Account Manager so you have someone who understands your account and your needs. Your money is protected up to £85,000 by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme). Monthly account fee ranges from free to £9.97 depending on account chosen. Refer your friends to apply and use their Suits Me card, and earn £50 per friend. No limit on the number of friends you refer
Why we like it: A bank account that can build credit history. No credit check during sign up. Apply straight from your mobile. Instant online decision. Get your Contactless Debit Mastercard within 3-5 working days. Add Creditbuilder onto your account and it could help build your credit rating at no extra cost. Deposit cash into your account at any Post Office UK branch. Money is available in your account immediately. Manage your account 24/7 from any device with the banking app - get real time balance information, statements, add payees send payments and apply for extras. Automatic payment alerts. UK based Customer Services Team. Your money is protected up to £85,000 by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme)
Why we like it: A CardOneBanking current account is perfect if you want to stay in control - Online, text and phone account access. UK call centre. Free text alerts each time money is paid in. Free text alerts if bills cannot be paid. No credit checks to open
Basic Current Account
Every major bank will offer some form of basic account but often don't advertise them.
They’re a great option if you need a standard account that does everything you would expect.
The Advantages of Basic Current Accounts
Basic bank accounts are open to almost everyone and therefore, are a great option for anyone who has had credit problems in the past or people who have been turned down for a standard current account.
They are also very useful for people who just want a standard bank account which does the bare minimum. They are a convenient way to manage your money as you can pay Direct Debits; cash and cheques in to your account and receive any kind of payment, such as your salary or benefits.
You have a complete control over your account as you can only withdraw or spend what you actually have. This is great for people on a strict budget or who have been bitten by charges in the past. As basic bank accounts do not normally charge fees, they are a perfect way to avoid this.
What are the Disadvantages?
The main disadvantage of these types of accounts are the lack of options. It really is just a standard account, so if you’re looking for overdraft facilities, high interest or even a cheque book, you won’t find them here. Some basic accounts also don’t let you set up standing orders.
Some of the best basic accounts currently on offer include:
Barclays Basic Current Account
A basic account that offers free, no-frills banking for customers who may not be able to open a regular current account. You can qualify for this account if you don't qualify for one of their other accounts and/or you have no existing bank current account in the UK.
With this account you can:
- Choose between a Barclays Visa debit card or a cash card for ATM withdrawals only
- Make payments from your Barclays Basic Current Account by Direct Debit or standing order
- Withdraw up to £300 a day
- Manage your account online, by phone or in branch
- Manage your account online by registering for Barclays Online Banking
Co-operative Cashminder Account
A Cashminder is a basic account for people who may not qualify for other kinds of current account. You cannot open a Cashminder if you already hold a Co-operative Bank or Smile current account, unless you are in financial difficulty.
- No overdraft facility, cheque book or monthly charge
- Available as a joint account.
- Visa Debit Card provided
- Full internet and mobile banking facilities
Virgin Money Essential Current Account
A basic account designed to be managed through Virgin Money Stores and at any Post Office. They offer:
- No overdraft facility (helping you to avoid overspending)
- Free withdrawals at almost all UK high street cash machines
- An opportunity to earn interest on your account (a rare thing for basic accounts)
- Online Banking
- All the perks of being a Virgin Money customer.
Seven other banks currently offer these types of account, but the above three are known for proactively helping customers to get some form of account with them and will not reject you from these accounts provided you meet their criteria and can provide ID.
As it is not financially viable for banks to provide these basic accounts to customers, many institutions will not automatically offer them to applicant who are rejected for a Current Account. Always make sure you ask or browse a bank's website for other options if you are rejected for your preferred option.
Are there any alternatives to a basic bank account?
If you’ve been turned down for a basic bank account because of bad credit, or if you just want an account with more facilities and services, you could try a bad credit account. These accounts are specifically designed for people who are looking to rebuild their credit.