This comparison simply includes all savings accounts.
First Direct Current Account
Why we like it: Earn 1.50% AER (variable) interest on balances up to a maximum of £20,000. Up to 3% CASHBACK on various household bills. Monthly fee of £5. Must pay in £500 pm.
Why we like it: 0.50% AER (variable) payable on your entire balance up to £2,000. Linked to instant access savings account currently paying 1.00% AER, paid quarterly. Zero transaction fees wherever you spend worldwide (arranged and un-arranged lending, other providers & other fees and interest may still apply). Apple Pay & Google Pay enabled contactless debit card. Rated ‘outstanding’ by Moneyfacts. Must be 18 or older and a UK resident. No account fee. No minimum funding required to open account or requirement to pay in regularly
First Direct 1st Current Account
If you like to have your overdraft as a safety net then the First Direct 1st current account is a great choice with its £250 0% overdraft.
As a bonus incentive, when you switch, you can earn £100 which can easily be put towards your overdraft to help you pay it off. If you pay in at least £1,000 within three months of your account opening they will add £100 to your account.
Additionally, if you go more than £250 into your overdraft, you pay interest of 15.9% EAR, making it one of the lower-cost overdrafts on offer.
While the benefits of the First Direct 1st current account are attractive, it won’t be suitable for everyone because it requires paying in £1,000 every month. Failure to do so could result in you having to pay a fee of £10 per month.
First Direct offers, as standard:
- Beautifully designed Internet Banking service
- Award-winning customer service from real people answering your calls, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Mobile banking on the go with their app for iPhone, Android and iPad
It is important to note, however, that you don’t receive interest payments on your balance, which is not ideal for those people who are keeping large sums of money in this account and would like to see some kind of growth.
A separate savings account could counteract this issue but still allow you to enjoy the other benefits, such as the low-cost overdraft.
Why use an overdraft?
- An agreed overdraft can be a useful tool if you want to borrow money over the short-term, or in an emergency allowing you to borrow money through your bank's current account up to a certain limit
- An 'authorised overdraft' is the set limit agreed with your bank. However, you will be charged for using this, and what rate you pay depends on your bank and the type of account you have
- You risk high charges if you slip over the agreed limit and if you continually max out your overdraft you may also find it hard to get credit elsewhere
- Remember that your overdraft isn't guaranteed to stay in place, as this facility could be taken away by your bank
Useful Information to Know
- You need to pay in £1,000+ each calendar month, or maintain an average monthly balance of £1,000 to keep the account free, otherwise there will be a ten pound fee
- If you qualify, the £100 will arrive within 28 days of your switch completing
- You can't get the switching bonus if you have ever held an account with First Direct before
- First Direct shares its £75,000 UK savings safety guarantee with HSBC, so ensure you don't hold more than £75,000 across the two banks
Finally, the account comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
If you don’t love their service within 12 months of opening your account, they will give you £100 providing you have met their initial criteria. You will get the money within 28 days of the criteria being met.
Generally, people seem very happy with the customer service that First Direct provide. This is likely due to their 24 hour/day calls and seamless internet banking program.