This comparison simply includes all savings accounts.
First Direct Current Account
Why we like it: 5.00% interest for 12 months on balances up to £2,500 for the first year. You must pay in £1,000 or more each month to receive interest (excluding transfers from any Nationwide account held by you or anyone else). 12 month fee-free arranged overdraft available. No monthly fee. Must be aged 18 or older.
Why we like it: 3.0% AER fixed interest on balances up to £2,500. No fees on arranged overdrafts up to £250. UK & Europe Breakdown Cover, Worldwide family travel insurance. Free mobile banking app, text alerts and secure online banking. £13 monthly account fee
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: Free gift worth up to £150 for switching into account. £250 interest free overdraft. Free banking if paying over £1,000 per month. Satisfaction guarantee - £100 if you leave within 6 months
Why we like it: Everyday current account. 3 months interest-free overdraft and no monthly account fee
Why we like it: Earn rewards of up to £180 a year when you bank with Barclays - Get an annual loyalty reward of £84 plus £60 on your Barclays residential mortgage and £36 on your Barclays home and contents insurance. Start earning rewards with a monthly £3 fee based on £800 paid into your account and 2 direct debits paid out every month
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.