What Are the Best Student Bank Accounts in the UK? Top 15 on Our List

What Are the Best Student Bank Accounts in the UK
Source: https://www.savethestudent.org/international-students/top-international-bank-accounts-uk.html

Opening a student bank account in the UK is an excellent approach to ensure your finances are safe while you’re studying there. There are lots of banks out there, but only a select few will offer you advantages that will compel you to open an account with them!

Plus, after you open your domestic bank account, student accommodations in places like London accept all major forms of payment, which will only make you happier.

Did you know that a well-chosen student bank account can help you save an average of £600 annually?

We have compiled a list of the top banks in the UK with all the features and advantages for international students!

In this article, we’re excited to present you with the comprehensive list of the top 15 student bank accounts in the UK. If you’re looking for attractive interest rates, low fees, or convenient mobile banking, these banks are the best for you.

What is a Student Bank Account?

Moving from high school to university marks an exciting milestone, and with it comes a new set of responsibilities, including managing your finances. A student bank account is an essential tool that helps you navigate this journey smoothly.

Designed explicitly for students, there are many benefits of having student bank account to support your financial needs.

Starting university life, you might wonder how a student bank account differs from a regular one. To put it simply, a student bank account is tailored precisely for the unique requirements of students like you. With its emphasis on convenience and affordability, it’s the ideal companion for your academic years.

While regular bank accounts might have fees and minimum balance requirements, student bank accounts often come with fee waivers and lower minimum balance criteria. This is especially important for students who are typically operating on tight budgets.

One of the standout features of a student bank account is the interest-free overdraft facility. An overdraft acts as a financial cushion, allowing you to spend beyond your account balance up to a certain limit without incurring hefty fees.

This can be a lifesaver during times when unexpected expenses pop up, such as textbook purchases or emergency travel.

In essence, moving to university life comes with its fair share of changes, but with a student bank account by your side, managing your finances becomes a seamless and stress-free part of your journey.

See also: Unknown Benefits of Amazon Prime Student Accounts For College

Do Students Need an Overdraft?

An essential consideration when exploring student bank accounts is whether an overdraft is necessary. This feature can prove invaluable during your academic journey, offering financial flexibility when you need it most.

Firstly, an overdraft acts as a safety net, allowing you to borrow money up to a specific limit without incurring high fees. Additionally, it’s particularly beneficial for students who may face unexpected expenses, such as medical emergencies or urgent travel. Furthermore, having an overdraft can prevent you from falling into debt traps, as it provides a controlled way to manage short-term financial gaps.

Moreover, an overdraft can be a helpful tool for managing irregular income streams, such as part-time job paychecks. Furthermore, it can assist you in bridging the gap between your student loan payments and your monthly expenses. However, it’s crucial to remember that an overdraft is a form of credit, and responsible usage is key to avoiding future financial strain.

See also: What To Do When Student Loan Account Is Closed Due To Transfer

Overview of The 15 Best Student Bank Accounts in 2024

Managing your finances becomes increasingly important as you enter university life.

Your financial situation may be considerably impacted by your choice of student bank account.

Here is an overview of the top 15 student bank accounts in 2024.

  • HSBC Student Bank Account
  • Santander 123 Student Account
  • Nationwide FlexStudent Account
  • The Co-operative Student Account
  • TSB Student Account
  • NatWest Student Current Account
  • Barclays Student Additions Account
  • RBS Student Account
  • Halifax Student Current Account
  • Lloyds Student Current Account
  • Nationwide FlexStudent Account
  • HSBC Bank Account
  • Natwest Select Account
  • Barclays Student Additions Account
  • Al Rayan Personal Current Account

See also: What is a Student Certificate? How Do Acquire One Easily?

The 15 Best Student Bank Accounts in 2024

With the academic year coming up fast, if you haven’t already set up your student bank account for this year, that’s where we come in handy with a full list of the best ones.

By the end of our post, you will have discovered the best provider for you, with each offering something different whether it’s sign-up incentives, discounts off shopping, or even interest-free overdrafts.

Without further ado here are the best student bank accounts for 2024!

#1. HSBC Student Bank Account

The HSBC Student Bank Account is at the top of our list of the best student bank accounts.

When you apply for a Student Account, you will always have a guaranteed interest-free limit of up to £1,000, which can increase to $3,000 in your third year.

When you start or upgrade to a student bank account from another institution, you’ll receive £100 on HSBC as well as a 1-year subscription to Headspace as additional incentives for signing up. 


#2. Santander 123 Student Account

You can access an interest-free scheduled overdraft of £1,500 for years 1-3, £1,800 for years 4 through 5, and £2,000 for years 5 and beyond with a Santander 123 Student Account.

Depending on your credit score, the majority of students do receive the full £1,500 overdraft to start, which distinguishes it from many other student bank accounts even if it is just half of what other accounts advertise.

To get this, you must deposit at least £500.

The four-year, £100 16–25 Railcard is a great sign-up bonus because it saves you a third on all train travel in the UK. This is fantastic if you frequently take trains, whether to visit family or see friends in different cities.


#3. Nationwide FlexStudent Account

What benefits does a Nationwide FlexStudent account offer?

In your first year, you are eligible to apply for up to a £1,000 interest-free planned overdraft, followed by £2,000 and £3,000 in your second and third years, respectively. However, you must contribute at least £500 per semester.

This bank account is regarded as one of the best for students this year because it provides one of the largest overdrafts available.

The current sign-up offer is a £100 bonus if you deposit £500 or more into your student account by December 16th. 


See also: Can You Get a Student Finance Loan For a Second Degree?

#4. The Co-operative Student Account

The Co-operative Student Account is a superb alternative for a university student’s banking provider.

During your first year of college, you are eligible for a £1,400 student overdraft that you can request be increased yearly.

If you use an overdraft from the bank, you’ll have a year after you graduate to repay it interest-free.

To be eligible for the entire overdraft amount, you must deposit £300 during the first 28 days of creating the bank account, and that £300 must remain in the account for at least 48 hours after it is placed. 


#5. TSB Student Account

By opening a TSB Student Account, you can effectively manage your finances while attending college.

This tier-based student bank account provides a 0% overdraft up to £500 in the first six months, increasing to £1,000 for the next three months, and then to the full £1,500 after that.

If your credit is good, you’ll have a decent chance of acquiring the full, advertised overdraft by your second year; nevertheless, you might need to nag them a little to raise your overdraft limit once you are qualified. 


#6. NatWest Student Current Account

You have a decent chance of getting the entire £2,000 overdraft when opening a NatWest Student Current Account.

You can apply for an interest-free overdraft of up to £3,250 if you continue your studies past year three. Your first year of university will start at £500 and go straight up to £2,000 in your second.

This year, there are two sign-up bonuses. The first is a four-year Tastecard, and the second is £100 in cash. This offers a 50% discount or two meals for the price of one at over 6,000 UK eateries! 


See also: Sallie Mae Student Loans: Things you were told about

#7. Barclays Student Additions Account

Looking for the best banks that provide student accounts for the 23–24 academic year? The Barclays Student Additions Account is a fantastic option if so.

Another tier-based overdraft offers a significant first-year overdraft of £1,000 and rises to a total of £1,500 in the second and third years.

The overdraft cannot be increased automatically, unlike with some other student bank accounts; you must expressly request it.

The overdraft amount is limited to £500 starting with the account opening and for the duration of your first term.


#8. RBS Student Account

Do you want to ease your life as a student even more? Register for an RBS Student Account.

A 4-year tastecard is available by opening a Royal Bank student account. Request an interest-free overdraft up to $2000 (£500 during the first term).

In comparison to some other UK student bank accounts, your odds of getting the overdraft, which is limited to £2,000 in your final year, are very high.

You must contribute £750 every six months to keep your eligibility, which starts with a first-year investment of £500. 


#9. Halifax Student Current Account

Although the overdraft indicated for this student bank account is up to £1,500 in your first year, most students are unlikely to receive that amount right away.

Most of the time, you’ll need to keep asking the bank to raise your overdraft limit because each instance is handled differently.

You’ll also notice that there isn’t a welcome bonus or gift, but using your debit card can earn you up to 15% cashback instead!


See also: Top Companies That Offer Tuition Reimbursement to Students in 2024

#10. Lloyds Student Current Account

Lloyds Student Current Account is a wonderful option if you’re headed to school in UK and want a low-cost banking service.

You can apply for an interest-free tiered planned overdraft of up to £1,500 in Years 1 through 3 and up to £2,000 in Years 4 through 6 with this Student Account.

After year one, the majority of students do receive the full amount. For students with bad credit, Lloyds is a fantastic option because most applicants do get the entire overdraft limit.


What About International Student Bank Accounts?

The best student bank accounts for foreign students moving to the UK should be seen from a slightly different perspective.

International students are not eligible for overdrafts or freebies.

However, the following items are required to satisfy the application requirements if you are an international student seeking a current account or a student account in the UK:

  • A bank statement from your current bank account in your home country
  • A valid visa
  • Proof of address in the UK
  • Student ID or the acceptance letter from your UK university
  • Your current passport

#11. Nationwide FlexStudent Account

This is one of the few student bank accounts that is open to international students

With this account, you can send and receive money for free from any place in the globe and for the lowest transfer costs available on the market.

You might need to have moved into your student housing before applying for this student bank account because you require evidence of address to create an account.

#12. HSBC Bank Account

Any student in the UK, whether from abroad or in this country, can use the bank account service that HSBC offers.

It does have an overdraft, but since this isn’t a bank account just for students, the overdraft isn’t interest-free.

It costs £4 to move money to other nations and currencies, however, it’s free to send money to other HSBC accounts and any bank account in an EEA country.

Depending on whether it is in pounds or other currencies, receiving money charges £6 or £8 for sums over £100.

See also: How to Pay Off Your Student Loans in 5 Years: A Step-by-Step Guide

#13. Natwest Select Account

In the past, NatWest did provide an exclusive international student bank account with sign-up bonuses.

Although this was abandoned, this particular account is still a smart choice for a bank account.

There is the option of an overdraft, which is free to use and does not require monthly fees to keep the account active. 

#14. Barclays Student Additions Account

Natwest and Barclays both had offered special bank accounts for international students, but they no longer do.

The distinction is that Barclays now accepts applications for regular student bank accounts from international students.

It offers an interest-free overdraft facility of up to £3,000 throughout the third year of college. 

#15. Al Rayan Personal Current Account

This bank account is for you if you’re seeking for a current account that complies with Sharia law.

If you don’t have a UK passport and the country is not where you primarily reside, you must contribute at least £20 each month to keep your account active.

You need to send at least £100 to access international money transactions.

Sending money abroad costs £25 in sterling, €40 in euros, $40 in dollars, and £12 in other foreign currencies for sums under £10,000 each. Receiving money in any currency from abroad is cost-free. 

See also: UGMA vs UTMA Accounts? Which Accounts is the Best?


Can international students open a student bank account?

Yes, many UK banks offer student accounts to international students. However, the eligibility criteria and benefits may vary. It’s advisable to check with specific banks for their requirements.

What is an interest-free overdraft?

An interest-free overdraft is a borrowing facility offered by banks that allows you to go beyond your account balance up to a certain limit without incurring interest charges. It’s particularly useful for managing temporary financial gaps.

How do I choose the right student bank account?

Consider factors like the overdraft limit, fees, online banking features, and any additional perks offered. Choose an account that aligns with your financial habits and needs.

Do I need to repay the overdraft after graduating?

Yes, eventually. While the overdraft is interest-free during your studies, it’s usually expected to be repaid after you graduate. Banks may have different repayment terms, so it’s essential to understand the terms of your specific account.


Similar to regular current accounts, student bank accounts frequently provide incredible benefits including cash, travel and retail discounts, and interest-free overdrafts. These can be especially useful if you don’t have a full-time job and are a student.

You may have to act quickly because most banks require you to be in your first year of college to open a student bank account.

Remember, the right bank account can make a significant difference in your financial well-being, helping you focus on what truly matters – your education.



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