Guide to student bank accounts in the UK

Which is the best student bank account in the UK? Compare what each bank is offering with this comprehensive table 

August 29 2018
Woman gets money out of cashpoint

If you are heading to university in the UK this autumn, you will likely need to set up a student bank account. Even if you already have a bank account, it is still worth setting up a student account as you may be able to receive a few free perks.

The table below compares the different student bank accounts offered by major UK banks so that you can pick the one that works for you. 


Student finance help and advice
How to receive funding as a disadvantaged student
Top five apps for managing student finance
Students: tips for managing your finances
Phishing: how to avoid risks and stay safe online
The cost of studying at a university in the UK


 Bank

 Min age

Interest free (0 per cent) overdraft

Benefits 

 

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Freebies

HSBC Student

18

£1,000

£2,000

£3,000

£1,500

£80 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card and 12 months of Prime Student when you open an HSBC Student Account before 31 December 2018 

NatWest/RBS Student

17

£2,000

£2,000

£2,000

£2,000

Choose between one of three offers from either an Amazon Prime Student membership, National Express Coach card or tastecard

More info: Pay in at least £750 every six months and make three debit transactions every month to remain eligible for 0 per cent overdraft

First Trust Bank (NI)Student+

18

£1,850

£1,850

£1,850

n/a

 

Halifax Student

18

£1,500

£1,500

£1,500

£1,500

Cashback at various retailers

Bank of Ireland 
Student

18

£3,000

£3,000

£3,000

£3,000

 

Bank of Scotland 
Student

17 (must be 18 to apply for an overdraft)

£1,500

£1,500

£1,500

£2,000

Free NUS extra card and up to 15 per cent cashback

Lloyds Bank Student

17 (must be 18 to apply for an overdraft)

£1,500

£1,500

£1,500

£2,000

Free NUS extra card

Santander 123 
Student

18

£1,500

£1,500

£1,500

£1,800

Four-year 16-25 Railcard 

More info: Pay in £500/term to remain eligible for 0 per cent overdraft

TSB Student 

17

£1,510

£1,510

£1,510

£1,510

 

Barclays Student 
Additions

18

£3,000

£3,000

£3,000

n/a

Personalised (photo) debit card; cashback at various retailers

Nationwide 
FlexStudent

18

£1,000

£2,000

£3,000

£3,000

Cashback at various retailers

More info: Pay in £500/term to remain eligible for 0 per cent overdraft

Ulster Bank Student

18

£1,000

£1,000

£1,000

£1,000

 

More info: Students studying medicine, dentistry, law, accountancy, pharmacy, optometry, physiotherapy and veterinary science can apply for an overdraft limit of up to £3,000

As shown in the table above, a few banks offer perks such as free travel cards or cashback at various retailers. It's always worth considering how much you will be travelling while at university as these travel cards could save you some money in the long-term. 

Something else that is important to note is the interest-free overdraft that is offered. An overdraft is where a bank allows flexible overspending up to a certain amount, which is then repaid when money is deposited into the account. If an overdraft is offered interest-free it means that banks will not charge you unless you spend outside of this agreed limit. The table above breaks down the interest-free overdraft options per year for each bank. 

If you do start spending money outside of your overdraft or you think you may need to borrow more money from your bank, have a discussion with them about the options available to you. 

Some of the banks, such as Santander and Natwest, impose conditions on the bank account in order to be eligible for the interest-free overdraft so make sure you are aware of which banks do and don’t impose these. 

Read more: Tips for managing money when you have budgeting blues 

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Related articles