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What types of bank accounts are there?

There are many different UK bank accounts that cater to a variety of different needs. From the most Basic Current Accounts, to Packaged Bank Accounts with extras such as phone or travel insurance, there’ll be a way for you to get the most out of your money.

What are the main types of bank accounts?

People often refer to Current Accounts as Bank Accounts. A Current Account provides an everyday banking facility, so you can pay bills, check your balance, transact with your debit card and more.

In the UK, common types of current accounts include, but are not limited to:

Basic bank accounts

A Basic Bank Account gives you the features you need for everyday banking, without a monthly fee. It’s ideal for those who may not qualify for other kinds of current account.

Our basic bank account is the Cashminder. It comes with a debit card and access to online and mobile banking. The Cashminder account has no option to arrange an overdraft facility, no cheque book, no monthly charge or contactless functionality, but you get the option to pay through Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.

Current accounts

A Current Account is an account that grants you access to a range of different banking services. A Current Account is a common option for most people as it often does not have a monthly fee, but provides all the features and benefits needed to manage day to day banking.

You can opt to open a current account with most providers, but approval is based on a credit check, an assessment of your personal circumstances and is subject to status. Other criteria, such as age, may apply depending on what provider you choose to open your current account with.

Our standard current account is available with no monthly account fee and can be managed using online banking and on the go with our mobile app. Like the Cashminder, it also offers the option of paying through Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.

With our standard current account, there’s an option to apply for an overdraft. Approval is based on a credit check, an assessment of your personal circumstances and is subject to status.

Packaged bank accounts

A Packaged Bank Account is a current account that usually comes with extra benefits, in exchange for a monthly fee.

For example, our packaged bank account, the Everyday Extra Current Account, gives you all the features available with our standard Current Account, but also includes UK and European Breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance and worldwide travel insurance for a £15 monthly fee. As with all types of insurance, limitations and exclusions apply. It’s important that you read the policy documents before applying.

Our packaged bank account comes with the option to apply for an overdraft. Approval is based on a credit check, an assessment of your personal circumstances and is subject to status.

Student accounts

A Student Account is similar to a standard current account, but may come with handy features for people who are in higher education.

These could include an interest-free Overdraft, a railcard, gift vouchers or other benefits. Once you have finished higher education, this account is likely to change to a regular current account.

Joint bank accounts

A Joint Bank Account is when a bank account is shared between two people. This can be a way of managing joint finances with a partner, such as household bills, and making payments for shared expenditures.

Most types of bank accounts can be a joint account, be that a savings account, a current account or a packaged account. If this type of account is important to you, it is always a good idea to ask the account provider whether the account you are about to apply for can be opened as a joint account.

It is worth noting that by opening a joint bank account, you are agreeing for your financial records to be linked together.

Find out more about the joint bank accounts we offer.

Children’s bank accounts

A children’s bank account is usually a current account designed to help your child get used to managing money. They are often available for children aged between 11 and 18, and usually come with restrictions to help control the account and prevent overspending.

A parent or a guardian will usually need to open the account on their child’s behalf if the child is younger than 16.

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What’s the difference between a bank account and a current account?

Bank account is a general term used for any type of account a bank provides. In the UK, the terms ‘bank account’ and ‘current account’ are often used interchangeably. However, a bank account could be a savings account, a current account, a joint account and so on. It depends on the context in which the term is used.

A current account is a specific type of bank account. Current accounts are usually used for performing everyday banking actions, like making card transactions and paying bills. Most people get their wages paid into their current accounts.

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Can I move my bank account to another provider?

It depends which type of bank account you have, and your financial situation. Bank account approvals are usually based on an assessment of your personal circumstances, and are often subject to status and additional eligibility criteria.

If you are wanting to switch your current account to a new provider, most banks are part of the Current Account Switch Service, an automated service that transfers your regular ingoing and outgoing payments (some exclusions apply). This service is covered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee, which helps you in the unlikely event of anything going wrong.

Savings accounts are not included in the Current Account Switch Service.

current account switch guarantee logo


Important things to remember

  • If you’re switching your Current Account and need an overdraft, you’ll need to make sure this is agreed before you switch. Most banks will have an overdraft eligibility checker you can use before applying. It’s also best to be clear on any overdraft terms, such as fees and charges for arranged and unarranged overdrafts, as not all overdrafts are the same.
  • If you’re switching from a Current Account to a Packaged Bank Account, keep in mind that the new account may come with a monthly fee.
  • If you are switching away from a packaged account to a standard account, some or all of your associated benefits with your old account may stop once your old account is closed.

Learn more about our bank accounts