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Types of bank accounts and their benefits

Compare current accounts

What is a current account?

Before you consider which type of current account is right for you, it’s important to understand what a current account is.

A current account is a type of bank account that you use for your day-to-day spending and bills. Usually, your pay goes in there too. You probably already have a current account, most people have one for their regular spending needs.

Keep in mind that a current account isn’t a credit card, you’re only dealing with the money you put into the account yourself. The only time you could get access to credit with this type of account is with an arranged overdraft. Subject to eligibility. 

Types of current accounts

There are different types of current account out there to suit you, here’s a quick overview:

Everyday current account

An everyday current account is a fuss free bank account, that usually doesn’t have a monthly fee. That’s why this is the type of bank account that many people have. This type of account could be right for you if you’re looking for a bank account that is simple and easy to manage.

Packaged current account

Packaged current accounts are bank accounts that come with added extras. Because of this they usually have a monthly fee. The extras these accounts come with can be anything from cashback offers to different types of insurance and even access to special rewards. 

Joint current account

A joint current account is a bank account you hold with another person. This could be anyone you’re sharing expenses with like a roommate, partner, spouse or even a family member. You’ll both be able to pay in money to the account and spend it. 

Kids current account

A kids current account is a bank account set up for children, that usually means anyone under the age of 18. This type of bank account usually comes with a debit card to use in stores or to withdraw cash and can even be used to shop online. 

Student current account

Student current accounts are bank accounts set up for people that are at university or college. They’re  like a normal everyday current account. However, they can come with some extras that are ideal for students. This can be anything from vouchers and offers to railcards, depending on the provider. 

Why compare current accounts?

It's important to compare the different types of bank accounts out there to make sure you’re getting the right one for you. Each type of current account may have different costs, requirements, and perks. Weighing all of this up is the only way you’ll make the best decision you can.

What should I think about when comparing current accounts?

Costs

Does the bank account you’re considering have any monthly or yearly charges? If so, you need to understand what you get in return for that fee. Most bank accounts that have a fee will be accounts that give you rewards in return.

Payments

Minimum payments

Make sure you find out if you need to pay in a minimum amount of money each month. Some bank accounts have this written in their terms and conditions.

Overdrafts

Do you need an overdraft?

An overdraft is a buffer of credit on your current account. So if you need to pay for something unexpectedly when you’re low on funds, the arranged overdraft can help you out. If you’re looking for an overdraft with your current account, you’ll also need to look at how much of an overdraft the account offers and the charges for going into your overdraft. Keep in mind that an overdraft is a form of borrowing and is repayable on demand.

Interest rates

Interest rates

When banks tell you about interest rates on current accounts, essentially what they’re talking about is how much you could earn for having your money with their bank account. This is usually a percentage of the amount of money you hold in the current account. Different accounts will pay different amounts so make sure you look at this if you’re looking for an account that pays.

Rewards

Rewards and extras

Some bank accounts will come with rewards. These can range from things like cashback and discounts to different types of insurance. These can be a great incentive, but make sure you know how much they will cost you.

Which bank account is right for me?

The type of bank account you need will depend on your circumstances and the types of features you’re looking for.

I'm looking for an account that...

Our bank accounts

We offer a range of different current accounts to suit you. Whether you’re just looking for a basic account for day-to-day spending or want something a little bit more. We have an option to suit you.

Our basic current account

Our Select account is our everyday bank account that gives you everything you need for your day-to-day banking needs:
  • Monthly fee free banking
  • Manage your account on the go with our mobile app and Online Banking. Criteria apply. 
  • Pay however you like with Apple pay, Google Pay™  and contactless . Limits apply. 

 

To apply, you need to be 18+ and a UK resident.

Reward current account

With the Reward bank account, for a £2 fee you could earn rewards every month and that’s not all:
  • Earn up to £5 a month back in Rewards
  • Redeem your Rewards as cashback, gift-cards or e-codes with a range of retailers
  • Even donate your Rewards to charity if you like

 

To apply, you need to be 18 or over and a UK resident. To hold this account, you need to pay £1,250 into an eligible NatWest account every month. To earn £5 rewards, you earn £4 a month back in rewards for 2 or more Direct Debits (at least £2 each) and an additional £1 a month back in rewards with 1 mobile app log in. 

Our joint account

Most of out bank accounts can be set up as a joint account, meaning you can pick from a range of current accounts.

Our Student current account

A student current account is perfect for you if you’re in further education, and comes with some tasty extras:
  • Free from a monthly fee
  • Get a 4 year taste card that gets you 2 for 1 or 50% off food bills at restaurants across the UK
  • Lost your bank card? No worries. Simply lock it, then unlock once you find it

 

Offer T&Cs apply. Specific account eligibility criteria apply.

Bank accounts for kids and teens

If you’re looking for a bank account for your kid that's 11-17 years old, our Adapt account could be the right choice. It comes with:
  • Contactless debit card, so your child can take out cash, pay in shops or even shop online
  • Interest on everything paid into the account, so they earn as they save
  • Access to our handy mobile app, and add payment caps for your peace of mind. Criteria apply. 

 

Specific account eligibility criteria apply.

How to switch current accounts

Switching bank accounts is easy. Now that the Current Account Switch Service is here to help you, it’s never been easier to change your bank account provider. Take a look the Current Account Switch Guarantee guide for more detailed information and our guide to switching too.  If you've decided switching is right for you, all you need to do is:

  1. 01

    Pick your current account 

    Take a look at the different types of accounts out there and have a think about the kinds of things you need from your current account.

    Read the current account switch guarantee guide (PDF39KB)

    Take a look at the switching current accounts guide (PDF3MB)

  2. 02

    Apply for your new bank account

    When you apply for the new current account you’ll usually be asked for some documents like ID and proof of address. 

  3. 03

    Choose the date you want to switch

    When you apply for the new bank account, you’ll usually be asked the date you want the switch to happen. You’ll need to allow 7 working days for the switch to go through, so keep that in mind. 

  4. 04

    Your current account switch is complete

    It’s as simple as that, your old bank account will close and everything, including payments like direct debits will all be moved over. 

  5. 05

    After your switch

    If anything goes wrong with the switch, you’re new bank will cover the cost of any charges or fees, so you won’t be out of pocket. 

Want to switch to NatWest?

Whether you’re already a customer with us, or you’re brand new to NatWest, switching is simple.

Already with us?

You can apply to move an account you hold with another bank to us online. All you’ll need to tell us is the account information of the bank account you want to move over, and the bank details of your NatWest account. 

New to NatWest?

Switching your bank account to us is easy, all you need to do is pick the type of account you want to open with us. Once you’ve done that you can apply online and we’ll take the details of the bank account you want to move over at the same time. 

More on current accounts

How much will a current account cost?

How much will a current account cost? Many of our current accounts are free of a monthly fee. But there can be other costs, so it’s important to read up on them. Read our costs and charges guide

What do I need to open a bank account?

There are different types of documents we will need to see when you open a bank account with us. Our guide can give you the full list.

Comparing current account FAQs