Which is the best 2018/19 student bank account for you?


With university offers coming in thick and fast, it’s a good time to start thinking about choosing a student bank account. Although to set this up, you will often need a UCAS confirmation letter, either for an unconditional offer, or a conditional offer, which may stop you opening your account until August. Despite this, starting to choose the right student account now is a good idea, since all the major banks offer competing and varied deals.

Many offer additional perks such as Amazon Prime, or railcards, however, make sure you look at more than just this. Most importantly think carefully about overdrafts. Do you need one? What are the interest rates on them? How big an overdraft do you need?

Below is a summary of the major student bank accounts for 2018/2019 and the relative information to help you on your way, focusing mainly on interest rates, overdrafts and any additional perks.

Santander 1 2 3 Student Current Account

• An AER interest rate of 3% / 2.96% (variable) on balances from £300 up to a maximum of £2000

• Interest-free and fee-free Arranged Overdraft of up to £1500 in years 1-3, and up to £2000 if you have a 5-year course

• Free 4-year 16-25 Railcard saving you up to a 1/3 off rail travel in Great Britain - these are a great way to save money when travelling between University and home so even if you do not go with Santander I recommend you look at getting yourself one.

The Santander option is my favourite student bank account, with an AER, fee-free overdraft and the Railcard. However, every student is in a different situation, so the following accounts may work better for you.

NatWest Student Account

• Fee-free overdraft of up to £500 in the first term, which you can increase to £2000 after that if it suits you

• Free 4-year National Express Young Persons Coach Card when you sign up to Online Banking and choose to receive paperless statements, which gives you 1/3 off coach travel. A coach card is a recommended money-saver if you think coach travel will be the main form of transport you use to get to and from University.

TSB Student Bank Account

• Receive 5% AER/ 4.89% on balances up to £500 which is a huge interest so worth looking at if you know you will have a smaller amount of money in your account

• Interest-free and fee-free tiered planned overdraft of £500 for the first six months and increasing to £1500 after that

Nationwide FlexStudent

• 1% AER on balances up to £1,000

• Fee-free overdraft beginning at £1,000 which you can increase to £3,000 by your third year upon request

Halifax Student Current Account

• AER interest rate of 0.10% paid monthly

• Fee-free overdraft of up to £1,500 for the length of your course plus an extra year after you graduate - max. 6 years.

HSBC Student Bank Account

• Fee-free and interest-free overdraft up to £1,000 and option to increase as your studies progress

• Student Credit Card, up to £500 credit available (subject to status account conduct)

  • HSBC Regular Saver account with interest rate of 3% AER on amounts up to £3,000 (fixed for 12 months)

• ‘Student Exclusives’ including discounts, competitions and tickets

• Also available to apprentices as well as students

Barclays Student Additions Account

• Fee-free overdraft of £500 which you can increase to up to £3,000

• Cash-back on selected purchases

  • Exclusive student deals like a 10% discount on the Samsung Galaxy Notebook

• A fun addition at Barclays is that you create your own debit card by adding a favourite photo to your contactless card!

Lloyds Student Account

• Fee-free overdraft up to £1,500 in years 1-3, and £2,000 in years 4-6

• Your account will convert to a Graduate Account when you complete your course, which has a fee-free overdraft for three years after graduation

Which student bank account appeals to you?