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Best Current Accounts 2024 -

Ultimate guide to opening a free online bank account

Written by - 4 min read

Updated 21 Apr 2024

A standard current account is a form of bank account available in the UK to ensure a secure place for your money. It greatly simplifies day-to-day financial transactions. For instance, you can receive your income, pay your bills, and set up recurring payments.

This guide primarily concentrates on standard free current accounts, inclusive of eMoney accounts.

Searching for bank accounts with benefits? Consider our packaged bank accounts guide
Monzo Current Card

Monzo Current

  • Pots with interest for organizing money
  • Help in managing finances effectively
  • Cashback offers with selected partners

Register and Get £5

Visit Site Monzo Current Review
Monzo Current
Revolut Standard Card

Revolut Standard

  • Revolut Pro 0.4% Cashback
  • 1 Revolut Junior Accounts
  • Currency Exchange - £1000/month exchange limit. Mon - Fri
Revolut Standard
Kroo Current Account Card

Kroo Current Account

  • Real-time spending insights in the app
  • One of the standout perks is the high interest rate offered on balances
  • Customers can calculate potential earnings through an interactive online calculator
Kroo Current Account
Starling Bank Personal Card

Starling Bank Personal

  • FREE withdrawals and spending in foreign currency (no transaction fees)
  • Spend directly from Saving Spaces using Virtual Cards
  • 3.25% AER interest on balances up to £5,000

Get the Account

Visit Site
Starling Bank Personal
Wise Personal Card

Wise Personal

  • 160 countries and 40 currencies
  • Dedicated accounts 10 currencies (GBP, EUR, USD, AUD and etc)
  • Real exchange rate, no sneaky transaction fees
Wise Personal
Monese Simple Card

Monese Simple

  • Accounts in GPB, EUR and RON
  • Avios and PayPal account integration
  • Set money aside in Money Pots

Register, Get up to £10

Visit Site
Monese Simple


These bank accounts come with a debit card giving you the flexibility to spend or withdraw money from cash machines any time. Additionally, a current account may also offer mobile and online banking. This allows balance checks, transaction history, money transfers, and overdraft applications online.

Technology has become integral to our lives. So, having a standard bank account is almost essential. Most companies now prefer to pay salaries directly into bank accounts. This makes digital finance much more convenient for everyone.

Also, using a current bank account responsibly can build a good credit history. This could come in handy for future finances.


It’s unnecessary to pay for basic banking services for most people.

The majority of the banks offer free current accounts. The transaction fees are non-existent (or minimal) for managing GBP within the country.

If you expect to make foreign currency transactions, extra fees may apply.

#Criteria for Opening an Account

To open a standard current account, you must be 18 or older. You must be a UK resident and be able to prove your address.

A good credit history is often necessary as some accounts come with overdrafts. People with poor credit or financial difficulties have an alternative. It’s called the basic bank account. It offers essential banking services but no overdraft privileges.

#Undestanding the Risks

As with any online financial activity, it’s crucial to keep your login details secure. This prevents falling victim to phishing or unauthorized account access.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects most current accounts, covering up to £85,000 per banking group. Understanding how this protection functions is essential.

The FSCS protection limit applies per banking institution, rather than per account. Your protection may be shared, if you hold accounts with banks within the same banking group. It’s advisable to spread your deposits to maximize protection within these limits.

For instance, First Direct is a subsidiary of HSBC. Its customers are effectively HSBC customers. This means your savings are only safe to the value of £85,000 between the two of them.

The FSCS aims to reimburse customers quickly in case of a bank collapse, usually within 15 days. Refunds are automatic, eliminating the need for customers to file claims. To verify if your deposits are protected, use the FSCS Protection Checker.

Please note that e-Money accounts like Revolut and Monese are not covered under the FSCS protection scheme.

#Choosing an Account Wisely

Many providers offer similar free current accounts. We recommend choosing one with user-friendly interfaces and modern tech features. A good mobile banking app is vital nowadays. Thankfully, the ability to manage all aspects of your account conveniently from your phone is increasingly becoming a standard expectation in the banking industry.

Furthermore, it’s essential to read and understand the terms and conditions before signing up. Make sure you have clarity regarding fees, features, and potential obligations.

#Impact on Credit Score

Opening a new current account can impact your credit history.

Applying for multiple accounts within a short period can hurt your credit score. This is true regardless of acceptance status (it suggests financial instability).

Therefore, if you’re aiming to improve your credit score, it’s advisable to avoid opening too many accounts within a short timeframe.


#What is a current account?

A current account is a form of bank account available in the UK to ensure a secure place for your money.

#How to open a bank account?

To open a bank account, you simply need to visit a bank branch or apply online. Please note, that procedures may vary across different banks.

#What do you need to open a bank account?

You need to provide ID and proof of address (e.g., utility bill) to open a bank account. Occasionally, you might have to make an initial deposit. The specific requirements may vary depending on the bank and account type.

#How to transfer money to another bank account?

There are various methods to transfer money to another bank account. Online banking, mobile banking apps, and in-branch transactions are some of the examples. You will need the recipient's account number and sort code. Some other details depend on the transfer method.

#How to put cash into a bank account?

You can deposit cash into a bank account by visiting a bank branch or using a cash deposit machine if available.

#How many bank accounts can you have?

There is no legal limit to the number of bank accounts you can have in the UK. You can open as many accounts as you need. But, you must manage them responsibly and be aware of any fees or charges.

#How to open a bank account online?

Opening a bank account online by visiting the website of a bank that offers online bank accounts. Then, follow their instructions. You will need to provide some personal information. Upload identification documents, and agree to the bank's terms and conditions.

#What documents do I need to open a bank account?

The documents you need to open a current account may vary depending on the bank and account type. However, common requirements include ID, proof of address, and sometimes proof of income.

#How to close a bank account?

Contact your bank's customer service or use online banking to close a bank account. You can also visit the bank branch. You may need to withdraw any remaining balance or return debit cards and checks.

#What is a bank account number?

A bank account number is a unique identifier assigned to an individual's bank account. It is used to facilitate transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, and transfers.

#What is a sort code?

A sort code is a six-digit number that identifies a specific bank and branch within the UK banking system. It is used to route payments and transfers between accounts.

#How long does a bank transfer take?

The time for a bank transfer to complete depends on many factors. These include the banks, the transfer method, and the destination. In general, UK banks process domestic transfers in a few hours to one business day. International transfers may take longer, up to several days.

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