The Best Student Bank Accounts for 2022
In a world where technology is a large part of everyday life, banking for students has changed. For many years, going into a brick-and-mortar bank was the only option for student banking. But now with the rise of smartphones and tablets, students can easily access their money from anywhere they go. In fact, due to the increased popularity of banking apps on mobile devices, traditional banks are beginning to adjust their strategies in order to keep up with this new way of banking.
What Is A Student Account?
A student bank account is a type of checking account that is designed specifically for students. They typically have no monthly fees, offer free ATM withdrawals, and have higher interest rates than regular checking accounts. Plus, many student bank accounts come with added perks like freebies and discounts.
With student bank accounts, you will have a number of options. Should you get a basic account, or should you get an account that offers rewards? If you go for an account that offers rewards, how can you be sure that they are worthwhile?
You need to compare the features of all the accounts available and then pick one that has all the features that you want. You also want to make sure that the bank is good and reliable before signing up for their services.
This article will give you step-by-step instructions on how to choose the best student bank accounts for your needs.
The best Student Banks for 2022
N26 Standard — Free Student Bank Account
As a student, how do you save money? Yes, it is possible—thanks to N26 Standard! This N26 student bank account is completely mobile and completely free. Begin spending with your digital N26 Mastercard as soon as you create an account, and enjoy smart features and incentives tailored to your hectic lifestyle.
Nationwide FlexStudent Account
Nationwide's current account offers a flexible, interest-free and fee-free planned overdraft. In year one, you'll have a £1,000 planned overdraft limit, which will increase to £2,000 in year two and £3,000 in year three. On balances up to £1000, you will also receive 1% AER/gross p.a. (variable).
HSBC Student Bank Account
When you sign up for an account with HSBC as a first-year student, you will receive a £100 bonus, as well as a slew of additional Student Exclusives. On account opening, you'll receive an arranged overdraft offer of at least £1000 interest-free, with the opportunity to raise your arranged overdraft as your studies progress.
Natwest Student Bank Account
With Natwest, you'll get an interest-free overdraft of up to £2,000 (£500 in your first term) as well as your choice of a special promotion, which might include Tastecard (where you can eat out and save 50% or receive two meals for the price of one). You may also save money on amusement, such as going to the movies. The card is good for four years and needs the use of a smartphone).
Santander 1-2-3 Student Current Account
If you're a student, then you need to know about Santander's 1-2-3 Student Current Account. Santander offers more than just an account for your money: it's designed to help you save up for the future and get your finances in order from the moment you open it. You'll have an account manager who can provide advice on everything from saving to investing and even offer budgeting advice. Plus, with a Santander 1-2-3 Student Current Account, you can earn up to 3% interest on your savings balance and spend abroad for free! Remember to switch your account back to a regular current account when you graduate so that you can take advantage of all these benefits as well as features like easy switching between different types of accounts and instant access 24/7.
Barclays Student Additions Account
One of the best student banks accounts out there is the Barclays Student Additions account. It's a checking account, but it doesn't have any monthly fees and its interest rate is pretty high at 0.75%. This account also doesn't require students to have an existing banking relationship with Barclays, which means they can open this account as soon as they enrol in college or university. Plus, this account has no minimum balance requirement and it comes with Visa Platinum benefits (which include travel accident insurance). And if you're using your debit card for purchases and withdraw cash from ATMs, you'll get 1% cash back on those transactions.
There are other features that make this account great for students like being able to link up their overdraft protection service so they never go into their overdraft ever again. If a customer has another eligible Barclays checking account that they use regularly, then they will get overdraft protection automatically.
Plus, customers who are under 18 years old can open this account by themselves so their parents don't need to be involved at all. The only thing about opening this account alone is that parents would be required to give consent before withdrawing money from the parent's own linked Barclays account on behalf of their child/children every time funds are needed from it.
Lloyds Student Current Account
TSB is one of the top student bank accounts on the market, and it has a number of features that make it a great choice for students. It's easy to set up and manage online, which means you don't have to worry about hidden charges or extraneous paperwork. Its overdraft protection feature can be useful if you unexpectedly need more funds than your account can provide. Plus, TSB has branches in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain as well as Gibraltar, which means that you're never too far away from help should an emergency arise.
The only downside is that there's no free worldwide ATM access with this bank, so you'll need to keep track of where your nearest ATM location is at all times. The bank offers up to £2,000 of overdraft protection without charging any fees. However, keep in mind that the overdraft limit with Llyods is in a tiered system. Meaning the first six months of banking with them you will be able to withdraw only £500 then £1,000 in the seventh to the ninth month and £1500 after that.
TSB Student Bank Account
TSB has a student account that is perfect for students who have just started university or college. There are no monthly fees and the overdraft limit is £600, which is higher than most other banks. The account offers a debit card that can be used to withdraw cash from any TSB ATM in the UK, as well as make purchases at any location where Visa cards are accepted. TSB also provides online banking with bill payment and mobile phone app access, which makes it easy to check your balance or pay bills wherever you are.
TSB offers many additional services to their student account holders such as free travel insurance, roadside assistance coverage (24 hours per day), and free credit score tracking so you can keep an eye on how your credit score changes over time.
The bank also offers overdraft protection with zero fees up to £2,000.
However, you can only withdraw £1,400 in your first year, £1,700 in your second year, and then £2,000 in the third year of banking with TBS. keep in mind that in other to be eligible for the full overdraft you have to deposit a minimum of £300 within 28 days of opening your student account.
Barclays Student Additions Account
This account is a good choice if you're looking for an online-only account. You'll be given Visa debit card, which can be used at any ATM or point-of-sale terminal (not just Barclays ATMs). There are no monthly fees and ATM withdrawals are free. You also get a £500 overdraft protection, when you first open the account. However, you can ask to increase the limit up to £1500, this can only be done after three years of banking with Barclays.
When the account matures, it becomes a Barclays Everyday Current Account, which will have all the features of other current accounts on offer. The overdraft rates are among some of the best in the market as well - cheaper than other student accounts from providers like Lloyds and Natwest.
However, there's also a downside - one that affects many student accounts these days: it doesn't come with contactless payments such as Apple Pay or Android Pay. But it does come with chip & PIN technology that makes it safer than using your normal bank cards too!
Halifax Student Current Account
Halifax is one of the largest providers of student bank accounts. It has the lowest account opening balance and requires no minimum monthly payments for those aged 16-19, £1 for those aged 20-24, and £5 for those aged 25 or over. The account also offers a contactless debit card, which can be used to withdraw up to £30 per day from ATMs or to pay in shops by just using your card with no need to input a PIN. It offers a range of additional benefits too, including discounts on National Rail travel, access to exclusive events, and great savings on music downloads through iTunes.
While Halifax promotes an overdraft of "up to" £1,500 at 0% for your first year of university, you are unlikely to receive the full amount. To boost your overdraft limit, you'll need to keep pestering the bank throughout your university years. They will evaluate applications on an individual basis.
The Co-operative Student Bank Account
The Co-operative offers a student bank account that provides a great balance of value and service. This account is the only one on this list that provides a free overdraft, which means you won’t have to pay any fees if your account dips below zero. You’ll also enjoy no monthly account fees and cash withdrawals at any ATM in the world, regardless of network or currency. The downside is that there are no reward points available with this bank. The annual fee is £12, but it can be waived by depositing £500 into the account each year.
This bank account comes with a contactless card so you can make contactless payments in Europe. You’ll be able to withdraw up to £250 per day from an ATM in Europe when travelling abroad (up to £2,000 per month). The bank offers overdraft with zero fees of up to £2,000. You must deposit £300 within 28 days of creating the account to be qualified for the entire amount. That sum must remain in the account for at least 48 hours (in other words, you cannot just transfer money in and out). You must also pass a credit history check, as with other accounts.
What to Consider When Choosing a Student Bank Account
If you’re just starting out in college, you don’t want your finances getting in your way. The temptation will be there to overspend, but you can avoid that if you know what options are available. The best student bank accounts offer perks like interest-free overdraft protection for no annual fee, as well as a variety of ways to keep track of spending and see where every dollar is going. Check out a few accounts below and find one that matches with your needs!
Zero Hidden Fees
Of course, free is nice — but having no fees? That’s even better. Many student bank accounts come with different levels of monthly service charges or ATM fees. Avoid these charges by choosing a bank that doesn’t charge any extra costs for using its services or ATMs. Find out how each account will be impacted by ATM withdrawal fees before signing up.
Unlimited Local and International Transfers
While most student bank accounts let you transfer money between your own accounts, not all of them let you transfer funds out of your account. Having unlimited transfers means more options for how and when you get your money. If necessary, you can use online banking or mobile apps on iPhone or Android to quickly send money between accounts—whether it’s yours or a friend’s who needs cash for lunch. And while some bank accounts offer free ATM use, others only reimburse ATM fees incurred by their own ATMs. Look into both options before choosing a bank account that offers either perk.
No Maintenance Fees
Overdraft fees can eat away at your checking account. Make sure you choose a bank that doesn’t charge these fees. Some banks will let you overdraw your account by a few dollars without charging you, but make sure it’s not a common occurrence if you do it often. Look for an account with free ATM withdrawals as well as online and mobile banking access so that managing your funds is convenient and easy.
Bonus Offers from Partners
Most banks offer sign-up bonuses in exchange for getting customers to open accounts. They may offer rewards for direct deposits, referring friends, using ATMs or signing up for automatic bill pay. These are often small amounts that can add up over time. Banks want you as a customer so they are willing to cut deals with students just starting out in their careers.
Access to Other Banking Services
If you’re looking for a place to save your money, but don’t have much in it right now, then you probably want an account that comes with other banking services as well. Most student bank accounts come with a debit card and online banking access. The drawback is that they usually come with very low balances. That said, if you need just one account for all your financial needs, then a bank account will do fine.
5 Tips For Choosing A Top Student Bank Account
Beware of the student bank account "freebies"
Some student bank accounts advertise their freebies as reasons to sign up, but beware: these offers often come with high costs or poor terms. For example, some student bank accounts will waive monthly fees if you use certain ATMs and bring in a minimum amount of deposits. This sounds great until you realize that those ATMs often charge you a fee, and if you don't meet your minimum deposit amounts each month you'll face hefty overdraft charges that can quickly wipe out any benefits. If freebies are a factor in choosing your account then be sure to do enough research to figure out whether they'll benefit you or not.
Go for the largest student overdraft
Student bank accounts usually offer an overdraft limit on your account so that you won't have a bounced cheque on your hands when there's no money in the account. Generally, this is at least £100 and can go up to £2,000 or more depending on how much space there is in the account. But what if you're always maxing out this limit? Choose an account with a higher limit! It's important to know where your limits are at all times so it's best to set them somewhere where you feel comfortable going over them.
Is the overdraft 'up to' or 'guaranteed'?
There are two types of overdrafts that banks offer - one is called 'up to', which means you could get charged fees even if your account has money available, and the other is called 'guaranteed', which means the bank will cover overdrafts up to a certain amount even if there isn't enough money in the account. Be careful - many banks make customers sign away their right to sue before they allow them access to guaranteed overdraft protection, so read everything carefully before signing anything.
Know the repayment conditions
One major difference between student bank accounts is how you repay your loan. Most require that repayments happen either monthly or quarterly, while others may ask for repayments annually or every few years. Make sure to understand what payments are expected from you and when they're due so you don't run into problems later on down the line.
Know your credit rating
Finally, it's worth knowing your credit score before applying for a student bank account because some of them might consider that information when deciding whether or not to approve you. Knowing where you stand should help you decide which type of account would work best for you.
With all these tips, finding the perfect student bank account just got easier!
What You Need to Open a Student Bank Account
Part-time or full-time students looking for a banking account will find that they are pretty much identical to regular accounts. Unlike the average person, however, people in higher education require certain criteria before they can apply and obtain an overdraft. To qualify, students must be over 18 years old but many banks give access when you're still 17 years old if there is proof of eligibility (like your UCAS letter). Banks also require proof of identity and address which may include:
- Proof of Residence/Address.
- ID (passport)
- A letter from your university confirming acceptance.
Once these requirements have been met, applying and opening an account should only take one day! When grads leave school, most banks will automatically upgrade their student bank account to a 'graduate' one. It has a repayment plan based on how much you owe.
How To Find The Best Student Bank Account As An International Student
International students who want to study abroad often find themselves without many options when it comes to banking. A lot of these international student accounts come with a monthly fee, and they may not be able to apply for overdrafts either. This can make life tough if you're living outside your home country - especially if you're planning on studying abroad in another country for longer than one semester!
While most banks don't offer specialized student bank accounts for international students, those that do have a separate page outlining the perks available and the monthly fee attached.
It's best if you go through each one carefully before deciding which account is right for you—particularly if you're looking at lower international transfer fees or no-overdraft policies.
Student Bank Accounts Paying Interest
A student bank account is a great way to get started with saving and managing your money. The best student bank accounts for 2022 are those that pay interest on your deposited funds. This can help you grow your money while you're in school and prepare you for success after graduation. To find the best student bank account for you, compare the interest rates and fees of different banks. Consider how much money you'll need to maintain in your account to avoid fees, and choose an account that offers the features and services that fit your needs.
What Happens If I Exceed My Overdraft Limit?
You can't be charged interest or fees for overdrawing if you stay within your free limit. To add more money to your account, talk to the bank and set up an arrangement to increase it. Some banks extend the free limit but others might charge you arranged or planned overdraft interest. If you go over your free limit, there are consequences - including hurting your credit score and paying fees when a payment bounces due to not having enough funds in the account. But being diligent about knowing how much is in your account should help avoid that from happening.
Yes, student bank accounts are a good option for students looking to open a new account. They often offer perks that cannot be found elsewhere.
Yes, most banks have an application process available on their website. Some banks may require the student to call in and speak with an agent before proceeding with the application process.
You can only have one student account at once. If you close your old account or switch to another bank, this will make your current account inactive until you reopen it.
One great benefit of student banking accounts is that they're specifically tailored to the needs of students, making finances less of a chore. Many offer interest-free overdraft options for easy access to money when needed most.
Ideally, the student account should be free of charge and come with no monthly fee; it should also offer unlimited or a high number of monthly cash withdrawals, debit transactions, and Interac e-transfers. Finally, it should not require any minimum balance and offer interest-free overdrafts.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the best student bank account. You want to find an account that will be helpful, but not expensive. Make sure you have your priorities straight before you start looking for accounts. When in doubt, reach out to professionals who can help you choose the right account for your needs.
We hope we've helped you find the best student bank for your needs. To learn more about this, and other financial topics, please visit our website and subscribe to our blog for regular updates!