Thinking of opening a bank account? Get some handy tips here on choosing what's best for you.
Benefits of a bank account
Having a current account (the standard bank account) will mean
you can use a cash machine, transfer money, set up Direct
Debits and earn interest.
In the UK you don't have to pay to open most types of bank account,
although you will probably be hit with charges if you go overdrawn
(spend more than you have in the account).
Choosing your bank
Different banks offer different incentives for you to choose them (rail cards, vouchers etc) but don't get distracted.
Here are the main questions to ask when you're choosing a young person's account.
- Will you receive interest on your money?
- Is the interest higher the more money you have in the account?
- Do you get a cash card (for taking money out at cash machines) or a debit card (which you can also use in shops)?
Opening your account
Go into your local branch of whichever bank you've chosen and arrange to open an account with them. It's worth phoning or checking the website first to see what kind of ID you'll need.
Debit cards, overdrafts, loans...
- You can't get a debit card (that you use to pay for stuff in shops) until you're 16.
- You can't get an overdraft facility or a loan until you're 18.
- If you have a big wodge of cash or if you want to save up for something, a savings account will pay way more interest than a current account.
- Most banks offer savings accounts, but you could also consider National Savings & Investments (NS&I) or, if you're over 16, a cash ISA. Again it's a good idea to shop around and see which account offers you the best options.
There are many, many websites, such as Money Saving Expert
or Money Supermarket
that can help you work out which account might be the best for you.