Best bank accounts December 2022

Our guide to the best bank accounts available. With so many around it can get confusing to pick one.

Hand holding credit card and wallet by laptop
(Image credit: Getty images)

There’s a lot to think about when choosing a bank account, but choosing between the best bank accounts, to find the one that's right for you, will depend on your needs and how you manage your money.

To help choose the right one, think about the features you use regularly. Do you want to make use of interest-free overdrafts, want to earn interest because you’re always in credit, or are you fed up with foreign transaction fees eating into your holiday spending money?

To help you pick the best bank account, we’ve broken down the different types of current accounts to help you pick the right one. 

Here’s everything you need to know about what is available.

Best bank accounts November 2022

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The best bank accounts for overdrafts

If you regularly dip into the red on your current account, it is a good idea to choose a bank account that specialises in low overdraft rates.  

But, after the free or low-rate offer expires, borrowing via an overdraft is an expensive way to borrow with most standard current accounts charging almost 39% EAR when you use your overdraft.

First Direct 1st current account (opens in new tab)

First Direct 1st current account (opens in new tab) | £250 interest-free overdraft (subject to status)

If you want a long-term interest-free overdraft this account could be your best option. Plus you can get paid £175 just for switching to it. 

  • £250 interest-free overdraft (subject to status) for as long as you have the account. Go over that amount though and you’ll be charged (0% EAR variable on the first £250, 39.9% EAR variable thereafter, giving a representative rate of 30.5% APR variable on an assumed arranged overdraft of £1,200)
  • Switch to the First Direct 1st Account and you’ll receive £175. To qualify, you must use the Current Account Switch Service and pay in at least £1,000 within the first three months. This offer is only available to new First Direct customers, or HSBC customers who haven't opened an account since 1 January 2019. If you want to use First Direct, but do not want to switch accounts, you could still benefit from a £20 welcome bonus if you open a current account.
  • Get access to a 3.5% regular saver account (fixed for 12 months and you must save from £25 to £300. If you save less than £300 in any given month, you can carry over the difference to the following month. The maximum you can save in a year is £3,600 per year.

Nationwide’s FlexDirect (opens in new tab)

Nationwide’s FlexDirect (opens in new tab) | £2,750 interest-free overdraft for one year (subject  to status)

If you have built up an overdraft that you need some time to clear then this current account offers an interest-free overdraft facility of up to £2,750 for the first year.

  • An interest-free overdraft of up to £2,750 for the first year (subject to status). Arranged overdraft years two plus: 39.9% EAR variable
  • Get paid £200 to switch from a non-Nationwide account to a new or existing Flex account – your switch must include 2 plus direct debits and must be made online. The bonus is then paid within 10 days.
  • Earn 5% AER interest fixed for a year (0.25% AER variable after) if you pay at least £1,000 per month into your account.

The best bank accounts to earn interest

If you keep a healthy balance in your current account, the interest rates available on these current accounts are decent compared to some of the best savings accounts on the market.

Nationwide FlexDirect (opens in new tab)

Nationwide FlexDirect (opens in new tab)  | 5% interest on up to £1,500

This current account offers the highest interest with new customers able to earn 5% on cash balances up to £1,500 for the first 12 months, but after that, the rate will drop to 0.25%

  • Earn 5% AER interest fixed for a year (0.25% AER variable after) if you pay at least £1,000 per month into your account. 
  • An interest-free overdraft of up to £2,750 for the first year (subject to status). Arranged overdraft years two plus: 39.9% EAR variable
  • Get paid £200 to switch from a non-Nationwide account to a new or existing Flex account – your switch must include 2 plus direct debits and must be made online. The bonus is then paid within 10 days.

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AccountInterest (AER)Max limitHow to open an account
Virgin Money M Plus account2.02%£1,000Online. - If you have more to save, you can make use of the linked savings account, which pays 2.02% on balances up to £25,000.

It is worth noting that the rates only apply to balances up to a certain limit and the deals may also only last for one year. If you have more to save, then it is worth considering an account with linked savings.

The best bank account for linked savings

There are several bank accounts available at the moment that come with a linked savings account with an attractive interest rate.

First Direct 1st current account (opens in new tab)

First Direct 1st current account (opens in new tab) | 3.5% regular saving account

Pays 3.5% if you pay into it from £25 to £300 per month. Fixed for 12 months.

  • £250 interest-free overdraft (subject to status) for as long as you have the account. Go over that amount though and you’ll be charged (0% EAR variable on the first £250, 39.9% EAR variable thereafter, giving a representative rate of 30.5% APR variable on an assumed arranged overdraft of £1,200)
  • Switch to the First Direct 1st Account and you’ll receive £175. To qualify, you must use the Current Account Switch Service and pay in at least £1,000 within the first three months. This offer is only available to new First Direct customers, or HSBC customers who haven't opened an account since 1 January 2019. If you want to use First Direct, but do not want to switch accounts, you could still benefit from a £20 welcome bonus if you open a current account.
  • Get access to a 3.5% regular saver account (fixed for 12 months) and you must save from £25 to £300. If you save less than £300 in any given month, you can carry over the difference to the following month. The maximum you can save in a year is £3,600 per year.

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AccountInterest (AER)LimitsHow to open
Chase 2.1%£250,000App
Virgin Money M Plus account2.02%£25,000Online

The best bank account to use overseas

If you travel regularly, you may want a bank account that offers the best exchange rates and zero or low fees for foreign usage. Using the wrong card could mean you pay around 3% every time you use your card abroad. Here are the best bank accounts if you plan to use your bank card when travelling.

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AccountCard transaction feesATM feesOther perksHow to open
ChaseNoneNone - but ATM could chare2.1% linked savings and 1% cashbackApp
Starling BankNoneNone - but ATM could chareNoneApp
MonzoNoneSome ATMS chargeNoneApp

The best bank account for cashback

There are some current accounts that will pay you cashback on your spending and direct debits. Here is the best available right now:

Chase current account (opens in new tab)

Chase current account (opens in new tab) | 1% cashback on most purchases in the first year 

You can get 1% cashback on most of your purchases both in the UK and abroad for the first year.  On top of this, you get 2.1% interest in the linked savings account and 5% interest on the money you save by rounding up your spending to the nearest £1.


Santander’s 123 Lite account (opens in new tab)

Santander’s 123 Lite account (opens in new tab) | £15 per month back on bills

For £2 a month you get varying rates of cashback on different household bills. Cashback is capped at £5 a month in each tier so you’ll earn a maximum of £15 a month.

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Cashback RateHousehold bills
1%Council Tax; Mobile and home phone bills; Broadband; Paid-for TV packages; Santander mortgage payments
2%Gas and electricity bills; Santander home insurance premiums; Santander life insurance premiums
3%Water bills

To get the cashback you have to pay in £500 a month, have at least two direct debits set up and use digital banking at least once every three months.


The best bank account switching bonus

Take a look at our article on the latest switching offers to find the best deals available now.

It’s a great time to get a new bank account. Banks are eager to attract new current account customers so there are plenty of tempting cashback deals available. But don’t just choose your current account based on the free cash. You want a bank account that works well for you, otherwise, you’ll be switching again in a few months.

HSBC Advance (opens in new tab)

HSBC Advance (opens in new tab) | £200 switching bonus
If you don’t have an HSBC account, bag yourself £200 free cash by switching to the HSBC Advance Account. To be eligible you have to be a new customer and you must pay in at least £1,500 within 60 days of opening the account. You’re also required to switch two direct debits or standing orders over to this account.

  • Open an account and start a switch within 30 days (including two or more direct debits or standing orders) and pay in £1,500 plus in the first 60 days. The £200 is then paid within 20 days.
  • You also get access to HSBC's Online Bonus Saver – a savings account paying 3% on balances up to £10,000, but only in the months you don't make a withdrawal from it.
  • Other perks include access to exclusive savings rates and discounts with retailers like Not On The High Street, ASOS and Costa Coffee.
  • Minimum pay in: none
  • Arranged overdraft: 39.9% EAR variable (first £25 interest-free) - subject to status
  • Unarranged overdraft: 39.9% EAR variable to a maximum of £20 per month

First Direct (opens in new tab)

First Direct (opens in new tab) | £175 switching bonus

Switch to the First Direct 1st Account and you’ll receive £175. To qualify, you must use the Current Account Switch Service and pay in at least £1,000 within the first three months. The account is only available to customers who are new to First Direct, or HSBC customers who haven't opened an account since 1 Jan 2019.

  • Open a First Direct Account and within three months switch another account into it, plus pay in £1,000 or more. (You must switch froma non-First Direct account; it can be an HSBC account, but only if it was opened before Jan 2019.) The £175 is then paid within 28 days. You can request the switch online or by phone.
  • If you want to use First Direct, but do not want to switch accounts, you could still benefit from a £20 welcome bonus if you open a current account.
  • Minimum pay-in: None
  • Arranged overdrafts up to £250: 0% EAR variable - subject to status
  • Arranged overdrafts over £250: 39.9% EAR variable - subject to status
  • Unarranged overdrafts: 39.9% EAR variable (max £20 per month)

Halifax (opens in new tab)

Halifax (opens in new tab) | Get up to £175

This switching deal offers a £175 reward in ten working days for switching to Halifax. You must use the Current Account Switching Service and open either a Halifax Reward Current Account (with a £3 monthly fee) or an Ulitmate Reward Current Account (with a £17 monthly fee). 

  • You must use the Current Account Switching Service and open either a Halifax Reward Current Account (with a £3 monthly fee) or an Ulitmate Reward Current Account (with a £17 monthly fee). 
  • You can keep the account fee-free if you pay in at least £1,500 per month and either keep £5,000 minimum in the account or spend £500 per month.
  • Eligibility: Open to new customers and existing customers who hold a Halifax current account. You are not eligible for this offer if you have claimed a switching offer with Halifax since April 2020. 
  • Minimum pay-in: none
  • Arranged overdraft: 0% EAR variable for up to 6 months - subject to status
  • Unarranged overdrafts: 39.9% EAR variable 
  • With both Halifax reward accounts, you also get the chance to earn £5 or a lifestyle benefit every calendar month
  • With the Ultimate Reward current account, you get worldwide multi-trip family insurance, mobile phone insurance, home emergency cover and AA breakdown cover. 
  • This offer ends on 19 December.

TSB (opens in new tab)

TSB (opens in new tab) | Up to £100 switching bonus

This offer is for new and existing customers but you must not have claimed an offer from TSB using the switch service since 1 October. 

To claim the first £50, you must switch and open to either a TSB Spend & Save account or Spend & Save Plus account before 16 December, and log into the TSB online banking app at least once.

To be eligible for a second payment of £50, you must do the following by 13 January 2023:

  • Make a minimum payment of £500 using the debit card
  • Have at least two direct debits going out of the account
  • Use the debit card for more than five separate transactions

If you do all of the above, you will get the second payment before 31 August 2023 but your TSB account must still be open to receive the reward.


Virgin M Plus (opens in new tab)

Virgin M Plus (opens in new tab) | Up to £40 switching bonus

New customers signing up for the bank’s Virgin M Plus account could get 25% cashback on their supermarket spending and fuel for the first 60 days. You can only receive cashback on up to £160. This equates to an extra £40.

You must switch using the current account switch service and move at least two direct debits.  You can also get 2.02% AER variable interest on balances of up to £1,000 and 1.71% on balances up to £25,000. This means if you deposit £5,000 in the account offering 1.71% you’d have £85.50 after one year. 

One crucial thing to remember with switching bonuses is that they can be pulled just as quickly as they are launched, so if you’re considering taking advantage of one it makes sense to move swiftly.

How to pick the best bank account

Before opening a new bank account, ask yourself what you want from it and choose one that ticks most of the boxes. Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you need an overdraft facility?
  • How often do you need to go into a branch?
  • Would you like a linked savings account?
  • Do you want to pay for extras such as travel insurance or breakdown cover?
  • Would you like to earn cashback on your spending?
  • Do you want to get paid to switch?
Ruth Jackson-Kirby
Personal finance journalist

Ruth is a personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience writing about everything from pensions to pet insurance. Ruth started her career as a staff writer for MoneyWeek and she continues to edit their personal finance section. Ruth also writes for numerous national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping. Ruth is passionate about ethical investing and encouraging people to take control of their finances and not be put off by jargon.