Which bank accounts are best for students?  

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

It can be hard as a student to know where to put your money – there are so many options! But don’t worry, I have put together the key types of accounts and points to consider when you open a bank account to make the process easier. 

Student current accounts 

It is always a good idea to use a student’s current account for your immediate spending money as these offer generous overdrafts for hard times and often come with benefits specifically for students. These can include rail cards (my personal favourite), free cash when joining or cashback when you spend in shops. Pick the perks that suit you the most – a bigger 0% overdraft if you tend to overspend at the end of the month or a Tastecard for those who love to eat out! 

Savings accounts 

These are good accounts if you have a reliable amount to spare each month which you don’t necessarily need to access for a while. Often, they come linked to your current account so consider this when you pick a bank. You have to put a certain amount into the account each month in return for interest. Savings accounts which let you take money out at any time will have lower interest rates than those that hold your money for a fixed term so consider your saving goals. You won’t necessarily gain a lot of money from these accounts, but they are a reliable way to make a little extra income. 


ISAs are great accounts for saving money for the longer term. You gain interest with no taxation (although this generally wouldn’t affect students) and have a limit of putting £20,000 per year into any ISAs you own. They also come as a fixed term or easy access, again with lower rates on the easy access accounts. I like to use different fixed-term ISAs based on when I think I need to access the money. If I won’t need to use that money for 2 years, then I maximize my interest with a 2-year fixed ISA! Some ISAs have specific terms, for example, the Lifetime ISA is used to save up for your first house or pension. Other ISAs invest in stocks and shares, which may give better rewards but could also lose money depending on the investment performance. 

Premium bonds 

Another popular place to put ‘spare’ cash is in NS&I’s premium bonds. It works by buying ‘bonds’ for £1 each which are entered into a prize draw every month. Prizes range from £25 to £1 million but the average premium bonds user could expect an interest rate of 1.4% currently. Of course, the more bonds you have the higher the chances of you winning but there is a maximum of £50,000 worth of bonds per person at any time. It is not the most reliable method of making money but offers the chance to enter a lottery every month without spending anything. I’m still hoping to get that million! 

Other current accounts 

Whilst student accounts are a good choice, you can also open other current accounts at the same time. These can be good for other reasons – interest rates, fee-free overseas spending, cashback at certain places, and better online banking. It is also worth considering any switch offers, i.e., perks you get for switching to their bank account. I picked an account which allowed me to use my card abroad while I went on my summer exchange programme and got a £100 voucher for switching to the account! 

With any bank account, consider whether it meets your needs: easy access to cash to spend day to day, good interest rates for saving up for big goals in the future or no-fee spending abroad if you are an international student or love to travel. Check whether you need to put a certain amount of money in the account each month to receive the interest or other benefits. And lastly, review your bank accounts every so often so you can choose the best deals which align with your money goals – I like to do this every year at least. 

I like to use which.com and moneysavingexpert to find the latest information on bank accounts as they summarise all the information I need about each account type into one page. I hope this can help you get started with picking the best bank accounts for you! 

Rebecca Lam
King’s Student Money Mentor
Part of Money & Housing Advice

The King’s Student Money Mentors blog shares our students’ personal experiences and thoughts on money-related topics. Any reference, opinions or recommendations on a particular company/brand are only the views of the student(s) who wrote the blog post. King’s College London, the Money & Housing Advice service and the Money Mentor project do not share the views in the blogs nor endorse any of the companies mentioned. Readers should conduct their own research before using any companies mentioned in our blog posts. 

Join the conversation

1 Comment

  1. Wow, this is a very nice article it contains everything that I was looking forward to…I really liked the way you composed the article and it is really well-detailed. It’s nice so keep up the good work I look forward to checking out the whole of your website.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *