HerUni.com has researched some of the best student accounts, to help you manage your money, negotiate your sometimes difficult student financial life and avoid those extra worries that you just don’t need.
- Lloyds TSB
- Lloyds TSB offers students an interest and fee-free tiered and planned overdraft of up to £1,500 (subject to application and approval). Their student credit card offers 56 days’ interest-free credit, and a service offering advice to help you spread and manage your repayments. Extras include a great range of discounts, freebies and offers including a YHA (Youth Hostel Association) membership for three years, mobile banking, a free 3 year NUS Extra Card, a LAVA mini-speaker and 40 free music downloads. And if that’s not enough their ‘Savvy Student Site’ has videos, tips and guides to help you manage your money as a student and after graduation. For more information click here.
- Natwest offers an interest-free student overdraft – up to £1,000 in your first year. But, to help students budget and get used to managing money this overdraft has a limit of £500 in your first term, £750 in your second term and £1,000 in your third term. You can then apply for up to £1,250 in your second year, £1,500 in your third, £1,750 in your fourth and £2,000 in your fifth. They also offer a student credit card, with up to 56 days interest-free credit. This is a helpful extra, perhaps if your student loan is running late. There are NatWest branches at 55 of the UK’s biggest universities, plus reportedly more student advisers than any other UK bank, making them a good choice for students. Handy extras include text alerts sent straight to your phone, when your account hits upper and lower limits set by you, topping up a pay-as-you go mobile at a NatWest cash machine, a 24 hour online and telephone banking. And if you to register for online banking and online statements (always a wise choice) you are entitled to a free 5 year 16-25 Railcard. And their Emergency cash service will make sure you never get stuck if your card is lost or stolen. Simply call them, receive a unique PIN, which allows you to withdraw up to £300 from your account. For more information click here.
- Halifax’s award-winning Student Current Account, promises you ‘the extra cash you need, when you need it’. You can withdraw up to £300 per day on your Halifax debit card. They offer an interest-free overdraft of up to £3,000 (typical 0% EAR variable), and a £500 overdraft as soon as you join if you don’t need the full £3,000, which lasts for up to five years, plus an extra year after you graduate. Extras include a commission-free foreign currency and traveller’s cheques (helping you to enjoy your long summer breaks in far flung places), a 25% discount on AA breakdown cover, get mini statements, check your balance with their online service and top up your mobile. For more information click here.
- Awarded ‘Best Student Account Provider 2011′ has no monthly account fee, a contactless debit card and an interest-free overdraft up to £2,000. They also offer a ‘Personal Reserve’ plan, which is a service that gives you an extra agreed amount you can use if you occasionally need to go overdrawn or exceed your agreed overdraft limit. With it we aim to improve your day-to-day personal banking and help you avoid having transactions returned unpaid and the associated fees. The maximum Reserve is £2,500, subject to status. They also have free money text alerts, mobile banking, and online banking so you can always make sure you’re staying on top of things. For more information click here.
- HSBC offer an interest–free overdraft up to £2,000 with no overdraft arrangement fees. You will also receive 2% AER Variable Credit Interest on the first £1,000 in your Student Bank Account. Extra perks include two years free Worldwide Travel Insurance, including winter sports, great for the holidays, and an online budget calculator so you’re always in control. They also offer a free TalkMobile SIM card with £5 preloaded credit, free calls to HSBC to talk though any worries and a 24/7 banking service meaning you’ll have access to them and your money via the internet, mobile or telephone anywhere, anytime. They also offer a passport account to international students which may make life that bit easier. For more information click here.
- Santander offer an arranged interest free overdraft, starting at £1,000 and increasing to the maximum £2,000 with no daily arranged overdraft fees, and it pays you credit interest on balances up to £500. Their Student Account also comes with mobile, gadget and laptop insurance, worth over £240 each year. You can withdraw up to £300 daily, free of charge, and online banking ensures for 24-hour access to your bank account. For more information click here.