best student bank account . piggy bank
best student bank account . piggy bank

The Best Student Bank Accounts That Come With Freebies

Some of the best student bank accounts will even pay YOU to open an account!

Banks are working hard to attract A-Level students with tons of freebies such as railcards, cash offerings, and competitive interest-free overdrafts, all competing to be the best student bank account.

It’s clear the perks aren’t as good as in previous years, but we’re here to round up all the banks offering a variety of perks so you can pick the best bank account for your unique circumstances.

If you’re interested in opening a student bank account, you’ll probably want to know when your maintenance loan will come through and how much. Check out our student maintenance loans guide to help you with your budgeting.

What is a student bank account?

Student bank accounts are bank accounts for students over the age of 18 in higher education.

You’ll be able to pay into the account, as well as pay out. You’ll usually have extra benefits too, tailored to students, like an interest-free overdraft or a few freebies.

Student bank accounts are a great option for those studying as you can dip into your overdraft without paying any interest. A great bit of relief for students trying manage their finances!

How to apply for a student bank account

card machine. best student bank account

Before we dive in, you need to know the prerequisites for opening a student account.

You must be over the age of 18 and will usually be required to present your UCAS 12-digit pin to open up one of these accounts. If you don’t have this to hand, most banks will also accept your university acceptance letter.

Lenders will also allow students to apply for these accounts online.

You’ll be expected to upload a scanned copy of your passport or driving license, although on occasion some banks may require you to bring these into your local branch.

You can either do it online or pop into your local branch, bringing your ID and evidence of uni.

What ID do I need to open a student bank account?

All bank accounts, student or traditional, need your proof of address and ID. These typically include birth certificates, passport, or a current UK driving licence.

For student bank accounts, you also need your UCAS code or proof of university offer (an acceptance letter, for example).

Which is the best student bank account?

Picking a student bank account can be overwhelming. Here’s a list of every bank and what they’re offering to students:

Santander 123 Student

  • Guaranteed 0% overdraft each year
  • Free four-year 16-25 railcard (worth £100) and gets you a third off many rail tickets
  • £1,500 interest-free overdraft in years one to three
  • £1,800 0% overdraft in year four
  • £2,000 0% overdraft in year five

Natwest & RBS Student

  • £500 0% overdraft in first term
  • Request to increase to £2,000 until the end of year two
  • £3,250 in years three+
  • Free £100 cash
  • Four-year Tastecard

HSBC Student

  • £1,000 0% overdraft year one
  • £2,000 0% overdraft year two
  • £3,000 0% overdraft year three
  • Free £100 cash
  • One-year Headspace subscription

Nationwide Student

  • £1,000 0% overdraft in year one
  • £2,000 0% overdraft in year two
  • £3,000 0% overdraft in year three+
  • Free £100 cash

Co-op Student

  • £1,400 0% overdraft in year one
  • £1,700 0% overdraft in year two
  • £2,000 0% overdraft for rest of time at uni
  • No additional perks

Barclays Student

  • £500 0% overdraft term one
  • £1,000 0% overdraft in rest of year one
  • £1,500 0% overdraft for rest of time at uni
  • 12-month subscription to Perlego online library

Lloyds Student bank account

  • £1,500 0% overdraft in years one to three
  • £2,000 0% overdraft after year three
  • Free £100 cash
  • 2% interest on balances up to £5,000
  • Cashback at certain retailers

Check out our own finance student discounts with Student Beans to see if you can bag yourself extra perks using our discounts when opening a bank account!