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Student Bank Accounts

Best Student Bank Accounts 2017/18

Getting your money in order is a key part of university life, but first you’ll need to somewhere to keep it! 

Banks are always keen to get students on board so often they will offer incentives to try and entice you in.  They rely on loyalty from students; the gamble is that after you leave university and get a job, you won’t bother changing banks, you’ll just continue to use the same account to pay in your (hopefully) higher than average graduate salary!

Freebies aren’t everything

Try not to fall for freebies that are thrown at you when you sign up – short term offers such as cashback or vouchers may sound appealing but you really need to look at the bigger picture when deciding on the best account for you.

Ideally , what you should be on the lookout for is a massive interest-free overdraft – this is essentially a ‘free’ loan and these are unique to student accounts so it’s worth taking full advantage of them if you get the chance. 

Even if you are amazingly organised with your student budget, a 0% overdraft will offer you an extra safety net in case of any unexpected costs that may arrive.  Just be careful to stay within your agreed limit, so you don't start incurring any additional charges!

If the account offers everything essential that you need, plus you can get an incentive thrown in for free, then look at is as a nice little bonus! 

Top student bank accounts

Here is a summary of the top student accounts available in 2017/18 - for more information and to read the small print please visit the relevant websites or speak to your local branch.

Santander 123 Student Account

Interest-free overdraft:  £1500 in Year 1, 2 and 3, and £2000 if you study for another 1 or 2 years after that.

Credit interest:  up to 3% on balances between £300 - £2000

Incentive?  Yes.  A free 16-25 railcard worth approx. £100 giving you 1/3 off rail travel.

All the above are available as long as you pay in a minumum of £500 each academic term.

HSBC Student Account

Interest-free overdraft: Between £500 - £1000 when opening your account. You may ask for an increase on further years of study but there is no guarantee of acceptance.

Credit interest:   N/A

Incentive? Yes, a £60 Amazon voucher for accounts opened before October 31, plus 1-year membership of Amazon Prime.

Only students in their first year are eligible to open this account.

Nationwide FlexStudent

Interest-free overdraft:  £1000 in Year 1, £2000 in Year 2 and £3000 in Year 3. No charges for unauthorised use, but your account will be locked until you return to the agreed limit.

Credit interest:  1% on balances up to £1000 (as long as your account remains in credit).

Incentive?  No.

Natwest/RBS Student Account

Interest-free overdraft:  £500 in your first year.  Up to £2000 in successive years.  You’ll be charged £6 for any unauthorised transactions up to a maximum of £60 per month. 

Credit interest:   N/A

Incentive?  Yes. You'll get a free National Express Coachcard (valid for 4 years) worth approx. £35

Lloyds Bank Student Account

Interest-free overdraft:  £1500 per year (tiered access in Year 1).  An unauthorised overdraft will cost you 8.21% plus a monthly £6 fee.

Credit interest:  N/A

Incentive?  Yes. Free NUS card for three years (worth £12 a year), giving you access to over 200 discounts on the high street plus 15% cashback.

About the author

Heather Collin

Heather Collin

Heather graduated from university in History and English and has spent the last ten years working in Marketing, PR and Events.  She currently works in Digital Communications at Wrexham Glyndwr.

To get in touch with Heather please email