Student life can be daunting, there’s a lot of pressure and it’s not always easy. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without perks! One of the things any student should do months before going to university is to find the best student bank account for them! There are loads of options out there to pick from so sometimes it can be difficult to pick the best ones!
When finding a student bank account there are a few things that you need to look out for when you weigh up your options. I’m putting a list together of the mainstream student bank accounts to help future students pick the right one for them. You’ll find all the banks on this list will offer a bank account tailored towards students every year and the perks will be always changing.
One tip for finding a student bank account, however, make sure you know what you’re getting. When going for my masters I found that some student accounts were only offered to undergraduate students and not students who are taking on their masters for postgraduate studies.
Finding The Best Student Bank Accounts?
Depending on your type of study depends on what you’ll be offered. There are some banks that will favour students doing their undergraduate degrees because they are 99% of the time long term, between 3-4 years on average. HSBC is one type of bank that do this, when I was looking for a bank account for my master’s degree I couldn’t get a straight answer from them at all which is why I went somewhere else.
Student bank account perks will be much more handsome for undergraduate degrees for sure, that being said don’t lose hope if you’re doing your master’s degree because you can still get a bank account with most banks.
I would always suggest looking into the bank you’re already with. If you are with Natwest, take a look at what Natwest has to offer first and then take a look at the other accounts available from other banks and compare notes. Never go with the first one you find or you might miss out on something sweet!
HSBC Student Bank Account 2021
My undergraduate student bank account was with HSBC, at the time they offered the best account to suit my needs. This year the HSBC student bank account is a lot sweeter and pardon my pun, tastier! You can find the offer below, but to summarise you’ll be getting £80 in your account and a choice of either a £20 Uber Eats voucher or a year of ASOS Premier.
There is a catch, however, you need to make 5 debit card transactions within a month of opening or you don’t get your rewards. So make sure you actually use your account, you can’t just open it and never use it again.
“Get £80 plus an Uber Eats voucher or ASOS Premier for a year
Enjoy a cash reward, plus your choice of a £20 Uber Eats voucher or a year of unlimited next-day delivery with ASOS Premier. All you need to do is make 5 debit card transactions within a month of opening your account, and that’s it. Simple.“
Natwest Student Bank Account 2021
A Natwest student account happens to be the one I’ve gone for this time around. Natwest is offering students £50 and a 4-year tastecard, which they also offer to masters students. Unlike HSBC you don’t have a minimum amount of transactions that need to be made before you can actually get your perks so you don’t need to worry about that.
There’s no monthly fee for the bank account and the Natwest mobile banking app is super easy to use, much easier than Santander and HSBC for sure. The part that attracted me the most was the tastecard you get from the Natwest student bank account, I eat out a lot which means it comes in handy for sure, especially on a student budget.
The money might not be as good as the HSBC student bank account but the Tastecard is a lot better than a £20 Uber Eats voucher with all the discounts you can get over the 4 year period for sure!
Santander Student Bank Account 2021
The Santander student bank account in my opinion is the worst one that you could go for. They offer no monetary value at all, no value perks that I can see. Santander offers you a standard bank account, a smaller overdraft and a far less superior app than other banks, so my opinion would be not to bother with them.
Santander is offering A free 4-year Santander 16-25 Railcard to save 1/3 on rail travel in Great Britain, with their student bank account. A railcard is great if you’re having to use the train daily or if you’re commuting to university on a regular basis. However you can buy a railcard at a reduced price as you’re a student, I’d rather do that.
You could use the money you get from Natwest or HSBC to buy a railcard and still have some money left over and perks like Uber Eats vouchers or Tastecards! You know my opinion but do what’s best to suit your needs.
Other Student Bank Accounts
There are other bank accounts that you can get, which has no perks at all so if I’m honest I don’t see why you would go with them. However, you can get a Nationwide student bank account which gives you the basic overdraft with no perks that I can see. However, you have to pay at least £500 in each term and their claim that they are the only “fee-free student bank account” is a little false. So I’d avoid it.
Money-Saving Expert have a whole list of different banks to pick from. There are way too many to put into this list. I’ve given you the top three in my opinion and above as I’ve stated, the worst student bank account! If you’re not getting anything from your student bank account, find a new one.
What ID do I need to open a student account?
When applying for any student bank account you’re going to need to prove that you are an actual student, your word alone isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to approve your identity, passport or drivers licence will do so that you can prove that you are who you say you are.
You’ll also need proof that you’re a student. You’ll need a confirmation letter from either UCAS that you have been accepted, with your offer and start dates, details etc. you can also use your student finance funding letter to show that you’re getting student finance (which is what I did with my master’s).
As long as you have all your proof at the ready there shouldn’t be any delay in opening your bank account, it takes a matter of days and then everything falls into place soon enough!
Tips To Remember When Opening A Student Bank Account
You will want to open a student bank account at least a month before you start university. Make sure everything is in place. If possible I would suggest opening one before you apply for student finance so that you can link your student finance application up to your new bank account.
I did mention it before but I will say it again, don’t go with the first bank account that you find. You might be missing out on something you really want or you might be getting nothing at all which would really suck, trust me I’ve known people in that situation and it didn’t look fun!
Finally, if you have any questions ask the bank. Book a face to face meeting with someone at the bank or give them a call to clear up any questions you may have. I’m no financial advisor that’s for sure, I’m only speaking from experience, the people working at the banks know a lot more than I ever will!
I hope this post was helpful to students out there looking for a student bank account. When you become a student you might feel like you’re underwater and just trying to break free, I totally get it. There are loads to do and it isn’t as fun as people might make it out to be!
If you’re stuck, leave me a comment and I’ll try and help. You can also make a list and work through it, which is what I did with my first degree and now my masters! Share this post with anyone trying to find a student bank account and good luck with the future!