Best International Student Bank Accounts in the UK

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Ola Elwassify

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26 June, 2019

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3 mins read

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Student Finance

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After getting your clearing results and managing your student accommodation booking in the UK, you must be considering opening a bank account with easy student banking services. Seamless internet banking, easy-to-download apps and other international student benefits are surely at the top of your list.

Knowing how to open a bank account in the UK is not as hard as it might sound, yet choosing one could be. We cannot promise to tell you directly what's the best student bank account in the UK because there is none. We will rather compare student bank accounts and list their benefits so you get to choose what works best for your university life needs.

Student account comparison comes down to three main points to consider when opening a bank account in the UK: 0% overdrafts, in-credit interest, and freebies.

What is an Overdraft?

When your account balance reaches zero and you continue withdrawing money, you will surely repay them later. Banks in the UK have different limits for the amount of money you can withdraw at this case. As an international student, you will need to open a student bank account with 0% overdraft fees, meaning that you will only pay the amount that you’ve withdrawn as a loan without extra charges, fees or interests.

This privilege is one of the best student bank account freebies to haunt down. Other freebies include free-of-charge international withdrawal and free monthly charges to keep your bank account open.

What Can You Use an Overdraft for?

Deposit and rent for your student accommodation in the UK, course and project materials, or food and other unexpected costs. It is also useful when changing or extending tenancies between university years.

So here’s a list of the top student accounts and the best bank accounts for teens:

1. Barclays International Student Account

This one's for you if you need a fee-free overdraft student account. The Barclays Student Additions account offers up to £500 overdraft which can rise to £3000 during your studies if you meet their criteria. You can easily download their mobile banking app for Android and iOS and use their plus Apple Pay and Contactless Mobile Pay Android to make purchases. The bank also offers cashback when you make purchases from Apple, iTunes, Boots, Just Eat, Nike, Lego, Expedia and others. Check Barclays's cash-back program to learn more. Barclays also offers gadgets, travel insurance and a Travel Pack with worldwide travel insurance. Send instant payments using just a mobile number to over 30 countries with Pingit. Accepts 18+ students.

2. NatWest Student Account

NatWest international account for students is well-known for getting to choose between 3 rewards: an Amazon Prime Student membership, National Express Coachcard or tastecard. There’s a £10 monthly account fee, but you’ll benefit from managing your money on-the-go with their mobile app. You can also pay using your phone using Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The bank has the best-prepaid credit cards for students with no annual fees, and up to 56 days interest-free on purchases. NatWest student loan has specific criteria that you can read more about here.

What about NatWest student overdraft? The bank offers an interest-free overdraft up to £500 in the first term. You can apply to increase the overdraft to £2,000 after the first term.

Student account opening online has never been easier because with NatWest you can simply apply for an account online. You’ll need to start and submit your online application, get your UCAS student code, have your ID ready and pick your offer. Accepts 18+ students.

3. NationWide FlexStudent Account

Being the UK's only fee-free student current account makes it the best student current account there is. NationWide overdraft is best explained in an example: you can have an arranged overdraft of up to £1,000 in your first year. The bank won’t increase your limit unless you ask them to. You are able to request a change to your arranged overdraft limit with a maximum of £3,000 at any point during your time at university. Visit this link to learn more about applying to this NationWide student account. It is one of the best student bank accounts and the bank accepts 18+ students.

4. Lloyds Student Classic Account

If you’re 17 years of age or more, you can apply for this account. Applying online typically takes about 10 minutes. At this bank, international students mostly go for the Classic Account as it has free everyday banking and cash withdrawals from ATM machines. Lloyds student account overdraft is zero, but to apply for overdraft arrangements you need to be 18+ years. It has the best debit cards for students too, so weigh your options wisely.

After graduation, your student account will be altered to a graduate’s bank account to avoid the hassle of having to reopen another account or go to a new bank altogether.


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