Check out our comprehensive guide to the best UK bank accounts for kids and teens, including digital alternatives and savings accounts too.
Looking for a new current account? It could be worth shopping around for something that offers a little more than everyday banking services.
Some UK current accounts pay interest on your money, similar to a savings account. This could be a real bonus, letting you manage and access your money when you need it - while also offering a little extra on your balance.
In this guide, we’ll give you a rundown of the current accounts with the best interest rates available in the UK right now.
We’ll also show you an alternative to a bank account from the money services provider Wise - the Wise account. It lets you manage your money in 40+ currencies, send money worldwide and spend on an international debit card.
A current account is a standard, everyday bank account. Most UK banks and building societies offer them, and you can switch between current accounts using fast-track services like the Current Account Switch Service.
It’s where your salary or other income is paid in, and which you use to pay your bills and everyday expenses. Current accounts usually come with a debit card, which you can use for spending your balance.
Some current accounts are pretty basic, offering Direct Debits, Standing Orders, debit card payments and not much else. But others offer additional features like interest, cashback, shopping discounts or extra perks.
- Easy access to your money
- Everyday banking services, in addition to earning interest
- A wide range of options to choose from, as nearly every bank and building society has a current account
- A debit card for convenient spending.
- Interest rates aren’t usually as high as savings accounts
- Interest earned isn’t tax-free, unlike with cash ISAs
- A monthly fee may apply for some of the highest interest-earning accounts.
When searching for the best current account for your needs, it’s worth looking at a range of factors. For example, how you’ll access and manage your account, whether the bank has a mobile banking app and how well it scores on things like security and customer service.
But if earning interest is a top priority for you, here’s what to look for:
- The AER interest rate
- The maximum balance on which interest is paid
- Whether the interest rate includes an introductory bonus, causing the rate to drop when the bonus period ends
- How frequently interest is paid (i.e. monthly or annually)
- Whether the account has a monthly fee.
Here’s your at-a-glance look at the best interest-paying current accounts in the UK right now. This AER interest rates, and details of how interest is paid.
|Interest payable on balances up to:
|Nationwide FlexDirect Current Account¹
|Kroo Current Account²
|Santander Edge Up Current Account³
|Starling Bank Personal Current Account⁴
|TSB Spend & Save Current Account⁶
|Club Lloyds Current Account₇
|1.50% to 3%
|Chase Current Account⁸
|All balances - no max.
* Rate as of 1st November 2023.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive into our current account interest rate comparison, looking at each of the accounts in a little more detail. This should help you choose the right one for you.
The Nationwide FlexDirect current account offers the highest interest rate on credit balances on our list. It pays 5% AER (4.89% gross for a year) interest, but only on balances up to £1,500 and only for 12 months. After your first year, you’ll still get interest but it drops right back down to 1%. Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.¹
The FlexDirect account is fee-free, and also offers:¹
- An interest-free arranged overdraft for 12 months
- A Visa debit card
- Online, app and phone banking.
|📚 Read more: Nationwide savings accounts: Rates, features and more
The Kroo current account offers an impressive 4.35% AER interest, paid monthly. Even better, it gives you the interest on balances up to £500,000, so you could potentially use the account as a savings account.²
Your money is FSCS protected up to £85,000, there are no monthly account fees and you’ll also get features like:²
- Visa debit card
- No fees for spending abroad
- Overdraft (subject to eligibility)
The Santander Edge Up current account isn’t quite a packaged account (which offers perks like travel insurance in exchange for a monthly fee), but it’s close.
For a fee of £5 a month, you’ll get 3.50% AER interest on your balance up to £25,000, paid monthly.³
You’ll also get:³
- An arranged overdraft (subject to status)
- A Santander Edge Up debit card
- Travel benefits, such as fee-free debit card spending overseas
- 1% cashback on supermarket and travel spending (up to £15 a month) and 1% cashback on selected household bills
- Santander Boosts - a free rewards service offering cashback, prize draws, vouchers and personalised offers.
You’ll also need to deposit at least £1,500 each month to be eligible for this account.³
Starling Bank’s only current account has a pretty decent interest rate, paying 3.25% AER variable on balances up to £5,000.⁴
You’ll get FSCS protection, interest paid monthly, and all of these features too:⁴
- A Mastercard debit card
- Smart tools and insights in the Starling Bank mobile app, to help you manage your money, budget and save
- No Starling Bank fees for using your card abroad.
The account is free to open, and has no monthly fees.⁴
|📚 Read more: How to open a Santander account online
TSB’s Spend & Save Current Account has no monthly fees, and pays 2.92% AER on money put aside in Savings Pots. You can create up to 5 of these per account, and save (and earn interest) on up to £5,000 per Pot. This means you can earn interest on a maximum of £25,000 with TSB.⁵
Useful to know - the interest rate includes an introductory bonus of 1.52% AER for the first year. So after 12 months, it’ll drop to 1.40% AER.⁵
The account also offers:⁶
- A Visa debit card
- Up to £2,000 overdraft (subject to application)
- £5 cashback for the first 6 months when you make 20+ debit card payments within the month
- Online, mobile and telephone banking.
The Club Lloyds Current Account offers quite a few benefits, including monthly credit interest. If you have at least two Direct Debits leaving your account each month, you’ll earn:⁷
- 1.5% AER variable on balances between £1 and £3,999.99
- 3% AER variable on balances between £4,000 and £5,000.
The account also offers lifestyle benefits, such as free cinema tickets, magazine and TV subscriptions, and exclusive access to savings accounts with preferential rates.⁷
The only thing to note is that there’s a monthly fee of £3, although this is waived if you pay in at least £2,000 a month.⁷
Lastly, there’s the Chase Current Account. It may be the lowest interest rate of all the accounts on our list, but it’s still worth considering. This is because alongside monthly interest of 1% AER, the account also offers other ways to make your money go further.⁸
- 1% cashback on everyday debit card spending for a year
- Access to a linked easy-access savings account paying 4.1% AER variable
- 5% AER boost on ‘round-up’ pot savings.
There are no monthly fees or minimum deposit requirements, and you’ll also be able to use your card abroad without paying any Chase fees.⁸
|📚 Read more: Chase Savings Account UK - Everything you need to know
Of course, a bank account isn’t the only way to manage your money.
The Wise account is a fantastic alternative, especially if you ever send money abroad, convert between currencies or need a cheap way to spend overseas. It’s not a bank account, but offers many similar features.
With Wise, you can manage your money in 40+ currencies, send money worldwide for low fees and get mid-market exchange rates on all currency conversions. There’s even a Wise card for low cost spending in 150+ countries.
Sources used for this article:
- Nationwide - FlexDirect current account
- Kroo - Current Account
- Santander - Edge Up Current Account
- Starling Bank - Current account
- TSB- Savings Pots
- TSB - Spend & Save Account
- Lloyds Bank - Club Lloyds
- Chase - Chase Account
Sources checked on 1-Nov-2023.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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