RBS Student Account: Everything you need to know


If you're a student and live in the UK, you know that managing your money while you're studying can be tricky. This means it's very important to choose a bank account that suits your needs. A student bank account can come in handy, as many offer features like interest-free overdrafts and / or useful freebies like free train or bus cards.

RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) is a UK bank that was founded in 1727. The bank's registered office is in Edinburgh, and RBS has hundreds of branches all over the UK offering a range of products and services specifically created for students, like student current accounts, arranged overdrafts, and credit cards.

Planning on studying in the UK? If you need to send money to or from your home country, Wise could save you money versus your bank

Before you get started, a bit of information about international payments.

Going to university can be expensive. Classes you have to pay for, books you have to buy and, if possible, you want to enjoy student life as well. Maybe you’ve been saving money to go and study abroad, or you have family or friends who are helping you out, either way, sending money abroad can be a costly business.

Banks and money transfer providers often give you a bad exchange rate to make extra profits, and most of them use intermediary banks to send your money across borders. All of this can add up pretty quick. However, there’s an alternative.

Wise is different. Its smart new technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world. Which means you can save by using Wise when you send your money abroad. Oh, and Wise gives you the most fair exchange rate out there, the mid-market exchange rate.

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Here’s everything you need to know about student accounts with RBS.

How to open a student account with RBS?

You can only open an RBS Student Current Account online. The documents you need to provide to open the account depends on where you’re from. To open an account, you'll need to have¹⁺²:

Where you’re from What you need to provide
UK student
  • ID document
  • Proof of address
  • Your UCAS Status Code
EU students
  • ID document issued in an EU country
  • Proof of address
  • Your UCAS Status Code or a University letter
Non-EU students
  • Passport
  • Proof of address
  • Student VISA
  • A Biometric Resident Permit
  • Your UCAS Status Code or a University letter

Proof of address can be², for example, a UK, EU or EEA driving license, tax correspondence, or utility bills (issued within the last 3 months), bank statements (issued in the previous 3 months), or council tax exemption letters.

What kind of student bank account does RBS offer?

RBS offers a single student bank account to students who attend a UK higher education institution. This account is called RBS Student Current Account. This student bank account comes with a free VISA debit card featuring contactless technology that you can use for cash withdrawals and to shop online or in person¹. In addition to the debit card, the RBS Student Current Accounts allow you to apply for a Student Credit Card³, and comes with an interest-free overdraft⁴.

As a student, you're probably used to relying on your mobile phone for most everyday tasks. One of the advantages of the RBS Student Current Account is that you can download an app that lets you track your expenses and manage your money directly from your mobile phone. When you download the app, you can send money, set up alerts, view your balance, contact Customer Service 24/7, and more⁵.

If you're an international student who wants to send or receive money abroad, you can do this from the app or using online banking, but you need to be aware of the fees:

  • Sending money abroad: RBS offers 3 online international payment services with different fees. Making a Sepa euro payment costs £10, a standard international payment costs £22 and an urgent international payment would cost £30 ⁶.
  • Receiving money from abroad: if you receive a payment for less than £100 that would cost you £1 in receiving fees, and £7 if you receive more than £100 ⁶.

As a student, you may be interested in a borderless multi-currency account from Wise, which you can manage easily from your mobile phone. This account is a good alternative to traditional student bank accounts, especially if you’re an international student and handle money in different currencies. With a Borderless Multi-Currency account, you can set up online wallets in more than 40 currencies and get a virtual bank account in several currencies - British pounds, euros, and US, Australian and New Zealand dollars. This means that you can receive these 5 currencies via local payment methods, which are usually free or will at least have a lower fee than receiving an international transfer. There are no monthly fees to use your Borderless account, and what's more, if you're a UK resident and have a Borderless Multi-Currency account, you can apply for a Mastercard debit cardand link it to your Borderless account to pay for your shopping or withdraw cash from ATMs.

What are the requirements to open a student bank account with RBS?

RBS Student Current Accounts are available to domestic and international students in the UK. To open an account, you'll need to meet some criteria, such as¹:

  • Be aged 17 or older at the time of the application, and living in the UK
  • Be aged 18 or older if you want to apply for an overdraft
  • Live in the UK, and having lived in the UK for 3 years previous to the application, if you want an overdraft
  • Enrolled in a full time undergraduate course that lasts at least 2 years, or
  • Enrolled in a full time postgraduate or nursing course that lasts at least 1 year

Once you graduate, your RBS Current Student Account will be converted into a graduate account if you’re a UK student. If you're an international student your student account will change to a Select or a Foundation account. Of course this won’t happen overnight, and RBS says they’ll notify you of this change at least 60 days in advance⁷.

Are there any fees to open or maintain the account?

There are always fees that you should take into consideration before you open any bank account. This are the fees that are associated with the Student current account⁶:

Service Fee
Opening account
  • Free
Mobile app
  • Free
Monthly fee
  • Free for students who are UK citizens
  • £10 per month for international students which will be automatically deducted from your account's balance.
Arranged overdraft fee
  • No fee
Debit card fee - within UK
  • No fee for cash withdrawals
  • No fee for card payments in pounds
Debit card fee - outside of UK
  • Cash withdrawals: Foreign cash fee of 2% (minimum £2, maximum £5) + Non-Sterling transaction fee of 2.75%
  • Card payments in foreign currency: Foreign purchase fee of 2.75% (minimum £1)
Sending money within UK - in pounds
  • Direct debit: no fee
  • Standing order: no fee
  • Faster Payment: no fee
  • Chaps payment: £20

Does RBS allow you to have an overdraft on your student account?

RBS Student Current Accounts come with an interest-free overdraft. The overdraft remains free as long as you don't exceed the arranged amount, which goes from £500 during your first term as a student, although you can request to increase the overdraft limit to up to £2,000 later on. Please note that overdrafts are not available if you're an international student⁴.

Your student years can be inspiring and memorable, but it's important you choose the best financial institution to avoid disappointment and to manage your money smoothly. Take a look at theWise Borderless accountto find out how to save money on banking fees while you're a student - and after too.

Sources used for this article:
*All sources checked on February 3, 2019

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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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