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What are the benefits of a current account?

From getting paid to being able to shop online, a current account can simplify your financial life.

Here are some of the key benefits of current accounts.

Manage your everyday banking needs

Almost all employers will want to pay your wages directly into a current account. You can also use it to access cash and to make payments.

Explore: What bank details do employers need?

Make payments easy

You can set up Direct Debits or standing orders from your account to make regular payments. Plus, your current account will usually include a debit card, which you can use to make payments in person, online or over the phone.

If you have an app like the HSBC UK Mobile Banking app, you can see your balance at anytime from anywhere, as well as make payments and transfers.

Access your cash more easily

Banks have a network of cash machines you can use to withdraw money from your current account up to a specified limit every day. Some will also allow you to make other transactions, such as paying bills and paying in cheques. Most cash machines are free to use, but always check before using one.

Stay in control of your money

Many banks offer features like apps and mobile alerts that will tell you what your balance is. They’ll also warn you if you’ve used or are about to use an arranged or unarranged overdraft.

This is to help you monitor your usage and let you know what you can do to avoid interest and fees.

Keep your money protected and secure

Current accounts with banks and building societies in the UK have the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

This means, if anything happens to your bank, you'll be covered under the scheme for up to £85,000 per financial institution, or £170,000 for joint accounts.

Explore: How safe is my money?

Build your credit history

As long as you use it responsibly, having a current account will help you build a credit history – something you'll need if you want to borrow.

If you make payments on time and avoid spending more than your available balance, it can show lenders that you can manage your money.

If you have an arranged overdraft in place, it’s important you don't exceed your limit, as this could negatively affect your credit score. 

Explore: 5 reasons to care about your credit score

Things to know

You can usually apply to open a UK current account if you're 18 or over and a UK resident. Before applying, read through all the terms and conditions to be certain that it's the right current account for you.