Best Free Online Bank Accounts in the UK

Online banking has become increasingly popular and convenient in today’s digital age. With numerous options available, choosing the best bank in the UK that suits your needs can be overwhelming. This article will delve into some of the top banks that are free to open an account in the UK, including Starling Bank, Monzo, Wise (formerly TransferWise), Monese, and Santander.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank is a leader in our top of banks that are free to open an account in the UK. It is widely regarded as one of the best banks in the UK (some even call it the best bank in the UK) due to its exceptional features and customer service. It offers a no fees bank account with no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees whatsoever.

Key features:

  • Real-time notifications: you receive instant updates on all transactions made through your top-best bank account with no fees.
  • Spending insights: the app categorizes your spending habits for better budgeting.
  • Round-up feature: automatically rounds up purchases to save spare change.
  • Fee-free foreign transactions: ideal for frequent travelers or those who make international transfers regularly.


Monzo is another top-best bank in the UK. It gained popularity by being one of Britain’s first app-only banks offering a full-service current account without any fees associated with basic usage such as ATM withdrawals or card payments abroad.

Key features:

  • Instant notifications: receive real-time alerts every time you spend money from your Monzo best bank account with no fees.
  • Budgeting tools: categorize expenses easily using their intuitive interface.
  • Pots saving feature: create separate pots within your main savings accounts for specific goals like holidays or emergencies
  • Shared tabs allow users to split bills effortlessly with friends directly through their mobile devices.

Wise (formerly TransferWise)

While primarily known for its low-cost international money transfer services, Wise also provides an impressive borderless multi-currency virtual bank account that allows customers to hold multiple currencies simultaneously at competitive exchange rates.

Key features:

  • No hidden charges – transparent pricing structures ensure you always know what you’re paying upfront.
  • Local account details for multiple countries.
  • Free debit card to spend money in any currency with no additional fees.


Monese is an excellent choice for individuals who have struggled to open traditional bank accounts due to a lack of UK credit history or proof of address. They offer one of the best bank accounts in the UK. They offer instant online free banking accounts online opening without the need for a local address, making it ideal for newcomers.

Key features:

  • Quick setup: open your account within minutes using just your mobile phone and passport.
  • Multiple currencies: hold and manage different currencies under one account.
  • Budgeting tools enable users to monitor their spending habits effectively.


Santander is known as one of the largest retail banks in the UK, but they also provide free banking options catering specifically to students and young people through their “123 Student Current Account” program. Indeed, this is one of the best banks in the UK.

Key features:

  • 0% interest overdraft up to £1,500, depending on eligibility criteria.
  • Cashback rewards at selected retailers when you use your Santander debit card.
  • A mobile app allows easy management wherever you are.

Pros and cons of free bank accounts

The best bank accounts in the UK offer a range of benefits that can simplify your financial management. However, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons before choosing a free account for your banking needs.

  1. One significant advantage of free bank accounts is their accessibility and convenience. With an online platform, you can access your account 24/7 from anywhere in the world using just a computer or smartphone. This flexibility allows you to manage your money on the go without visiting physical branches.
  2. Another benefit is the availability of debit cards linked to these accounts. Debit cards provide easy access to funds for everyday transactions like shopping or dining out, eliminating the need for carrying large amounts of cash with you all the time.
  3. The best bank accounts in the UK also often come with rewards programs where customers earn points or cashback on purchases made using their cards. These rewards add value over time as they contribute towards savings or help cover expenses in future transactions.
  4. For those who frequently make international money transfers, many banks with free accounts now offer competitive rates compared to traditional wire transfer services. International transfers are faster and more cost-effective through online platforms than going through multiple intermediaries at brick-and-mortar banks.

However, there are some drawbacks associated with free bank accounts as well:

  1. Firstly, while most basic features may be available at no charge initially (like opening an account), certain additional services might incur fees later on – such as sending money abroad or making wire transfers outside your country – so always read terms carefully beforehand!
  2. Secondly, free banking accounts online may not offer high-interest rates when it comes to saving deposits; this means that if growing wealth over time matters, then seeking higher-yielding investments elsewhere becomes necessary.
  3. Lastly, security concerns cannot be overlooked when dealing with virtual networks; even though banks with free accounts implement strict security measures, cyber threats persist, potentially compromising user data.

How to open a free bank account: a quick guide

In today’s digital age, opening a no fees bank account has never been easier. With the advent of online banking, individuals can now access their finances from anywhere in the world with just a few clicks. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of how to open a no fees bank account that offers various benefits, such as debit cards, rewards programs, international money transfers, and more.

Step 1: research different banks

The first step is to research different banks that offer free online banking services. Look for reputable institutions known for their user-friendly interfaces and excellent customer service. Make sure they have secure encryption protocols in place to protect your personal information.

Step 2: compare accounts

Once you have shortlisted potential banks, compare their offerings by looking at factors like fees (including overdraft charges), interest rates on savings accounts if applicable, or any other features relevant to your needs, such as rewards programs or special perks offered with certain types of cards provided by these institutions.

Step 3: select an account type

Decide what type of account suits your financial goals best – whether it be checking (current) accounts or savings accounts, depending on whether you need quick access for daily transactions or are focused on building long-term savings respectively.

Step 4: gather the required documents

Before proceeding further, gather all the necessary documents required by the chosen bank. Typically, you’ll need:

  • Proof of identification (passport/ID card).
  • Proof of address/residence (e.g., utility bills/bank statements).

Please note that requirements may vary between countries, so ensure compliance accordingly when applying internationally.

Step 5: fill out the application form online

Most modern banks allow applicants to fill out application forms directly through their websites.

Ensure accuracy while filling out each field to avoid errors that could delay processing time unnecessarily. Double-checking before submitting ensures quicker turnaround times.

Step 6: verify your identity

To deter fraudulent activities, banks may require you to verify your identity. This can be done through various methods, such as providing a scanned copy of your identification documents or scheduling an appointment at a local branch where they can authenticate these details in person.

Step 7: activate debit card and set up online banking

Once approved, the bank will issue you a debit card which allows for easy access to funds online or via ATMs.

Additionally, you’ll need to set up your online banking account by creating login credentials (username & password), enabling secure access from anywhere with internet connectivity.

Step 8: fund your account

Transfer money into the newly opened account either by making deposits directly/ using electronic transfers. Some banks also offer convenient options like mobile check depositing, allowing users to take pictures of checks and upload them on their smartphone apps, securely completing transactions without visiting physical branches.

Congratulations! You have successfully opened a free bank account that offers convenience and flexibility when it comes to managing finances. With online banking services readily available,
sending money abroad is now easier than ever before, thanks to international transfer capabilities offered by many institutions today. Take advantage of features of rewards programs to maximize savings opportunities while enjoying peace of mind knowing that the financial institution has chosen reliable and trustworthy, ensuring the security of personal information assets at all times.


When choosing a free online bank account in the UK that suits your needs, several factors come into play, such as ease of use, customer service quality, features offered (like budgeting tools), availability of savings pots or round-up features, etc. We have highlighted some popular choices, including Starling Bank’s fee-free personal current accounts; Monzo’s intuitive app-based platform; Wise’s borderless multi-currency virtual accounts; Monese’s easy signup process catering to those new to the country; and finally, Santander offering specialized services tailored towards students and young adults.

Remember that each individual’s requirements may differ based on varied financial situations, so consider all these aspects before deciding which option works best for managing finances efficiently while enjoying seamless digital banking experiences.