Tide Review: Functionalities, Fees, Alternatives, and Monito's Recommendation
A freelance financial journalist, Rachel aims to help consumers get to grip with their finances and break through the jargon so they can make more informed financial decisions.
Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.
Links on this page may earn us an affiliate commission. This does not affect the opinions and recommendations of our editors.Read more
Tide is a business financial platform that offers business accounts dedicated to supporting SMEs and self-employed professionals such as freelancers, contractors, and consultants.
Ever since its launch in 2015, Tide’s mission has been to modernise the process of opening a business account, making it more streamlined and removing the need to go into a branch. As such, the Tide account can be opened via the company’s app, often in just a matter of minutes. What’s more, unlike most high street banks, there’s no requirement for a credit check, making Tide appealing to start-up businesses with little to no credit history.
Having originally offered an e-money account only, Tide has expanded its offering to provide a business bank account from ClearBank. The selling point here is that eligible deposits in the ClearBank account are protected up to £85,000 by the UK’s deposit guarantee scheme, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
What Monito Likes About Tide
- FSCS protection for ClearBank deposits;
- Fee-free transactions abroad (£1 for ATM withdrawals);
- No credit checks required at application;
- Quick and easy to open an account;
- Option to create separate accounts for different purposes;
- Ability to sync account with accountancy software.
What Monito Dislikes About Tide
- Doesn’t currently support international payments (for most members);
- Requirement to pay extra for dedicated support;
- Fee applies to cash deposits;
- Cheque deposits not accepted;
- Account can only be accessed with app.
In our opinion, Tide offers a straightforward but innovative business bank account suitable for sole traders and small business owners. With three different payment plans it’s ideal for businesses looking to expand and, thanks to its easy set-up, it’s perfect for businesses looking for a basic bank account.
However, it’s not all a bed of roses. If your business is expanding globally and you need to carry out international transfers, Tide won’t be the right choice for you, and you’ll need to widen your search. We suggest looking at alternatives such as Wise Business and Payoneer.
💷 Deposit Amount
💳 Card Type
💸 Payment Fees
Depends on payment plan
🏧 Withdrawal Fees
£1.00 per withdrawal
📆 Monthly Payment
£0.00 to £49.99 (plus VAT) a month
🔒 Trustpilot Score
👪 Number of Reviews
Approx. 8 thousand
💬 Languages Supported
Sofia (BG), Hyderabad (IN)
Financial Conduct Authority (GB)
👥 Number of Employees
Key Questions About Tide Answered
Who is Tide For?
Tide is available to UK-based companies and self-employed professionals. To register for a business account, applicants need to be registered with the UK Companies House as a director, while freelancers registering for a sole trader account will need to prove they own their business and are based out of the UK.
Additionally, all new Tide applicants are required to be aged 18 years or over and have a UK mobile phone number and physical address. Find out more here.
How Does Tide Work?
Tide’s business bank account comes with three different pricing structures, allowing businesses to pick the option that best suits their needs now, and upgrade their plan as the business grows. As well as supporting everyday business transactions, the app also allows business owners to manage invoices and keep track of their business spending. What’s more, because there are no credit checks involved it can also be suitable for businesses with a poor credit history.
Accounts can be opened by downloading the app to your Android or iOS device. To be eligible you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid UK phone number and address. Upon application, you’ll be asked to supply some personal details, as well as ID such as a passport or driving licence.
Accounts are managed via the app, giving you the flexibility to carry out business transactions on the go. But you can also log into your account via a laptop, tablet or desktop providing you have your mobile and Tide app with you.
What are Tide’s Fees?
Tide’s pricing plans are as follows:
This is the most basic pricing plan with no monthly fee. Transfers in and out of the account cost 20p per transfer and ATM withdrawals cost £1 a time – including withdrawals abroad. Customer support is, however, sadly lacking with this payment plan. There is no priority in-app support, no phone support and no legal helpline. Expense cards for team members also come at a price - £5 per month per card.
At £9.99 a month plus VAT, the Tide Plus plan offers 20 free transfers each month and a free expense card for your team. ATM withdrawals cost £1 per transaction. This plan also offers priority in-app support, phone support and a 24/7 legal helpline, as well as exclusive member perks.
This is the most expensive payment plan at a hefty £49.99 per month plus VAT. However, it’s also the most exclusive. Three expense cards are included with the account, and you can enjoy 150 free transfers per month. ATM withdrawals are, however, still £1 per transaction. You’ll get the same customer support as the Tide Plus plan as well as a dedicated account manager, member perks and 0.5% cashback with your Tide card.
A full breakdown of Tide’s fees can be found in the table below:
Bank transfers in and out
20p per transfer (outside of account allowance)
Payments between Tide accounts
Free of charge
£1.00 per transaction
Free of charge
Cash deposits (through the Post Office)
Cash deposits (through PayPoint)
3.00% of total transaction value
Is Tide a Good Choice For International Payments?
Despite offering fee-free transactions abroad, when it comes to international payments, Tide is not so generous. Currently, the majority of Tide customers are not able to make international payments, and this is the provider’s biggest downside.
The only exception is if you are a limited company and have a Tide International Currency Account. This applies to a few members only, and even then, international payments are limited to a select number of countries.
You can transfer money to: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
You can receive transfers from: Antarctica, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Sweden, and the Åland Islands.
Exchange rates are provided by Xignite and take the spot interbank exchange rate. Tide adds a markup of 0.50%, excluding weekends and bank holidays. You may also have to pay the following:
- SEPA transfers: €0.70
- SWIFT transfers: £5.00 (or currency equivalent).
In our opinion, whether your business has access to the International Currency Account or not, if you are expanding globally and making regular international transactions, you’ll be better off with an alternative such as Wise Business.
What About Other Features?
A round-up of the top features of Tide’s business bank accounts are as follows:
- No fees for overseas spending (£1 for ATM withdrawals);
- Guaranteed Mastercard exchange rate for foreign transactions;
- A Mastercard debit card;
- Sync your account to accountancy software such as Xero, QuickBooks, Sage and more;
- Automatic categorisation of income and spending;
- Send, pay and track invoices in your app;
- Ability to freeze, unfreeze, cancel or order your card and get a PIN reminder in the app;
- Deposit cash at any Post Office branch or PayPoint location.
The Tide Plus and Tide Cashback payment plans also give you access to perks such as free newspaper subscriptions, discounted hot desk rental, and discounted classes and workshops, all of which could be useful for freelancers and SMEs.
How Do Customers Rate Tide?
On the Trustpilot review platform, Tide scores an admirable 4.1 stars out of 5 from around 8 thousand reviews. Customers praise the easy account opening process and straightforward service.
Most of the negative feedback, however, focuses on blocked payments due to Tide’s tight security measures. Some have also commented on the lack of customer support, particularly with the free account.
Credibility and Security
Up to £85,000.00 of cash deposits held in Tide’s business account from ClearBank will be protected by the UK government’s deposit guarantee scheme, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
In contrast, FSCS protection does not apply to those with e-money accounts, which are provided under the licence of Pre-Pay Solutions Limited. However, as per FCA regulations, your money will be held in segregated accounts and kept separately from money used to run Tide.
Tide’s head office is based in London, but it has offices in Sofia, Bulgaria and Hyderabad, India.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tide
How can I tell if I have a bank account or an e-account? 💻
This will depend on the sort code. If your sort code is 04-06-05… you have a bank account with ClearBank. If the sort code is 23-69-72… it will be an e-money account with Pre-Pay Solutions Limited.
How long does it take to open an account? ⏱
This will depend on your application, but Tide says 53% of new members have opened their account in under 10 minutes, 70% in under 60 minutes and 81% within 48 hours.
Can I apply from outside the UK? 🌍
Yes, applicants not based in the UK can apply for a Registered Business bank account providing they are directors of a company registered with UK Companies House.
Is Tide a bank? 🏛
No, Tide is a business financial platform and provider of digital business banking services.