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UK's best free online banks picked by Monito

Best Free Online Bank Accounts in the UK: Fees, Features, and More

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com

Byron Mühlberg

Guide

Jarrod Suda

Reviewer

Jan 9, 2024
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What's the best free bank account in the UK? The answer will depend largely on your needs and preferences. Fortunately, as of 2024, there are many free current account options available to UK residents to choose from, meaning all you need to do is compare your options.

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In our opinion, Starling Bank is the best full bank account in the UK, offering an all-around current account with powerful paid add-ons. Read our full review to learn more.

Without further ado, let's go through our rankings for the best free bank accounts in the UK in 2024 —

Starling Bank: Best All-Round

Starling Bank is a fully-authorised bank in the UK that's well known for its fee-free current account. In fact, because this account is completely free and gives you access to an impressively complete range of financial services (including overdraft, loans, joint account, youth card, pensions, euro balance, interest, etc.), we think Starling offers the best free bank account in the UK — one we recommend as a complete replacement for an account at a high-street bank.

  • Account name: Personal Account
  • Potential costs: £20 per CHAPS transfer in the UK, 0.4% + £5.50 for international SWIFT transfers, £5 for a replacement debit card.
  • Noteworthy features: Saving Spaces, pension scheme, youth card, interest, overdraft.
  • More info: See our full Starling Bank review.

Monzo: Best for Savers

Monzo is a regulated UK bank and probably the country's most famous online-only account. An excellent choice if you're looking to escape the high fees of traditional banks, Monzo charges no fees for day-to-day card use (e.g. cashpoint withdrawals and card payments) in the UK and abroad.

What's more, because it offers an one of the most advanced and comprehensive savings systems we've seen from any challenger bank (allowing lots of flexibility over your time horizon and savings goals), we think Monzo is especially well-suited for managing and growing wealth, regardless of your individual goals.

  • Account name: Monzo
  • Potential costs: 3% per withdrawal if you withdraw over £250 per month.
  • Noteworthy features: Fixed Pot, Easy Access Savings, overdrafts, loans, bill splitting.
  • More info: See our full Monzo review.

Wise: Best for Travellers

Wise isn't a bank in the UK but a money transfer operator that's well-known for offering some of the cheapest international transfers globally. However, money transfers aren't Wise's only speciality — they also offer the Wise Multi-Currency Account, a low-cost foreign currency spending account and card product that's best in class for foreign currency spending of all kinds, whether it's holidays overseas, online shopping, or international money transfers.

  • Account name: Multi-Currency Account
  • Potential costs: £0.50 per cash machine withdrawal if more than two withdrawals are made per month, plus 1.75% on withdrawals exceeding £200 per month.
  • Noteworthy features: International money transfers, multiple account details, multi-currency balances.
  • More info: See our full Wise Multi-Currency Account review.

Monese: Best for New Arrivals

Monese is a mobile-only challenger bank that offers fully-fledged checking accounts to more than two million customers across much of Europe. Because Monese doesn't require you to prove your residence to meet creditworthiness standards to open an account in the UK, we think Monese is especially well-suited for new arrivals to the UK from the European Economic Area (EEA).

  • Account name: Starter
  • Potential costs: £1.50 per cash machine withdrawal; 2% per foreign currency transaction not in GBP, EUR, SEK, or RON; £4.95 for debit card delivery.
  • Noteworthy features: PayPal integration, Avios integration, Money pots, interest.
  • More info: See our full Monese review.

Comparing the UK’s Best Free Online Accounts

To wrap things up, let's compare the product, service, and pricing of the free accounts we explored above. Here, you can get a better idea of which one might best suit your needs and preferences:

Starling Bank

Monzo

Wise

Monese

Account

Personal Account

Monzo

Multi-Currency Account

Starter

Currency

GBP

GBP

GBP and 9 others

GBP and 2 others

Maintanance

£0

£0

£0

£0

Cashpoint

£0

£0

£0

£1.5

Intl Payment

0

0

0

0.015

Intl Transfer

0.004

0.3%-2.9%

0.3%-2.9%

0.025

Contactless

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Top-up

  • Bank transfer
  • Cash deposit
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash deposit
  • Bank transfer
  • Debit/credit card
  • Bank transfer
  • Debit/credit card

Overdraft

Platforms

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile

Mobile

Mobile, internet banking

Insured

£85,000

£85,000

£0

£85,000

Customers

2 million

5.5 million

10 million

16 million

Try StarlingTry MonzoTry WiseTry Monese

Last updated: 19/1/2022
¹ Up to a daily limit of £400 and a monthly limit of £5,500.
² Up to £200 withdrawals per month, 2% on exceeded amount thereafter.
³ Up to twice per month, £0.50 per withdrawal thereafter and up to £200 per month, 1.75% on exceeded amount thereafter.
⁴ Uses Wise's platform for international money transfers.

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