Monito.com
Menu
Ed Robertson on Unsplash

Best Free Online Bank Accounts in the UK in 2022: Fees, Usability, Features, and More

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
Sep 16, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

What's the best free bank account in the UK? The answer will depend largely on your needs and preferences. Fortunately, as of 2022, there are many free current account options available to UK residents to choose from, meaning all you need to do is compare your options.

recommendation icon

Best Free Online Bank Accounts in the UK

Without further ado, let's go through our rankings for the best free bank accounts in the UK in 2022 —

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.

Revolut — Best Mobile Current Account

Probably the UK's most famous fintech, there's a good chance you've heard of Revolut. Using its innovative banking platform, you'll not only have access to a broad range of financial services unique among free bank accounts, but you'll also be able to take advantage of these services at a comparatively low price.

For example, the Revolut mobile app offers multi-currency accounts, investments, crypto and precious metal trading, savings management, travel perks, and more. However, because it's not yet a bank in the UK, we think Revolut is best used as a powerful spending tool next to a main bank account, as opposed to in place of it.

Account name: Standard

Potential costs: 2% cashpoint withdrawal fee if you exceed five withdrawals or £200 per month.

Noteworthy features: EU bank account details, multi-currency balances.

More info: See our full Revolut review.

recommendation icon

Sign up for Revolut now and get £10 in your account.

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 Bank Accounts

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

Account

Personal Account

Monzo

Standard

Multi-Currency Account

Starter

Currency

GBP

GBP

GBP

GBP, USD, EUR, and 7 others

GBP, EUR, RON

Maintanance

£0

£0

£0

£0

£0

Cashpoint

£0

£0¹

£0²

£0³

£1.5

Intl Payment

0%

0%

0.4%-0.5%

0%

1.5%

Intl Transfer

0.4%

0.3%-2.9%⁴

0.3%-0.5%

0.3%-2.9%

2.5%

Contactless

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Top-up

Bank transfer, cash

Bank transfer, cash

Bank transfer, debit/credit card

Bank transfer, debit/credit card

Bank transfer, debit/credit card

Overdraft

Platforms

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile

Mobile, internet banking

Insured

£85,000

£85,000

£0

£0

£85,000

Customers

2 million

5.5 million

16 million

10 million

16 million

Try StarlingTry MonzoTry RevolutTry 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.

Read More About the Best Free Online Current Accounts in the UK

Monzo Review
April 11, 2022 - by Olivia Willemin
Starling Bank Review
February 8, 2022 - by Rachel Wait
Curve Review
September 26, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Pockit Review
December 31, 2021 - by François Briod
Monese Review
September 15, 2022 - by Laurent Oberholzer
Revolut Review
August 8, 2022 - by François Briod
Wise Account Review
September 8, 2022 - by François Briod
6 Best Online Business Bank Accounts for UK Small Business
August 11, 2022 - by Jarrod Suda
Top 10 Online Small Business Checking Accounts in the US
September 16, 2022 - by Jarrod Suda
Best Online Banks in Europe
September 7, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Best Online Banks in the UK
September 16, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Best Online Banks in France
September 5, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Best Online Banks in Ireland
September 5, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Best Online Banks in Germany in 2022
September 7, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
6 Best Banks in Austria: Guide To Online Banking Austria
September 16, 2022 - by Jarrod Suda
Can I Open a Free Online Bank Account Without an ID?
September 27, 2022 - by Jarrod Suda
Apps Like Chime
September 30, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Top Neobanks and Online Banks
September 30, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Best US Neobanks
September 16, 2022 - by Olivia Willemin

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

Monito.com

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Avenue de Montchoisi 35
1006 Lausanne
Switzerland

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.