If you are planning a move to the UK to study, your university or college may have asked you to set up a UK bank account.
Having a UK bank account will ensure that managing your finances is simple and stress-free. Making things like paying rent, organising your phone contract and transferring money to friends and family in the UK much easier.
But with around 400 UK banks and building societies, it can be difficult to work out which one is best for you.
Here are our recommendations for the top UK bank accounts for international students.
- NatWest Select Account
This award-winning account is free to open with no monthly fees. It comes with the option of a short-term overdraft and has low international transfer fees making it easy to send and receive money from abroad. To open the NatWest Select Account you must be a UK resident. Find out more: https://www.natwest.com/current-accounts/select_account.html
- HSBC International Student Account
The HSBC International Student Account can be set up before you arrive in the UK if you are already an HSBC customer. This can make organising your move a little easier. There are no monthly account fees, and you will also be eligible for offers and discounts through the HSBC Home & Away offers programme. Find out more: https://www.hsbc.co.uk/current-accounts/products/international-student/
- Barclays Student Addition Account
If you have been a UK resident for three years or longer and are continuing your studies, this could be your perfect bank account. A Barclays Student Addition Account offers an interest-free student overdraft and low international transfer fees. To apply, you must be studying as part of an undergraduate degree (2 years minimum), a postgraduate degree (1-year minimum) or a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4+). Find out more: https://www.barclays.co.uk/current-accounts/student-account/
- TSB Spend & Save Account
The TSB Spend & Save Account is an everyday account that allows you to earn cashback by making monthly payments on your debit card. It also has a variety of saving features to help you save money during your time studying in the UK. Find out more: https://www.tsb.co.uk/current-accounts/spend-and-save-account/
- Santander Basic Current Account
You can apply for a Santander Basic Current Account from the age of 16, so this is a fantastic account for younger international students. There is no monthly fee on this account, and it is free to receive money in any foreign currency. Find out more: https://www.santander.co.uk/personal/current-accounts/basic-current-account
What you Need to Open an International Student Bank Account
Usually, when you are opening an international student bank account you will need one or more of the following documents to hand:
- A current passport
- A valid visa
- A bank statement from your home bank, from the past three months
- Proof of address in the UK or abroad (some banks ask for your past addresses for the last three years)
- Your student ID or acceptance letter from your university
If you have any further questions on Student Visas, get in touch with our friendly team of immigration consultants. We can offer support and advice on securing your Student Visa and what your next steps should be. With our help, you will be able to enjoy planning your time studying in the UK, without any stress.