A simples guide

What freebies can I receive by getting a student bank account?

The realities of university life today are a far cry from the stereotype of spending your nights at the student union and your days snoozing in that cosy corner of the library. The average spend per month when you’re studying away from home is £745 so it’s easy to fall for tempting student bank account rewards. But is it all smoke and mirrors? Or can you actually get some good deals?

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It’s competition time

Banks are always looking for new customers, and they’ll compete hard to reel you in and hope that you’ll end up a lifelong customer – and let’s face it, most of us are just too lazy to switch. And if you’re in any doubt about that – more than half (54%) of students chose to open their student bank account with the bank they already had an account with. Although 20% of students said they shopped around, only 5% actually switched banks when they did find a better deal.

Piggy bank in a bow as a present
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Beware the gift that stops giving

In an attempt to potentially win your custom forevermore, banks will offer what they think are the best incentives ever. But bear in mind these are freebies and tempting treats to hook you in.

With 8 in 10 students worrying about making ends meet and 1 in 5 of you taking drastic measures to get extra cash, such as gambling – you should probably look more closely at the overdraft on offer rather than any freebies. Student accounts differ from standard current accounts in that they offer an interest free overdraft. This means you can spend more money than you have at no charge – so long as you stay within the agreed overdraft limit. In the long run, an interest free overdraft could be more beneficial than a voucher – but remember, you do have to pay the money back. It’s just designed to help you be more flexible while you’re studying and not necessarily getting a steady income.

What’s on offer – student freebies

Let’s get the no incentive offers done first to avoid any build-up of excited anticipation. High street banks and building societies Halifax, The Co-operative Bank, Barclays and TSB don’t offer any rewards or freebies as such but if you look closer they may have features that you may find quite useful. **

For example, The Co-operative bank very helpfully doesn’t charge you for receiving funds from outside of the UK – if that’s something you need. And Barclays will let you personalise your debit card. If you choose to bank with Halifax, they’ll give you commission free foreign currency – which could come in handy while you’re broadening your horizons abroad. **

So, onto the student deals (depending on how you feel about them):**

• Santander are offering a free four year 16-25 Railcard, worth £120, which will save you a third on all rail travel within the UK.
• HSBC has offers and vouchers as well as up to £3,000 interest free overdraft
• NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland are giving customers one third off National Express journeys for four years as long as you sign up to paperless statements.
• The First Trust Bank are offering medical, dental and post grad law students a tailored package which you might want to check out.

Freebies, freebies, everywhere

We all love a freebie and what they’re actually worth will be dependent on how useful they are to you. To make life a little easier, use our search to find out more about the student account rewards on offer to see if you can find the right student account for you.


**All student bank account offers and incentives were correct as at 17 May 2016 and may have changed or no longer apply.

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