Produced by Kaitlin
BA (Hons) International Tourism & Hospitality Mgt
I’ll be honest, before coming to university I had no idea that student bank accounts were a thing, and so an article like this would have been quite useful!
You might be thinking, what’s the point? I already have an account, why do I need another? One word: Freebies!
Firstly let’s understand the difference between a student account and an ordinary one. From what I understand, it’s not a lot! As you can imagine, a student account is only for students and so you’ll have to prove your university status when opening one. You also usually get access to interest free overdrafts (a student only privilege!) and freebies!
There are so many articles on UCAS and Save The Student comparing different student bank accounts and all their top tips which can be really useful so definitely check them out. I decided to use NatWest, since I already had an account with them and they offered a coach card at the time which helps me to travel to and from home for around £5, much cheaper than the train and it lasted me the entire 4 years at university! The freebies might change each year, so definitely consider what you need from yours, but most offer some cash, rail/coach cards or subscription services for, all of which are really great to have at university!
Something that other articles don’t mention is the usefulness of having separate bank accounts and how it helps with budgeting. When my student finance arrives, it goes straight into my student bank account. Then I’ll pay my rent and work out how many weeks are left until the next payment and budget with this.
Having an ordinary AND student account is useful, since I just transfer my weekly budget from the student account to the ordinary one and it means I don’t accidentally spend ALL my finance as it comes in.
Make sure that you really check the conditions from each company – one might have a shorter repayment condition than another, and you don’t want to suddenly fork out hundreds (or thousands!) of pounds after you graduate. Make sure to remember that an overdraft is not ‘free money’ – you will have to pay it back, but it is useful to have for emergencies. The overdraft amounts range from each company, so plan ahead and research now so you can maximise the benefits!
Oh, and as useful as the freebies are, don’t feel pressured to go for one with a cash reward if it has bad reviews or unsuitable overdraft conditions – look for reviews and guides, talk to friends and family, since they likely have experience, and see which feels best!
If you have any financial issues whilst at BU, remember that there is plenty of support available and people to help guide you, so don’t be afraid to reach out!