Best Bank for International Students in UK 2024

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Best Bank for International Students in UK – Hey there! If you are reading this, we are sure that you are an international student looking for the best banks in the UK to help you manage your finances while studying. Let’s go and decode the Best Bank for International Students in UK 2024.

A bank is a financial institution that keeps your money safe, and a bank account is a safe place to protect your money and provide you with financial services such as withdrawing cash, money transfers, and using a debit or credit card.

As you are moving away from your family and settling in a new home in the UK, you ought to manage your finances to spend your money wisely and live comfortably. And if you can manage your finances really well, then you will be able to focus on the most essential thing: your Education.

However, opening a bank account in the UK for an international student could be challenging because of the unfamiliarity of the UK Banking System, documentation problems, language barriers, and high joining fees.

Best Bank for International Students in UK

Let’s go and dive into the various Best Bank for International Students in UK 2024.

Types of Bank Accounts for International Students in UK

If it has been more than a few months of your stay in the UK, you must choose and open the best bank for international students. Using a bank account, you can manage your account like a pro in paying rent and managing everyday expenses.

There are mainly two types of Bank Accounts for International Students in UK:

Basis Bank Account

The basic bank account is free to open and maintain, allowing you to deposit and withdraw money. You can use an ATM card for money withdrawal purposes. However, you cannot get a chequebook, credit card, or overdraft facility using a basic bank account.

International Student Bank Account

The International Student Bank Account is the best option as it has more features, such as free international money transfers and overseas check deposits. However, they may have monthly fees or minimum account balance maintenance. You can also get a credit card using this bank account.

The best account depends on your preferences and needs. A basic bank account would be a great option if you are tight on budget. However, having an international student bank account is a good option if you need to send money internationally or deposit overseas checks.

How does International Bank Accounts Work?

International banks provide financial accounts to students or people who are not citizens of the country where the bank is located. Most of the time, these banks are considered major companies for building business profits. Still, many international banks want to open accounts for people with different incomes, including small business owners.

Some international banks specialise in offering banking and investing services to students or individuals. However, other focuses on business accounts. All international banks must obey local laws and may have other specific policies.

What is the Minimum Balance for an International Bank in UK?

Business accounts and individual accounts often have a minimum balance requirement. You must keep a minimum balance or a certain amount in your bank account to avoid penalties. You must meet the minimum balance requirement to get the interest on your deposits.

Sometimes, bank accounts allow you to open an account with no minimum balance or fewer deposits. Still, remember that your deposit will only be earned once you keep a minimum balance in your account. You must know the primary way to calculate your interest, whether it increases or grows when your account balance increases.

For instance, some banks pay you interest daily, while some pay you that money quarterly or monthly, which depends on the bank’s policies. This is true that you can earn more interest if you have a high balance. If someone is saving for retirement purposes, choose an account with a higher rate of interest and no monthly fee requirement. Let your money grow faster.

Why Do International Students Need a Bank Account in the UK?

As an international student, you have a lot of monthly expenses, like paying your tuition fees, rent, food bills, education, etc. So, you must keep your money safe; bank accounts are the safest option ever. In future, if you have to apply for a new visa, then you have to show sufficient funds to live in the UK. Therefore, having a bank account to study in the UK is crucial to smooth the process.

What Are the Best Bank for International Students in UK 2024?

Let’s have a look at the Best Banks for International Students in UK for 2024


HSBC Because of its creative banking concepts and benefits tailored specifically for overseas students, HSBC is among the most significant banks in the UK for these kinds of students. International students enrolled in UK universities have two account options from the bank.

The HSBC Premier International Student Account and the HSBC International Student Account are the two types of accounts. These are both active accounts, each with unique features and advantages.

The characteristics, advantages, and prerequisites for HSBC international student accounts are as follows:


  • No upkeep costs per month.
  • Free ATM withdrawals both domestically and internationally.
  • Interest-free overdraft is available on demand.
  • Customer service with priority for particular accounts.
  • Competitive exchange rates.


  • Access to the ATM and branch network of HSBC worldwide.
  • Online and mobile banking via applications and websites.
  • Specialized customer support group for particular account kinds.
  • Customer support is available around the clock.

Are you eligible?

  • At least eighteen years old.
  • Enrolled full-time in colleges and universities in the UK.
  • An identity card that is currently valid.
  • A current student visa possesses a UK mailing address.

The process of opening an account at HSBC is simple. You must complete an application and send in all required supporting documentation. A bank representative will open the account after obtaining your application and additional paperwork.

Let’s now examine the Pros and Cons of HSBC Bank for overseas students:


No upkeep costs.

Banking via smartphone or internet.

Arranged interest-free overdraft terms.

Free ATM withdrawals are available worldwide.


Fees are applied to certain international transactions.

A minimum monthly deposit is required for certain international student accounts.


Barclays is yet another top bank in the UK for overseas students. The Barclays Student Additions Account is only available to international students. This current account is a great option for living as a student.

The features, advantages, and requirements for qualifying to open a bank account at Barclays are as follows:


  • Overdraft up to GBP 1,500 without interest.
  • In the UK, ATM cash withdrawals are free.
  • Competitive exchange rates.
  • Travel insurance.


  • No upkeep fees per month.
  • Online banking via websites and apps.
  • Access to ATMs and the bank’s international networks.
  • Round-the-clock client assistance.

Are you eligible?

  • Must be eighteen years old.
  • Spend a minimum of three years living in the UK.
  • Studying in the UK full-time.
  • Possess a UK mailing address.

Barclays offers online and in-person digital banking services. The following paperwork is required to open a Barclays bank account:

  • A current passport and a student visa for the UK
  • Verification of your address in the UK
  • Your enrollment paperwork and student ID

The Barclays International Student Account offers the following benefits and drawbacks:


  • No upkeep fees per month.
  • Outstanding exchange rate.
  • Overdraft with no interest.
  • Access to digital banking.


  • There are a few branch locations.
  • There are fees associated with certain international transactions.

Santander Bank

Santander is a sizable commercial and retail bank that is a fantastic choice for students studying abroad. Its 1|2|3 Student Current Account is made to meet the unique requirements of overseas learners attending UK universities.

The features, advantages, and requirements for qualifying to open a Santander Bank account are listed below.


  • Overdraft with no interest arranged for amounts up to GBP 1,500.
  • Free cash withdrawals from ATMs both domestically and abroad.
  • Mobile banking apps and internet banking services.
  • Customer support is available around the clock.


  • A 4-year, complimentary Santander 16–25 Railcard.
  • All travel benefits
  • Vouchers, cashback, and customised offers.
  • Competitive exchange rates.

Are you eligible?

  • Have at least eighteen years old.
  • A full-time pupil at a UK college or university
  • Funds the account with a minimum of GBP 500 every four months.

There is no paper used in this Santander account. As a result, everything is done online. However, you must submit the following records:

  • Your passport and a student visa for the UK
  • Utility bills are one type of proof of your UK address.
  • Student identification or documentation of enrollment.

The following are Santander Bank’s benefits and drawbacks for overseas students studying in the UK:


  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Overdrafts without interest.
  • 4 years of Railcard for 16–25.
  • Online and mobile banking via websites and applications.
  • Cashbacks and customized deals.


  • Fewer branches.
  • There are fees associated with international transactions.

Other Best Bank for International Students in UK 2024

Lloyds Bank

Another top bank for overseas students is Lloyds Bank. International students can choose between two account options:

  • Lloyd’s Classic Account
  • International Student Account at Lloyds Bank

There are numerous advantages to having these two bank accounts for overseas UK university students. No monthly fees are associated with either account, and the contactless debit card comes with an interest-free overdraft of up to GBP 1,000. Additionally, both accounts offer mobile banking.


Among the greatest banks in the UK is NatWest. Additionally, it offers two account choices to students from abroad:

  • Like the Lloyds Bank International Student Account, the NatWest International Student Account allows an interest-free overdraft of up to 1,000 GBP. A contactless debit card and mobile banking are also included.
  • The NatWest Reward Account is good for students who wish to earn rewards. In addition, it provides other advantages like cashback and travel insurance.


This is an additional top UK bank for overseas students. Nationwide offers two different kinds of accounts:

  • Nationwide FlexAccount
  • National FlexDirect Account

These are excellent choices for overseas students searching for flexible accounts with no monthly fees.

Bank TSB

In the UK, The TSB is among the best banks for students. The TSB Spend and Save Account and the TSB Classic Account are available account types. Numerous features tailored to students are included in both accounts, including no maintenance fees, contactless debit cards, online and mobile banking, and more.

Metro Bank

Because of its practical features, the Metro Bank Current Account is a decent choice for overseas students. It’s among the top bank accounts for learners. You will have contactless debit cards, online and mobile banking, and round-the-clock access to your money.

Bank Cooperative

Bank Cooperative Another excellent UK bank account for overseas students is the Current Account. It offers online, mobile, and contactless banking along with ethical banking.

Clydesdale Bank

For overseas students looking for a basic account with no maintenance fees, the Clydesdale Bank Classic Account is a good choice. It also provides internet banking and a contactless debit card, just like other accounts tailored to students.

How to Choose Best Bank for International Students in UK 2024?

The following criteria can be used to choose the top banks in the United Kingdom:

Transfer Expenses

Fees for international transfers are a major problem. Examine commission costs and exchange fees if you receive or send money from overseas. If you intend to use your UK debit card at home, find out how much it costs to use abroad.


You must apply to one of the few lenders for international students if you require an overdraft. Students’ budgets may benefit from this.


If you need to deal with account issues in person, ensure your bank has a branch close to your house or place of education.

Get Exclusive and Guaranteed Scholarships

As discussed earlier, it is essential to open a bank account by the time you reach the UK, and you can either apply for it the moment you reach or apply online. Having a bank account can make you financially accountable.

If you are a student looking to get scholarships to support your studies and family, then SecureMyScholarship can help you. At SMS, we focus on making education accessible and affordable to everyone. So, let’s just contact us and book your university seat.

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Vipin Rana

My role involves supporting student recruitment for USA globally, establishing solid relationships with channel partners, and Student counselling. The most exciting part of my role is, having the opportunity to assist the students in fulfilling their educational and career goals. Working with SMS makes me proud as I work with a fantastic set of people across the globe.

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