For many students, university is the first time that they consider opening a bank account separate from their parents. The choice is often enticing, due to the fact that many of the top banking institutions in the UK offer freebies to students to entice them to join their banking community with the goal of recruiting the students business of life.
Some of the most popular student accounts are offered by Barclays, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Among the freebies or gimmicks offered to just students include interest free overdrafts, low interest rates, cash bribes, and free checking or ATM fees.
Generally speaking, it is usually advisable for students to look for bank account offers that include a large overdraft option because the university years are when an adult is prone to be forced to borrow the most they will need in cash in a short period of time.
However, simply because a large overdraft is provided does not mean a student should use it if not necessary, given the fact that at some point it will need to be repaid and is not free money.
After breaking down the best student banking offers that are available, students should begin to think about practical considerations when it comes to choosing which bank to open an account with.
For example, once you have chosen your university it is wise to find out if there are any banking institutions that have branches both at the university and your permanent home address, since you will be travelling back and for the between the two.
Keep in mind that cash points sometimes charge high cash fees if you use a different bank than is present on campus. Many campuses have a monopoly banking service due to sponsorship, so if you do not choose to go with this bank consider using banks that do not charge for cash point access at other machines so that you avoid losing money regularly.
Do your research to see if a banking facility offers online banking so that you can skip waiting in line at queues and complete your activities online. This is also a handy way to keep track of all spending instantly especially with the integration of smart phones into banking.
Find out what hours the banking institution is open that you are considering and also consider your own schedule. Will you need to visit the bank on Saturdays or in the evenings if so make sure that the student account you open is at a bank that can accommodate your needs.
Decide if you want a free overdraft, credit card, switch card, checking account, or other simple banking needs. Often you will only need a few of these elements so decide how flexible the bank is and which banks offer the services you need at reasonable rates.
Finally, as a general rule of thumb once the decision has come down to two banks you can then turn to freebie offers to make your final decision.