Best Digital Banks in the UK for international students – 2023-2024
Raisin – best for saving account
Are you an international student in the UK looking for a reliable and convenient digital bank to manage your finances?
With so many options available, it can be challenging to know where to start.
I’ve compiled a list of the best digital banks in the UK for international students to give you a head start.
Best digital banks in the UK for international students
All the products mentioned in this list have been selected through our independent research.
Here are some leading best banks for international students in the UK you can open an account with later on.
List of the best banks in the UK for international students
- Wise Digital Bank
Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is a leading digital bank that provides international money transfer services and multi-currency accounts.
It’s a great option for international students in the UK who need to send money to their home country or receive money from abroad.
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- Competitive exchange rates: Wise uses mid-market exchange rates, which are the same rates you’ll find on Google or Reuters.
- Low fees: Wise charges lower fees than most banks and other money transfer services.
- Multi-currency account: With Wise, you can hold and manage more than 50 currencies in one account.
- Fast transfers: Transfers with Wise are typically completed within one to two business days, depending on the currencies involved.
- User-friendly App: Wise’s mobile app is well-designed and easy to use.
- Not a full-service digital bank
- No cash or cheque options
- Registration requires proof of address
One of the unique aspects of Monese is that it is designed to be accessible to customers who may have difficulty opening a traditional bank account, such as those who have recently moved to the UK or have a poor credit history.
- International money transfers: Monese offers easy and affordable international money transfers, with competitive exchange rates and no hidden fees
- Accessibility: Monese offers quick and easy account opening with no need for a UK address or credit history.
- Flexibility: Monese offers a range of account options to suit different needs, including personal and business accounts, as well as premium accounts with additional features.
- Budgeting tools: The app offers a variety of amazing budgeting tools.
- Limits on cash transactions. Not part of FSCS scheme.
- While Monese does not charge monthly fees for its accounts, there may be fees for certain services such as ATM withdrawals or international money transfers above certain limits.
Monzo is one of the top UK-based digital banks that offers you a range of features and services as an international student.
With Monzo, you can open a current account, savings account, and budgeting tools. Here are some pros and cons of using a Monzo account.
- User-friendly app:
- Fee-free spending abroad: You can spend money abroad without paying any fees for foreign transactions or ATM withdrawals (up to certain limits).
- Instant notifications
- Budgeting tools: Monzo offers a range of exciting budgeting features, even for you as a student
- Savings pots: Monzo allows you to set up savings pots within your account.
- Spending targets: You can set how much you want to spend on food monthly.
- There is a £400 withdrawal limit per month
- Overdrafts come with a fee of 19%, 29% or 39% EAR, depending on your credit score
- Limited interests on balance
- Starling Digital Bank
Starling digital bank prides itself in offering a modern, mobile-first banking experience, with features such as real-time notifications, instant card freezing, and in-app budgeting tools.
If you are an international student in the UK, Starling is one bank that you should consider opening an account with.
- Starling supports 37 countries and 21 currencies
- No charges for overseas spending
- In-app budgeting tools that can help you stay on top oyourir finances.
- The app enables you to have saving goals, track them and save more
- Provides up-to-date spending insights for you
- 24-hours support
- You can open a joint account on the app
- Real-time notifications
- Overdraft comes with 15%, 25% or 35% EAR fees depending on your credit score
- No physical branches: deposits at Post Office only or being paid
Revolut is very well-known in the UK by digital bankers as one of the best digital banking Apps. A large number of interational students in the UK prefer to bank iwht Revolut.
- Cryptocurrency exchange: Revolut allows customers to easily buy, hold, and sell a variety of cryptocurrencies within the app, making it a convenient option for those interested in investing in crypto.
- Mobile-first banking: Revolut’s banking experience is centered on its user-friendly mobile app.
- Cheap global transfers to 30+ nations.
- Top-rated budgeting tools: The app offers a variety of budgeting tools, including spending categories and monthly budgeting.
- Instant freezing and unfreezing of card: You can quickly freeze and unfreeze your card directly from the app, providing an added level of security and control over your account.
- Competitive exchange rates: Revolut offers competitive exchange rates for foreign currency transactions.
- No option for cash or cheque deposits
- No commission-free foreign transfers
- Raisin Digital Bank – Savings only option for students
Raisin is a digital banking platform that offers savings accounts from various partner banks across Europe. The platform is designed to help customers find the best savings accounts for their needs, with competitive interest rates and easy account opening.
- FDIC protection: Raisin partners with banks that are FDIC-insured, providing customers with up to $250,000 in protection per account
- Transparency: Raisin provides customers with clear and transparent information about each savings account, including interest rates, fees, etc.
- Competitive interest rates: Raisin partners with a range of banks across Europe to offer competitive interest rates on savings accounts, allowing customers to earn more on their savings.
- Diverse account options.
- Easy account opening:
- No debit card
- Potential currency risks: As Raisin offers savings accounts in various currencies, customers may be exposed to currency risks, such as fluctuations in exchange rates or fees for currency conversion.
N26 is a popular digital bank that operates in the UK and several other countries. It was founded in Germany in 2013 and has since expanded to other European countries, the United States, and the UK.
- No-fee transactions
- Mobile banking: N26 has a user-friendly mobile app that allows customers to manage their accounts on the go.
- Easy budgeting tools: N26 offers a range of budgeting tools to help customers manage their finances, including spending categories, savings goals, and personalized spending insights.
- Advanced security measures: N
- 24/7 customer support.
- Limited physical presence: N26 is a fully digital bank, which means that customers may have limited options for in-person support or banking services.
- Account fees: There are some fees associated with N26 accounts, such as a monthly fee for premium accounts and fees for cash withdrawals over a certain limit.
- Limited overdraft availability: While N26 does offer an overdraft facility, not all customers may be eligible for it.
- Overdraft facility: N26 offers an overdraft facility to eligible customers, which can provide a buffer when unexpected expenses arise.
In conclusion, as an international student, it is crucial to choose a bank that fits your needs and offers the best services. With the rise of digital banks in the UK, it’s easy to see why so many students are choosing them as their primary banking option.
Whether you are looking to save money on transaction fees, streamline your finances, or simply have a more accessible banking experience, there are plenty of digital banks to choose from.
Let me also provide answer to some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on digital banks in the UK.
What digital banks are available for international students in the UK?
There are several digital banks available for international students in the UK, such as Monzo, Revolut, Starling Bank, N26, and more. These banks offer various benefits, including no-fee transactions, easy currency conversion, budgeting tools, and mobile banking features. Choosing the right digital bank can help international students manage their finances and save money on transaction fees.
Which bank is best for international student account in the UK?
There are several banks that offer international student accounts in the UK. Some of the best options include HSBC, Barclays, and NatWest. These banks offer a range of benefits, like fee-free transactions, easy currency conversion, and specialized support for international students. Choosing the right bank can help international students save money and manage their finances easily.
Which digital bank is best for students in the UK?
When it comes to digital banks for students in the UK, some of the top options include Monzo, Revolut, Starling Bank, and N26. These banks offer benefits like no-fee transactions, budgeting tools, and mobile banking features. Choosing the best digital bank for students can help them manage their finances and save money on transaction fees.
Which is the best digital bank in UK?
There are several digital banks in the UK, but the best one for you will depend on your specific needs. Some of the top options include Monzo, Revolut, Starling Bank, and N26, which offer benefits like fee-free transactions, budgeting tools, and mobile banking features.