The Student Room Group

Student banking accounts - what's the best course of action?

I have researched the different student bank accounts on offer and looked at which freebies/ interest free overdraft would benefit me most. I am not the most financially literate, but I have determined that ideally I want a free railcard (or at least free £100 cash) that's been offered as I will be commuting to London quite often. For context, I will be a first year medicine student going to a London uni, so I am a bit anxious about managing my funds, hence why getting a large interest free overdraft may come handy, especially in the following years of my degree. Ive seen some advice saying that opening multiple student accounts is not wise, as you may end up with a lower credit score and I can understand that transferring money between multiple accounts would be stressful. However I also read somewhere about how you could apply for a student bank account at one bank, claim the railcard, then close the account afterwards to switch to another bank. I'm not sure what negatives could result from that. Any advice? Much appreciated.
Reply 1
It sounds like Santander are probably your best option - free railcard for 4 years, and their overdraft is the biggest guaranteed overdraft available (£1500 for years 1 to 3). As far as I know you keep the railcard if you switch - I just switched to a different bank after graduating with a year left on my railcard and I get to keep it. Other banks offer more overdraft but you have to apply and you might not be given it as its based on their assessment of your credit record. You can switch between student bank accounts too - I don't think there's anything to stop you and looks like most places will still give you the perks but switching bank accounts can also negatively affect your credit score so be aware of that (particularly if the account you end up with requires you to apply for the maximum overdraft rather than guaranteeing it). If you haven't already seen it is a good breakdown of the practicalities of student accounts. From the sounds of things though Santander has everything you want and the easiest thing to do is just stick with them.

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