International Student Bank Accounts

Last updated: 18th January, 2013

International Student Bank AccountsA lot of international students come to study in the UK every year and the cost of the fees plus travelling can be a real burden. That’s why it’s important to choose the right international student bank account.

Many international students are not eligible for the normal accounts listed on our best student bank accounts guide as you have to have lived in the UK or been a UK resident for at least 3 years to open most of them.

A lot of students who come to study in the UK from overseas tend to bank with the chains that they are already with who have branches in the UK and this is fine. Instead of listing all of these banks we have taken a look at some of the major high street banks and what they have to offer in the way of international student bank accounts.

*Some banks offer international student accounts that follow Sharia law, but not all, so make sure you check with your branch first (if this is something that concerns you).

Best International Student Bank Accounts

If you are looking to open an international student account then you will need to pass a UK credit test. You can get your score here to make sure if you are eligible or not. We recommend Credit Reports Matter who run a FREE trial here.

1. Santander International Student Bank AccountSantanderstar

Monthly Access Fee: £5/Month

The Santander international student account is great because it offers 1 free international cheque transfer a month (possibly from your parents) as well as great interest rates on positive balances.

There are a lot of other perks and it is worth checking the Santander website to see what you could get your hands on as an international student.

2.Natwest International Student Account Natweststar

Monthly Access Fee: £8

Natwest do not have a specific international student bank account but they offer international students their Select Silver account which also comes with perks such as insurance for your household items as well as travel.

You must apply for this account in branch so make sure that you visit your local Natwest if you want to find out more.

Extra Tips for an International Student Account

To open an international student bank account you will need:

  • You passport
  • Documents from your old bank account
  • A letter of acceptance from your university
  • Proof of your living address in the UK (eg. energy bill)

Ask your current bank

Your bank in your country of origin will most likely have links with a bank in the UK or even branches of their own. It is best to talk to them about how the money will be transferred from one to the other in the most affordable and easy way.

Check your charges

If you do not open an international student account for the first few months in the UK then you may end up using your debit/credit card from your current bank. Look into how much this will cost you so that you don’t get an alarming bill at the end of the month.

Other things to bear in mind

  • bank accounts can take a while to set up (sometimes up to 3 weeks)
  • you may need to book and appointment to speak to the bank
  • an international student bank account in the UK can actually help with extending your visa when you print off statements
  • Some international student accounts may charge you a monthly fee but this is common so do not be alarmed.

The team here at hope you enjoy your study in the UK and that your finances are fully in order.

By students

Hello! This website has been written by student money experts Save the Student! to give you an overview of student bank accounts and what they have to offer you.

The studentsWe review the benefits and catches of all student accounts so you can make an informed choice and avoid the traps!

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