As thousands are celebrating their upcoming life as university students, there's more than just housing and equipment to consider. An essential tool for any student is a good student account, as this can make the difference between paying expensive interest and getting some welcome freebies.
While you may not want to think about it yet, as soon as you get accepted onto your course it's a good idea to start looking into student bank accounts. More information on these handy accounts can be found in our guide on the topic, which includes a handy selection of the accounts that are available right now.
"The best account will entirely depend on how much the student expects to borrow, the benefits they feel are essential to have included and any additional perks," Moneyfacts.co.uk finance expert Rachel Springall commented. "Some providers attempt to entice students with discounts or gift cards, but these incentives could be a waste if not used frequently."
Discounts or cashback might sway some people, but Rachel pointed out that "Halifax and Santander currently offer students a £1,500 interest-free overdraft from day one, which can be a lifeline to cash-poor students who have yet to generate income through part-time work."
That said, an account that offers a travel pass could save a lot of money for those students who like to travel. Don't forget that the best bank isn't always the one that's conveniently located on or near campus, either – given the proliferation of mobile and internet banking, you'll likely only need to visit a branch in emergencies.
"Clearly, there are many different perks between accounts and not one will necessarily meet every desire," Rachel said. "The most lucrative will depend on a student's financial expectations of either using an overdraft or being in credit, how often they expect to travel, and if they favour cashback or freebies."
Aside from picking the right student account, Rachel had some other top tips to share for soon-to-be students:
For those who are at the end of their course, and getting ready to jump into work, our graduate bank account guide could be for you – it even includes a selection of graduate accounts for easy comparison
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.