Current accounts with a free overdraft
Current accounts with a free overdraft
Current accounts with a free overdraft

Lots of us still use the overdraft facility on our current accounts. Sadly, the fees and/or interest rates charged on authorised overdrafts can be really high.

If you have to go overdrawn, you'll want to pay as little for your debt as possible. You can keep the costs low by taking advantage of an interest-free deal. If you're prepared to switch your current account, here are the accounts which will allow you to do just that (albeit only for a short time in some cases).

1) Santander 123 current account

You can have an interest-free arranged overdraft for four months with the Santander 123 account. The bank gives an example of £1,200, but it may be less, depending on your credit rating.

However, you must pay in a minimum of £500 a month to the account, set up at least two Direct Debits and it will cost you £5 a month. To offset the monthly charge, you'll earn cashback of up to 3% on much of your monthly spending.

You also need to switch using the bank's switching service in order to benefit.

2) Santander Everyday current account

Santander's Everyday current account also offers a four-month interest-free overdraft period when you switch to it using the bank's dedicated switching service.

Again, it gives an assumed overdraft amount of £1,200, but this may be less. There's no fee to run the account but no additional perks either.

3) First Direct 1st Account

Another way you can dodge overdraft fees is to choose a current account with a free overdraft buffer. This will only work if you go into the red by a relatively small amount.

If you can pay in at least £1,000 a month, try the First Direct 1st Account which offers a £250 interest-free buffer. You do have to explicitly request this buffer, though.

You'll also get £100 for switching if you're a new customer.

4) Lloyds Bank Club Lloyds

The Lloyds Bank Club Lloyds current account also comes with a free overdraft buffer.

You can apply for a planned overdraft of up to £100 that is interest and fee-free.

The account also comes with a range of other perks like in-credit interest of 4% on balances between £4,000 and £5,000 and the choice of one lifestyle benefit like cinema tickets or an annual magazine subscription each year.

You will need to pay in at least £1,500 a month though, in order to avoid a £5 monthly fee.

5) Nationwide FlexDirect

The FlexDirect account from Nationwide is a stonking current account, paying a market-leading 5% interest on your balances up to £2,500. It also offers a 12-month fee-free overdraft, subject to your circumstances.

You will need to pay in £1,000 each month to receive interest.

6) Nationwide FlexAccount

Nationwide's FlexAccount also offers an interest-free overdraft, but only for three months.

This is subject to approval and you must use the switching service to be eligible for the offer.

The account also comes with free UK and Europe multi-trip travel insurance when you pay in at least £750 each month.

Paying off your overdraft

If you only have a limited interest-free arranged overdraft period, like those offered by the Santander accounts, you'll need to have a plan in place to pay it off or you'll start being charged daily fees.

Avoid going into an unauthorised overdraft at all costs, as you'll soon rack up high charges and daily fees.

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How to Avoid Being Charged Overdraft Fees
How to Avoid Being Charged Overdraft Fees