What's your bank of choice and why?

If you could only choose one bank? What would it be and why? :face_with_monocle:

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Choosing one bank would be extremely difficult as I need more than one as an international student. I need my student loan payed out to a Norwegian bank account, which can not be done to my Revolut NOK acocunt. I need the an American account that supports direct debit, which TransferWise does not for their USD account, but Chase does. Therefore, I forfeit :joy:


It has to Starling Bank = its simple to use and gives instant updates to help my money. Its like having a Bank in the pocket. It integrates well with EMMA to transform my finances into some thing easy to understand and work with. So Starling helps me to be cashless = I am intrigued by Facebooks Libra offering coming next year. But if it comes to deciding which = I would always go with EMMA and Starling


The truth is, I don’t think I could choose just one bank and be happy with it (although I do realise that many people are in exactly that position, just having a single current account plus potentially a savings account with the same bank).

If I really had to, it would probably be Starling Bank (because more things are free than at Monzo, and they are the two leading FinTechs - I have no time for branch banking) together with Emma’s budgeting and analysis tools and with the Curve card as a backup in case I lost my Starling card.

The main reason Emma is so useful though, is that when you have budgeting tools integrated into the bank, it only reflects the money in that bank - so is virtually useless. Emma’s tools work far better because Emma is also a top-quality aggregator so can cover most/all of your banks and therefore the analysis is a lot more accurate, and consequently more useful. The fact I have a lot of accounts is actually what makes Emma the best analytical tool for me. If I only had one account, at a bank with built in tools, I would have much less of a reason to use Emma.


First Direct

They paid me to join.


Like others have said, really difficult question. At the moment I have accounts at one fintech bank (for superior money management and spending awareness) and accounts at 4 traditional banks (for paying in cash/cheques, and for perks like cashback on bills, and high interest current accounts and regular savers).

I definitely wouldn’t ditch my fintech bank. In my case this is Monzo - I started using them before Starling was available, and they’ve never disappointed me so I’ve never bothered trying Starling. So I’m going to change the question slightly and think about which of the 4 traditional banks I would keep if I could only keep one alongside my Monzo account…

For me this would probably be Santander because it provides both cashback on bills (via their 1|2|3 Lite account) as well as a high interest regular saver. Disappointingly the interest rate on the regular saver has dropped from 5% to 2.5% over the last year or so, but the cashback on bills means I would be earning from them even if there were occasions I could not afford to save (unlike some other banks I use).

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I’m similar, I have two traditional banks and 1 fintech (monzo).

I have a santander account where I get cashback but not the 123 account. My friends said they had this account the other day and they save around £350 a year on bills. Do you think this account is a lot better than a standard current account with santander? Is there a monthly fee?

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Also I should have realised how difficult this would be for you to all answer!!

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There is a £1 monthly fee for the 123 Lite account so its just a case of working out if the amount of cash back you receive on eligible bills would exceed this fee and whether it is worth bothering. This will simply depend on how much your bills are.

There is a cashback calculator you can use to estimate how much cashback you could get: https://www.santander.co.uk/personal/current-accounts/123-lite-current-account (see Interest and cashback section)

I think my eligible bills come to around £400/month and I get about £60/year cashback after subtracting the £12/year account fee. People who have higher bills, and have a Santander mortgage and insurance products will get more (you get cashback on these too).

There is also another 123 account (non-lite version) which costs £5/month instead of £1/month but you don’t get extra cashback on this account. I think the only added benefit of the non-lite version is 1.5% interest on your current account balance, which isn’t worth it for anyone.


Interesting, I just did the calculator and it said I could get £4.49 a month which isn’t bad but then I have to take off the monthly fee.

I have a standard current account and credit card with Santander and I have to say it has been a good account to have. 0% interest for 30 months.

I think I’d probably go with Starling for the ability to use it anywhere, although I do need USD details too which leaves me out luck.

Guess I’ll forfeit like @BendikHa :joy:


Hey @Recchan

Welcome to the Emma community! Don’t forget to introduce yourself here: Introduce yourself 👋

I thought everyone would have a stand out favourite haha


Monzo. The in-app budgeting capabilities help me keep on track.


Hey @Mxchris

Welcome to the community!

Thanks for sharing your favourite bank with us :slight_smile:

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have 4 bank accounts and 1 credit card… all 4 have different uses.

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I am on Barclays.

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Hey @vekariya17

Can I ask what you use your different accounts for?

How have you been liking the recent updates?


It’s okay, I just open Emma. :sweat_smile:

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different savings account have capped rates on balances etc.
shift money from a > b > a to qualify for freebies etc :stuck_out_tongue:

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