September 25, 2021

best joint account


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A joint bank account is an account that two or more people own together.

This can be useful for partners, friends, roommates, family members, and others who want to keep their finances organised in one place.

A joint bank account offers some benefits that other types of accounts do not provide, such as the ability to quickly transfer money between accounts without fees and the convenience of having a shared balance (allowing for purchases even when one person doesn't have enough funds)

While it may seem like a good idea to open up a joint account with someone you trust right away, there are some things you should consider before making this big decision. The best way to go about selecting your new financial partner is by exploring all the options.

What is a Joint Bank Account?

A joint bank account is an account that two or more people own together. This can be useful for partners, friends, roommates, family members, and others who want to keep their finances organised in one place.

A joint bank account offers some benefits that other types of accounts do not provide, such as the ability to quickly transfer money between accounts without fees and the convenience of having a shared balance.

Transferring Money Between Accounts

Joint accounts make it easy to transfer money between accounts without fees (especially if one of your partners is oversees). If one person wants to use extra funds, the other can quickly move some of theirs back into their account. This can be a significant convenience factor.

What is the Best Joint Bank Account? 

Picking a joint bank account can be challenging. That's why we have summarised the best joint bank accounts in the UK so that you can choose the right joint account for your needs.

Top Joint Account Picks Revealed 

*Ratings shown are App Store ratings taken 25/09/21

#1 

249k reviews 4.9/5

Starling Bank

Starling offers a number of different accounts, including personal, business and joint account options. Starling is a mobile/ online bank meaning you would access this joint account from the comfort of your home. They have no branches, but they made this list because of their excellent customer reputation, winning Best British Bank 3 years running and scoring an excellent score of Trust Pilot of 4.3 with over 23,000 reviews to date, and the App Store rating is no different scoring an incredible 4.9/5 with 249k reviews! Getting a Starling current account is also incredibly easy just download the app and follow the instructions. 

Staring bank overview

#2

48k reviews 4.8/5

Monese - Best Non-Bank

Monese is a good option if you are worried about completing a credit check or don't have proof of address. The app has great budgeting options and you can spend abroad with 0 commission fees! Monese works like a bank but is actually classified as a electronic money institution. Your money is protected by the EU electronic money directive. 

who are Monese

#3

111k reviews 4.8/5

Metro Bank

Offering fantastic current account options. Metro Bank has a good online and in store experience that could be a good fit for you. App Store reviews for Metro Bank are excellent scoring 4.8 out of 5 on 111k reviews a key reason it has made this list. 

metro bank joint bank account

#4

196k reviews 4.8/5

Bank Of Scotland

Scoring great App Store reviews and offering a online and in branch experience bank of Scotland is a good contender for your options for best joint bank account. If you already have a current account with Bank of Scotland it also might be an easy win to add on a joint account. 

bank of Scotland joint account

#5

341k reviews 4.8/5

First Direct

Known for their online service, first direct pride themselves with their offer. You are able to apply online for a joint bank account and First Direct offer UK telephone and online support. 

first direct joint current account

#6

430k ratings 4.8/5

Nationwide

Over 3 million people already use nationwide, it is a popular bank for sure. With a online and in-store service offering its options are definitely worth checking out. 

nationwide joint account

#7

849k reviews4.8/5

Santander

24/7 support available within the app chat and cash back options for your utility bills Santander is definitely a popular choice for many. 

Santander joint account 123

Starling Bank

Winning many banking awards and scoring consistently in customer services, starling Bank is a hard contender to beat for overall banking. With its Intuitive app that helps you budget and travel easily a joint current account with Starling is a good option for many people. 

Becoming a Starling Bank customer is easy to do simply download the app and install it on your device, to get a joint account both parties must download and open a personal current account then go into the app and open a joint account.

No further checks are required to open a joint account as Starling already has your details from your personal account. 

Go to Starling Here

  • Good To Know

  • Why We Like it

Good to know

Starling bank connected card
  • No monthly fee current account that is packed with savings features as standard such as spare change round up
  • Both parties need to have a personal account to set up
  • Arranged overdraft available
  • They are an actual bank and registered with the financial services compensation scheme, you must be a UK resident to sign up
  • Current account switch service available 

Monese - Good option for ex-pats & Low Credit Score

Not technically a bank, Monese is an electronic money institution (EMI) and offers joint mobile money accounts that you can use in many of the same ways.

Like Starling, you must open a personal current account before Monese lets you open a joint account. Monese is an excellent option for ex-pats as you don't necessarily need to be a UK resident. Any EU resident can open an account. Because Monese is not a bank, you don't need to provide the same level of authentication for credit history or proof of residence. You just need to prove your ID.

  • Good To Know

  • Why We Like it

Good to know

Monese Joint account card
  • Any resident of the UK, or if you live in any of the 30 countries in the European Economic Area can sign up.
  • Once you have a Monese personal account, it’s easy to invite someone to open a digital joint account with you. No new checks or applications – send an invite from your Monese app.
  • Your money is protected by the EU Electronic Money Directive and UK Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and not the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
  • The perfect account for budgeting, the app has built-in budget features
    • You won’t have an overdraft, so you can’t spend more money than you add



Metro Bank

Metro Bank now offers joint accounts available at branches. You must be 17 years and above and must be registered within the UK. Additionally, you will need to prove residence and identity. 

  • Good To Know

  • Why We Like it

Good to know

metro account
  • Metro Bank also offers savings accounts.
  • You can only open a joint account by going into a store, and Metro Bank are not in every town, so this could be pretty inconvenient.
  • Both account holders will need to present to open an account
  • Arranged overdraft available

Bank of Scotland

Free jointly-booked accounts are offered to existing and new customers. You can begin application processing online, but you must go to a local branch.

  • Good To Know

  • Why We Like it

Good to know

  • Offers more than just a joint current account, credit cards, arranged overdrafts mortgages are also available (subject to credit check and eligibility.)
  • Lots of branches across the UK if you want to speak to someone in person
  • Must book an appointment to open a joint account. 

First Direct

Rated number 2 for overall service quality in an independent survey, First direct has a tremendous outstanding all-around reputation for delivering a great online banking experience.

  • Good To Know

  • Why We Like it

Good to know

  • You can apply online for a joint account. It takes around 10 minutes to complete the application.
  • First Direct offer a £250 interest-free overdraft (subject to eligibility)
  • UK based customer service
  • No monthly fees



Nationwide FlexDirect Current Account

Also has a reputation for great service Nationwide has made our Joint account list. Offering various types of joint accounts Nationwide has fee-free accounts to more advanced accounts to suit all different needs. 

  • Good To Know

  • Why We Like it

Good to know

  • Must go into a branch to discuss options to open a joint account
  • If you already have a nationwide account, it is possible to add another person to your account. 
  • No monthly fees



Santander

Santander has lots of different current accounts available, including the famous 123 accounts. For a small monthly fee, you can claim cashback on your household bills, and if you have a mortgage with Santander, you could claim more. 

  • Good To Know

  • Why We Like it

Good to know

  • Must go into a branch to discuss options to open a joint account.
  • There is a minimum payment each month on some of the accounts. For example, in the 123 accounts, you must pay at least £500 a month.
  • Monthly fee on some of the accounts but there is a cash back incentive so good to weigh up your options.



How Does a Joint Account Work?

A joint account is just like any other bank account. You can use it to receive and pay bills, deposit and withdraw money, or take out a loan if you want to. When you share your money with another person, the only difference will be that both of you have access to all of your funds without having to wait for a transfer.

How to open a Joint Account

Depending on the bank you decide to go for, you may need to visit a bank. If you choose an online bank like Starling, you can apply online through their app and set up in minutes without an appointment.

When opening a joint account, you could need: 

  • ID 
  • Employment information 
  • Income details 
  • Proof of address

The bank will also ask you to sign a mandate that tells the bank how to run your account. They can give one person more power to do things without telling the other person, or they can ask for both people's permission first. Before signing a mandate, make sure you are comfortable with what it says and feel free to change it.

How are Joint Bank Accounts Protected?

Just like any other account, a joint one is 100% safe. The bank will have the same security measures in place to protect all of your accounts. FSCS protection* also covers them, so you know they are safe if anything happens to the bank.

*must be a UK bank account to be protected by FSCS protection. We have also featured Monese in this article, who are covered instead by the EU Electronic Money Directive.

Is it Possible to Close Joint Bank Accounts?

Bank accounts cannot be closed freely. You will need to fill out a request that tells the bank why you are closing your account, for example, if it has been inactive or you have found a better offer elsewhere. If you agree to close the account, only one person needs to fill in this form. If just one person wants to close the account, they can do so with the

How do I Remove a Joint Holder?

You can remove someone from a common account and leave the account in the name of the rest of the holders. A bank must obtain the permission of all the people whose accounts have been removed. 

Some banks will ask to have ID documents on file, or you can go into a branch to make a change. When a homemade moves out of your house, you can get rid of them from your home account. You could change the name of someone just to their name if they left their house.

Advantages of Opening up a Joint Bank Account

There are many benefits to opening a joint bank account. Some of these include:

  • Having a shared balance (allowing for purchases even when one person doesn't have enough funds)
  • Ability to easily transfer money between accounts without fees
  • Two people will have access to the same financial history
  • People can use the account more efficiently together so it can be easier to budget
  • Great for bills like mortgage payments

The option of having a joint account is important, and with so many options, which accounts should, you choose? It's important to find the best joint bank account that offers great service, flexible options, and other features to suit your needs and lifestyle. Many different banks offer these benefits, so you should take some time to

Drawbacks to Opening up a Joint Bank Account

There are also some drawbacks to opening up a joint bank account. Some of these include:

  • Both people have access to all of the money in the account, so it can be hard to keep track of who spends what if they are bad at managing their expenses
  • Mistakes are easy to make without getting instant notifications
  • Finances are tied. 

Which Bank is Best for Joint Account UK?

The answer depends on you and your situation. This article is designed to help inform you of that decision by showing some of the options available.

Is it Wrong to Have a Joint Bank Account?

Having a joint bank account isn't necessarily bad. It's important to understand the risks and rewards before opening an account together so you can make an informed decision.

Before deciding if it is right for you, think about how well you know this person? Are they trustworthy? Are they financially responsible? Do they have access to your accounts? Will they be able to manage their own expenses? Are you willing to allow them access to your account if they are not financially responsible? Do you have a bank that can offer an account type specifically for joint accounts?

Can you open a joint account online?

Yes, you absolutely can! The following banks which we have featured in this article can be opened online/on your phone:

  • Starling Bank: Find out more detail here. To open, download the app, and first, you and your partner (the other joint account holder) must both open personal accounts, then click to open a joint account within the app, which Starling says takes 5 minutes to do.
  • Monese: With Monese to open a joint account is simple to do. First, download the Monese App then you and your joint account partner should both set up a personal account which Monese says takes minutes to do. Once you have a personal account, all you need to do is invite your partner to open a joint account. No additional checks are needed because it is not a bank. 

Which Bank is the Best for Joint Accounts?

That depends on how you will use your joint account, the banks listed in this article have been listed for their service and individual features that will appeal to a wide variety of circumstances. Take a look at the list and consider your own needs. 

Are joint accounts worth it?

I have always had a joint account since moving in with my partner I have found them to be a great way of managing money for shared finances. Of course, everyone is different and you should take time to understand your own situation and if the benefits of joint accounts would help your situation.

How does a joint bank account affect credit rating?

When you start opening a shared bank account, your personal history can be linked to other bank account holders. If you apply for credit in the future, the lenders may be able to read your credit report on the shares you currently have. If someone shares a bank account with has a poor credit record, you may be denied a credit card or a loan due to their association with them. You might also get refused if you share an account and you have a poor credit history.

Can joint accounts have overdrafts?

You can apply for an overdraft on your bank. You need to be honest before you set up your account. If you overspend and your account gets in trouble, you are both responsible for it. For the most part, it seems oblique to agree on a bank overdraft that is necessary.

Tips for Managing Your Finances Together as one

There are some tips to help you manage your finances together as one account, such as:

  • You should always check with both people if you want to transfer money into an account
  • Encourage communication about spending and saving so you can all be on the same page
  • Keep track of everything for easy reconciliation at the end of each month/year
  • Make sure you both receive emails about possible mistakes made in your account to avoid any future issues
  • When earning a joint income, it's essential to split all of your bills and expenses evenly. This can be great for ensuring everyone takes responsibility for their own share. Still, it can also make things difficult if one person ends up paying more or less than they expected. To avoid disagreements, make sure you both draw up a budget together before splitting everything equally.
  • You can always open up multiple accounts with different banks for each person, but this is generally not advised. It makes communication between the two of you harder. You also run the risk of mismanaging your money because it's all in the same place. If you decide to go with separate accounts, it's best to set up a plan that outlines how the money will be paid back and who owes what so there is no confusion and both people know their responsibilities.
  • Who should be responsible for paying the bills and paying off your debts? It depends on who earns more. If you both earn the same amount of money, it's easier to split everything evenly. Still, if one person makes more than the other, they may be responsible for paying more bills every month.

Do I have to be married to get a joint account?

No single couple can claim on a single account, whether married or not. You could even sign up with friends or relatives.

Can we have our own debit card?

A bank has several debit cards for the same account. Some lenders offer identical card numbers with the same 16-digit number and the same CVV number. With identical cards, you can return items and get a refund more easily. Several Americans use joint credit accounts that don't require their debit cards. They use these to set up direct debit checks and standing orders to pay shared expenses. With a different CVV and sixteen-digit number, this card allows for close monitoring of individual transactions. It's always good to check your bank's options before deciding what your bank offers.

Best Joint Bank Accounts Bottom Line

Joint bank accounts are a great way to manage money in relationships. They allow you and your partner the opportunity to share finances without one person having all of the responsibility or control over what is happening with their account. 

You should always check with both people if you want to transfer money into an account, encourage communication about spending and saving so you can be on the same page, keep track of everything for easy reconciliation at the end of each month/year, make sure you both receive emails about possible mistakes made in your account to avoid any future issues when earning joint income it's important that everyone takes responsibility for their share but also makes things difficult if one person ends up paying more than they expected- this article will help guide readers through these decisions.

About the author 

Mary Elizabeth

Founder of MeMoreMoney. A self-taught finance nerd, learning by doing and experiencing. Bought first house at 21, paid off student debt, and save 100k by 30. Featured Personal Finance Expert in GO Banking Rates and Yahoo! Finance

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