NatWest Bank Review | Get a £175 Switching Bonus | Bobatoo

NatWest Bank Review

Wide range of current accounts

Withdraw cash without a debit card

£175 NatWest switch offer for new and existing customers

NatWest logo

What is NatWest?

NatWest Westminster Bank, more commonly known as simply NatWest, is a large retail and commercial bank based in the UK and forms part of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group.

Deemed to be one of the ‘big four’ banks in the UK, there are more than 960 NatWest branches situated across the UK as well as around 3,400 cash machines.

Given the award for ‘Best Banking App’ in the 2017 British Bank Awards, NatWest offer a wide variety of current and saving accounts alongside an array of other personal banking products.

NatWest website homepage

Current accounts

NatWest offers various current accounts, each of which is designed to suit specific needs.

To simplify matters, we’ve separated the accounts into 4 separate categories:

  • Everyday banking accounts
  • Reward accounts
  • Student & child accounts
  • Premier accounts

NatWest everyday banking

NatWest Select Account

  • No monthly fee
  • No minimum earnings
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • Personalised arranged overdraft limit
  • Withdraw up to £130 per day without a debit card

NatWest Foundation Account

  • No monthly fee
  • No minimum earnings
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • No overdraft
  • Designed for those with a poor/limited credit history

NatWest select account

A NatWest select account is the bank’s most popular current account, offering an ideal base for everyday banking. The account comes with a contactless VISA debit card as well as access to e-wallet services like Apple, Android and Samsung pay, while account holders also have unlimited access to the award-winning NatWest mobile banking app and NatWest online banking.

The account comes with a personalised arranged overdraft limit (subject to approval) and also allows account holders to withdraw up to £130 in cash from an ATM without a debit card.

NatWest foundation account

A NatWest foundation account is designed for those with a bad or low credit rating. While you cannot directly apply for a NatWest foundation account, it might be recommended to those who are turned down for one of NatWest’s other accounts.

The account comes with a contactless debit card and access to the NatWest app. It does not, however, come with a cheque book or the option to apply for an overdraft.

NatWest Reward Account

  • £2 monthly fee
  • Must pay in a minimum of £1,250 a month
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • Personalised arranged overdraft limit
  • Earn up to £5/month in rewards
  • 1% cashback from selected retailers

NatWest Reward Silver Account

  • £10 monthly fee
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • Personalised arranged overdraft limit
  • Cinema discount and Tastecard
  • Earn up to £5/month in rewards
  • Fee-free debit card usage abroad
  • European travel insurance
  • Phone insurance

NatWest Reward Platinum Account

  • £20 monthly fee
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • Personalised arranged overdraft limit
  • Cinema discount and Tastecard
  • Earn up to £5/month in rewards
  • UK breakdown cover
  • Fee-free debit card usage abroad
  • Worldwide family travel insurance
  • Phone insurance

NatWest reward account

The NatWest rewards current account costs £2 per month to maintain, but it allows account holders to earn more than double that in rewards when paying out 2 or more Direct Debits. An extra £1 per month can be earned by simply logging into the NatWest mobile banking app – these rewards can either be deposited into your account or traded up via NatWest MyRewards, where there are a range of gift cards and e-codes.

NatWest reward silver account

By upgrading to the £10 per month NatWest reward silver account, customers are able to benefit from European travel and mobile phone insurance on top of the Direct Debit cashback benefits. Not only that, but NatWest reward silver account holders get fee-free debit card usage abroad and a range of discounts for cinemas and restaurants.

NatWest reward platinum account

This NatWest platinum account costs £20 per month to maintain, but comes with a host of benefits which would undoubtedly cost more if bought independently. The NatWest travel insurance offering is upgraded from just European to Worldwide, while UK breakdown cover is also included as part of the package.

Note: All of the insurance offerings mentioned above are provided by 3rd parties. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of each individual policy when signing up to know exactly what you’re covered for.

NatWest student & child accounts

NatWest Student Account

  • Specifically for University students
  • No monthly fee
  • No minimum earnings
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • Interest-free overdraft (up to £2,000)
  • Withdraw up to £130 a day without a debit card
  • Choice of Amazon Prime Student, National Express Coachcard or Tastecard+

NatWest Child & Teen Account (NatWest Adapt Account)

  • Specifically for children aged 11 to 18
  • No monthly fee
  • 1% interest paid on balance
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking

NatWest student account

Designed to help University students manage their finances throughout their studies, the NatWest student account comes with an interest-free overdraft of up to £2,000 (£500 in the first term) and a free membership to one of three useful premium services. Named the UK’s ‘Best Online Student Banking Provider’ in 2019, NatWest are committed to making life easier for students across the country.

NatWest child & teen account

Aimed at children aged between 11 and 18, the NatWest child & teen account is a great way to introduce young people to the world of banking. Account holders earn 1% interest on their current account balance and get a VISA debit card which can be used to purchase goods and withdraw cash. This young person’s account also grants access to the NatWest app, albeit with payment restrictions in place.

NatWest premier accounts

All NatWest premier accounts require one of the following:

  • £100k sole income or £120k joint income,
  • Minimum £500k NatWest mortgage borrowing or
  • Minimum £100k savings/investments

Everyday Premier Account

  • No monthly fee
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • One-to-one support when making significant financial decisions
  • Access to 24/7 assistance

Premier Reward Account

  • £2 monthly fee
  • Must pay in a minimum of £1,250 every month
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • Up to £10 paid in monthly rewards

Premier Reward Black Account

  • £32 monthly fee
  • Contactless debit card
  • Access to online and mobile banking
  • Concierge service
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges
  • UK & European breakdown cover
  • Worldwide travel insurance
  • Cinema discounts 25% cashback on selected concerts & other live events

Everyday premier account

NatWest’s everyday premier account is free to use, but requires the account-holder to meet at least one of the three aforementioned requirements. The account is aimed at those with a significant amount of money in the bank and therefore provides expert, one-to-one assistance when it comes to making tough financial decisions.

Premier reward account

A NatWest premier reward account comes with a £2 monthly fee attached, which gives account holders the opportunity to earn up to £10 a month in rewards. These rewards can be traded up into more valuable gift vouchers or simply deposited into the NatWest current account.

Premier reward black account

NatWest’s most exclusive (and expensive) current account, the premier reward black account comes with an array of premium services including a 24/7 concierge service, access to more than 1,000 luxury airport lounges, breakdown cover across the UK and Europe, and worldwide family travel insurance. Other benefits include discounted cinema tickets and the opportunity to earn cashback on tickets for concerts, theatre performances and other live events.

Spending abroad with NatWest

Before taking your NatWest debit card abroad, be sure to register it using either the NatWest online banking app or through the NatWest online chat service.

NatWest customers are charged a 2.75% non-sterling transaction fee when spending in another currency, with the exception of premium and reward accounts which offer fee-free spending.

It should be noted that some foreign ATMs charge their own fee for withdrawing cash, while many also apply their own exchange rate – for this reason, you should always opt to withdraw money in the local currency when given the opportunity so not to be charged extra.

NatWest’s switching bonus – The Current Account Switch Service

If you’re looking to make NatWest your primary bank, you could be paid £175 in cash for simply using the Current Account Switch Service to transfer all of your money and payments to a NatWest current account.

Find out more in our blog here.

Natwest switching bonus

NatWest savings accounts*

Premium Saver

  • Suited to those saving £25,000+
  • Restrictions on withdrawals
  • Interest rate of up to 0.65%

Savings Builder

  • Suited to those saving less than £10,000
  • Save at least £50 per month
  • Earn up to 1.50% interest

Instant Saver

  • Flexible saving with no restrictions
  • Save and withdraw however much you like
  • Earn between 0.10 and 0.25% interest

Fixed Term Savings Account

  • Put money away for either 1 or 2 years
  • Earn between 0.65 and 0.90% interest

Children's Savings Account

  • Can be opened with just £1
  • Funds accessed instantly
  • 85% interest rate
  • Free piggybank for children

A NatWest premium saver is aimed at those looking to earn interest on between £25,000 and £1 million. Interest rates vary depending on how much money is held in the account and whether or not any withdrawals have been made in a given month. Holding more than £50,000 in an untouched savings account, for example, is rewarded with the maximum 0.85% interest rate.

A NatWest savings builder encourages savers to put at least £50 away each month, offering a flat interest rate of 1.50% up to £10,000. Anything over £10,000 will earn 0.20% interest while, during months in which £50 is not deposited, no interest will be earned.

A NatWest instant saver has a minimum deposit of just £1 and allows account holders to withdraw money as and when they like. Applying for an instant saver takes just 5 minutes and the account offers variable 0.10% (£1-£24,999), 0.20% (£25,000-£999,999) and 0.25% (£1,000,000+) interest rates.

A NatWest fixed term savings account allows customers to put money away for either 1 or 2 years with a minimum deposit of £500. Interest rates vary between 0.65% and 0.90%, depending on how much money is put away and for how long. As a rule of thumb, more money put away for a longer period leads to better interest rates.

A NatWest children’s savings account does what it says on the tin, allowing parents, guardians and other adults save towards a child’s future. Also known as a ‘first saver’, this account has a flat interest rate of 0.85% and a minimum deposit of just £1.

Natwest ISAs*

Cash ISA

  • Flexible, tax-free saving
  • Open with just £1
  • Instant access to savings
  • Interest rates between 0.20 and 0.75%

Fixed-Rate ISA

  • Lock money away for 1 or 2 years
  • Minimum £1,000 deposit
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Interest rates between 0.65 and 0.90%

A NatWest cash ISA offers a great way for everyday savers to put away money with interest rates ranging from 0.20% to 0.75%, depending on how much money is held in the account. Money can be accessed instantly with any interest paid on the first day of each month.

A NatWest fixed rate ISA allows customers to lock money away for either 1 or 2 years with a minimum of £1,000. Interest rates vary depending on how much money is in the account and how long it is put away for. Any earnings are paid annually.

NatWest online banking app

NatWest online banking app

Pros

  • Award-winning service
  • Touch/Face ID enabled
  • Excellent customer reviews
  • Withdraw up to £130 at an ATM without a card
  • Manage receipts
  • Pay somebody new without a NatWest card reader

Cons

  • No spending overview
  • No option to view balance from other banks
  • No option to cash in cheques digitally

The NatWest mobile banking app has been given rave reviews from customers and experts alike, and for good reason. The app features a comprehensive range of features which range from simply viewing your current account balance and making payments to managing receipts.

One of the best features of the NatWest mobile banking app is ‘GetCash’, which allows customers to withdraw up to £130 from an ATM each day without using a debit card – the perfect solution to leaving a purse or wallet at home.

From more than 23,000 reviews on the Apple App Store, the NatWest mobile banking app is rated 4.4/5. The reviews on Google Play are similarly impressive with more than 144,000 reviewers rating the app at 4.5/5.

While the NatWest app is undoubtedly reliable and has all of the basics down to a tee, it is missing the key features which make its competitors standout. These include the option to summarise spending habits, view balances from other banks and cash-in cheques online.

NatWest MyRewards

When it comes to incentives for switching to NatWest, many of them are tailored to its ‘rewards’ current accounts – some NatWest credit cards are also eligible.

Holders of a rewards current account can earn up to £5 in rewards each month. These rewards can either be paid directly into the linked NatWest current account or exchanged for vouchers at selected retailers.

At least 1% cashback can be earned when shopping with selected retailers; these rewards also contribute to the MyRewards balance and can similarly be cashed in or traded for a voucher.

NatWest MyRewards

Customer reviews

One great way of finding out the quality of service provided by a financial service provider like NatWest is to check trusted customer review websites like Trustpilot.

From more than 1,800 reviews on Trustpilot, 88% of reviewers gave NatWest either a ‘bad’ or ‘poor’ review, while just 9% rated the bank as ‘excellent’.

Some agitated customers cited ‘constant problems’ and ‘unhelpful service’ as their reasons for negative reviews, while others said they were left unsatisfied after trying to resolve issues via NatWest telephone banking.

The majority of positive reviewers said that they were left satisfied with the quality of customer service on offer in-branch, while others have stated that the NatWest fraud team is especially helpful.

Reviews (out of 5):

Trustpilot: 1.5

Reviews.co.uk: 3.5

SmartMoneyPeople: 4

ReviewCentre: 2

Average: 2.75/5

The pros and cons of NatWest

Pros:

  • Wide range of current accounts
  • Easy to switch
  • Useful ‘GetCash’ feature

Cons:

  • Poor reviews on trusted websites
  • Smartphone app lacks modern features

NatWest is a popular option for banking in the UK. However, its overwhelmingly negative reviews on websites like Trustpilot suggest that it still has plenty of issues.

Its smartphone app is sturdy, but flatters to deceive without the range of modern digital banking features found elsewhere, however ‘GetCash’ is a fantastic option which has potential to help customers on a day-to-day basis.

Its range of current accounts provides ample choice for all demographics, while there are also plenty of accounts which encourage saving.

Contact NatWest – NatWest customer service

There are a number of ways in which customers can get in touch with a NatWest advisor. These include:

NatWest phone number: 03457 888 444 (general enquiries/telephone banking)

Twitter: @NatWest_Help

Facebook: NatWest

To compare NatWest with some of the other popular bank accounts in the UK, we have a range of extensive reviews similar to this one – why not check them out?

 

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*Rates as of February 2020