Tesco Bank is relatively new to the UK bank scene, having only been in operation since the late 1990s. However, what Tesco Bank lacks in years it makes up for by offering a good range of bank accounts.

About Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank has been in operation since the late 1990s. The UK supermarket chain, Tesco and The Royal Bank of Scotland launched the new bank as a joint venture in 1997 to compete with rival supermarket bank, Sainsbury’s Bank. Today it provides accounts to over six million customers.

Who owns Tesco Bank?When it first launched, Tesco and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) jointly owned the bank. However, Tesco later took over the shares owned by RBS, which means Tesco Bank is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesco plc.

The History of Tesco Bank

An analogue clock with the time set to four o clock
  • 1997 - Tesco and RBS establish Tesco Personal Finance.
  • 2008 - Tesco buys out the shares owned by RBS for £950 million.
  • 2009 - It renames Tesco Personal Finance, Tesco Bank.
  • 2009 - Branches are rolled out into Tesco Supermarkets.
  • 2014 - The bank launches its current account.
  • 2016 - Tesco Bank closes the remainder of its branches and becomes a completely online bank.

Tesco Bank news

Although Tesco Bank is relatively new to the banking game compared to many other high-street banks, some of which have been around for hundreds of years, it has hit the headlines a few times.

  • 2016 - Customers of the bank report that large sums of money have been lost from their accounts. As a result, the bank suspends its online transactions and confirms that 9,000 of its customers have been affected and over £2.5 million of customer money was stolen by hackers. The bank was subsequently fined £16.4m by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • 2019 - The bank cuts its current account interest from 3% to 1%.

Is Tesco Bank safe?

Following the 2016 cyber attack that saw millions of pounds stolen from Tesco Bank accounts, many will be wary to trust it with their hard-earned money. It transpired that Tesco Bank had been warned several times prior to the attack of the risks in its security, but was either unaware or unequipped to deal with the sheer size of the attack. It did, however, manage to stop almost 80% of the unauthorised transactions.

Tesco Bank and many other banks learned valuable lessons from this attack, and Tesco Bank has put in comprehensive improvements to its security. It also refunded all affected customers by restoring their balance to the amount in their account before the attack occurred, and some customers received further compensation.

Types of Tesco Bank account

Tesco Bank has a slightly smaller selection of accounts than some of its competitors. However, the accounts it does offer are definitely worth a look at. It also offers additional products such as Home Insurance, Car Insurance, and Travel Insurance.

Consumer Association, Which? ranks Tesco Bank as the 6th best bank, ahead of all the big four UK banks.

Who are the Big Four?The Big Four is the name given to the largest banks in the UK. These are HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Current accounts

To keep things simple, Tesco Bank offers just one current account, aptly named Tesco Bank Current Account.

With a Tesco Bank Current Account, you receive:

A man holding a sign with a thumbs up icon on it
  • A contactless Visa debit card
  • Double Tesco Clubcard points
  • 1% AER on balances up to £3,000
  • Access to mobile and online banking

What are Tesco Clubcard points?Clubcard is the reward scheme run by the supermarket chain, Tesco. Customers can collect points whenever they shop in store, at Tesco petrol stations, or online at Tesco.com. Every three months, Clubcard points get converted into vouchers to use at Tesco and at Clubcard partners such as Cineworld and PizzaExpress. Tesco Bank customers receive double the points whenever they use their Tesco Bank debit card to shop at Tesco.

Joint account

A Tesco joint account provides the same function and features as its current account. The only difference is that with it being a joint account, both account holders have full access to the account and the money held in it.

Both account holders receive a debit card and access to Tesco Bank services such as online and mobile banking.

Any two people can open a joint account as long as they live at the same address. However, it is important to know that both account holders are responsible for the account, including any debt that is incurred.

Loans and overdrafts

Current account holders can apply for an overdraft when they apply for an account or any time after via its online banking service. Customers accrue interest on the amount overdrawn which is then charged monthly.

Overdrafts are only available to eligible customers and can lead to a negative credit rating if not managed properly. Always do your research before considering applying.

Loans are also available from Tesco Bank and we have put together some handy information on the Loans available to you (Coming Soon).

Credit cards

Unlike its current account, Tesco Bank offers more than one type of credit card, depending on your eligibility and requirements.

Read more about Tesco Bank Credit Cards (Coming Soon).

Tesco Bank branches

Tesco Bank initially introduced in-store branches in select Tesco supermarkets. However, this was discontinued in 2016 and the remaining branches were closed. However, Tesco Bank customers can still perform some actions in Tesco supermarkets at the Customer Service Desk, including:

  • Deposit between £5 - £2,000 in cash
  • Withdraw up to £500

Customers are unable to deposit a cheque in store and will have to post these. Customers are encouraged to use the bank’s online, mobile, and telephone banking services to conduct any other banking activity, or use a nearby cash machine to withdraw larger sums of cash.

How to open a Tesco Bank account

It is important to know that you cannot open a Tesco Bank account in a Tesco supermarket, and you will need to complete your application online. The upside to this is that it is normally a much faster process and you receive an instant decision on your application.

To apply online for a sole or joint account, you will need:

A smiling woman lay on top of a pile of cash
  • Details of your monthly income
  • Your existing bank account details
  • Your address history for the last three years

To be eligible for a current account, you will need to be:

  • 18 years of age or older, and
  • Not have more than one current account with Tesco Bank already

The online application will ask you to confirm the above information along with some personal details, such as your name, date of birth, and contact details.

Tesco Bank Logo

Open a Tesco Bank account today

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Switch to Tesco Bank

If you have a bank account with another Bank or Building Society, you can switch to Tesco Bank using the Current Account Switch Service.

What is the Current Account Switch Service?The Current Account Switch Service is a free service that enables you to switch your current account from one Bank or Building Society to another. The service takes seven days, and it moves all of your incoming and outgoing payments and current balance over to your new account for you.

You can request the Current Account Switch Service as part of your application and Tesco Bank will arrange for the following to be transferred from your old account to your new account:

  • Your existing balance
  • Your incoming payments, such as your salary
  • Your outgoing payments, such as your direct debits and standing orders

Any payments accidentally made to your old account will be automatically redirected to your new account, and Tesco Bank will contact the sender to give them your new account details.

Compare the best bank accountsStill unsure if Tesco Bank is the right bank for you? Then why not compare the best bank accounts to see what other options are available.

How to close a Tesco Bank account

If you are already a Tesco Bank customer looking to close down your account, you can do so by contacting its customer service team. Tesco Bank will close your account immediately and repay you any remaining balance to an account of your choice.

Find the best contact information for Tesco Bank (Coming Soon)

Using your Tesco Bank account

Once you are up and running with your new Tesco Bank account, it is fairly easy to manage.

Tesco Bank provides each customer with a range of services, such as online, mobile, and telephone banking so that you can manage your account 24/7, and because Tesco Bank issues its accounts with either a Visa or MasterCard debit/credit card, you can spend with your account all over the world.

Online Bankig

Along with nearly every UK bank, Tesco Bank provides its personal banking customers with online banking. You can register for online banking as part of your application, or at any point after if you would prefer to wait.

Tesco Bank’s online banking gives you the ability to:

  • View your transactions
  • Send money and receive payments
  • Request an overdraft
  • View and manage your direct debits and recurring payments
  • View your account details
  • View your statements
  • Move money between your accounts
  • Set up alerts to let you know if your balance goes above or below a certain amount

Mobile App

So that you can access your account on the go, Tesco Bank also has a mobile banking app. The app is available to download for free from the App Store and Google Play Store and gives you the same features and benefits as its online banking service.

The Tesco Bank app is rated 4.4 / 5 on the Google Play Store and 4.8 / 5 on the App Store. Apple Watch users can also download the app to their device to quickly check their available balance.

Telephone Banking

Sometimes people find it easier to speak to a person instead of managing everything online; Tesco Bank has you covered with its 24/7 call centre.

Find the best contact information for Tesco Bank (Coming Soon).

Tesco Pay+

In a rush in the supermarket or left your card at home? With the Tesco Pay+ app you can pay for your shopping and collect your Clubcard points by scanning your phone, even if you are not a Tesco Bank customer.

The app is available for iPhone and Android phones, and once downloaded all you need to do is:

  1. Sign in with your Tesco account
  2. Add a debit or credit card (You’ll only need to do this once)
  3. Open the app and scan the displayed QR code at the till
  4. Your shopping will be paid for by your registered card, and the Clubcard points will be added to your account automatically

Using your account abroad

Tesco Bank issues its current account customers with a Visa debit card, and its credit card customers with a Visa or MasterCard credit card so you can rest assured knowing you can use your card anywhere in the world.

There are fees which apply for using your card abroad or in a currency other than pound sterling.

Fee Debit Card Credit Card
Non-Sterling Transaction Fee 2.75% 2.75%
Non-Sterling Cash Fee 2.75% + an additional 1% fee 2.75% + an additional 3.99%

Tesco Bank uses the Visa or MasterCard exchange rate when you use your account abroad or in a currency other than pound sterling.

Two guys holding money

You can use the Tesco Bank Mobile App or Online Banking to keep track of your spending whilst abroad and see the exchange rate that was applied to your purchase or ATM withdrawal.

If you travel abroad frequently, there are other options available which avoid the fees that Tesco Bank and other high street banks charge. Most digital banks have zero fees for using your card abroad, and some even give you the ability to have multiple accounts with them in different currencies for no extra cost.

Find out more about Digital Banks (Coming Soon).

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