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What is a current account?

A current account is the most common type of bank account in the UAE, and it allows you to manage your daily banking needs.

You’ve probably seen the term often enough, but what is the meaning of a current account? It’s quite simple really. A current bank account or transaction account is one that you can use for your day-to-day banking so you can manage your spending and income.

With a current account, you can: 

  • Receive money such as your salary or pension
  • Pay your bills
  • Set up Direct Debits or standing orders
  • Withdraw cash from ATMs
  • Pay for shopping with your debit card

You can manage most current accounts through secure mobile apps or online banking. 

Some current accounts have an arranged overdraft facility in case you’ve run short of funds. This allows you to borrow a small amount of money in the short term.

Bear in mind that fees and interest will be charged if you use your overdraft, so make sure you read the fine print before opening your account. If you're a Premier customer, the first AED5,000 over your HSBC overdraft limit is interest-free, and there are no annual renewal overdraft fees. 

If you have an HSBC account you could automatically receive an alert to warn you if your balance drops below a certain amount. You can opt out of this by contacting us or going to a branch. 

Types of current accounts

Choosing the best bank account for your needs depends on what you’ll be using it for and what features you want. Some current accounts have basic offerings while others have more advanced features. 

Standard current account

Standard current accounts usually come with a debit card and could also include a chequebook and arranged overdraft option. You may be required to maintain a minimum balance or have your salary paid into the account. 

There could be no monthly account maintenance fees and no ATM withdrawal charges if you use the bank’s network.

Packaged current account

These current accounts offer extra features but may also have higher eligibility requirements, such as a higher minimum balance or salary. You may also pay a monthly fee if you don’t meet the balance requirement. 

Benefits can include:

  • Lifestyle privileges such as airport lounge access
  • Concierge services
  • Shopping and dining discounts
  • Preferential rates on loans

Joint current account

As the name suggests, a joint current account is opened by 2 people. It may be easier to manage your shared finances such as household bills and other living expenses by keeping it all in a single account. 

You each get a debit card and can set up Direct Debits to pay household bills. Both parties will get alerts for any transactions that are made with the account. 

What do you need to open a current account?

If you want to open a current account in the UAE, you’ll need to:

  • Be at least 18
  • Have a valid UAE residency visa

Depending on the type of current account you want to open, you may also need to have a salary paid into it. Some may also require a minimum balance, otherwise you’ll be charged a monthly fee. That’s why it’s good to explore the options. 

You’ll also need to provide other documents, which could include the following: 

  • Passport
  • Emirates identification card
  • Proof of residence
  • Salary certificate

If you've applied for a residency visa and don't have your Emirates ID yet, you'll have 75 days from opening your account to give it to us. After that, you won't be able to make digital payments or use your cards until we receive your Emirates ID. Bear in mind you won't receive a chequebook either.

If you’re planning to move to the UAE but don’t have a residency visa yet, consider opening an international bank account before you move. Note that this is not a current account.

Can you have more than one current account?

Yes, you can open multiple current accounts if you want to. For instance, you could keep a current account for your bills and another account for your daily spending. Remember that the more accounts you have, the more complicated it could be to manage them all.

Personal Banking General Terms and Conditions apply.

Explore more

A current account helps you manage your everyday banking needs.
Learn about the benefits of switching your current account and whether it’s worth the hassle.
Find out what bank details to give your employer to get your salary paid into your current account.