Recognized as a pioneer in digital banking, Cashplus has been operational since 2005 and has earned a solid reputation for its easy-to-use bank accounts and customer-centric approach.
This UK-based fully regulated bank provides a wide range of services, including personal accounts, business accounts, credit cards and travel cards. It offers flexibility and control over finances, emphasising a low entry barrier for those with credit challenges.
My review will provide a detailed analysis of the various aspects of Cashplus’s personal bank account, including its features, eligibility criteria, account types, fee structure, security, and more.
If you’d like to read a specific Cashplus business account review, please click the link.
Cashplus: My Verdict
There’s a lot to recommend Cashplus for a personal bank account, especially if you’ve faced credit issues in the past.
It’s fully regulated, FCSC-protected, and very quick to open an account. You can also get an overdraft which is rare amongst challenger banks, although this is dependent on eligibility.
You can deposit cash (again, not all challengers allow this), use a Mastercard debit card (prepaid), and add a prepaid USD or Euro travel card to your account if you want to travel without getting stung on FX charges.
It’s my top choice for a personal bank account for those with impaired credit. Direct competitors would be the Monese Simple Plan account or Suits Me Essential Plan, but these are simply prepaid cards rather than full bank accounts.
Cashplus offers a much easier account to open than a high street account, as it requires no credit check. However, if you are eligible for Starling (only requiring a ‘soft’ credit check), it is a better bank account offering and very hard to beat.
Pros & Cons of Cashplus
- No credit checks
- Quick and straightforward account setup.
- Creditbuilder feature that helps users enhance their credit score.
- Allows for opening multiple accounts in GBP and EUR at no additional cost.
- Pay in cash at any Post Office
- Balance limit of 10k
- No physical branches
- Creditbuilder functionality is only available on the premium plan (£5.95 per month)
- Customer service feedback is mixed; some users have reported delays and less than satisfactory experiences.
|Banking app and Online Banking||Can be used online, in-store, and over the phone in over 200 countries worldwide, wherever the Mastercard acceptance mark is displayed.|
|Contactless Mastercard||Alerts for when a Direct Debit is due, and the account does not have sufficient funds to cover it, prompting a deposit of funds.|
|Creditbuilder||Designed to help improve your credit rating by turning your monthly fees into a loan agreement. There’s no extra cost to add it to your account.|
|Payment Alerts||UK-based Customer Services Team|
|Ability to set up Direct Debits from your account or arrange standing orders for recurring payments.||Provides account information, help with lost or stolen cards, or other assistance.|
|Direct Debits and Standing Orders||Ability to set up Direct Debits from your account, or arrange standing orders for recurring payments.|
|Post Office Branch Services||Partnership with the Post Office allows cash deposits into your account at any UK branch. The money is available instantly.|
|Purchase Protection||Shop online with added peace of mind. Most purchases made online with the Cashplus Card are protected.|
|FSCS protection||Your money is protected up to £85,000 by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).|
Brief History of Cashplus
Cashplus, a product brand of Advanced Payment Solutions (APS), was first introduced in September 2005, making it one of the first prepaid credit cards to be launched in the UK. By 2008, Cashplus had emerged as Europe’s leading MasterCard-based prepaid service.
In February 2021, after 15 years of operation, Cashplus received its full UK bank license, marking its entry as a challenger bank in the UK financial market. This license enables Cashplus to use a portion of the £500 million in deposits from its 1.6 million customers for lending. The firm has set an ambitious goal to provide £1bn of credit to UK small businesses to support the UK’s post-Covid-19 recovery.
Cashplus has been an active lender, with total lending of over £640m, utilizing advanced data techniques to support its underwriting capabilities. Moreover, the company has been profitable, reporting nine consecutive years of operating profit since 2012, which is an achievement many other challenger banks have not been able to replicate.
Further expanding its services, in January, Cashplus signed a definitive agreement to acquire the current account portfolio of icount, which resulted in migrating five thousand accounts and £2 million in monthly transactions from icount to Cashplus.
Eligibility for a Cashplus Account
- You must be a resident of the UK.
- You must be at least 18 years old. However, additional cardholders can be added to the account as long as they are at least 13 years old.
- Your personal name and address details provided during the application will be verified. If Cashplus is unable to verify these details, they will request additional documents from you in order to open your account.
- Cashplus does not conduct credit checks to open a personal account. This can be beneficial if you have a low credit score or if you’re looking to build or improve your credit history. In fact, Cashplus offers a service called Creditbuilder, which could help improve or build your credit history at no extra cost.
|Features||Freedom Account||Activeplus Account|
|Monthly Fee||❌||£5.95 Monthly Fee|
|ATM Withdrawals||✅||✅ (up to £50 p.m)|
|UK Purchase Transaction Fee||✅ No fee||✅ No fee|
|Bank App & Online Banking||✅||✅|
|Post Office Branch Services||✅||✅|
|Contactless Prepaid Mastercard||✅||✅|
|App Rating (iOS)||✅ (4.7 stars)||✅ (4.7 stars)|
|Trustpilot Rating||✅ (4/5)||✅ (4/5)|
|Order and Manage Additional Cards||❌||✅|
|Get Spending Insights||❌||✅|
|Block Certain Transactions||❌||✅|
|Block a Card if Lost/Stolen||❌||✅|
|Order a US$ or EURO Card for Travel||❌||✅|
Opening an Account with Cashplus
To open a Cashplus Bank Account, certain eligibility requirements must be met, and some information must be provided for verification.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process.
Step 1: Confirm Eligibility
An applicant must be a UK resident and at least 18 years old for personal applications. Additional Cashplus Bank Account cardholders must be at least 13 years old.
Step 2: Submit the Application
An application can be started online or via the Cashplus Bank app. During this process, Cashplus will attempt to verify personal or business name and address details with the information provided.
Step 3: Document Verification
If the provided details can’t be verified during the application process, Cashplus will request some documents to proceed with account opening.
Step 4: Application Progress Check
The progress of the Bank Account application can be checked using the Cashplus application status tracker. For this, the ten-digit application reference number that appeared on the confirmation email or letter sent by Cashplus when applying will be needed.
Step 5: Account Approval
Once the application has been approved, a Cashplus Bank Account and Debit Card are guaranteed given that the required details can be verified.
What are the Cashplus Fees & Charges?
|Feature||Freedom (£)||Activeplus (£)|
|UK Purchases||3 free, then 0.99||9 free, then 0.99|
|Payments (in-app or online)||0.00||0.00|
|Additional Cards||5.95 per card||5.95 per card|
|Post Office Cash Deposits||0.5% fee, Min 3.00||0.5% fee, Min 3.00|
|Deposit by Bank Transfer||Free||Free|
|ATM Withdrawal Fee||0.00, 3 Non-UK||2.00, 3 Non-UK|
|Account Balance Limit||10,000||10,000|
|Maximum Daily ATM Withdrawal||500||500|
|Single Outbound Bank Transfer Limit||5,000||5,000|
|Contactless Transaction Limit (Cumulative £)||225||225|
|Max Payments in a Calendar Month||30||30|
|Post Office Cash Deposits (Per Day/Per Year)||2-500 / 10,000||2-500 / 10,000|
Is Cashplus Bank Safe?
Cashplus employs a combination of user-level, system-level, browser, network, and software security measures to ensure a safe banking experience for its customers.
- System Security: Cashplus uses 256-bit secure encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect customer data. The bank’s servers and websites are regularly tested by independent security experts to ensure their safety. If the online banking session remains inactive for more than 15 minutes, it will automatically time out. After multiple failed login attempts, the account will be locked, and customers will have to contact the bank to unlock it. Any account detail resetting or disclosure of confidential information over the phone will require prior identity verification.
- Browser Security: Cashplus recommends that customers use the latest versions of browsers for improved security and optimal user experience.
- Network Security: Cashplus uses secure server systems or firewalls to protect their network and computers.
Is Cashplus bank good for international payments?
I found it straightforward to receive money from overseas with Cashplus. You need to provide your Cashplus account’s IBAN and the bank’s SWIFT code (beginning with “NWBK”) to receive money from international sources. Transfer times typically range from 1 to 5 business days, which can be expedited by banks that support fast transfers.
However, It costs 15 GBP per incoming international payment, which I found unnecessarily steep. Also, if you’re not mindful, you could inadvertently end up paying double conversion fees when receiving a transfer in a currency different from your account’s.
The account comes with a MasterCard debit card accepted in over 200 countries, making paying abroad simple.
Overall, this is not an account that excels at international transfers. It is feasible, but accounts like Revolut are notably cheaper.
Does Cashplus offer an overdraft?
Cashplus offers its personal account holders an arranged small overdraft feature, designed to act as a short-term safety net for financially challenging periods. This overdraft can extend up to £500 only.
Here’s how it works: the first £5 of your overdraft usage is free, meaning no interest is charged on it. However, any daily overdraft balance exceeding £5 will attract interest. The representative APR is 69.9% variable, based on an arranged overdraft limit of £100 and an interest rate of 57.07% EAR (variable). Detailed information about your interest rate can be found in your monthly statements.
Any attempted payments that would exceed your overdraft limit will be declined. Consistent on-time payments are essential, as late or missed payments can negatively impact your credit rating.
What is Cashplus creditbuilder?
Cashplus offers a unique feature called Creditbuilder, designed to help improve your credit score. This service is a particularly beneficial tool for those who have recently moved to the UK, have a limited credit history, or simply want to boost their current credit score.
Creditbuilder works as a 12-month loan that you repay in 12 easy instalments. Cashplus lends you the equivalent of 12 months of account fees (£71.40 with an Activeplus account), but these funds are held by the bank and are not available for you to spend. You pay your monthly account fee as you normally would, and Cashplus counts this as a payment against your Creditbuilder loan. Each of these payments is then reported to the Credit Reference Agencies.
By making all 12 payments on time, you will successfully pay off your Creditbuilder loan, which could positively affect your credit score. The process of signing up for Creditbuilder is straightforward; existing Cashplus customers can simply add Creditbuilder to their account via online banking without any joining fees. If you’re new to Cashplus, you will need to open an Activeplus account and request Creditbuilder as an ‘add-on’ during the application process.
As you go through the Creditbuilder program, you can easily monitor your progress via the Creditbuilder dashboard on the online banking platform or through the Cashplus banking app. This feature provides useful information such as your payment dates, outstanding balance, and payment history.
Cashplus Personal Credit Card
The Cashplus Credit Card is offered by invitation only, based on whether you’ve been a customer with them for some time and kept your account in good standing.
It’s essentially a credit builder credit card, offering up to 56 days’ interest-free credit on purchases if you clear your balance in full each month.
It comes with no annual fee and has a representative APR of 39.9%.
Overall, with an APR that high, you’ll want to use the card responsibly, and because the whole account is available to those with low credit scores, the rates are not unreasonable.
The cash withdrawal rate is extremely high, however, at 49.94% so you’ll want to save that for emergencies only.
It’s easy to make repayments through the excellent Cashplus app or over the phone (0330 024 0924). Cashplus request that each month you pay off at least 5% of your balance at that point or £10.00 – whichever is greater.
The minimum credit limit offered on the card is £100, while the maximum is currently £3,000.
Cashplus Customer Service
Cashplus has a UK-based call centre that’s staffed 8am to 8pm Monday to Fridayand Saturday from 8am to 4pm.
I have found their customer service helpful, though have experienced the odd delay when trying to reach them. This is borne out my the Trustpilot reviews which do show a fair number of customer who have experienced delays in reply or issue resolution.
Cashplus has a 4.0-star average out of 8700 + reviews on Trustpilot, with an overall score of ‘great.’
54% of reviewers gave the provider 5 stars, citing a ‘quick sign-up, ‘helpful staff’, ‘excellent company’ and ‘helpful and patient.’
However, 30% of users only gave Cashplus one star, which is slightly higher than average. The one-star reviewers speak of ‘no follow up from customer service,’ ‘and ‘unprofessional.’
Alternatives to Cashplus
|Monthly Cost (standard account)||FREE||FREE||FREE||FREE||FREE|
|UK registered bank account||✅||❌||✅||✅||❌|
|Direct debits/Standing orders||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|Fee-free spending abroad||❌||✅*||✅||✅||✅|
|Fee-free cash withdrawals abroad||❌||✅*||✅||✅*||✅*|
|Current account interest||❌||✅||✅||❌||❌|