Do you know what a Carers Card Account is?
This is a special feature on a bank account offered by many high-street banks. It allows restricted access via a debit card to the money in the bank account. This could be the bank account you hold and manage for your family member, or their own account if they have capacity and want a carer to have access.
The Carers Card Account lets you give debit cards to up to 2 people who care for your family member, maybe PAs carers or support workers. The money you transfer to your Carers Card is separate from your other current and savings accounts. This means your carers can get cash or go shopping for your family member.
What each bank offers is slightly different, but typically:
• you and the person you’re sharing access with needs to be 18 or older and a UK resident
• you need to have a personal current account with the bank you choose for your Carer’s Card
• no overdraft will be available, and interest won’t be paid on the balance
• the account will be in your name or your family members name if they have capacity only and only you will have full access to the account.
• the person you share access to will get their own debit card
• the person you give a card to will only be able to see limited account details
• the person you give a card to will only have a limited access to funds and you control how much
• the card can usually only be used for limited cash withdrawals or spending in physical shops – not online or over the phone.
Why might I want to use a Carer’s Card account?
You might want to use a Carer’s Card account if you’re reliant on others who care for your loved ones who pay for certain things on their behalf. Alternatively, if you provide care or help for someone, whether that’s informally or paid, then you might want to suggest a carer’s card account to them.
If you’re being cared for
Here’s how a Carer’s Card account might be useful for you:
• If you rely on your carer to shop, get cash out for you or pay certain bills and you’d like to safely provide them with an ability to pay without relying on cash.
• If you rely on family or friends in the same way without them being a formal carer.
If you provide care for someone else
Here’s how a carer’s card account might be useful for you and the person you care for:
• If you’re a carer or family or friend of a person who can’t leave the house and want to know if there’s a safe way to pay for things on their behalf with their money.
Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland – My Trusted Person Card
• This is an additional debit card linked to your personal current account. The card has its own PIN and debit card number. The person using the card won’t be able to make purchases online, abroad or over the phone, won’t be able to see your account balance, sort code or account number. The person you give your Trusted Person Card to will only be able to make purchases up to £100 a week and withdraw cash of up to £100 a week.
• You can only apply for this card by phone or by booking an appointment in branch and must be an existing customer.
Starling Bank – Connected Card
This is a ringfenced ‘space’ in your personal current account that comes with its own debit card that you can give to anyone you trust. You can put up to £200 into this ‘space’ and the person with the Connected Card can only use it for spending in physical shops. They can’t access the rest of your account, see your account balance, access your app, withdraw cash at an ATM, shop online or buy gambling products.
Santander – Carers Card Account
This is an entirely separate account rather than an additional debit card linked to an existing account. However, you must already have a Santander current or instant access savings account to be able to transfer money into it. The account allows you to give an individual card and PIN to up to two carers. Both you and your carer(s) will be able to see bank statements. The account can have a maximum balance of £1,500 but there are no other spending or cash withdrawal limits.
What you need to apply for a Carer’s Card account
If you choose a free carer’s card account offered by one of the banks listed above, you’ll need:
• A current account (or in some cases a savings account) with the bank you choose. If you don’t have an existing account, you’ll need to open a new one.
• ID and proof of address for you if you’re opening a new account. See our guide for the ID each bank requires.
• ID for the carer(s) you plan on sharing access with.
Guide for ID and proof of address
You’ll need ID and proof of address
Most banks will ask for a driving licence or passport to prove your identity – or a photo if you’re applying online, often along with a selfie.
If you don’t have these, check if they’ll accept other documents. This is normally listed on their websites.
This could include letters from:
the Department for Work and Pensions
your local council
a minister of religion
your social landlord
an armed services officer
a warden of sheltered accommodation, hostel or refuge
your care home manager
your employer, college or training provider – confirming who you are and where you live.
Or letters about your:
benefits or State Pension
Blue Badge disabled driving pass.
You might have other documents to prove your ID and address if you’re:
an international student
a migrant worker
an asylum seeker