Barclays has launched a new and updated student package 2010 that offers an interest-free overdraft facility, allowing students to select a limit up to GBP2,000, a free SMS service to manage finances and a range of exclusive mobile phone, broadband and laptop incentives.

Barclays said that the students opening a Student Additions bank account will be able to apply for an interest-free overdraft of up to GBP2,000 regardless of their year of study, for the duration of their time at university, and a further GBP1,000 at a rate of 8.9%.

Barclays Student Additions provides a free SMS service for the students which notifies pending debits and credits and alerts when the account is about to go overdrawn.

In addition, students will also have access to a dedicated student telephony team who will be able to answer queries and provide reassurance where required. They have a range of options available to them to operate their account: branches, telephone, online or through our leading mobile phone banking service.

As part of the student package, Barclays Student Additions offers exclusive offers and discounts through a partnership with the high street retailer Phones 4u. Students can also choose from mobile phone, mobile broadband and laptop offers.

Barclays has added that all students will receive a Visa debit card with built-in contactless technology, which allows to make card transactions of GBP15 or less by holding it up to a special reader, without the need to enter a PIN or insert the card into a terminal. The cards will continue to work as normal for chip and PIN transactions, ATM withdrawals and other functions.

Moroever, students can also purchase Barclays Student Possessions Insurance which covers students during term-time for aspects such as accidental damage to PCs, TVs or sound systems, theft of personal possessions including library books and other items college-owned, possessions whilst in transit or temporarily removed from term-time address, fraudulent use of credit cards with a 24/7 claims line and new for old replacement.

Andrew Harris, head of current accounts at Barclays, said: “Our research has shown that the key things which are important to students are flexibility and control over their finances. That’s why we have introduced free SMS text alerts, a dedicated student telephony team to support students through the life of their studies, and maintained our interest free overdraft.

“In addition, students told us that incentives which save them money on the things they need for university are important to them, so we have delivered the partnership with Phones4u offering them a range of exclusive mobile phone, broadband and laptop deals to suit them.”