How To Choose a Bank Account

After the huge banking fiasco by NatWest and RBS banks, customers are finally thinking about switching their bank accounts; a rarity as research has shown we are more likely to get divorced than change our accounts. With so many people affected by the computer glitch last Wednesday, there are a lot of angry customers whose knee jerk reaction is to close up shop on their bank and move to another. Before you do however, you should consider which type of account you want and who is best placed to offer you the best deal. With so many deals that include a high rate of interest, free overdrafts and even cash back, there are many good accounts available. To see which current account would suit you, read on:

How do you use your current account?

If you always have money in your account then you should be aiming for one that pays a good rate of interest on your balance. Santander123 current account offers cash back when you spend and a good rate of interest if you don’t. If however, you are more likely to be dipping into your overdraft each month, then look for an account that offers cheaper overdraft rates. And if you frequently miss payments you should opt for an account that charges the least amount of penalties. Halifax Reward Current account charges £5 per day that you are overdrawn which is the cheapest, while the best account for an authorised overdraft is the First Direct 1st account which would charge you £17 annually for a £500 overdraft for two weeks every month.

Do you need branch access?

There are a great many online bank accounts but if you have a problem, nothing beats being able to visit your branch easily and conveniently. And it is also a plus point to have a convenient branch situated near you if you have to pay in cheques or cash frequently. So whilst there may be some great and tempting online offers, make sure that if you need to visit your branch you can do.

Does the account require a minimum monthly deposit?

Many great deals are beholden to one basic fact, and that is that you must pay in a certain amount each month, some as much as £1,500 so if this is going to be a struggle, look elsewhere for a better deal. There are some accounts that have lower deposit requirements, and others that have no minimum at all, so make sure you check before you sign up.

What is their customer support like?

It is at times like last Wednesday when the computing glitch stopped payments going into many NatWest customers’ accounts, that you realise just how important good customer support will be. First Direct have an excellent customer rating of 93% this year and are consistently one of the top achievers in this category. So if getting good support is important to you, research which banks come out on top.

Can I get any additional benefits?

Many accounts that charge a monthly fee actually do offer additional benefits, for instance Halifax Reward account offers basic AA breakdown cover for its fee of £15 a month, and if you pay in £1,000 a month you get £5 cashback reward so the account will only cost you £10.

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