Get to know current accounts and find out which one works for you.
Your current account is where you manage your everyday financial needs. It’s important to understand the features and benefits your current account so you can get the most from your bank and the most from your money.
If you’re thinking of switching, or are simply assessing your options, read on to find out more about UK current accounts.
What is a current account?
A current account is a bank account that lets you access a range of banking services. Such as:
- Make deposits
- Receiving money
- Make bill payments
- Transfer money between your account and others
- Make purchases online
- Set up monthly direct debits and standing orders
A current account will provide you with a debit card, cheque book, and may allow you to have an overdraft.
10 considerations for comparing current accounts
Here are some key points to compare current accounts:
1. Upfront fees and joining rewards.
Some accounts might charge a joining fee (this is becoming more and more rare. You’re probably more likely to be offered a joining reward for your custom. Vouchers, cash, exclusive deals – either way, keep an eye out!)
2. Minimum and maximum requirements.
Some accounts may require you to pay in a certain amount each month. Not doing so could incur a penalty. If you don’t think you’ll be able to keep up with the payments, steer clear of these accounts.
You want to make sure your money is working as hard as possible. Comparing interest rates to find the most competitive deals is really important when choosing current accounts.
4. Overdraft penalties.
These vary from bank to bank. It’s important to know how much you’ll be charged for dipping into your overdraft, or exceeding your overdraft limit.
5. Your current and future financial goals
Think realistically about where your current finances financially, and where you see yourself in 5, 10, or 15 years. Pick an account based on these considerations.
6. Online banking and user-friendly apps
Every year banks and providers are refining and improving their user experience. Customers can now take control of their finances through online portals and sleek apps. If there’s little to choose between two providers, perhaps this could break the tie.
7. Location and convenience
This should’nt be a prime consideration, but it’s definitely something to remember. If you prefer face-to-face customer service, it helps if the bank or building society has a branch near you!
8. Its customer support options
Similarly, if you value being able to speak to someone, make sure you check out the customer support on offer to customers.
9. Its reputation among friends, family and other consumers
Another key consideration should be the reputation of the bank, building society, or provider.
10. International transactions.
For frequent traveller’s it’s worth being aware of how much money your bank charges for international transactions. Some accounts offer better rates than others
What is the FSCS?
Short for Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the FSCS protects customers when financial services fail. Look out for their logo on the financial products you’re comparing.
Since 2001, the FSCS has helped millions of UK customers, paying out billions of pounds. If a firm has stopped trading or does not have enough assets to pay up, the FSCS will step in to protect customers.