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Weigh up the benefits with current accounts

Weigh up the benefits with current accounts

Category: Banking

Updated: 19/08/2013
First Published: 19/08/2013

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The world of current accounts has changed immensely over the past few years, with many accounts now offering generous benefit packages.

Checking out the various products in the market is vital to ensure you achieve the best deal for your financial needs and lifestyle, and, essentially to determine whether or not you genuinely do need a packaged account.

The first thing to remember with packaged accounts is that you will be required to pay a fee. After all, nothing ever truly comes for free!

Most accounts promising attractive benefits charge a monthly or annual usage fee, ranging anywhere between £6 and £25, or require the account-holder to pay in a specific amount each month.

In return many accounts offer benefits such as travel, mobile phone and car insurance, with some of the more 'exclusive' accounts offering airport lounge access and concierge services.

When looking for a suitable current account, think about what you want to achieve from it. Do you want to gain the best rate of interest on your balance? Do you think you will actually use any of the benefits offered? Do you simply want an account to facilitate regular payments such as receiving your wages and making Direct Debits?

Never sign up to the first account thrust under your nose by staff in a bank or building society. Allegations of high street banks mis-selling packaged accounts to unwitting customers to meet sales targets have featured prominently in the press over recent months.

Whilst such practices are being curbed thanks to financial watchdogs, it is always best to do your research to be confident that you are getting the best deal for you.

If you are prepared to pay an annual fee of £500, the Voyage account from Investec Bank plc offers a host of attractive benefits including unlimited access to benefits such as worldwide travel insurance, access to Priority Pass airport lounges and a capped conversion fee for all overseas transactions of 2%. Cash withdrawals made at ATMs overseas will also be exempt from any charges.

Better still, Moneyfacts customers will not be expected to pay the £25,000 opening deposit!

Voyage accountholders will also have access to Ten Lifestyle Management. This exclusive service allows you to reserve tables at top restaurants or bag tickets to sold-out events at the last minute, commission-free.

It is important to remember that the £25,000 opening deposit will still apply to non-Moneyfacts customers.

Account-holders will receive a monthly interest rate of 1.50% gross per year/1.51% AER variable.

The Santander 123 Current Account pays a highly competitive rate of 3% on balances between £3,000 and £20,000, 2% from £2,000 and 1% on balances from £1,000.

Cashback of 3% can be earned on mobile phone, home phone, broadband and paid-for TV packages, whilst 2% cashback is given on gas and electricity bills. Cashback of 1% is awarded on water, council tax bills and Santander monthly mortgage payments up to £1,000.

What Next?

Apply today for moneyfacts exclusive investec voyage deal

Search the right bank account for you

How to switch current accounts

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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