Choosing a bank account - it seems simple, right? It can be, but with so many different bank accounts and incentives now available it pays to compare your options. The guides on this page will help you understand the world of bank accounts, so that you can choose wisely and manage your money in the best way possible.
Current accounts are bank accounts which are generally used for your normal day-to-day banking. The vast majority of current accounts come with a debit card for making purchases and withdrawing cash from ATMs. You'll also be able to use your account to set up direct debit and standing order payments. Depending on your circumstances and credit status you may also be offered a cheque book and/or an overdraft facility. Overdrafts are only really intended for short-term borrowing needs and should be managed very carefully.
Some premium bank accounts will charge a monthly fee in return for a number of added benefits. These benefits can range from phone insurance and breakdown cover, to restaurant and cinema vouchers. Benefits will vary between bank accounts and usually reflect how much you are paying on a monthly basis. It pays to compare your options when applying for a packaged account so that you can find an account with benefits you will actually use.
It's now common for banks to offer incentives in return for you switching from your existing bank account. Incentives differ between providers but are often offered in the form of cash which is credited to your new account. To qualify for a switch incentive account you'll probably have to deposit a certain amount into the new account or set up regular payments. This helps the bank to work out if you have genuinely switched accounts.