Have you got the best deal with your current account?

While we Brits will shop around for hours to find the best deal on a television or a pair of shoes, there seems to be a complacency when it comes to our bank accounts. There are many of us who have had the same bank account for years, and because it does what we want it to, and we feel comfortable dealing with our banks we seem loathe to look around to see what other banks are offering.

The fact is that every bank is now vying for business, and there are some fantastic current accounts available these days that we know nothing about, simply because we feel cosy and safe with our own. There are even some who have such old bank accounts they don’t even have a debit card, but the thought of change leaves them cold, so they choose to stick with their ancient account.

All current accounts serve the same basic purposes; wages and other payments are accepted, direct debits and standing orders can be set up to pay bills and money can either be withdrawn from a cash machine or spent via a debit card. There are many now, however, that also work on a reward system where you get cash back dependent on how much money is being paid in each month, these usually apply if £1000 or more is paid in every month.

There are also current accounts that for a nominal monthly fee, usually around £10, you also benefit from the likes of car breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance, travel insurance, card protection and home emergency cover. These accounts are increasing in popularity as customers are realising what a good deal they are and are happy to pay the small monthly fee for the peace of mind that they are covered for all of the above.

Overdrafts are the bugbear of many bank account holders, particularly those with older or very basic accounts as many of these have no kind of overdraft facility, so if you are a couple of pounds short for a direct debit coming out, regardless of the fact your wage goes in the next day, the DD will be returned to the claimant and you will be charged.

All the good current accounts have overdraft facilities, and the terms and conditions of these are made clear to you when you open the account. Authorised overdrafts let you go overdrawn up to a set amount, while an unauthorised overdraft is usually at the discretion of the bank, but does away with the scenario mentioned earlier regarding being short for your DD just before pay day.

Banks receive a lot of bad press for various reasons, but in reality they are a business just like anything else. They are in a highly competitive market at a time when the economy is struggling, yet they are still offering great deals to customers in order to get them to open accounts. It’s time to ditch that old account and look for a new one that will offer you all the services you expect in the 21st century.