Being the simplest type of bank account, it is no surprise that current accounts are so popular. There are more than 45 million current account holders in the UK and the vast majority keep their savings in the same account during their lifetime. Few people are aware of the different options available when it comes to finding the best current account. Many people do not realise that changing bank accounts can mean that they can find a current account with a higher interest and as a result, they miss out on key opportunities that current accounts offer.
This is why at Quiddi Compare we have created an easy to use comparison table which clearly shows the monthly fees (if applicable), the AER and the daily ATM limit – most cards allow up to withdraw between £300 and £500 each day. In addition, in the information below, we go through important aspects such as what is a current account, the different add-ons and how to find the best current account for your needs.
What is a Current Account?
A current account allows you to deposit money and withdraw without any notice. Provided by high street banks, current accounts are typically used for day-to-day transactions. They can be used to make payments, set up standing orders and cover monthly expenses if a direct debit is set up. This can help you manage your finances and allow you to keep a record of your transactions so you can you can consolidate every payment you have made.
One of the best things about a current account is the way that you can check your balance regularly. You can see your balance by visiting any ATM and by receiving a monthly bank statement in the post. You can use online banking as a way to payments and check your transactions and now banks offer an app so that you log in quickly and check your finances on the go.
Facilities available with Current Accounts
Most Current Accounts will give account holders a debit card and this is the main benefit of opening an account. Debit cards can be used in-store or online for purchases from various stores and you can also withdraw cash from an ATM. It is important to be aware of the fact that some shops may only let you pay buy card when you spend over a certain amount so be sure to look into this before buying something.
With the development of contactless technology you can use your debit card to make small purchases and this saves you time, as you don’t need to enter your chip and pin. This technology is being used more and more nowadays. For example, you can now use a contactless card to pay for London bus and underground tickets. This technology is likely to continue to develop in the future so there will be even more opportunity to use a debit card.
In addition, most current accounts come with chequebooks. Writing cheques can be a safe and useful way to make payments. The only person who can cash in a cheque is the person that the cheque is written out to so in many ways cheques are a safer way to make payments then cash.
Some accounts come with overdraft facilities, which allow you to spend more than the amount of money deposited in your current account. Usually, you will be charged a high interest fee for making use of this service.
Joint Current Accounts
It is also possible to open a Joint Current Account. This allows more then one person to share a current account. This can be especially useful when you have share accommodation with someone and want to split the expenses such as water, heating and electricity.
Many people are put off opening joint current accounts because they are worried about giving another person access to their finances that they could use for shopping sprees. This is why it is essential to only open a joint current account with someone that you trust and have known for a long time. There are also some neat benefits of opening a joint account such as railway discounts.
Packaged Current Accounts: The Perks
Some current accounts offer a variety of services with them. These can range from free breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance, discounted travel insurance and subsidised gym memberships. Usually, in order to receive these benefits account holders have to pay a monthly fee.
When applying for a current account, you need to think about how likely you are to use these perks and whether it will still be the best product for you. A good idea is to consider how likely you are to go overdrawn. If you regularly go over your limit or think that you have an expensive few months ahead, you should look at products with low overdraft fees, for instance.
Cashback Current Accounts
Several building societies and banks offer cash back as an incentive to encourage you to use their current accounts. It is important to consider how the cash back will be paid as it could be once you transfer the money to your current account or when you spend money on your account. Understanding the exact terms of the cash back will allow you to maximise the benefits on offer.
How to find the best current account
Firstly, you should look at whether you will use the overdraft facility. If this is the case then picking a current account that charges a lower fee for interest using an overdraft is obviously going to be a priority. It is also essential that you check that the overdraft facility is available in the first place.
Secondly, if you are interested in receiving high interest payments on a positive balance, you should compare the different interest available.
Thirdly, consider the different perks that might save you money such as discounted travel insurance. However, since you are usually charged a monthly fee for these services you should calculate how significant the net savings you can make from these services are. Do not let any short term incentives distract you from more important aspects of the current account such as overdraft fees.
How to open a new current account
However at Quiddi Compare we have managed to make finding the best current account for your needs a much easier task. We analyse the market to bring you the best deals in a way that it easy for you to compare. This can save you huge amounts of money and valuable time. Simply click on the account of your choice and you will be taken directly to the provider’s website where you can apply. Our site is completely free for customers as we simply take a small introductory fee from providers. We will not require you to fill in your details and we won’t pass on your information to third parties.
See also: Current accounts for children and teenagers.