As cash transactions decrease and our dependence on cards grows, it’s important to make sure your money is in the best account and bank for you. If you’ve had an account with the same bank for years, it can seem daunting to switch but there are many advantages to shopping around for the best account.
Read our guide to discover what you should consider when switching bank accounts.
As we move towards a cashless society, it’s important to know that our money is secure. We place a lot of faith in our banks being safe, but the financial crash proved that not all banks are stable.
Just as individuals have credit ratings, so too do all companies, organisations and governments and the banks are no exception. Before opening an account check the bank’s credit rating.
It’s worth checking out the fees you could incur with any bank account as this could have a costly implication. For example, if you go into an overdraft, these fees can mount up quickly if the repayments aren’t made.
Check the Monthly Maximum Charges (MMC) to see the maximum amount you’d pay each month in fees, charges and interest on unarranged overdrafts. And, if you use your card abroad, check the foreign transaction fees too. These are usually up to 3%.
Interest rates can have a long-term impact on your personal savings and many banks offer a high interest rate on new account holders, so it’s always worth keeping an eye out on new products banks are offering. Traditionally, ISAs have higher interest rates compared with standard savings accounts, however this is no longer the case. If you know you won’t need your savings in the short term, Lifetime ISAs could be the answer to boosting your personal savings.
The number of people using online banking is increasing annually and according to the FCA, you are 24% less likely to suffer unarranged overdraft charges if you use a mobile banking app and text alert service. Online banking allows users to automate their finances and regularly contribute to savings and repayments. This makes it much easier to keep track of your money and highlight areas which might need extra help or attention.
Despite our move towards online systems, automated banking and mobile technology, it’s important that the bank has a good reputation for its customer service. As high street banks are closing-down, do you value being able to physically speak to someone, or are you happy to talk to someone over the phone? As a customer, it’s important to feel valued, so ensure the bank you choose values you.