Is it Worth Switching Current Accounts?

There are many people these days that switch their current accounts, but it might seem rather a hassle and you may wonder whether it is worth the effort. However, there must be a reason that people are switching so it is worth looking into it.

Current accounts can vary quite a lot in what they offer to their customers. This is because banks now understand that people will be prepared to switch to a different current account should one look better. It used to be that people were loyal and would usually bank with the place their parents used and stay with them for life. However, there are now a lot more banks and it is easier to switch as dealing with swapping the direct debits and things like that is a lot simpler as banks, by law, have to help you with it.

It can therefore be good to start by thinking about what you expect from your current account. Many people like an account which provides them with a cheque book and a credit card. Often an overdraft is desirable as well. Some would like to make sure that the overdraft is of a decent size and that the interest rate on it is competitive. It is important to think about this if you use the overdraft a lot. Some accounts offer other things such as interest payments on positive balances, cashback on purchases and free insurance, but you may have to pay a monthly fee for these. Therefore it is worth thinking about whether if you took out an account like this, you would benefit from it. Do some calculations and work out whether you would save money or not.

Even if it does make financial sense to swap, you may have other reasons for staying as well. It might be that you have linked accounts, perhaps savings accounts and it is convenient for them to be with the same place. You might transfer money regularly and like to be able to do it quickly. You may get a better rate on your savings if you hold a current account with the place as well. Take a look at the terms to see if this is the case.

You may also like to be with somewhere that has a branch local to you. This could mean that there is still a decent selection, but it will obviously depend on how large a town you live near to. It can be that you like the personal contact that you get with a branch or it might even be that you like to speak to particular staff members. If this is the case then it would be understandable that you may not want to swap at all as you have built up a loyalty and trust.

It is right to be wary as well. There are often good deals offered for current accounts, but if you do a comparison every six months, there are often different ones that come up top. This means that they are all changing hat they offer over time. It could mean that once they draw in a decent amount of customers they change what they are offering, so they may lower interest rates or raise overdraft rates or things like that. This means that you will need to be on the alert and regularly check to see whether you really are getting the best deal or whether there are better ones you need to switch to. This means that you could end up switching every six months or year. This might be fine if you do not mind doing it, but some people may find it too much of a hassle and decide that they would just rather stick with where they are.

There are ways of getting round it though. You can keep your main account open still, but open another and set up a few direct debits form it and transfer money from the main account into each month (if you have to put money in, which you often do) but then transfer it out again. So you can have the advantages of your account but also use another and have the advantages of that as well and if you want to change that newer account you will not have so many standing orders or direct debits to change etc so it could make things easier. However, sometimes having too many accounts can be complicated, so think about whether this would be a good solution for you or whether you are better off keeping things simple.

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