AccordingtoasurveybyAgeConcern,only16%ofpeopleswitchtheirmainbankaccount,whereas45%ofmarriagesendindivorce。

Soyouarealmostthreetimesmorelikelytobreakupwithyourotherhalfthan?

withyourbankmanager。

Andyetbankstreattheircustomersfarworsethanmostex-spouses。

Theaverageinterestratepaidoncurrentaccountsisamiserly0。

75%atthemoment,whilethecomplaintsandlegalwranglingsoverextortionateoverdraftsrumbleon(see:Dontloseoutonbankchargerebates)。

Sothechancesarethatifyouhaventswitchedbankaccountssincedecimalisationcamein,oryouwereluredinbyafreerailcard,thenyouarenotgettingthebestdeal。

Andgiventhatswitchingaccountsisalotlesstimeconsumingthanyoumightthink,itstimetobreakupwithyourbankandfindacurrentaccountthatlooksafteryou。

Whattolookforwhenhuntingforthebestbankdeal

Beforeyoudecidewhichbankaccountisbestforyou,thinkaboutyourbankinghabits。

Andbehonestwithyourself。

Theresnopointgettinganaccountwithagreatinterestrateifyouspendmostofyourtimeinthered,especiallyastheseaccountsusuallyhavethemostpunishingoverdraftpolicies。

Soifyoulivelifeintheblack,thenlookforthebestinterestrate。

Ifyouregularlygointoyouroverdraft,thenfindanaccountwiththelowestoverdraftcharges。

Readthesmallprint

Butdecipheringtheinterestrateonanaccountiseasiersaidthandone。

Twobanksarecurrentlyadvertisingseeminglyattractivedeals,offeringfixedpaymentswhichmakeabigdifferencetothereturnonyourmoneyatthesetimesofmiserlyinterestrates。

AllianceLeicesterwillgiveyou£100ifyouswitchyourcurrentaccounttothem。

Meanwhile,Halifaxwillgiveyou£5amonth(aftertax)tobankwiththem。

Butarethesedealsanygood?

Andifso,whichshouldyougofor?

Halifaxs£5-a-monthdeal

LetstaketheHalifaxaccountfirst。

Toreceivethe£5monthlypaymentyouhavetopay£1,000intoyourRewardcurrentaccounteachmonth。

Over12monthsthatsapaymentof£60。

Butrememberthatsnetoftax–thegrosspaymentis£75。

Soifyoumaintainanaveragebalanceof£1,000intheaccount,youregettingawhopping7。

5%annualinterestrate。

Thatlooksgood–butitsworthtakingalookattheAllianceLeicesteraccountbelowbeforeyoumakeadecision。

TheHalifaxaccountisdefinitelynotforthosewhoarecontinuallyinthered,however。

Yougetthe£5amonth,evenifyouareoverdrawn,butthismeanslittleonceyouveseentheheftyoverdraftfees。

Thoseintheredarecharged£1adayonauthorisedoverdraftsupto£2,500,risingto£2adayonlargeroverdraftsand£5adayonunauthorisedoverdrafts。

AllianceLeicesters£100offer

AllianceandLeicestersofferisalittlemorecomplicated。

SwitchtoitsPremiercurrentaccount(nottobeconfusedwithitsPremierDirectcurrentaccount)usingtheirPremierSwitchingServiceandyoullreceive£100。

Theaccountitselfonlypays0。

5%AERonbalancesofupto£2,500,andyouhavetofundtheaccountwith£500amonth。

ItsalsonotopentocustomerswhohavehadanALorAbbeyaccountinthepastthreemonths。

Evenifyouraveragebalanceis£2,500,the£100bonusbeatsthereturncurrentlyavailableonotherbest-buyaccounts。

Forabasic-ratetaxpayer,the£100bonusisequivalenttogettingagrosspaymentof£125(andforahigher-ratetaxpayer,itsevenmore)。

Soonabalanceof£2,500,theeffectiveinterestrateforabasic-ratepayeris5。

5%(£125plus£12。

50interestpayment,dividedby£2,500andmultipliedby100)。

Thatcomparestothe5%best-buyrateavailablefromAbbey。

Bearinmindthatthe£100isaone-offbonus,whereastheHalifax£5amonthdealgoesonindefinitely,makingitagoodlong-termbet,saysMartinLewisonMoneysavingexpert。

com。

Soifyouthinkyouretoolazytothinkaboutswitchingagaininayearstime,thenconsidergoingfortheHalifax。

TheALaccountisbestifyoureofteninthered

However,ifyouareregularlyinthered,theALaccountisdefinitelytheonetogofor。

Ithasaninterest-freeoverdraftforthefirst12months;afterthatyourechargedacompetitive50padayforyouroverdraftwithacaponchargesof£5amonthalthoughrealbargainhuntersshouldshoparoundagainafter12monthstoseeifyoucangetanotherinterest-freeoverdraftelsewhere。

Getarewardforswitching

Onceyouvepickedabankaccount,checkwhetheryoucanapplyforitviaacashbacksitetoearnyourselfevenmoremoney。

Topcashback。

co。

uk,Wepromiseto。

co。

ukandGreasypalm。

co。

ukallhavecashbackdealsinvolvingcurrentaccounts。

Quidco。

comareoffering£50cashbackifyouapplyforanAllianceLeicesterPremiercurrentaccountthroughthem,forexample。

Thecashbackistax-freeandisarebateofcommissionreceivedbythewebsite。

Withinterestratessolow,itswellworththeslighteffortofsigninguptoacashbacksiteinordertogettheextramoney。

Withsomegooddealsaround,itstimetoadoptthesameloveemandleaveemattitudetoyourbankasyouhavetoyourenergysupplier。

Swap,andthenkeepaneyeoutforbetterdealsoncetheintroductoryoffersareover。



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