It's a sad fact that banks rarely reward their existing current account customers with high rates of interest on current account balances.

It's for this reason that you need to look at switching bank account if you've been with the same bank or building society for a while.

This is particularly the case if you keep your bank account in the black most of the time as you're missing out on the opportunity to earn something back on your positive balance.

Look at what your existing bank account pays in the way of interest and if it is a minimal amount consider switching.

However, looking for the best current account interest rates has a number of pitfalls that don't seem completely apparent on first viewing the accounts on offer. Looking at the fine print can really throw up some surprises and being aware of these factors can help you make an informed choice.

Reward yourself for staying in credit

You can't always assume that the rate you see advertised is the rate you will earn on your money forever as it may only be an introductory offer. So, when looking for a new account it is of optimum importance to find out if the advertised interest rate is artificially high and whether it will drop after a number of months or years.

If this is the case you shouldn't discount the account, but instead find out when the high interest rate will end and make a note to switch to one of the other high interest paying current accounts on offer the moment it changes.

You may also be obliged to put a certain amount of credit through the account each month to get the high interest rates. So when taking out a high interest bank account with a clause like this make sure you can comfortably meet the minimum monthly payments before you apply.

Many other high interest current accounts that offer the top rates do so in return for an obligatory monthly fee. While there may be added benefits on offer as part of the account package, the amount you're paying out would counteract the return you're getting from interest.

Cut the cost of being in an overdraft

Other banks offer the best bank account interest rates but alongside this give you an overdraft that charges significantly higher interest rates and costly fees that would eat away at any interest you earned.

Be aware of the overdraft, any rates relating to this and any interest free buffer available, especially if you tend to be in the red now and again.

The best case in a scenario like this is to find a current account that offers a high interest rate on balances and a low interest rate and few charges on the overdraft facility. This will mean you get the most from your bank account, with as few of down sides as possible.

All in all, a high interest current account can make a big difference if you keep large sums in your account at least part of the month.

Finding current accounts with interest rates that offer a decent return alongside a low overdraft rate is worth that bit of extra hassle as it will pay long into the future - just beware of the small print.

You can compare high interest bank accounts in our high interest current account comparison table.