How do packaged current accounts work?
A packaged bank account typically incorporates a range of useful features and benefits in addition to the banking services on which they're centred, in return for a monthly fee.
Bank accounts with rewards are now offered by most current account providers and, providing you take the time to choose an account that works for you, can provide a convenient means of saving time and money on some of life's 'essentials'.
The exact benefits included in a package current account will depend largely on the account you go for and the amount that you are willing to pay out each month.
A combination of useful benefits such as travel insurance, breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance and preferential interest rates on your overdraft and in-credit balances can be included. However, some of the best reward bank accounts accounts also incorporate VIP travel packages, personal account managers and lifestyle managements services as part of their offering.
Providers tend to offer a variety of reward current accounts ranging from 'basic' to 'exclusive', with enhanced benefits included in return for an increased monthly fee.
Each provider will clearly detail the benefits encompassed by each reward bank account so it's worth taking a few minutes to check out the different features included and the level of cover provided.
Are they worth the cost?
The answer to this question really depends on the reward account you go for.
Providing you choose an option that offers bank account benefits & features you will use, then yes packaged current accounts can provide you with great value for money. If, on the other hand, you don't take advantage of the features offered, then you could end up paying out and getting little in return.
So, the key to making package accounts work for you is to compare current accounts with benefits and find one that offers rewards that you are confident that you will take full advantage of. This is where taking a few minutes to compare the services and features offered by each account will really pay.
The best way to do this is to tot up the approximate value of the benefits you're interested in were you to buy them separately and compare this to the amount you'll be paying out for the account. If you'll be paying out less with the package account then it's worth doing, especially as arranging everything together in this way takes the hassle out of doing it yourself.
It's also important to check whether the benefits offered by any one account provide you with a level of cover that's sufficient for your requirements; this is particularly important with insurance-based benefits.
So, providing you balance your outgoings against the benefits you'll get in return, package accounts are definitely worth the cost in terms of convenience and could well save you money too.
Which package account?
While working out whether you're going to be getting value for money is essential when you're choosing from the best packaged bank accounts, it's equally as important that the account works for your day to day spending. For this reason, it's also essential that you check how the account operates at its most basic level as well as the features included.
Features to look for include whether the account allows you to set up standing orders and direct debits, whether you can request a cheque book, what the maximum daily withdrawal limit is and how you can access your money.
It's also important to check the charges relating to the account such as those made if you go over your overdraft limit or if a payment is returned.
By comparing these basic features as well as the headline grabbing benefits and choosing the best current account with benefits that works for you, you should be able to save both time and money.