Choosing an account can be bewildering because there is so much choice. However, it is a good idea to spend some time looking at the various accounts on offer and making sure the services they provide match your needs.
Some things to consider:
- Are you likely to visit your bank or building society often to withdraw or pay in money? If the answer is yes, you should consider an account with a bank or building society that has a branch close to where you live or work.
- Would you like to do some of your banking by telephone or over the Internet? Have a look at which accounts offer the best services.
- If you want to pay bills straight from your account, make sure the account you choose lets you do this.
- Do you need to transfer money abroad? Some accounts are more geared up for this than others.
- Does the account pay interest? Not all current accounts pay interest on money you have in your account and some pay more than others. See our section on interest for more information.
- Are you likely to need an overdraft facility? Not all accounts offer overdrafts. Those that do offer overdrafts don’t all charge the same amount of interest on any money you borrow so it’s wise to compare what is on offer before choosing an account.
- Are there any fees for the account you are choosing? Some banks and building societies offer premium accounts that charge a monthly fee. Most will also charge you if you go overdrawn without arranging an overdraft. They are also likely to charge you for bouncing a cheque or a regular payment leaving your account because you don’t have enough money in your account. See our section on bank and building society charges.