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Best current accounts

A Four Step Plan to Finding the Best Current Accounts

We humans are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to current accounts.  Once we have a current account, we tend to stick with it, regardless of whether it's a good deal or not.  But it might just pay to start looking around to compare current accounts and see what kind of benefits are available elsewhere.  Different banks appeal to people in different ways, which means the best current accounts worth considering for you might be altogether different from the ones that appeal to other people.

Try these four steps to compare current accounts and seek out the best current account for you:

1.  What do you want in a current account?

It might sound like a daft question, but some banks offer incentives to get people to sign up for their current accounts.  Are there any which appeal to you?

Some of the best current accounts offer a much higher rate of interest provided you pay in a specified minimum in salary every month.  If you can meet this minimum, you could be quids in.  Others offer a one off payment if you switch your current account over to them.  Some current accounts are designed to appeal more to a specific age group, such as accounts aimed at teenagers offering free cinema tickets.  In any event, when you compare current accounts, make sure all your needs will be met by the best current accounts you are considering.

2.  Do your research about current accounts.

Use online comparison sites such as this one to work out which banks are offering the best current accounts for your needs at the moment.  You will normally need to answer a few questions to make the search relevant; you can then visit each bank's website to find out more about each account and compare current accounts.

It's also worth finding out how well each bank tends to perform.  How well do they satisfy their customers?  Do their current accounts consistently perform well against the competition?  If you start coming across lots of negative reviews of a particular bank and their current accounts, you may want to start looking elsewhere.

3.  Look out for high interest rates on credit balances in current accounts.

These can be a great plus for new customers, and a wonderful incentive to switch banks, but make sure you read all the fine print before you compare current accounts and make the switch.

Some of these current accounts' high interest rates only last for a certain period of time, while others only apply for balances over a certain amount, so make sure you know what's involved before you move everything over to a brand new current account.  For example, you might have to keep the account funded with £2000 at all times to qualify for the high interest rate.

If you don't tend to have much of a credit balance each month in your current account, then don't be tempted by high interest rates; look for other features that will benefit you more instead.

4.  Watch for low rates on authorised overdrafts in current accounts.

If you always find yourself in the red, make sure you compare current accounts that offer a low rate of interest on pre-agreed overdrafts.  This is an important point, as if you don't agree it in advance you could find yourself stuck with a hefty fee.

It's estimated that a lot of people could save well over £100 in unnecessary charges by switching current accounts, so if this applies to you it might mean you have some money left at the end of the month for a change!

There are even one or two of the best current accounts which offer a fee free overdraft, although they may make up for it by introducing more charges in other ways, so be sure you know all the ins and outs before going ahead and opening a current account.

While there are plenty of websites and surveys which list the best current accounts available today, the criteria for these can vary enormously.  In the final analysis, the best account for you will be the one which best meets your needs, so compare current accounts carefully!  If you follow the four steps outlined above you should soon be able to locate the best current accounts for you.

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