28 January 2015

What are packaged bank accounts?

Packaged bank accounts are one of the latest financial products to hit the market in recent years. 
They're bank accounts that offer extra features – such as travel and mobile phone insurance – usually in return for a monthly fee. 
You’ve probably heard of them by now, or perhaps even turned one down because you didn’t know much about them at the time. Here we dissect packaged bank accounts, filling in some of the gaps for you.

Are they worth it?

Choosing a packaged account could be a good option if you need mobile phone, travel, breakdown and other types of cover. By checking the policies and working out the costs beforehand, you could make some real savings - just make sure you're not already covered under another policy!

Do the maths

To see if you could save, start by comparing the cost of purchasing each 'benefit' separately. Multiplying the monthly cost of your insurance cover by 12 should give you a basic figure to compare against the cost of a fee paying account. But remember, with so many different levels of cover available, you may also need to look at the cost of add-ons (like winter sports or family cover if you need travel insurance). Exclusions and limitations apply, as with all financial products, so always read the insurance policies and benefit details carefully.

Nationwide’s FlexPlus current account offers a number of banking features and insurance policies for you and your family, all for just £10 per month. (You need to be 18 or over to apply for a FlexPlus account).

Is it easy to switch account?

If you stand to gain from a packaged bank account, you’ll probably want to switch as soon as possible. Thankfully, if you're ready to switch (and close your old account) it's a lot quicker than it used to be. Many banks and building societies must now be able to switch a customer’s current account - including transfer all direct debits and standing orders - within seven working days. This applies to packaged bank accounts, too. 

I'm not sure I want to switch?

Tempted, but still not sure you want to switch your account? You're not alone- find out what stops other people switching their bank account.

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