The packaged account swindle

Rebecca Rutt's picture

I've been a Barclays customer for about as long as I can remember. I was lured in at school by the blue puffin money boxes and am still with the bank now. On the whole it's been pretty good but after graduating nearly three years ago I'm a little stuck by what to do with my student account.

Every time I log onto my online banking I now get messages telling me to upgrade, but all the accounts to choose from charge a monthly fee and are not as good as my current offer.

There are lots of ‘packaged' accounts around that are full of various gimmicky extras like mobile phone or travel insurance, which I don't really need.

The growing competitiveness of the banking market mean the banks are forever trying to bring in more customers and current accounts with a lot of added extras seems to be one way.

According to Defaqto, the average monthly fee offered by the 65 packaged accounts on the market in March was £14.88. But why should we have to pay for a current account?

There are so many accounts on the market it's important to look through the bells and whistles offered and make sure you're not paying extra for services you don't need and won't use. There are still a few free current accounts around so don't be fooled into thinking you must upgrade to a fee-paying product.

I'm happy with how my bank account is right now and intend to try and keep it this way for as long as possible.

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