Revealed: Best current account for UK customers
The Halifax Reward Current Account has been named the most popular among people looking at ‘personalised’ best buy tables from GoCompare.com.
Almost a fifth (19%) of people using its ‘midata’ service – which is government backed and compares current accounts based on consumers’ actual usage habits – chose the Halifax Reward Account.
The Yorkshire Bank Direct account was the second most popular, chosen by 17% of users, and 10% of people chose the TSB Classic Plus Account.
Santander’s 123 account was the fourth most popular, though the account may become less attractive when its fees increase in January.
These top accounts contrast with traditional best buy tables, which compare current accounts on product features, but can’t take factors such as overdraft usage or ‘hidden fees’ into account.
Nationwide’s FlexDirect Account, the TSB Classic Plus Account and Barclay’s Cash Card account are the most popular products for people browsing traditional best buy tables, according to GoCompare; but of these, only TSB features in top products for people who choose based on their own behaviour.
Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com’s banking spokesman, said: “Some of the main drivers of current account switching have been the proliferation of incentives, cashback rewards and in-credit interest earnings. These are understandably attractive, and may well be ideal for some people, but they don’t provide a clear picture of the pros and cons of the current account.
“Midata-enabled comparisons lay bare the true benefits and drawbacks of current accounts by attributing a monetary value to each account. Using midata is the only way that people can determine exactly how a new account could benefit them, financially, before they switch.”
How does midata work?
Midata lets you download a file containing all your transactions and charges from your bank, which you can then upload at GoCompare.com to get a comparison of the best current accounts for you.
It’s available to customers of RBS, Lloyds, Nationwide, Santander, HSBC, Barclays, Tesco Bank and their subsidiaries.
The datafile you upload stays on your computer, meaning your personal data isn’t shared with GoCompare or anyone else.
An overdraft is an agreement with your bank that authorises you to withdraw more funds from your account than you have deposited in it. Many banks charge for this privilege either as a fixed fee or charge interest on the money overdrawn at a special high rate. Some banks charge a fee and interest. And other banks offer a free overdraft but impose very high charges for exceeding the agreed limit of your overdraft.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.