Buyers' Guide - Current Accounts

Our most used financial service is often our most neglected, but if you aren't happy with your current account it pays to switch. Moneywise TV explains how to pick the right one for you.

Your starting point is to work out what you want from your account. If you're always in credit, look for one that pays interest.

Your starting point is to work out what you want from your account. If you're always in credit, look for one that pays interest.

Comparison sites will help narrow down your choice. Unfortunately you'll find the best deals are reserved for those that pay in £1,000 or more a month.

Next, think about how you want to run your account. Do you want to bank online, by phone or in your local branch?

If you want to use internet banking, go to the banks' websites to see exactly how they work.

Banks all have slightly different security checks, so choose one you're comfortable with.

Next, find out if the bank has signed up to the ‘faster payments' scheme, so you can send money in hours and not days. And ask if you can make faster payments by phone and online – as not all let you do this.

Most banks offer fee-charging accounts, with extras like breakdown cover or mobile phone insurance. But they can cost up to £300 a year and - for most people – they're not worth it.

Once you have found an account switching is pretty straightforward, but expect it to take up to three weeks.

Your new bank should handle the transfer, just check it will inform you of any delays and that you'll get a free overdraft to cover the switch.

Finally some banks offer incentives to get you to move, but check the account is right for you or you could pay far more in charges than you get from the perks.