Is it worth paying for your current account?
Paid for or premium accounts cost on average £14.05 a month but do you need to pay for your current account? Nathalie Bonney takes a closer look at banks' latest moneyspinners.
The number of fee charging current accounts on the market is increasing.
The typical benefits they offer like travel and mobile phone insurance and breakdown cover seem like useful things to have.
But would you be better off using a free banking account and paying for these extras individually instead of the £10-15 monthly fee?
Take travel insurance offered by the banks: Experts say there are accounts that don't offer baggage or personal accident cover.
Other extras are certainly not essential. By law everyone is entitled to an annual credit report for just £2 so the unlimited access credit reports you get with premium accounts are a nice luxury rather than a must-have.
Banks will shut down your account and replace lost or stolen bank cards free of charge so paying for extra fraud and card protection is unnecessary too.
It's also tricky to work out the value of the added benefits. For example Lloyds'AA breakdown cover on its silver account is worth £56 according to its website but you can find the same level of cover for £28 on the AA's own site.
Undoubtedly there are occasions when value–added accounts are worth their monthly fees: some older account holders have found themselves unable to get appropriate travel insurance because of their age or state of health.
Even if the extras look useful the point is don't take them at face value – ask your bank for a breakdown of the costs and how much the extras are worth.
Also look and see if the overdraft or in-credit interest rates match up to a free account.
Banks are pretty keen to promote these accounts but are they worth the extra £160 plus a year? Don't let sales staff pressure you into paying for a product you don't need.