lifestyle

Why you shouldn’t rely on one current account


Opening multiple bank accounts could actually help you save (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

You’ll know by now I’m a bit of a money geek, and one way that’s manifested itself is that I have 18 different current accounts.

No, that’s not a typo: 18. You might be thinking that’s too many — it is, more than half are old accounts or ones I opened so I could review them — but I imagine a decent number of you are saying, ‘Hang on, you can have more than one bank account?’

This is a common misconception, and one I’m always at pains to highlight can be pretty risky.

For Monzo and Nationwide customers, the last few weeks were a case in point. Both banks experienced brief technical problems that meant either payments were declined (Monzo) or money wasn’t being transferred in or out (Nationwide). This left a lot of angry people in the lurch.

And though this isn’t an everyday occurrence, it’s not uncommon. Over the last few years we’ve seen issues at many mainstream banks. If systems go down and you can’t access your money, you need a back-up.

You’ll obviously need to keep some cash in there, so the Virgin Money M Plus current account is a good option, with 2.02% interest paid on balances of up to £1,000.

I’d go further, with four or five accounts giving you a combination of better banking and free cash.

Having different accounts can help you improve your budgeting skills (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For your main account I’d consider Starling Bank or Monzo. These are app-only banks, but have a number of features that make all the basics so much easier.

If you ever use your overdraft then one option is the Nationwide FlexDirect account.

For the first year you can get a sizable overdraft at 0% interest, a huge difference to the 40% you’re likely paying elsewhere right now. I’d look at the Santander 123 Lite account for your bills.

It comes with a £2 monthly fee but you will earn up to 3% cashback on expenses such as energy and broadband bills. This one also makes a good joint account if you’re splitting these costs.

Cashback can also be earned for a year with Chase Bank UK, with 1% back on every £1 spent. Transferring over money from your main account for spending via this card could also help you keep to a set budget.

You could also look at reward accounts which pay a bonus each month if you follow a few conditions. My pick is the Halifax Reward account. You’ll earn £5 a month with very little effort.

You could add more, but I’d stick to some or all of these for now and see how you go.



Andy’s top five current accounts

1. Starling Bank

When to use it: Everyday banking

Fee: None

2. Virgin Money M Plus

When to use it: Back up account with 2.02% AER on savings of up to £1,000

Fee: None

3. Chase Bank Earn

When to use it: 1% cashback on all spending, sticking to budgets

Fee: None

4. Santander 123 Lite

When to use it: Earn up to 3% cashback on bills

Fee: £2 a month

5. Halifax Reward

When to use it: Make £5 a month if you spend £500 on the debit card

Fee: None if you pay £1,500 into the account each month

For more details on these accounts head to becleverwithyourcash.com/banks

Andy’s who to follow: Di Coke from SuperLucky

Last month I won £75 via a PayPal prize draw, all thanks to Di Coke, who runs the SuperLucky blog.

It’s a paradise for anyone keen to try ‘comping’. You’ll find lists of which competitions to enter and which to avoid, as well as insights into how you can increase your chances of winning.

Di Coke can teach you how to increase your chances of winning

Di’s money-making tip of the week

Di says: ‘Find competitions by following your favourite brands and local businesses on social media.

‘Instagram and Twitter giveaways are quick to enter, and you won’t even need to hand over any personal details unless you win!’

Andy Webb is an award-winning blogger and podcaster from Be Clever With Your Cash. Follow Andy on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram via @andyclevercash

If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.


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