A packaged bank account is a current account that comes with additional perks for a small monthly fee. In this article, we look at the best packaged bank accounts, including what to look out for when choosing a packaged bank account and what to do if you have been mis-sold a packaged account.
What is a packaged bank account?
A packaged bank account is a current account that comes with additional benefits such as insurance and breakdown cover. Packaged bank accounts usually charge a monthly fee but despite this, you may still be saving money if you regularly use the benefits included with a packaged account.
Can I get a joint packaged bank account?
Yes, it is possible to get a joint packaged bank account but this generally has to be requested at the time of application as you may not be able to add an additional account holder at a later date. Opening a joint packaged bank account means that both account holders can benefit but only one monthly fee applies.
What benefits can you get with a packaged bank account?
A packaged bank account can come with a number of different benefits, some of which we list below:
Most packaged bank accounts come with travel insurance included. Travel insurance is designed to cover the cost of any unexpected costs that may arise whilst you are away. When looking at a packaged bank account you should read the policy documents carefully to ensure you have the right amount of cover for your trip. Most packaged bank account travel insurance policies require you to speak to the insurance company prior to travelling. It is likely that you will need to confirm the number of people travelling, the destination and the duration of the trip. While speaking to the insurance company, double-check to see if any upper age limits apply and make sure that any pre-existing conditions are covered. You should compare the cost of travel insurance outside of packaged bank accounts to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. We compare the best travel insurance providers in our article.
Mobile phone insurance
It is also possible to get mobile or gadget insurance with your packaged bank account and some accounts will even include mobile insurance for the whole family. Typically, mobile phone insurance covers your phone if it has been lost, stolen or damaged. You may also be able to get cover for additional gadgets such as laptops.
Some packaged bank accounts offer breakdown cover as a perk and may even cover the account holder for breakdowns in any vehicle they are travelling in. Exactly what cover is available will vary depending on the bank and breakdown provider.
Home emergency cover
Home emergency cover can be included in some packaged bank accounts and includes cover for emergencies that may occur inside your home such as a burst pipe or your heating not working. You'll usually be covered for problems that need immediate attention to secure your home and make it safe.
Best packaged bank accounts
In this section of the article, we compare some of the best packaged bank accounts on the market. We compare the best high street bank accounts and we also look at the best app-only packaged bank accounts.
Best high street packaged bank accounts
In the following comparison table, we compare some of the best high street packaged bank accounts including the different insurance policies on offer and how much each account costs.
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|Citi Bank||Co-op||Halifax||HSBC||Nationwide||NatWest*||Virgin Money|
|Account name||Citigold Current Account||Everyday Extra||Ultimate Reward Current account||HSBC Premier||FlexPlus||Reward Platinum Account||Club M|
|Monthly cost||£0 (minimums apply) or £75||£15||£17||£0||£13||£20||£14.50|
|Mobile phone insurance|
|Home emergency cover|
|Switch bonus||6 months 0% interest-free overdraft when you switch|
|Minimum pay in||A minimum of £150,000 must be kept across Citi UK accounts to avoid paying monthly fee||No minimum (minimum of £800 applies if opt in to rewards)||No minimum (minimum of £1,500 applies if opt in to rewards)||No minimum monthly pay in but must meet set eligibility criteria**||No minimum||No minimum||No minimum|
|Extras||Fee-free international transfers||Opt into Everyday Rewards to get rewards of up to £2.20||Save the change round-up feature, cashback offers, monthly reward||Preferential mortgage and savings rates, £500 interest-free overdraft||Fee-free spending abroad, Access to Flex Saver at 2.25% AER||Cinema discount and tastecard, Earn up to £5 a month in rewards, Fee-free spending abroad||2.02% interest on Club M account balance up to £1,000, access to 2.52% interest with Club M Saver|
|Good for...||Those with high salaries||Rewards||Home emergency cover||No monthly cost||Fee-free spending abroad||Existing NatWest customers||Interest on account balance|
*for existing customers only
** Must have an annual income of at least £75,000 and either a mortgage, investment, life insurance or investment product or have at least £50,000 of savings or investments with HSBC (within 6 months if you're a new customer or before you open the account if you're an existing customer)
Best app-only packaged bank accounts
An app-only bank as the name suggests, operates via an app on your smartphone, meaning customers do not have to visit a physical bank branch. App-only banks have grown in popularity in recent years and also offer versions of packaged bank accounts to suit those looking for a little more from their bank. In the following comparison table, we compare the packaged accounts from Monzo and Revolut. For more information on app-only banks read our reviews:
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|Monzo Premium||Revolut Premium||Revolut Metal|
|Fee-free spending abroad|
|Breakdown cover||(additional £4.75 a month)|
|Minimum term||6 months||12 months||12 months|
|Interest||1.50% AER up to £2k on current account balance||Up to 2.11% AER on savings||Up to 2.50% AER on savings|
|Extras||Metal card, fee-free spending abroad||Fee-free spending abroad||N/A|
|Good for...||Interest on current account balance||Cashback on Stay bookings||Free airport lounge access|
*Revolut is not yet a fully licensed UK bank and therefore does not offer FSCS protection
What to look out for when choosing a packaged bank account
Do you need the benefits?
One thing to consider when comparing packaged bank accounts is whether you are actually going to use the benefits and if they are worth the monthly fee. If you are only going away once in a 12-month period it may be cheaper to purchase a single trip travel insurance policy. If there are some benefits that you think you won't use you may be able to save money on the monthly account fee by opening a reward and cashback current account instead.
Always read the T&Cs
Carefully read the T&Cs of the perks included and make sure you can actually benefit from the cover included. Some of the travel insurance policies may have an upper age limit or the mobile phone cover may not include cover for all of the family. Also read the policy documents carefully to ensure you know exactly what you're covered for, particularly for travel insurance, do you have sufficient cover for your trip and are you covered for coronavirus-related claims?
Is the packaged bank account cost-effective?
Before committing to the monthly cost of a packaged bank account make sure you compare the cost of the benefits you are interested in getting as it can sometimes be cheaper to buy them separately.
Are packaged bank accounts worth it?
A packaged bank account can be beneficial and save you money if you are going to use all of the perks included with the account. If you are a frequent traveller, then having a packaged bank account that includes travel insurance and gadget cover may be more cost-effective than buying the insurance policies separately. It is worth shopping around though to compare the cost of policies as the value of the benefits you receive on the packaged account may not always be worthwhile and you may be able to get a better policy elsewhere. One of the quickest and easiest ways to compare the cost of insurance policies or breakdown cover is via a comparison site such as Compare the Market* as this allows you to quickly and easily compare numerous policies at once to find the cheapest deal.
There may be other alternatives, such as cashback and reward current accounts which offer cashback as well as generous rewards for shopping at your favourite retailers and importantly, you won't have to pay a monthly fee.
Have you been mis-sold a packaged bank account?
If you are paying for a packaged account that you think may have been mis-sold to you, you may be able to claim back any fees that you have paid. A packaged bank account may have been mis-sold to you if you feel that the account benefits were not explained properly or you did not realise you were paying for a packaged account. If you feel that this is the case you may wish to make a complaint with your bank or building society. If the complaint does not get resolved then you may be able to lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
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