Savvy Shoppers Are Spending to Save

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Save Monery with Financial Service Perks

This week saw rules governing the way packaged current accounts can be sold and operated, to the UK public, come into force. Whilst the changes represent great news for those customers who, for too long, have been sold so-called benefits which they are often ineligible to use. That FSA (since replaced by the FCA) has acted on this at all belies the fact that these paid products (contrary to what might be expect during a recession) are becoming ever more popular with the British public.

Around 20% of us are currently thought to have a paid bank account of some kind. Of course, this something the banks themselves are activity pushing for, but the British public are notoriously stubborn (especially when it come to bank accounts) so are there others reasons they might be choosing to spend on premium banking accounts?

Just a quick look at some of the most popular UK packaged current accounts reveals that some very interesting perks are available to those willing to shop for value, rather than price.

NatWest (and equally RBS) Select Platinum account offers worldwide travel insurance, mobile insurance (including smart phones), UK car breakdown cover, National Trust (or National Trust Scotland if you opt for the RBS account) and Tastecard membership all for £192 (£16 per month). NatWest claim savings of £410, which presumably assumes someone wanting these benefits would do no shopping around whatsoever, but it’s probably safe to assume you’d save about 50% of what they are claiming. Equally the Halifax ‘Ultimate Reward Current Account’ looks attractive too, offering travel insurance, AA breakdown cover, mobile phone cover, home emergency cover and card protection. It also offers customer the ability to personalise their debit cards for £15 per month (£180 per annum).

It’s clear from just a couple of examples that there are real savings to be had from premium bank accounts (Assuming the benefits are all things account holders would want anyway). Obviously those who rarely go past the local shop would have little need for worldwide travel insurance, but if individuals who are keen travellers might even consider casting their gaze beyond premium bank accounts. A number of paid charge and credit card products offer great travel related perks, like airport lounge access that would normally cost a considerable amount.

All in all canny financial service shoppers could find that the world of paid financial products actually offers them better value for money than the stripped down ‘free’ products we’re used to.
_______ is one of the UK’s leading personal finance comparison websites. Based in Colchester, Essex, has been helping UK consumers get a better deal on credit cards, saving, loans and more for over five years.

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Mark Scott
Freedom Marketing Limited
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