There are some people that swap their current accounts a lot. They choose different banks or building societies and swap over their salary, direct debits and standing orders to the new place. It can be a mystery to some as to why they do it and it can seem like a lot of work to do. However, there are often good reasons why people do this and it could be something which many people could benefit from.
Differences between accounts
Current accounts differ a fair bit between banks and building societies. Some will pay interest on balances, some will give rewards, some charge a fee in exchange for benefits and some have really competitive overdraft fees. It is good to have a think about what you want form a current account and what would benefit you to start with. Consider whether you use your overdraft or not and how much you pay for it. You will be charged interest but you may also be charged a fee. The amount you are charged will depend on whether you are using an authorised or an unauthorised overdraft. You can arrange and overdraft amount with the bank. If you stay within the amount that they agree to you will be charged a certain amount. If you spend beyond that or have no agreed overdraft then you will have to pay a larger amount. It is worth checking how much your bank charges and compare this to others to see if you could save money.
Although it is rare to get interest on a current account, there are still a few accounts that pay it. Others may give you a higher rate on a savings account of you also hold a current account with them. Check what your bank does and think about whether you would move to one that offered something better than they do with regards to getting a return for your money.
Some people pay a fee each month for their current account but in return get all sorts of benefits which they feel give them back more than they pay for. This could include interest paid on the account balance, free insurance, vouchers or other benefits. If you think that this might interest you then it is worth taking a closer look at what is offered with these accounts to see whether you might be better off financially to get one of these. Do remember that something that is offered free is only worthwhile for you if you would normally use that thing but pay for it. If it is something you do not normally use then it is not worth getting.
Easy to swap
Swapping accounts is a lot easier than it used to be. Legally the bank of building society has to help you with moving the direct debits and standing orders so that it is easy for you. It makes sense to have the two accounts open together for a short period while you check that everything has swapped over and you have got your debit card, cheque book, paying in book or anything else you need to operate the account as well as finding out how to operate it whether you use a branch, telephone or online service. It can take a bit of time and there will be things for you to change and check. You may feel that it is just not worth the bother to do this. However, some people might think it is worth it.
Calculate your gains
Really it comes down to how much money you will gain from swapping and how much you feel that you time is worth. You might be happy to spend a few hours researching and organising a new account, swapping things and checking if you will make more than £5 a month. Some people may only be prepared to do it if they make £50 a month. We are all different, partly depending on how much money we have and so how much difference it will make but also in how much we value our time and whether we would rather do other things instead. It is worth considering though as some people find that it makes a really big difference and if you are struggling financially, it could make a significant difference to you.