The most valuable bank accounts

People won't switch accounts because they don't know the true value

Updated: 

The most valuable bank accounts

New research from Tesco Bank shows that people don't switch because they don't know the true value of their current account.

Some 55% of respondents said they found it extremely difficult to pinpoint the value of their account in terms of costs and returns.

The survey was made up of switchers, stickers, considerers and 'active' considerers (those who are actively engaged in researching a new current account).

For those who did switch, poor customer service was the trigger for one in four people.

'What you don't pay for has no value'

The lack of understanding of charges and interest paid on an existing current account means that potential switchers have no effective basis for comparison. Current accounts are not one-dimensional products - that's the problem. Picking one out is "difficult and off-putting", according to Tesco.

If the differences between current accounts aren't defined, they'll start to merge into one. In fact, 43% of survey respondents think current accounts are all the same and 42% see only small differences between them.

But bank accounts aren't all the same. So if you're thinking about moving account, we've picked out the accounts we believe offer the most value.

Bank of Scotland Classic Account with Vantage

The Bank of Scotland Classic Account with Vantage pays 3% interest on balances between £3,000 and £5,000. You could also earn up to 15% cashback with top retailers via the Everyday Offers website. You'll have the chance to be paid back for something that you've bought on your card up to the value of £500 a month.

All you need to do is pay in at least £1,000 a month and stay in credit.

Club Lloyds Current Account

For bigger pots, the Club Lloyds Current Account offers tiered rates of up to 4% on balances up to £5,000 when you pay at least two different direct debits from your account.

Choose a different lifestyle benefit every year in the form of six Vue cinema tickets, an annual magazine subscription or an annual Gourmet Society membership.

Clydesdale/Yorkshire Current Account Direct

The Current Account Direct from Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank offers the largest switching bonus around of £150.

It also offers 2% interest on balances up to £3,000.

Co-operative Bank Current Account Plus

The Co-operative Bank Current Account Plus pays a £125 switching bonus - £100 goes to you and £25 goes to charity. You need to move two direct debits to the account and pay in at least £800 within 31 days of the switch to get the cashback.

It also boasts a £200 interest-free overdraft.

First Direct 1st Account

The First Direct 1st Account wins every customer service award going. In fact the bank is so confident that you'll love the account that not only do you get a £100 welcome bonus, but you'll get another £100 if you decide to leave within 12 months of opening the 1st Account.

On top of that, there's a £250 interest-free overdraft.

Halifax Reward Current Account

The Halifax Reward Current Account will give you a fiver back every month if you put in at least £750, stay in credit and pay out two different direct debits. So even if you finish each month with a balance of just a few pennies, you'll still pocket £60 a year in cashback.

Those who use the current account switching service and close their old account will receive a £100 switching bonus too. Please note that if you've had cashback for switching since January 2012, you don't qualify.

If you bank online, you're entitled to Cashback Extras which gives you up to 15% cashback when you spend with certain retailers online.

Santander 123 Current Account

The Santander 123 Current Account has an awful lot going for it.

Let's start with the cashback, which you can earn on certain direct debits. You'll get 1% cashback on water and Council Tax bills as well as the first £1,000 you put towards your Santander residential mortgage. There's also 2% cashback on gas and electricity bills and 3% cashback on mobile and home phone bills, broadband and paid for TV packages.

Then there's the interest it pays on in-credit balances, which are tiered depending on your balance. The top rate is a cracking 3% on balances from £3,000 to £20,000.

On top of that, there's an interest-free overdraft for four months.

However, the account itself costs £2 a month. You will also need to pay in a minimum of £500 a month and set up two direct debits.

Nationwide FlexDirect

Nationwide's FlexDirect Account offers a market-leading 5% interest on balances up to £2,500 for the first 12 months. Be warned that this will drop to 1% after the introductory period.

For those who want a financial safety net, it also comes with a 12-month fee-free overdraft, subject to circumstances.

Nationwide FlexAccount

The Nationwide FlexAccount comes with free UK and European multi-trip travel insurance.

To sweeten the deal, there's 0% interest on overdrafts from the first three months of your account opening.

Tesco Bank Current Account

You can get 3% interest on balances up to £3,000 with the Tesco Bank Current Account. At the same time, you can collect a Clubcard point for every £4 you spend at Tesco on your debit card and a point for every £8 spent elsewhere.

So long as you pay in £750 a month, the account is fee-free. Otherwise there is a £5 monthly fee.

TSB Classic Plus Current Account

The TSB Classic Plus Account pays 5% interest on balances of up to £2,000. What's more, that rate won't drop after a year. Please note that you'll need to pay in a minimum of £500 a month and opt for paperless banking to get the interest.

Compare top current accounts

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