first direct Current Accounts Guide
It has won a number of awards including MoneySupermarket’s Supers awards, for which it earned the title of Best Overall Provider 2011.
It also won the Which? award for Best Financial Services Provider in 2012 and was voted Most Trusted Provider at the Moneywise 2011 customer services awards.
What types of current account does First Direct provide and what are the benefits?
The current account offered by First Direct is the 1st account, which comes with some very attractive benefits.
Customers who switch to the 1st account will receive a generous £125 for doing so. The bank also offers a satisfaction guarantee, so any customers who aren’t happy with the service and decide to leave will receive a further £100.
Additional benefits of the account include an automatic £500 overdraft, the first £250 of which is interest free. After this, interest is charged at 15.9%.
Many people are put off from switching to a new bank because they think the process of transferring all their direct debits and standing orders will be more hassle than it’s worth. However, as with many of the leading current account providers First Direct offers a switching service. The switching team will oversee the transfer process and do all the hard work for you. You will also benefit from a 13 month redirection of incoming credits and debits from your old bank to your first direct account. If anything goes wrong with the switch, as soon as first direct are told, they will refund any interest (paid or lost) and charges incurred on either your old or new current account as a result of this failure.
First Direct has no branch network but offers internet and telephone banking and its UK call centre is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You’ll also be set up with text message banking – a handy way to check your balance on the go.
First Direct also has its ‘First Directory’ to complement its current account. This is a number of services and benefits that you can access, ranging from worldwide travel insurance, to 24 hour roadside assistance, to mobile phone insurance. It comes at a cost of £15 a month and you have to commit to a 12 month contract.
While the benefits of the 1st account are attractive, it won’t be suitable for everyone because it requires that you pay in £1,000 every month. Failure to do so could result in you having to pay a fee of £10 per month. Also, no interest is paid on balances in credit.
Comparing current accounts
Our current account is probably the financial product we use the most, yet it’s also the product we are least likely to switch. Yet millions of people could be getting a better deal on their everyday banking service.
So ask yourself whether your current account really is working hard enough for you. It’s easy to be complacent and just stick with your bank out of habit, but in doing so, you could be missing out on huge benefits.
It’s important to look at your spending habits and see if there is another current account that could be doing more for you. Comparing current accounts through MoneySupermarket will allow you to find the best current account to suit your needs.