Current accounts: Find your perfect match

Stuck in a long-term relationship that no longer works? Feel as though you're missing out on new and exciting opportunities? If you’ve never switched current accounts, NOW could be the time to make the break.

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And this time, make sure your next match is perfect – so you’ll never want to leave. Here are some of our most common current account gripes, along with the best accounts which offer a way out.

“I can’t climb out of my overdraft…”

Unless you are in line for a big cash injection, once you are overdrawn, it can be really hard to climb back up to £0. And, in the meantime, steep overdraft charges can be an even bigger pain in your pocket.

Nationwide’s FlexDirect account could provide the answer as it charges 0% on agreed overdrafts for 12 months. After that you’ll be charged 50p every day you are overdrawn, so try and pay off what you owe in that first year.

“I only dip into the red occasionally but resent paying interest…”

First Direct’s 1st Account is one of the best if you regularly go overdrawn by a small amount, as it offers a £250 interest free overdraft.

If you go over £250 limit, you will be charged interest at 15.9%.

There’s a £10 monthly fee, but this is waived if you pay in at least £1,000 a month, or keep an average credit balance of £1,000 or more.

The bank is great for customer service too.

“I get no thanks for being in credit…”

Fed up with earning next to no interest on money held in your current (or even savings) account? It doesn’t have to be that way.

TSB’s Plus current account pays you 5% interest on balances up to £2,000. You must pay in £500 a month to qualify.

Halifax’s Reward account pays you £5 a month, so long as you pay in £750 a month, stay in credit and pay two different direct debits.

“I could do with a boost before Christmas…”

Switch from your existing current account to a Marks and Spencer current account via MoneySuperMarket before October 31 and you’ll get a FREE £125 gift card.

The account doesn’t pay any interest if you’re in credit, but it comes with a £500 overdraft, of which the first £100 is interest-free.

If you borrow over £100, you’ll be charged an effective annual rate (EAR) of 15.9%.

“I want my account to give me something back…”

Check out Santander’s 123 account which offers you 1% cashback on your water, council tax and Santander mortgage bills, 2% cashback on gas and electricity bills and 3% cashback on phone, internet and TV bills.

The downside is there’s a £2 monthly fee, but the account does pay generous interest when you’re in credit.

You earn 1% AER for balances over £1,000, 2% for balances over £2,000, and 3% on balances between £3,000 and up to £20,000. You have to pay in at least £500 a month to this account to qualify.

“I’m looking for an account which allows me to manage my money on the go…”

There’s no need to be tied to bank branches.

NatWest and RBS current accounts, for example, come with mobile apps which allow you to pay friends, family or bills whenever or wherever you are. You can also check your account balance and use the app to find your nearest ATM or branch.

“I know I need to end my relationship with my current account, but it’s too much hassle…”

Don’t be deterred. Switching has never been quicker or simpler. Under the Current Account Switch Guarantee, introduced last year, the switch must be completed in seven working days.

Any switch is also protected by a guarantee. That means you will receive a refund of any interest, either paid or lost, as well as charges made on either your old or new account, if the switch doesn’t go smoothly.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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