5 sure-fire ways to fall back in love with your bank

Is your relationship with your bank all give and no take? Does it feel ‘unavailable’, or seem to only reach out to you when it wants something? Maybe communication has broken down – and just a text would really set your head straight.

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Whether you decide to jump ship or stay put and make the relationship work, here are our 5 sure-fire ways to fall back in love with the bank you choose:

Ask for something back

If you feel like you are giving more to your bank than you are getting back, start asking for what is rightfully yours. Especially if you have a packaged current account that you pay for monthly, you are likely to be entitled to a range of perks.

The Halifax Ultimate Reward Account for example (at either £10 or £15 a month depending on how you use the account), offers free breakdown cover, mobile cover and worldwide annual travel insurance (and you'll also now get £125 cashback to switch). Other packaged accounts offer perks including access to airport lounges (Barclays Premier), up to 3% cashback on household bills (Santander 123) and free shopping vouchers (M&S Premium Current Account).

But, while you may be entitled to these perks, you may not get them automatically. Call your bank to find out which ones you need to register for and start taking advantage. 

Wipe the slate clean

If your overdraft is a painful reminder of the mistakes you’ve made, interest and fees charged by your bank will only make it harder to forget them. So why not pay it off and get a fresh start?

Of course if getting back into the black were so easy, you’d have done it by now, right? But have you thought about a 0% money transfer card?

These cards allow you to take your agreed credit limit as cash which is paid straight into your current account, getting you firmly back into the black. Many cards then offer 0% on this borrowing for more than two years, although you will probably have to pay an initial money transfer fee. Take a look for yourself at the current best deals here.

“If you just feel like your relationship isn't worth the effort to rekindle, it might be time to dump your bank..”

Keep it close

If you haven’t already downloaded your bank’s mobile app to your phone, do it today. Apps empower you to keep on top of your balance AND make on-the-spot transfers between your own accounts and – usually – to external ones too.

Having its app on your phone will mean your bank is at your beck and call, and you’ll always be at the front of the queue for its attention. Read our review of all the major banking apps here.

Talk about your problems

If your bank is making you unhappy and you have a specific complaint, the first step is to be honest and tell it directly about your problems. The bank then has a duty to investigate your complaint and provide an answer within eight weeks.

If you’re not satisfied with what it comes back with, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service which is a free and impartial third party.

Make it exclusive

Some banks offer exclusive deals to their current account customers and no one else. It might be higher rates of interest on your savings, or a better mortgage deal. But the idea is that it gives you a real reason to stick by your bank.

For example, internet bank First Direct offers 6.00% AER fixed for 12 months with its Regular Saver Account which is the best deal of its kind on the market.

And only Nationwide’s FlexDirect, FlexOne and FlexPlus account customers get access to its cheapest Flexclusive 4-year fixed rate mortgage and Flexclusive 3-year Tracker mortgage.

If you have a 40% deposit, these deals come with rates respectively of 2.24% (2.14% for existing Nationwide mortgage customers) and 1.89% (1.79% for existing Nationwide mortgage customers), each with a £999 fee.

It's not me, it's you!

If you just feel like your relationship isn’t worth the effort to rekindle, it might be time to dump your bank and move on.

Switching to a new current account now takes just seven working days, and there are plenty of reasons to do it.

Clydesdale Bank will woo you with £150 cashback if you switch your main account to its Current Account Direct, while Halifax will now pay £125 for switchers to its fee-free Reward Current Account (and, as you will also earn £5 a month for keeping in credit, that's a £185 windfall during the first year for doing nothing). Other banks have more to offer you in interest terms (up to 5% on limited balances), or they could just treat you better in terms of customer service.

Call us Cilla, because we can do the matchmaking for you if you visit our current accounts comparison channel. Just tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll fix you up.

 

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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