Do bank accounts with monthly fees offer value for money?

If you currently pay a monthly fee for a packaged bank account, you might want to consider whether they actually offer value for money.

One example is the NatWest Advantage Gold account which NatWest claims will save up to £621 every year by offering a range of benefits including annual family travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, 10% off their car insurance, a 1% discount off a NatWest personal loan and extended warranty for goods. This account is available at a cost of £12 a month from 29th April 2006 (currently £10).

However, many of these so called benefits can be obtained elsewhere for free. For instance, you can get free family travel insurance with Alliance & Leicester’s Premier Plus current account. The Nationwide credit card offers a free extended warranty on purchases over £50. Even taking into account the 1% discount on the Natwest personal loan rates, better loan rates are available.

Furthermore NatWest’s Advantage Gold account pays only 0.25% AER interest on credit balances, Cahoot, on the other hand, pays 4% AER.

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