If you are looking to open a new bank account, it is a good idea to learn about the different types of bank accounts available, to ensure that you get the right account for your exact needs.
There are several types of bank accounts available, each one being tailored to slightly different requirements and also varying from bank to bank. Each type of account offers different advantages and for many it might be beneficial to hold a combination of accounts.
Basic Bank Account
This type of account usually offers the customer the facility to have regular payments paid in free of charge, and to set up direct debits or standings orders. The customers bank should issue the account holder with a card to withdraw money, which may or may not be free of charge, depending upon where the money is withdrawn.
A basic account normally lacks the facility of a chequebook and an overdraft, the benefit of the latter being that the customer need not worry about accumulating debt. On the downside, the interest rate received by the customer may be lower than that for a current account.
Like the basic account, current accounts are tailored towards everyday use such as paying in money, withdrawing money, as well as setting up standing orders and direct debits. Customers will receive a debit card with capability such as visa or maestro, enabling the customer to withdraw money where they find the relevant sign. The debit card for this account also permits customers to make payments via the chip and pin process.
A current account will typically also return low levels of interest on the money in your account, but unlike the basic account, may provide the facility of an overdraft which needs to be arranged with your bank. Customers are also usually entitled to a chequebook as a method of payment.
Savings accounts will offer a higher rate of interest to the customer and therefore provide a means of saving money and to see a return in the form of interest. This often means that you cannot move your money too often. In fact, some savings accounts require that you give notice before withdrawing money. Customers should also be ware that interest gains will be taxed, and are normally deducted before being received by the account holder. Non-taxpayers in the UK can claim back the tax on the interest gained, but for UK taxpayers, an ISA may be a better option for saving money.
The main feature of a student account is that they normally offer an overdraft facility for students. The overdraft limit will vary between banks, but will commonly be a free facility. Banks also offer different incentives for students to open an account, which may include complimentary insurance, electronic devices, railcards and more.