Are there any bank accounts without charges?

3 March2011

Ask any number of people what they dislike about their bank account, and the chances are many of them will mention charges for things like going overdrawn or missing payments. When it`s getting to the end of the month and you`re trying to make your money stretch, the last thing you need is an unexpected charge that takes you even further past your overdraft limit.

However, not all bank accounts charge this way. If you`re worried about charges from your bank, you may want to take a look at a few other accounts to see how they work and what they offer.

Aren`t all bank accounts the same?

This is something that a lot of people assume, but it`s not true. Different bank accounts work in different ways, and offer a range of different benefits that could be very useful.

The majority of bank accounts do charge for bounced payments and unauthorised overdrafts - and if you`re already struggling with your finances, this can make a bad situation even more difficult. So you could benefit from an account that doesn`t charge for these things, such as the thinkbanking account.

The thinkbanking account is a `managed` bank account - meaning your money is managed for you. At the start of each month, money for your essential expenses will be put to one side, leaving you with an amount that you know you can safely spend on other things. This should make it much less likely that you`ll end up missing payments because you`ve spent money you actually needed for something important.

Bear in mind that there is a set-up fee and a monthly fee. Depending on your financial situation (and your personality, of course), you might decide it makes more sense to pay a single, predictable fee every month, rather than risk multiple charges that could add up to a lot more.

Other benefits

Banks and building societies today offer an increasingly wide range of additional benefits on top of their accounts. Things like travel insurance or roadside cover are not uncommon, and many banks also provide access to better deals on their other products (such as mortgages and credit cards) to their bank account customers.

Especially at a time when many account providers offer little or no interest on account balances, it`s well worth looking at the value of the other benefits - it may even exceed the value of the returns you`d receive on an interest-paying account.

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Tags: bank account, banking, bank account charges

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