Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

Bank accounts with benefits You could get £600 insurance for £120

A quick message from Martin

All the latest deals, guides and loopholes go in MoneySavingExpert's
free weekly email. Don't miss out!

Get Martin's Money Tips email now!

Packaged bank account tool

TOOL | Top Packaged Bank Account Analyser

A packaged bank account is a great way to get mobile phone, travel, breakdown and other insurance cheaply IF YOU’LL USE IT. If not, it can be a massive waste of money.

Joint Account?
Mobile Insurance?
Breakdown Cover?
Are you a high earner?
Travel Insurance? (Choose cover type first)
We estimate buying these insurance policies separately would cost
£0
per year. Find out how
This is based on the best value policies - not necessarily the cheapest as fee-paying account policies tend to be higher - giving a good standard of cover. They're a guide to what you could save depending on what you need. Always check policy limits.
Mobile Insurance: £0 Cheapest mobile insurance guide
Breakdown Cover: £0 Cheapest breakdown cover guide
Travel Insurance: £0 Cheapest travel insurance guide
Total: £0
Top packaged accounts based on your selection...
ALWAYS check the policies cover your personal circumstances.
There were no Results. Please amend your search.
Joint Accounts: who can have one?

A joint account is held by two or more people. All account holders have equal control, and in turn are jointly responsible for debts on the account. You'll be required to sign a mandate to highlight how the account operates - for example, whether all parties must sign for withdrawals.

With packaged accounts, all account holders will be given cover under the included insurance policies, for the same single fee.

Mobile insurance: who can get it and why would you need it?

Mobile insurance will usually cover theft, loss, accidental damage and unauthorised calls if your phone is stolen or lost - although please check specific policy details. It's good for those with expensive phones, who have a habit of losing/damaging them.

All the policies here will cover an iPhone or other smartphones (at the very least, £750 per phone). Where it states more than one phone is covered, the phones must be registered to the same address, and held by the account holder(s) or their family. Family can include children, partners, nieces, nephews, aunty, uncle.

Breakdown: what does it include? What's the difference between personal and vehicle cover?

The aim of breakdown cover is to get you mobile, which may involve temporary or full repair at the roadside. Some include breaking down at home; others will only cover if you're approx ¼ mile away.

UK covering me
The policy will cover you, regardless of what car you're travelling, whether it's owned by you or whether you're the driver or the passenger.

UK covering my car
Cover applies to a registered vehicle. Who's driving at the time of breakdown is irrelevant.

Europe
Applies to driving in Europe - check specific areas in the policy documents if you're unsure of cover in a particular country - you’ll be given the same assistance ie with the aim of getting you mobile, possibly with the addition of accommodation.

High earning:

Some providers give certain fee-paying accounts free to eligible customers, generally those fulfilling some combination of the following (varies per bank):

  • Earning at least £100k
  • Hold high savings with the same bank.
  • Some also waiver fees for holding a mortgage with them (it's likely you'll need savings or a high income in addition).

If this applies to you, some options may be worth getting - even if they don't include all the policies you want (mobile and breakdown usually), it'll work out cheaper to insure separately for those on top.

Travel insurance: what does it cover?

The policies included here provide annual cover, good for those who travel more than once a year for around 30 days, against cancellation, illness, delay, baggage and loss of personal items.

Always check that the cover limits are suitable for you, plus read the policy carefully before assuming you're covered for anything out of the ordinary. Extra costs apply if you have any ongoing medical issues.

If the policy includes winter sports cover, you'll be protected if you're injured skiing or snowboarding on-piste only - if you go off piste, it's likely you won't be covered - generally for no more than 21 days total per year.

This is the first incarnation of this guide. Please tell us whether it works for you, your experiences with any of these accounts, and if there are any we've missed.

Are packaged accounts worth it for me?

Banks make money from these accounts - they want you to have them. But this doesn't mean that they're a waste of money for all - quite the opposite.

For those who are savvy enough to check policies and work out costs, they can SAVE you money. There's a simple way to work it out:

If you don't need the added extras, or can insure cheaper elsewhere, don't bother with a packaged account.

Start by multiplying the monthly cost by 12 - for example, £25/month is £300/year - then see if you can buy the 'freebies' for less. If you can, either ditch and switch to a fee-free account or shift for better value.

Packaged accounts DOs & DON'Ts

Watch out for good junk mail

This is one of the few areas where junk mail can be positive. Very occasionally direct mail offers, targeted website offers or sign-up stalls in shopping centres offer better deals. Keep your eyes open, but ensure you ask about any fees.

Don't miss out on updates to this guide Get MoneySavingExpert's free, spam-free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

Best buys: Packaged bank accounts

Many top bank accounts you can get free, but some monthly-fee accounts can be worth it IF you use the products bundled with them - usually breakdown cover, travel insurance and mobile phone insurance. More importantly, if they save you money, they're a definite winner.

Our top picks

Nationwide

FREE travel insurance and no fee*Nationwide Flexaccount*. Great if you just need travel cover

  • In-credit interest: None
  • Min monthly income: £750 (explanation)
  • Arranged overdraft cost: 3 months fee-free then 18.9% EAR.
  • Unarranged overdraft cost: Up to £15 interest charged at 18.9% EAR. Over £15 interest at 18.9% EAR plus £15 paid / unpaid item fees (max £75/mth)

A great way to get completely free European travel insurance is Nationwide's* FlexAccount. It's a decent policy and provides cover up to age 75, which alone usually costs a fortune. Plus, add a trusting partner as a joint account holder and you'll both benefit from the free insurance.

You must switch and pay in £750+/mth to qualify. If you have a pre-existing condition, tell Nationwide as you may need a medical before getting cover and could be charged.

Nationwide

£600 of high-end travel, mobile & breakdown for £120*Nationwide FlexPlus

  • Monthly fee
  • £10
  • £120
    year
  • Get it*
  • In-credit interest: 3% AER up to £2,500
  • Min monthly income: None
  • Arranged overdraft cost: 3 months fee-free, £100 fee-free buffer after, 50p per day above that
  • Unarranged overdraft cost: Up to £10 charged 50p/day. Over £10 charged £5 per day (max £50/mth)

For the cheapest worldwide family travel insurance up to age 74 (which usually costs double the account charges alone), smartphone insurance for all the family at the same address and UK & Europe breakdown cover, Nationwide's* FlexPlus account is a cracking deal for £120/year - IF you'll use the features.

Plus it comes with extended warranty cover for an additional 12 months on all new household electrical items between £50-£2,000. You'll also get 3% AER in-credit interest on balances up to £2,500, beating top savings accounts.

Santander

Top alternative: 3% savings & bills cashback*Santander £24/year (£2/mth).

  • Monthly fee
  • £2
  • £24
    year
  • Get it*
  • In-credit interest: 1% AER if you've £1,000-£1,999.99; 2% if you've £2,000-£2,999.99; 3% if you've £3,000 - £20,000
  • Min monthly income: £500 ( explanation)
  • Cashback: 1% on water, council tax & Santander mortgage, 2% on gas & elec, 3% on phone, internet & TV
  • Arranged overdraft cost: 0% for 4mths after switching. Then £1/day
  • Unarranged overdraft cost: £6/day (max £95/mth)

The Santander* 123 Current Account operates an entirely different way. There's no insurance, but it pays up to a massive 3% cashback on household bills plus 3% AER in-credit interest on £3,000-£20k - even lower bill-payers could be quids in.

We crunched the numbers on how this stacks up and after the fee, we worked out low users would be up by £47 a year, average users by £115 and high bill payers could be £226 in profit.

Top Premium Accounts

While you can pay for the accounts above, most banks also have a 'premium' account. This is generally for people earning high salaries (usually £100,000+) or who have significant investments or mortgage debt.

These premium accounts are generally seen as a halfway house between the paid-for accounts above, and proper private banking. Perks associated with the accounts vary. Some include insurance, access to concierge services, or discounts on mortgages or other associated products.

HSBC's our top pick, as it's free and gives free, worldwide family travel insurance as well as big discounts on mortgages.

HSBC

Free worldwide travel insuranceHSBC: Free if eligible

  • In-credit interest: none
  • Min income: £100,000 salary
  • Arranged overdraft cost: 0% on the first £500 then 11.9%
  • Unarranged overdraft cost: £25 paid or unpaid fee of £0, £10 or £25

Premier account holders with HSBC get worldwide, free family travel insurance, plus can save £300 on mortgage fees and often get mortgage rate discounts.

It's fee-free, but to get it, you must hold over £50,000 of investments with HSBC or have a salary of £100,000 plus a HSBC mortgage, investment or life insurance product.

This account's worth getting, if you can, for the travel insurance. The mortgage discounts are good, but HSBC isn't always going to be able to provide the best mortgage for you. It's always wise to look at the whole mortgage market when choosing a new mortgage.

Don't miss out on updates to this guide Get MoneySavingExpert's free, spam-free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

Do I need to activate policies?

Many people get caught out after they've signed up to one of these accounts. They wrongly assume that they'll automatically be covered, when in fact some policies require you to register your details to initiate cover. This particularly applies to phone insurance.

Failing to do this is another way packaged accounts can become a monthly black hole for your cash. Check you've done all you need to before embarking on that holiday or long car journey.

Check below whether your bank requires you to register or not.

Bank Travel insurance Breakdown cover Mobile insurance
Bank of Scotland
Barclays
Halifax
HSBC -
Lloyds Bank
NatWest
Nationwide
RBS

Have you been mis-sold?

The financial regulator, the FCA, has been investigating how packaged bank accounts have been sold over a number of years. It found many were sold these accounts even though they were unable to claim on the insurance, something that isn't often discovered until a claim's needed.

Like all insurance products (which is what these really are), the bank needs to ensure it's suitable for you. It's starting to look like banks systemically failed to do that. A common example is customers aged over 65 not being told they weren't eligible for travel insurance.

Our full Reclaim Packaged Bank Accounts for Free guide has got all the info you need to work out if you may have been missold, including a full mis-selling checklist, and template letters to send to your bank if you think you were.

Join in the Forum Discussion:
Premier Current Accounts
If you haven't already

What the * means above

If a link has a * by it, that means it is an affiliated link and therefore it helps MoneySavingExpert stay free to use, as it is tracked to us. If you go through it, it can sometimes result in a payment to the site. It's worth noting this means the third party used may be named on any credit agreements.

You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.

Duplicate links of the * links above for the sake of transparency, but this version doesn't help MoneySavingExpert.com: , First Direct, Nationwide, Nationwide FlexPlus, Santander 123

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.