A huge tax shake-up tomorrow means you don't have to earn as much to qualify for some of the top current accounts.
The overhaul at the start of the 2011/12 financial year will see changes across the tax system that have a direct impact on all of us (see the Tax Rates 2011/12 guide).
The key changes that impact the current account market are that the personal allowance is rising from £6,475 to £7,475 (for under-65s earning less than £100,000 a year) which is good news for many as it means they will earn more before tax can be deducted.
Everyone will also pay an additional one percentage point on national insurance contributions.
The top current account deals all require a minimum monthly funding which, for most, will be their salary, though it doesn't have to be (see the Best Bank Accounts guide).
Many accounts require at least £1,500 or £1,000 as a minimum monthly requirement which, as of today, is the equivalent monthly take-home pay on a £23,500 or £14,700 annual salary.
But as many around those thresholds will pay less tax from tomorrow, they don't need to earn quite as much in pre-tax pay to have sufficient funds, as the table below demonstrates.
|Account||Min monthly funding||Salary required today||Salary required tomorrow|
|First Direct 1st account||£1,500||£23,500||£23,100|
|Halifax Reward account||£1,000||£14,700||£14,200|
|Santander Preferred current account||£1,000||£14,700||£14,200|
|Norwich & Peterborough Gold Classic||£500||£6,100||£6,100|
|Salaries are annual.|
What do the accounts offer?
The Santander Preferred current account gives £100 to switchers, pays 5% interest on the first £2,500 and has an interest-free year's overdraft. However, it's regularly bottom of our customers service polls.
Alternatively, the Halifax Reward account pays £5 a month but comes with a pricey £1 per day fee if overdrawn. The First Direct 1st Account pays £100 to joiners and always scores well for customer service (see the Best Bank Accounts guide for full info on the best deals).
Be careful if your salary is close to minimum deposit threshold because monthly take-home pay isn't always the same every month. If you fall under the threshold you may lose the benefit of the account.
Further reading/key links