Top Packaged Bank Accounts

Get £500+/yr of breakdown, travel & mobile insurance for £156/yr

best packaged bank accounts

Packaged bank accounts are the Marmite of banking – some love 'em, some hate 'em. They usually have a monthly fee but used right, they can save you £100s off the cost of breakdown cover, travel insurance and mobile phone insurance. This is a guide to getting the right account, including our top picks.

The six need-to-knows

You need to be aware of several things before getting a packaged bank account, which usually provide breakdown cover, mobile and travel insurance for a monthly fee. These need-to-knows will help you ensure this type of account is right for you and avoid a nasty shock when trying to use the benefits. 

  • For some, travel insurance, smartphone cover and a breakdown policy for a fixed monthly fee won't be worth it. But if you're 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 of the account by 12 – for example, £15/month is £180/year – then see if you can buy the 'freebies' for less. To help, see our Travel InsuranceBreakdown Cover and Mobile Insurance guides. The policies included with packaged accounts are deliberately high-end, so compare whether a decent standard policy covers what you'll need.

    If you'd make a saving, a packaged account might be worth it for you. If you wouldn't, paying for cover separately and plumping for a fee-free bank account could work better.

  • With most packaged accounts the perks are valid for all account holders for the same single fee. Open it jointly and you're both covered, essentially boosting the account's value. So even if you won't both use the account, adding a partner can make sense (though be aware that joining finances means their credit record can affect yours).

    You should still consider what policies you actually need, and whether you could get 'em cheaper elsewhere, but if you both travel worldwide, own cars and have smartphones, a packaged account could save you money.

  • If they aren't going to pay out when necessary, they're worthless, so always check when signing up for an account. Plus, don't be caught out with heavy charges to upgrade. If winter sports and family cover aren't included, adding them can have hefty costs.

    Add that to the annual cost of your account and you could find you're spending far more than you need to. Instead, choose a more suitable account to begin with, or save by insuring separately.

  • Failing to declare conditions when applying for an account – and therefore, the travel insurance cover, too – may invalidate the policy. You need to call the insurer and tell it, even if you're just having tests for a condition.

    If you're diagnosed, or anything changes after the policy has been taken out, tell the insurer before you travel. It'll decide if it'll still cover you, with or without an additional charge. This will be reviewed annually, for as long as you hold the account, although it may not provide cover under the same conditions each year.

  • If you don't need the insurance, or you're currently paying interest for using your overdraft in your current account, ignore packaged accounts and grab one of the overall best bank accounts.

    These can give you switching bonuses of £100+, interest rates up to 5% on small amounts of cash, or 0% overdrafts. See our fee-free Bank Accounts guide for full options.

  • This guide's about how to pick the best packaged account. But it's worth noting that many people have had them for years without being able to use the benefits, essentially because they were mis-sold the account.

    If that's you, see our Reclaim Packaged Account Fees guide. EVERYONE who pays a monthly bank account fee should CHECK NOW to see if they were mis-sold.

Best buys: Packaged bank accounts

There are a whole host of bank accounts with benefits out there, but you have to be careful that the one you choose is worth the money. Nationwide offers the most comprehensive cover for a low fee, but there are a couple of other decent options...

Great for families – £500+/yr of travel, mobile & breakdown cover for £156/yr

Nationwide's FlexPlus* account is a cracking deal – IF you use the features. For £13/mth, you get worldwide family travel insurance (including winter sports) up to your 70th birthday, family smartphone insurance and UK and Europe breakdown cover for the account holder(s). We've calculated that all the insurance could be worth £500+/yr for a family of four (see FAQs below).

If you get a friend with a Nationwide account to refer you and you switch – including two direct debits – you'll both receive £100.

In-credit interest: None
Min monthly pay-in: None

  • Mobile cover for all the family's smartphones. We looked at insurance for an iPhone 8, and the cheapest cheapest smartphone insurance costs £80-£100/yr. If there are four of you, that's £320-£400's worth.
    - World family travel insurance (incl winter sports and golf cover). The cheapest family cover we've found elsewhere is from about £90/yr (£105/yr incl winter sports), plus £20/yr for golf cover.
    - UK & European breakdown cover. Covers account holder(s) in any car, and anyone driving their car with permission. Similar breakdown cover we've found elsewhere is from £70/yr.

    A family of four needing it all could easily pay £500/yr buying all the insurances separately. Do bear in mind that the price of standalone cover will vary with the number of people in your family being covered and the quality of the policy you're buying.

  • It allows multiple trips worldwide and includes winter sports, business, wedding and golf cover (including golf fees).

    It covers you, children under 18 (or 23 if in full-time education) providing they live at the same address, and your partner, even if it's not a joint account. The excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) is a maximum of £50 per person (no excess for children). If you've a pre-existing condition, tell Nationwide as you may need a medical screening before getting cover and could be charged extra to cover it.

    See the travel insurance policy document for more info.

  • If you're 70 or over, you'll need to pay a £65/yr premium for your travel cover. This isn't necessarily the best deal on the market, so always compare with premiums in Cheap Travel Insurance.

    Again, you will also need to declare any medical conditions, and may have to pay to cover those on top of the £65/yr premium. 

  • It covers repair or replacement after theft, loss, damage or breakdown, insuring each handset up to the value of £1,000. This limit increases to £1,500 from 1 Nov 2019. The excess is a maximum of £100 for an iPhone (£125 from 1 Nov 2019).

    Unusually, it covers the phones of your partner and children too, provided they live with you (children must be under 19 or under 22 if in full-time education, and cannot be married or in a civil partnership) – so maxed out, this gives serious value. You can make a maximum of four claims per year.

    See the mobile insurance policy document for more details. 

  • It's for the UK and Europe including home assistance and onward travel. Cover is for the person, travelling in any vehicle, and up to 7 other people travelling in that vehicle (so everyone would be taken to their destination). On a joint account both account holders would be covered.

    You can also register one vehicle per account holder, and anyone driving that vehicle with your permission will be covered.

    See the UK and Europe breakdown cover policy document for more details.

  • If you've a pre-existing condition, tell Nationwide as you may need to go through the insurer's medical screening process to see if it can cover you. You may be declined cover for that condition, or may have to pay an additional amount to cover it. 

  • The account's debit card doesn't charge an exchange fee overseas, making it a leading debit card for overseas use.

  • In our Aug 2019 poll, Nationwide was voted 'great' by 70% of voters, while 21% said it was 'OK' and 9% 'poor'.

  • Yes, Nationwide has full Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection, so any money saved with it is safe up to £85,000.

Arranged overdraft cost: 39.9% EAR variable
Unarranged overdraft cost: N/A (Nationwide will try not to let you go over your overdraft limit)

Good for couples & for older travellers - £400+/yr of travel, mobile & breakdown cover for £180/yr, though you can make it cheaper

Co-op Bank's Everyday Extra account comes with worldwide family travel insurance (including winter sports) up to your 80th birthday, plus smartphone insurance for the account holder(s) and UK and European breakdown cover. While the cover for families isn't as good as the Nationwide account above, it covers older travellers (up to 79) as standard. At £15/mth it's slightly more expensive, but you can earn up to £5.50/mth which can actually make it cheaper.

Just sign up to its Everyday Rewards scheme and you'll get £4 plus 5p per debit card transaction (max £1.50/mth) each month you pay in £800, pay out four direct debits, stay paperless, log in to online/mobile banking, and stay in credit or within your overdraft limit.

You need to upgrade from a standard Co-op current account, so if you're not already an account holder you'll have to open one and then upgrade.

In-credit interest: None
Min monthly pay-in: None (£800 to get rewards)
  • Mobile cover for the account holders' smartphones. We looked at insurance for an iPhone 8, and the cheapest smartphone insurance costs £80-£100/yr. If you've a joint account, that's £160-£200's worth.
    - World family travel insurance (incl winter sports and golf cover). The cheapest family cover we've found elsewhere is from about £90/yr (£105/yr incl winter sports), plus £20/yr for golf cover. If you're an older traveller, premiums rise sharply, so you could pay £200 or more for similar cover. 
    - European breakdown cover. Covers account holder(s) in any car. Similar breakdown cover we've found elsewhere is from £70/yr.

    Couples can open a joint account (even if only one uses it), so both would be covered by the breakdown cover and phone insurance. A couple buying all the comparable insurances separately could pay £400+/yr (or more if they're older).

  • It allows multiple trips worldwide of up to 45 days per trip and includes winter sports (max 21 days a year) and golf cover. 

    It'll cover you and your partner, even if it's not a joint account, up to your 80th birthday(s), though winter sports cover only applies until you turn 65. Children under 22 are also covered provided they live at the same address (or are in full-time education) and are not married. There is no excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) on any claims.

    If you've a pre-existing condition, tell Co-op when you open the account as you may need to go through the insurer's medical screening process to see if it can cover you as standard. If not, you may be declined cover for that condition, or may have to pay an additional amount to cover it. 

    For more policy details, see the Co-op's travel insurance documents.

  • It covers repair or replacement after theft, loss, damage or breakdown of your phone (and the other account holder's if it's a joint account) anywhere in the world, up to a handset value of £1,500.

    You're also covered for accessories, eg, cases and headphones, up to £350, if they're lost, stolen or damaged at the same time as your phone.

    You can make a maximum of two claims per year per account holder. You'll need to pay a £75 excess on any claim.

    For more policy details, see the Co-op's mobile insurance documents.

  • It's for the UK and Europe including home assistance. Cover is for the person in any car, and people travelling in your vehicle (so everyone would be taken to their destination), whether you're the driver or a passenger. On a joint account both account holders would be covered.

    For more policy details, see the UK & Europe breakdown cover documents.

  • In our Aug 2019 poll there were fewer than 100 votes for Co-op, but of those that voted 72% rated it 'great', while 19% said it was 'OK' and 9% 'poor'.

Arranged overdraft cost: 18.9% EAR
Unarranged overdraft cost: £20 buffer, then £10/month service charge. 18.9% EAR interest, plus £10/day charge each day your overdrawn balance increases. (Max charges of £60 per quarter.)

For couples or those who also want gadget cover – £400+ of travel, mobile & breakdown cover for £162/yr

Sister banks Clydesdale and Yorkshire offer the Signature current account for £13.50/mth. It comes with worldwide family travel insurance (including winter sports) up to your 75th birthday, plus smartphone insurance and UK breakdown cover for the account holder(s). You also get gadget cover for items such as tablets, sat-navs, laptops, cameras etc. We've calculated that all the insurance could be worth £400+/yr (see FAQs).

You'll need to open this account by phone or in branch, unless you already have a Current Account Plus with Clydesdale or Yorkshire Bank, in which case you'll be able to upgrade online. 

In-credit interest: None
Min monthly pay-in: None

  • - Mobile cover for the account holder's smartphones. We looked at insurance for an iPhone 8, and the cheapest smartphone insurance we found for that costs £80-£100/yr. If there are two of you, that's £160-£200's worth.
    - World family travel insurance (incl winter sports and golf cover). The cheapest family cover we've found elsewhere is from about £90/yr (£105/yr incl winter sports), plus £20/yr for golf cover. If any of you are aged over 65, it'll cost even more.
    - UK breakdown cover. Covers account holder(s) in any car, and anyone driving their car with permission. Similar breakdown cover we've found elsewhere is from £40/yr.
    - Gadget cover. Covers a variety of gadgets. Similar gadget cover costs around £90/year. 

    A couple needing it all could pay £400+/yr buying all the comparable insurances separately. Do bear in mind that the price of individual cover will vary with the number of people in your family being covered.

  • It allows multiple trips worldwide of up to 31 days per trip and includes winter sports (max 17 days a year) and golf cover. 

    It'll cover you and your partner, even if it's not a joint account, up to your 75th birthday(s). A maximum of four children are covered until they turn 18. There is a £50 excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) on any claims.

    If you've an existing medical condition, tell Clydesdale/Yorkshire when you open the account as you may need to go through the insurer's medical screening process to see if it can cover you as standard. If not, you may be declined cover for that condition, or may have to pay an additional amount to cover it.

    More information is in Clydesdale's travel insurance documents.

  • It covers repair or replacement after theft, loss, damage or breakdown, insuring each handset up to the value of £1,200. Accessories (such as headphones) are also covered up to a value of £250 per claim if they're involved in the same incident as your phone. 

    One phone is covered per account holder and you can make a maximum of two claims a year. The excess is £50 or £100 depending on the circumstances of the claim.

  • It's for the UK including roadside assistance and home start, provided by Green Flag. Cover is for the person, travelling in any vehicle, and covers all account holders. The policy will cover you to be towed to a nearby repairer, or a destination of your choice if it's within 10 miles of where you broke down.

  • It covers gadgets owned by you or your family, provided they cost between £50 and £750. Accessories – such as headphones or memory cards  are also covered up to a value of £250 if they're involved in the same incident.

    Examples of gadgets covered include laptops, tablets, smartwatches, sat-navs and e-readers. You're covered worldwide for loss (though not tablets, iPads and laptops), theft, damage and breakdown. 

    There's a £25 or £50 excess per claim, and you can make two claims a year. 

  • In our Aug 2019 poll there were fewer than 100 votes for Clydesdale, but of those who voted, 24% rated it 'great', while 41% said it was 'OK' and 35% 'poor'. Sister bank Yorkshire also had fewer than 100 votes, but scored better with 67% 'great', 27% 'OK' and 5% 'poor'.

  • You get access to ID Defender, which gives access to your credit report plus monitors online to see if your details are being used. It also gives you some ways to protect yourself online.

    You also get access to Signature rewards, which gives discounts on shopping (eg, Asda and Morrisons), leisure and travel. 

Arranged overdraft cost: 12.5% EAR, plus a £6/mth fee if you're more than £25 overdrawn
Unarranged overdraft cost: £10 buffer, then £6/day fee (max charges of £100 a month)

Good if you want home emergency cover - £400+/yr of travel, mobile & breakdown cover for £204/yr (though you can make it cheaper)

Another decent option is the Halifax Ultimate Reward account. It comes with worldwide family travel insurance (including winter sports) up to your 71st birthday, plus smartphone insurance, UK breakdown cover for the account holder(s), and home emergency cover. We've calculated that all the insurance could be worth £400+/yr (see FAQs).

Until 1 Dec 2019, you'll pay £15/mth if you pay in at least £750/mth, pay out two direct debits per month and remain in credit (£17/mth otherwise). Between 1 Dec 2019 and 30 Nov 2020, you'll pay £12/mth if you pay in at least £1,500/mth, stay in credit, and either spend £500/mth on your debit card or keep a balance of £5,000+ in your account (£17/mth otherwise).

In-credit interest: None
Min monthly pay-in: None, but £750 for lower fee (£1,500 from 1 Dec 2019)

  • Mobile cover for the account holders' smartphones. We looked at insurance for an iPhone 8, and the cheapest smartphone insurance costs £80-£100/yr. If you've a joint account, that's £160-£200's worth.
    - World family travel insurance (incl winter sports and golf cover). The cheapest family cover we've found elsewhere is from about £90/yr (£105/yr incl winter sports), plus £20/yr for golf cover. If any of you are aged 65+, it'll cost even more. 
    - UK-only breakdown cover. Covers account holder(s) in any car. Similar breakdown cover we've found elsewhere is from around £40/yr. 
    - Home emergency cover. Cheapest alternative policy we've found elsewhere is about £100/yr.

    Couples can open a joint account (even if only one uses it), so both would be covered by the breakdown cover and phone insurance. A couple buying all the comparable insurances separately could pay £400+/yr. Do bear in mind that the price of individual cover will vary with the number of people in your family being covered.

  • It allows multiple trips worldwide of up to 45 days per trip and includes winter sports (max 31 days) and golf cover.

    It'll cover you, children under 18 (or 24 if in full-time education) and your partner, providing they live at the same address. Kids travelling alone aren't covered. The excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) is £50 per claim.

    If you (or anyone else to be covered) has a pre-existing condition, tell Halifax when you open the account. You may need to go through a medical screening, which could result in the condition not being covered, or you having to pay an additional premium. 

  • It covers repair or replacement after theft, loss, damage or breakdown of your phone (and the other account holder's if it's a joint account) up to £2,000. There's a £100 excess for all handsets.

    You can make two successful claims per account holder per 12-month period.

  • It's provided by the AA and covers you in the UK including roadside assistance and home start. Cover is for the person, travelling in any vehicle, and covers all account holders. The policy will cover you to be towed to a nearby repairer, or a destination of your choice if it's no further than the repairer.

    For more policy details, see the Ultimate Reward account guide.

  • Home emergency cover means it'll send round a professional to your home if there's a sudden unexpected incident there. So if for example your electrics fail, it'll cover an electrician coming out to fix them (up to a value of £250 each time).

  • In our Aug 2019 poll, Halifax was voted 'great' by 50% of voters, while 34% said it was 'OK' and 16% 'poor'.

  • You can earn cashback at some retailers, though you need online/mobile banking to do this. Halifax's 'Cashback Extras' means that if you shop at selected retailers, including Co-op and Costa, you'll get some cashback if you use your Halifax debit card.

    You need to have online or mobile banking as you need to activate your cashback offers before using them. Cashback offers are tailored, so not every customer will get the same offers.

Arranged overdraft cost: Up to £300 fee-free, then 1p/day per £6 borrowed up to £1,250, 1p/day per every further £7 borrowed between £1,250 and £2,500 and a further 1p/day for every £8 borrowed over £2,500
Unarranged overdraft cost: None (typically you're only able to go into one "by £10s for a couple of days")

Top premium bank 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 £75,000+) or who have significant investments or mortgage borrowing.

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.

Here are our top picks...

Free worldwide family travel insurance plus one-night hotel stay if you switch

The HSBC Premier account offers free worldwide family travel insurance up to your 70th birthday. This account's worth getting, if you can, though you need a salary of at least £75,000 plus an HSBC mortgage, investment or life insurance product, or at least £50,000 saved with HSBC.

Open an account and switch another account to it (including two direct debits or standing orders) within 30 days and you can get a £175 bonus (see FAQs for how) – but don't use this as an excuse to get the account if it's not right for you.

In-credit interest: None
Min income: £75,000 salary

  • It covers you and your partner up to your 70th birthdays, including winter sports and business cover, for a maximum of 31 days per trip. Children under 18 or under 23 if still in full-time education and living at home outside term-time are covered if travelling with the account holder or staying with relatives abroad. Pre-existing conditions may not be covered, so check before you travel. See the full policy document.

  • You need to complete a switch (including at least two direct debits or standing orders) to this account using the Current Account Switch Service within 30 days of opening the account. Your £175 will then be paid in to the account within 30 days of your switch completing. 

    You can't get the switch offer if you've had an account with HSBC since 1 Jan 2016.

  • You can transfer cash fee-free between different HSBC accounts you hold in different countries using its Global Transfers service (max equivalent of $200k/day).

    Plus, you get access to a linked 2.75% regular savings account and certain mortgage rate discounts, though always check if HSBC offers the right mortgage for you.

  • In our Aug 2019 poll, 54% of its customers voted HSBC 'great', 29% 'OK', 17% 'poor'.

Arranged overdraft cost: 0% on the first £500 then 11.9% EAR
Unarranged overdraft cost: £10 buffer then 11.9% EAR (max £500 a month)

Free worldwide travel insurance

If you have cause to bank in different currencies, the Citigold account from Citibank could be a good option, as you get worldwide family travel insurance up to your 80th birthday, plus access to US dollar and euro accounts alongside your sterling one.

It's fee-free if you maintain a minimum average monthly balance of £150,000 across all accounts held with Citi UK or if you hold an account with Citi International Personal Bank in London or Jersey. Otherwise it's £75/mth.

In-credit interest: None
Min income: N/A but must hold average monthly balance of at least £150,000

  • The travel insurance covers you and your partner up to your 80th birthdays, and includes winter sports cover for a maximum of 30 days per trip, or 90 days over a 12-month period. Children under 18 (or under 23 if still in full-time education) who aren't married and live at home outside term-time are covered if travelling with the account holder or an adult known to them. Pre-existing conditions may not be covered, so check before you travel. See the full policy document.

  • You can switch your debit card to link to any of your currency accounts online – handy if you're travelling and paying in different currencies. You can also transfer cash to other Citi accounts held in over 20 countries with no transaction fees.

Arranged overdraft cost: 0% on the first £500, then 9.9% EAR
Unarranged overdraft cost: £10 buffer then £25 per paid or unpaid item (max four per month)

Packaged accounts Q&A

  • Banks use the same credit-scoring procedures, where they assess whether they want you as a customer, for packaged accounts as they do with normal accounts.

    So if the account includes an overdraft you'll be credit-checked in the usual way. For more info on how this works, and what lenders are looking for, see Credit Scores.

  • Usually, no. It's automatic. But if action is needed, we'll highlight it in the need-to-knows.

  • If you pay in over the counter, the money will count towards your balance immediately. However, if you pay the money in via one of the bank's ATMs, it will vary and can take up to two days to count towards your balance.

  • A few current accounts pay rewards for holding the account and meeting certain criteria, such as paying in a set amount each month or having direct debits. Some of these, such as the Halifax Ultimate Reward account scheme, are paid with basic-rate tax already deducted.

    With the introduction in April 2016 of the personal savings allowance (PSA), meaning interest is now paid tax-free, some people hoped that they'd see an increase in the reward amounts paid to them.

    But these payments don't count as savings income for tax purposes and instead are classed as 'annual' or 'miscellaneous' payments. This means the rewards don't count towards your PSA, and they're still liable to be taxed.

    If you're a non-taxpayer, you should claim back any tax taken using the R40 form. Higher and additional-rate taxpayers may need to pay more via tax returns.

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