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, £25/month is £300/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...

Top pick, especially 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).

You also get 3% AER variable interest on up to £2,500, meaning you could earn £74 in interest each year. Plus 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: 3% AER variable on up to £2,500
Min monthly pay-in: None

  • Mobile cover for all the family's smartphones. The 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. If any of you are aged 65+, it'll cost even more.
    - 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 pay £500+/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 and includes winter sports, business, wedding and golf cover (including golf fees).

    It covers you, children under 19 (or 22 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. If you've a pre-existing condition, tell Nationwide as you may need a medical screening before getting cover and could be charged.

    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.

  • It covers repair or replacement after theft, loss, damage or breakdown, insuring each handset up to the value of £1,000, plus the iPhone XR/XS which can cost more. The excess is a maximum of £100 for an iPhone.

    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 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.

  • The debit card with the account has no fee or 'load' for cash withdrawals abroad, making it a leading debit card for overseas use. But it still has a 2.75% charge when you use it for overseas purchases, so don't use it for this.

  • In our Mar 2019 poll, Nationwide was voted 'great' by 80% of voters, while 16% said it was 'OK' and 4% '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: Three months fee-free, £250 fee-free buffer after, 50p/day above that
Unarranged overdraft cost: Up to £10, you're charged 50p/day. Over £10, you're charged £5/day (max £50/mth)

£400+/yr of travel, mobile & breakdown cover for £180/yr PLUS £135 to switch & stay

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).

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). What's more, if you switch to the account you'll get £50, plus another £85 after six months if you pay in £1,500/mth, use your debit card at least once and go paperless. However, if you don't want to switch you may be better off with the Nationwide or Co-op Bank accounts.

In-credit interest: None
Min monthly pay-in: None but £750 for lower fee, £1,500 for extra £85 after six months
Who's eligible for switch offer: New and existing customers, as long as you haven't had a Halifax switch bonus since Jan 2012 and are not switching from Bank of Scotland

  • Mobile cover for the account holders' smartphones. 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 breakdown cover. Covers account holder(s) in any car. Similar breakdown cover we've found elsewhere is from around £50/yr. 
    - Home emergency cover. Cheapest comparable cover 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've a pre-existing condition, tell Halifax, otherwise your insurance won't be valid, and you may need to pay more. 

  • 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 for 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 destination of your choice.

    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 Mar 2019 poll, Halifax was voted 'great' by 52% of voters, while 36% said it was 'OK' and 12% '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 Morrisons and Superdrug, 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")

£300+/yr of travel, mobile & breakdown cover for £180/yr PLUS get up to £5.50/mth

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. The perks aren't as good as the Nationwide account above, and at £15/mth it's more expensive, but you can earn up to £5.50/mth which can offset the fee difference.

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 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. 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. 
    - 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 £300+/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 21 days a year) and golf cover. 

    It'll cover you, your partner, even if it's not a joint account, and children under 22 providing 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, otherwise your insurance won't be valid, and you may need to pay more.

  • 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 £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. There's a £75 excess on any claims.

  • 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 travel insurancemobile insurance and UK & Europe breakdown cover documents.

  • In our Mar 2019 poll, Co-op was voted 'great' by 71% of voters, while 20% 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.)

£300+/yr of travel, mobile & breakdown cover for £240/yr plus 2% cashback on bills

The NatWest and RBS* Reward Platinum accounts offer worldwide family travel insurance (including winter sports) up to your 70th birthday, smartphone insurance and UK breakdown cover, for a £20 monthly fee.

While these perks aren't as good as the accounts above, and it's more expensive, it's still a decent option if you spend a lot on bills as you get 2% cashback on most household bills as long as you pay by direct debit, which can in effect bring the fee down.

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

  • Mobile cover for the account holders' smartphones. 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). The cheapest family cover we've found elsewhere is from about £90/yr (£105/yr incl winter sports). If any of you are aged 65+, it'll cost even more. 
    UK breakdown cover. Covers all account holder(s) travelling in any car, and all vehicles registered at your home address. Similar breakdown cover we've found elsewhere is from around £50/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 £300+/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 31 days per trip and includes winter sports cover.

    It'll cover you, children under 18 (or 23 if in full-time education) providing they live at the same address and aren't married or in a civil partnership, 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. If you've a pre-existing condition, tell NatWest, otherwise your insurance won't be valid.

    To add people to your policy, or to declare a medical condition, call NatWest on 0345 609 0453.

  • If you're over 70, you'll need to pay a £75/yr premium for your travel cover. This isn't necessarily the best deal on the market, so always compare with the premiums in Cheap Travel Insurance.

  • It covers replacement after theft, loss or damage of your phone, which must have a screen size of less than seven inches. There's a £100 excess and it also covers unauthorised calls up to £2,500 for contract phones and £100 for pay-as-you-go. If it's a joint account, both account holders get a phone covered.

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

    It also covers any vehicles owned by you that are registered at your home address. You're limited to five call-outs in any 12-month period.

    For more details, see the insurance policy summaries.

  • You can earn cashback on council tax, gas, electricity, water, home phone, mobile, TV and broadband.

    NatWest has a list of qualifying suppliers (though it's worth checking with the bank about your suppliers if they're not listed). You need to pay your bills by direct debit from the account to get the cashback – for example, any payments made by debit card or standing order won't qualify.

    The household bills that qualify for cashback do not include fuels other than gas or electric, such as heating oil, nor do they include maintenance, insurance, TV licence, on-demand internet streaming services or any commercial contracts.

  • You can cash in your rewards as soon as you reach £5. This can be in the form of cash, vouchers with retailers such as Cineworld and Caffè Nero or a donation to one of 10 charities, including Barnardo's, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and the NSPCC.

  • You also get a Tastecard membership, which gives 2for1 or 50% off at various restaurants across the UK, and can get 40% off cinema tickets at more than 250 cinemas.

  • In our Mar 2019 poll, NatWest was voted 'great' by 43%, while 35% said it was 'OK' and 22% 'poor'.

Arranged overdraft cost: £250 interest-free, then £6/month plus 19.89% EAR interest
Unarranged overdraft cost: £10 buffer, then £8/day fee (max charges of £80 a month) plus £8 unpaid item fee (max one a month)

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 start a switch including two direct debits or standing orders within 30 days and you can also claim a one-night hotel stay plus an extra such as dinner, afternoon tea or a spa treatment (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'll be sent an email or letter about the hotel stay within 30 days of your switch completing and will have to submit three preferences for hotel and date (latest possible date is 31 March 2020) by calling 01565 656491.

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

    Full details and options can be found on the Premier Night Away site.

  • 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 5% regular savings account and certain mortgage rate discounts, though always check if HSBC offers the right mortgage for you.

  • In our Mar 2019 poll, 49% of its customers voted HSBC 'great', 31% 'OK', 20% '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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