Marks & Spencer launches first bank accountsCustomers to be charged monthly fee for benefits
20 July 2012
Marks and Spencer’s current accounts, available from October, will charge customers a monthly fee in return for a number of in and out of store benefits.
This week the high street giant opened its first bank branch at its flagship store in Marble Arch, London, with plans to open more M&S bank branches in stores across the UK over the next two years.
M&S Premium Current Accounts – how much do they cost?
M&S’ Premium Current Accounts, which come with an automatic £500 overdraft limit with the first £100 interest-free, will cost customers £20 a month with travel insurance or £15 a month without.
M&S values the worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance at £245. It includes winter sports and covers the policyholder and their partner up to age 70, plus children and grandchildren, up to the age of 18. It is possible, however, to get similar cover for about £60 with a Which? Best Buy for annual worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance.
M&S says there will be no overdraft fees while customers will be sent text alerts when they approach their overdraft limit. If you use the debit card at an ATM abroad, you won’t be charged either.
What are the perks of having an M&S Premium Current Account?
In return for paying a monthly fee, customers will get 12 vouchers for 20% off M&S shopping in the first year. However, vouchers won’t be redeemable against furniture or electrical items, nor on sale or clearance items. Each monthly voucher, with a maximum spend of £250, must also be used in conjunction with the M&S debit and credit card.
When customers use their debit card to make purchases at M&S, both in store and online, loyalty points will be automatically turned into vouchers and sent out in the post every 12 weeks, just like how the M&S credit card already works.
Like membership of the M&S Premium Club, which in itself costs £15 a month, current account customers will get vouchers to spend on hot drinks in M&S cafés and will receive a £10 birthday gift. Seasonal treats and vouchers worth £45 are also included as part of the premium current account fee while customers will also be given access to a monthly savings account.
Who can open an M&S Premium Current Account?
To be eligible for the M&S Premium Current Accounts, customers have to be a UK resident aged 18 or over and must pay in at least £1,000 each month.
Customers can start pre-registering for the new M&S Premium Current Accounts online before they open in October.
Are M&S Premium Current Accounts worth the cost?
Which? banking analyst David Paine said: ‘These packaged accounts will only be worth the monthly fee if you’re a loyal M&S customer who is likely to make use of most, if not all, of the benefits.’