Some current accounts come with extra benefits, such as travel insurance, car breakdown cover and mobile phone insurance, packaged together for a monthly fee.
Packaged accounts can be great value, particularly those at the top of our table below, but only if you’re actually using the benefits.
If you don't want to pay a monthly fee and you stay in credit each month, we review the best credit interest current accounts on the market, which currently beat the rates offered by many savings accounts.
The Co-operative Bank Everyday Extra
We have calculated its score assuming the account holder is opted into free add-on 'Everyday Rewards'.
Barclays Bank Account Travel & Tech Pack w/ Blue Rewards
Price made up of Travel Pack which costs £12.50 a month, Tech Pack which costs £14.50 a month and Blue Rewards, which costs £4 a month.
|Halifax Ultimate Reward||69%||£204||£50||WF*||R,H,N||£2,000 (2)|
|Lloyds Bank Platinum |
We have calculated its score assuming the account holder is opted into 'Club Lloyds' which is free if you pay in £1,500 each month. If you pay in less than £1,500 it will cost you £3 each month.
|Bank of Scotland Platinum |
We have calculated its score assuming the account holder is opted into the free add-on 'Vantage'.
Earn 1.50%/1.49% AER/interest on up to £2,000 in your account balance and regular Pots (excluding Savings Pots). Premium account holders can also withdraw up to £600 abroad every 30 days without incurring any fees.
|48%||£180||£0||WF*||No Cover [a]||£2,000 (2)|
|Revolut Metal |
Revolut Metal does not offer car breakdown cover or Mobile phone insurance but it does offer up to 1% cashback, accidental damage cover for a year and reimbursements up to £1,000 for cancelled events.
|36%||£155.88||£0||WF*||No Cover||No Cover|
Correct as of 28 April 2021.
[a] As of 30 March 2021, Monzo Plus and Premium customers can pay from £5/month extra for breakdown cover. We have not included this in our analysis as it was not available at the time of collating the data.
Travel insurance WF = Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports EC = Europe annual inc UK (couple) ES = Europe inc UK (individual)
Car breakdown cover R = Roadside assistance H = Home start N = Nationwide recovery A = Alternative travel or accommodation EU = European assistance
Mobile phone cover RP = Replacement phone
How we calculated our account scores
The account score is weighted by the annual cost and extras such as interest-free overdrafts or cashback and credit interest (30%), quality of travel insurance (30%), car breakdown cover (30%) and mobile phone insurance (10%).
First Direct, and TSB no longer offer packaged accounts to new customers. NatWest Group packaged accounts are only available to existing customers who upgrade.
M&S Bank is pulling out of the current account market from August 2021. We explain what this means for customers in our news story.
The Co-operative Bank Everyday Extra vs Nationwide FlexPlus
At the top of our rankings, both scoring 77%, was The Co-operative Bank Everyday Extra (£15 per month) and Nationwide FlexPlus (£13 a month) at the top, with a score of 77%.
Nationwide has been our top pick for many years running, despite the standard upper age for travel insurance being lowered from 75 to 70, and the monthly fee rising from £10 to £13 in September 2017.
Nationwide’s FlexPlus account is £2 cheaper at £13 a month. But you can opt in for The Co-operative Bank's free 'Everyday Rewards' scheme to earn up to £2 cashback and 5p per debit card purchase (max £3) for every month that you: pay in £800; pay out four direct debits; stay within the agreed overdraft limit; get paperless statements; and log into mobile or online banking.
These accounts don't scrimp on cover, achieving the joint highest score of 77%. Take a closer look:
Both banks offer comprehensive annual travel insurance for worldwide trips (including the US). Other family members living at the same address are also covered.
However, The Co-operative Bank’s Everyday Extra includes better travel cover for Covid-19-related incidents.
Most winter sports are also protected (up to age 64 only at The Co-operative Bank) though Nationwide asks you to take out a 'Hazardous Activities Upgrade' for Heli skiing and ice hockey.
As with other banks, you aren't insured if you travel against Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice.
Mobile phone insurance
Nationwide offers worldwide mobile phone protection for all family members living at the same address with up to four claims per year (max £1,500 per claim).
The Co-operative Bank only covers your mobile phone and Sim card, up to the value of £1,500 if lost, stolen or damaged - also anywhere in the world.
Car breakdown cover
We awarded full marks for Nationwide's comprehensive car breakdown cover, provided by Britannia.
This policy covers you at home and in Europe - for any any vehicle you travel in, whether you're a passenger or driver - and with no call-out limit. Joint account holders can cover two vehicles.
The Co-operative Bank offers almost identical levels of cover, though you are restricted to five call-outs per year.
Will packaged account insurance cover you?
Packaged accounts can offer a cheaper and more convenient way to insure yourself, but read the terms and conditions carefully.
Older travellers will need to watch out for age restrictions. Standard travel insurance upper limits range from 64 to 79, though you can pay to extend this with Nationwide (£65 per account, which means joint account holders over 69 only need to buy one between two).
With mobile phone insurance, many banks will limit claims to two a year, although some allow four (shown in brackets in our table). Barclays Travel and Tech Pack covers up to four mobile phones and unlimited gadgets, each worth a maximum of £1,500. Nationwide protects multiple phones owned by you and family members living at the same address. Others will only cover your phone.
Most banks offer unlimited car breakdown cover while The Co-operative Bank limits you to five call-outs a year.
Check how much you have to pay towards claims, too. The excess varies from £75 to £125 for each mobile insurance claim. Similarly, most banks apply an excess of £0 or £75 for medical travel insurance claims.
Ask your bank whether there are any other steps you need to take to qualify for the benefits, such as registering your smartphone online.
Will your medical condition be covered?
If standalone travel insurance is expensive because of your age or health, a packaged account may actually be the cheapest option.
Check with your chosen bank first, though, as pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) aren’t covered automatically.
You’ll need to declare these when you open the account and you may be asked to pay extra, or accept limited cover.
Insurers also ask to be informed of any material changes to your health, at which point they may re-screen you, which could result in the terms of cover changing or the premium going up.
Is it worth paying for a packaged account?
Packaged accounts can be great value, particularly those at the top of our table, but only if you’re actually using the benefits.
And some of the 'benefits' just aren't that much use. So if you're thinking of opening a fee-charging bank account, or already have one, ask yourself these key questions:
- How many of the benefits do I really need?
- Does the insurance give me the right amount of cover?
- Can I get any of the benefits cheaper elsewhere?
- Am I already covered?
Take the time to see what else is on the market, making sure that you don’t have duplicate cover elsewhere – mobile phones and gadgets may be covered by your home insurance, for example, and some car insurers include breakdown cover as standard.
To avoid wasting your money, keep an eye on annual statements, and switch to a free account if you’re not making the most of the perks you’re paying for.
If you do have a packaged account, you should be given ample notice of any changes, as well as an annual eligibility statement prompting you to assess whether the account is still worth paying for.
Think about the way you run your account, for example, if you tend to use an overdraft from time to time, a standard account may save you money on fees and charges.
Should you open a joint packaged account?
Sharing a packaged account with someone you live with is a good way of getting more value from the account – all of the accounts in our table can be held in joint names, meaning two people can be covered under the one fee.
Joint accounts aren't without risk – because you are both liable for any debts, regardless of who spends the money – and not all packaged accounts offer value for money.
Were you mis-sold a packaged bank account?
There are rules in place to prevent insurance mis-selling within fee-charging bank accounts.
These force providers to a) check whether you are eligible to claim under each policy and make sure you know that information; b) establish whether each policy is suitable for you and alert you if some aren't; and c) provide you with annual eligibility statements prompting you to check if the policies still fit your needs.
Here are some other things to watch out for:
- You were signed up without realising it Banks should not do this without your consent unless all customers on a previously free account are being switched to a packaged account.
- You are no longer eligible to claim if your circumstances change, for example, if you pass the maximum age limit to claim on a travel insurance policy, your provider should inform you of this.
- You have to activate the benefits before you can use them Check whether you need to do this when you open the account, otherwise you might find that your insurance is invalid and that you have been paying for something you can't use. If this wasn't explained to you and your insurance claim is rejected, you might have grounds for complaint.
If you think that the features of the packaged account weren't explained properly, or the benefits didn't apply to your circumstances, you might have been mis-sold the account.
First, lodge a complaint with your bank or building society. If after making a formal complaint, you disagree with their final decision, or if you don’t hear from them within eight weeks, you have the right to take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.