As we move further through our financial lives we sometimes find that our needs change a little when it comes to our money. This is when a bank can really help, because it can provide us with bank accounts that are more appropriate for our needs.

This really helps, and if we are able to be clear on what we want for our money, it usually means that we can have an account that gives us plenty of benefits. But what kind of ‘current’ accounts are out there?

Current account

This is the bank account that people have most dealings with. It helps us manage our day to day money, including paying bills and withdrawing and depositing money. Much of this is online now, but the current account is quite easily the most simple and effective way to manage our daily financial lives.

One of the key aspects of a current account is the ability to have your salary or wages paid into it. This is why it is so convenient for everyone, and why it is the most popular account in banking today. Current accounts also help you when things are a little bit tricky, by providing an overdraft facility, for example.

Packaged accounts

These have been increasing in number in recent years, and have also become increasingly popular. This is because they offer some kind of incentive for you to bank with that particular account holding your money.

For example, many packaged accounts offer discounts on car insurance or other aspects of insurance. Others give better and more preferential rates of interest. The only catch with these accounts is that they do charge a fee. It is often not a lot of money (up to £20 a month for the average user) but it is still money and unless you are seeing real benefits, could be a reason why you avoid them.

With packaged accounts, it is always worthwhile looking very carefully at the terms and conditions of the account, so you know exactly where you stand. Of particular importance to you is the fee structure.

Basic bank accounts

These accounts are kind of an intermediary account prior to you having a current account. They are useful for people who have a poor credit history, or for people who have a low income. It could also just be because you don’t need the bells and whistles that current accounts offer, such as overdrafts.

Consider one of these if you match the specification in the last paragraph. They are very limited accounts, but wages, for example, can be paid into them.

Those are the basic accounts that people can use with their bank. There are other types of bank account, but if you’re talking about having your money looked after and accessible, these are the account types you should consider.

Remember to always read the terms and conditions of any bank account you open. Fees can be applied and changed at pretty much any time, and they are worth being aware of.

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