The best UK packaged bank accounts

Looking for a packaged account? We look at what the top packaged accounts offer and what you should watch out for.

Packaged current accounts have – rightly – been slated by personal finance sites like loveMONEY in the past.

There was the massive mis-selling scandal for a start (more on that later), not to mention the hefty monthly fees.

Then there's the fact that the perks on offer have been scaled back over the last few years.

Yet despite all these negative headlines, packaged current accounts can still prove to be a savvy option.

You just need to make sure you are using as many perks as possible to justify the costs.

So, is a packaged account right for you? Read on, do the sums, and don’t forget the small print.

Packaged accounts explained

Before deciding whether you want one, let's look at exactly how a packaged account works.

Essentially, it's a current account with bolt-ons like insurance and more generous in-credit rates.

They come with a monthly fee, so you need to check whether the perks on offer outweigh this cost as you can get many of the same benefits with fee-free accounts (we’ve noted these below).

It’s also vital you read the small print before you sign up as there are a load of exclusions that can catch you out, such as age limits on insurance. Finally, check that you’re not doubling up with another policy you already have. 

We recommend checking the price of insurance to see if you’d be better off getting a free bank account and buying the insurance separately.

In most cases, we've listed the best free 'equivalent' for each account.

New packaged accounts

If you’re confident banking on your mobile, these relatively new banks may be worth considering.

Monzo Max, Monzo Perks and Monzo Extra

Monzo Max, which costs £17 per month, comes with a host of perks for the hefty price tag.

For example, you’ll get free worldwide travel insurance, which includes medical bill coverage of up to £10 million. Within the UK and Europe, you’ll receive free breakdown cover too.

You'll also get phone insurance cover for theft, loss, accidental damage, and cracked screens for phones worth up to £2,000 and for accessories worth up to £300 (with a £75 excess).

If you’re looking to earn interest on your in-credit balance, you’ll get a rate of 4.6% AER on up to £100,000 in your Monzo Savings Pots. 

You'll also receive fee-free ATM withdrawals up to £600 abroad per month.

Other perks include a free annual Railcard and free weekly hot drink or snack from Greggs.

If you'd like to add your family to your account, you can do so for £5 per month (although some exclusions will apply).

The Perks account is a cheaper option, with a fee of £7 per month.

Although this account doesn't offer the insurance perks available through the Max account, you will receive 4.6% AER on savings up to £100,000 and fee-free ATM withdrawals abroad (up to £600).

Likewise, the account also offers the free Greggs hot drink or snack, as well as the free annual Railcard.

As an even cheaper option, the Extra account is just £3 a month, although you'll receive far fewer perks.

The main benefits with this account relate to nifty account management tools, which allow you to connect other banks to your Monzo account and check your credit health.

You can also add your Monzo transactions to a Google Sheet in real time.

Note, these online account management tools are also available through the Max and Perks accounts.

Free equivalent: As well as the free account from Monzo, travellers should also take a look at Starling Bank, which has no fees or charges for spending overseas.

Revolut Metal and Revolut Premium

Beyond the attraction of a brushed steel card, the Revolut Metal account (£14.99 per month) from mobile-only provider Revolut has several benefits for travellers.

For example, you get up to £800 per month in free ATM withdrawals abroad, emergency overseas medical cover, delayed flight and baggage insurance, as well as free airport lounge passes for you and three friends if your flight is delayed by longer than an hour.

You can also earn cashback when you spend with the card, at 1% outside Europe and 0.1% inside the continent, as well as get access to Revolut’s Savings Vault. You can choose what currency you want cashback to be paid in ‒ including cryptocurrencies. 

Revolut Metal customers can also spend, exchange and transfer money at ‘great exchange rates’ with no fees on Mondays to Fridays, as well as get 10 commission-free stock trades every month. 

If you make an international transfer on the app, you'll also get a 40% reduction in fees.

On top of this, the bank pays up to 4% AER on deposits in the account.

With the bank's RevPoints scheme, you can earn one point for two pounds you spend, which you can then redeem on travel perks.

With Revolut Premium (£7.99 a month), you’ll get overseas emergency medical and dental cover, delayed baggage and flight insurance. You’ll also get fee-free ATM withdrawals of up to £400 per month, access to Revolut’s Savings Vault and five commission-free stock trades every month.

You can also spend, exchange and transfer money at ‘great exchange rates’ with no fees on Mondays to Fridays. If you make an international transfer, you'll also get a 20% reduction in fees.

With a Premium account, you'll earn up to 3% AER on deposits.

Under the RevPoints scheme, you'll earn one point for every four pounds you spend.

Free equivalent: Again, Starling’s account sets the standard for traveller-friendly accounts, while Monzo’s free account is a contender. Revolut’s free Standard Account is also worth considering.

The best fee-free credit cards to use abroad

Best traditional packaged accounts

If you’d rather go with a more familiar name, these are some of the top accounts worth looking at, which are listed in alphabetical order.

Most packaged accounts include travel insurance but may offer different perks such as cashback, interest on in-credit balances or fee-free withdrawals overseas so make sure you choose the right account for you.

Club Lloyds Platinum and Club Lloyds Silver

For up to £25.50 a month (£22.50 if you pay in at least £2,000 a month), Club Lloyds Platinum offers worldwide travel insurance among other benefits.

Worldwide travel insurance is offered to account holders up to the age of 80 and covers you and your family for up to 31 consecutive days in any calendar year (including winter sports).

Other extras with this account include AA breakdown family cover, mobile phone insurance and a ‘lifestyle benefit’ of your choice every year.

You can choose from six cinema tickets, an annual digital Coffee Club or Gourmet Society membership, annual magazine subscription, or 12 months of Disney+.

With this account, you can also earn 1.5% interest on balances up to £3,999.99 and 3% for balances between £4,000 and £5,000, as well as earn up to 15% cashback.

While the monthly fee is pretty eyewatering, you could receive a £5 discount every month that you pay £4,300 or more into the account (£5,500 on joint accounts), or hold savings of £75,000 or more in qualifying accounts.

There’s also the Club Lloyds Silver account, which costs £11.50 a month, plus the £3 monthly fee if you don’t pay in at least £2,000 a month.

With the Club Lloyds Silver account, you’ll get European and UK family travel insurance if you're under the age of 65, mobile phone insurance, AA breakdown family cover, a ‘lifestyle benefit’ and the same in-credit interest as the Club Lloyds Platinum account.

At the time of writing, the bank is offering a £175 switching bonus to new customers.

All Club Lloyds accounts also offer access to a Regular Saver paying 6.25% AER on deposits of between £25 and £400 per month

Free equivalent: You can get some of the same rewards, cashback and interest with the Club Lloyds Account, which is fee-free so long as you pay in £2,000 each month and stay in credit. 

A Lloyds Bank branch. (Image: Francesco Cantone/Shutterstock)

Halifax Ultimate Reward Account

The Ultimate Reward Account from Halifax isn’t cheap, costing £19 per month, but you get a fair bit back.

For example, every calendar month you’ll either get £5 cashback, a free Vue cinema ticket or three digital magazines. You’ll also get access to Cashback Extras.

But you’ll need to meet certain conditions, like either spending £500 on your debit card each month or maintaining a balance above £5,000 for the full month.

Plus, you’ll have to pay at least £1,500 into your account every month and keep your account in credit.

Account holders will benefit from worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance, which includes things like winter sports and golf trips. 

There is also AA breakdown family cover and home emergency cover for up to £250 should you find yourself in a bind, to help you make your home safe and secure or get the energy or water back on after a failure.

Finally, there’s mobile phone insurance, which provides cover for the repair or replacement of your phone, worth up to £2,000, should it break down, get damaged or be stolen or lost.

It covers one phone for a single account holder or two for joint accounts.

Free equivalent: You can get some of the same rewards and access to Cashback Extras with the standard Halifax Reward Account, which is fee-free so long as you pay in £1,500 each month and stay in credit. 

The Co-op Bank Everyday Extra

With a monthly fee of £15, the Co-op Bank’s Everyday Extra account provides mobile phone, worldwide travel and UK and European breakdown cover.

In one particularly attractive feature, the worldwide travel insurance is available for those up to the age of 79, which could make the account a good choice for older travellers.

Its mobile phone coverage has a limit of £1,500 and includes loss, theft, accidental damage and faults. Mobile accessories are also covered up to a maximum of £350. Be aware, there is a £75 excess per claim.

As part of the breakdown cover, you'll receive up to three days car hire while your vehicle is repaired.

Nationwide FlexPlus

The FlexPlus account will set you back £13 a month, but it’s another one that will appeal to those who like spending time outside of the UK.

Account holders get worldwide family travel insurance, family mobile phone insurance and benefit from no transaction fees when they use their debit card abroad, as well as get access to exclusive member-only products.

In addition, you get UK and European breakdown cover, with unlimited call-outs for your vehicle and any that you’re travelling in.

On top of this, current account customers can also access Nationwide's Regular Saver, which pays 6.5% AER on deposits of up to £200 per month (falling to 2.15% AER if you make four or more withdrawals per year).

At the time of writing, the bank is also offering a switching bonus worth £200. To qualify, you'll need to have had savings or a mortgage with Nationwide on 31 March.

The best bank accounts for switching bonuses

Free equivalent: If you’re a frequent traveller and want a free account, then Starling and Monzo remain the eye-catching choices.

And if you want a return on your balance then you could do worse than check out Nationwide’s own FlexDirect account, which pays 5% on balances of up to £1,500 for the first year, so long as you pay in £1,000 each month. 

NatWest/RBS Reward accounts

NatWest and RBS operate several packaged accounts, including the Reward Silver account, which costs £10 a month.

It’s worth noting that some of the reward packaged accounts, including the Reward Silver account, are only available to existing customers.

You can earn up to £5 a month in cashback and get other benefits like mobile phone insurance, European travel insurance and fee-free purchases overseas.

The Reward Platinum account includes all of the above plus worldwide family travel insurance and UK breakdown cover. It will cost you £22 a month.

Virgin Money Club M

The Virgin Money Club M account costs £12.50 a month and offers worldwide multi-trip travel insurance for you and your family, including winter sports and golf.

You’ll also get worldwide family mobile and gadget insurance covering loss, theft, and accidental damage, 24-hour access to a doctor, a concierge service, as well as UK breakdown cover, plus no fees when you use your card abroad. 

You'll get in-credit interest of 2.02% AER on balances of up to £1,000, as well as a linked savings account offering 2.5% on balances of up to £25,000 and 2% on balances above this amount.

Free equivalent: Virgin Money’s free M Plus account offers the same in-credit interest and no fees when you use your card abroad.

Top bank accounts for switching bonuses

Comparison of packaged accounts

This table is ranked by price, not quality – you should decide which features are most important to you:

Bank account

Monthly cost

Insurance

Perks

Other benefits

Monzo Extra

£3

 

Sophisticated online account management tools 

 

   Monzo Perks     £7                      No-fee ATM withdrawals up to £600 abroad per month   Interest of 4.6% on up to £100,000

Revolut Premium

£7.99

Emergency overseas medical and dental cover, delayed baggage and flight insurance

No-fee ATM withdrawals up to £400 per month

Access to Savings Vault

NatWest/RBS Reward Silver

£10

Mobile phone insurance, European travel insurance

Up to £5 cashback a month, fee-free purchases overseas

 

Virgin Money Club M

£12.50

Worldwide family travel insurance, mobile and gadget insurance, and UK breakdown cover

24-hour access to a doctor, concierge service, no fees when you use your card abroad

Interest of 2.02% on up to £1,000 and access to a linked savings account

Nationwide FlexPlus £13 Family travel, family mobile, UK & European breakdown cover Fee-free foreign withdrawals and payments Access to Regular Saver paying 6.5% on up to £200 per month

Club Lloyds Silver

Up to £14.50

UK and European family travel insurance, breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance

A ‘lifestyle benefit’ of your choice  

1.50% interest (for up to £3,999.99), 3% interest (£4,000-£5,000)

Revolut Metal    £14.99  Emergency overseas medical cover, delayed baggage and flight insurance No-fee ATM withdrawals up to £800 per month Cashback of up to 1% on spending
Co-op Everyday Extra    £15 Mobile phone, worldwide travel and UK and European breakdown cover.    

Monzo Max

£17

Worldwide travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, UK and European breakdown cover

No-fee ATM withdrawals up to £600 abroad per month

Interest of 4.6% on up to £100,000

Halifax Ultimate Reward

£19

Family travel, mobile, breakdown cover, home emergency cover

£5 per month or one ‘lifestyle benefit’

 

NatWest/RBS Platinum

£22

Mobile phone insurance, worldwide travel insurance, UK breakdown cover

Up to £5 cashback a month

Fee-free purchases overseas

Club Lloyds Platinum

Up to £25.50

Worldwide family travel insurance, breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance

A ‘lifestyle benefit’ of your choice  

1.50% interest (for up to £3,999), 3% interest (£4,000-£5,000)

 

Mis-selling scandals

If you're offered a packaged account that doesn't fit your needs, be vigilant.

Part of the reason we’ve been so scathing in the past is that packaged bank accounts have been wrapped up in a number of mis-selling scandals.

Salespeople were pressured into selling products that were unsuitable for customers in the past, leaving them with an account that included benefits they couldn’t use.

In many cases, a 'free' standard account would have been much better for their needs.

If you’re mis-sold a packaged account

You’re not alone if you’ve been mis-sold a packaged account.

The first step is to establish whether or not you were actually mis-sold.

Look out for these signs:

  • You were signed up without being told;
  • You weren’t told you could have a free bank account;
  • You were told that having one would improve your credit score;
  • You were told you could get a market-leading deal on other financial products or services with this account but found you could actually get them cheaper as a new customer;
  • You needed the account to access a loan or mortgage;
  • Your bank knew you wouldn’t be eligible for one or more of the benefits; 
  • It failed to tell you that you’re no longer eligible for one of the benefits.

Try complaining to your provider first. Tell them how you’d like the problem to be resolved – perhaps you’d like your fees refunded or to be switched back to a standard current account.

Pop in-branch or ring up first but failing that you should write them a letter with bank statements detailing how much you’ve paid.

If you don’t get anywhere, it’s time to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

You can read about how to complain in more detail here: How to claim compensation for mis-sold packaged bank accounts

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