We see a lot of advertisements from various banks and building societies trying to tempt us to switch to banking with them. We also see advice saying that we should try to make the most of our current account. There may be features to entice us or perhaps even interest on the accounts that could look tempting. However, how can we decide whether it is worth switching?
It is worth starting by thinking about what you want your current account to provide for you. Most of us will want to have a debit card on the account, some will also want a cheque book and we may want an overdraft facility. It is likely that we will want to be able to be able to pay money in and draw it out easily, which may mean that we need a branch nearby unless we can do this in a post office or cash machine which we can access locally. We may want the account to be free, we may want interest on any balance we have in the account or we may be prepared to pay for an account if it comes with freebies that we will make use of such as insurance or interest. It is worth thinking through what you want from the account. You also need to consider whether your account offers all of those features or whether you would like to see if anyone else does.
Once you have your list of requirements you will be able to see whether there are any places that offer what you want. If there are some that offer lots of things which are better than you are currently getting, then you will need to consider whether you want to switch to them. Many people hold back from switching because they think that it will be difficult, take too much time or cause confusion with regards to their income going in and bills going out. However, these days it should be easy to switch in most cases. Banks have to help each other with this process by law and therefore it should not be complicated or problematic.
Whether you think that it is worth switching is very personal to you. You will need to take a look at what you could gain, if anything, by switching and whether you think it is worth it. You may be loyal to your bank, like the people in the branch, have dealt with them for a long time and therefore feel that it is right to stay with them. You may not like the idea of change and feel that anything that any other financial institution offers you will not entice you. However, it is worth thinking about what you could gain from switching as well as what you could lose. Consider whether that loyalty is worth it if you could get a better deal elsewhere. You may find that you get an even better service elsewhere and gain things financially as well, whether that might be some interest on your money, cheaper overdrafts or other good offers.
Another aspect to whether it is worth switching is whether you are happy with what you have already. There are some people that do not like their banks. They may feel the customer service is not that good, the charges are too high or whatever. If this is the case then you are more likely to switch. However, do make sure that what you are switching to really is better as you may find that although you do not like what you have, you are actually doing quite well compared to others.
So make sure that you do your research first and think about your expectations, whether your bank is living up to them and whether you think another may do a better job. Also remember that you can always switch back to your previous bank if you do not like your new one. Some people switch regularly so that they can keep taking advantage of good deals and others just do so occasionally when they seem something really worth switching for. It is worth calculating how much money you may save from switching as well as thinking about the advantages on top of the monetary ones.