One thing I’ve learned from my time spent in debt is that I really want to use my money wisely these days. So making sure I’m getting the best deal from my bank account is important to me.
With that said, it’s something I’ve neglected to do for the past couple of years just because I’ve been complacent with my existing bank account. The account I have now is very straightforward and the customer service is good but the problem is that I’m not getting any financial rewards.
And I would really like some of those! I know there are ways of getting paid for the pleasure of having a bank account without having to do much at all. So I feel it’s time for a change. Usually my first port of call here in the UK when I’m doing my research on financial products is Money Saving Expert as they have a wealth of information on the nitty gritty details of what you can expect from UK bank accounts and credit cards.
Just as I was pysching myself up for a couple of hours research, I came across Smart Money People, a UK website where you can write and read reviews based on personal experiences when it comes to financial products.
Unbiased reviews count for a lot
I’m still using the site at the moment but already I’ve found it very useful to read real user experiences of their bank accounts before I make my decision about what to do with my own. Sometimes it’s not just interest rates you need to know about, it’s what the customer service is like or whether the product you’re looking at is really worth the effort or time it takes to switch over.
For example, one of the bank accounts I’m looking at switching to (the Santander 123 account) pays cashback on household bills and on balances over £1000 each month. I was able to get a feel for whether this is going to be worth it for me in the longrun, especially as they are increasing their monthly fee from £2 to £5 per month for using the account.
It seems that I could actually earn more money with the Santander 123 account if I transferred the savings in my cash ISA over to it. The interest rates on most savings accounts here in the UK are just so bad right now.
My cash ISA for example, allows me to earn a pathetic 0.5% in interest, but of course the advantage to a cash ISA is that my savings are tax free. With that said though, I’d still be making more money with my savings sitting in the Santander 123 account, even though I’d have to pay some tax.
After I read the reviews on this particular account, I started looking at credit card reviews. I said a while back that we intend to rebuild and maintain our credit rating by using a credit card responsibly. Whilst my husband is probably going to have to get a Vanquis credit card or similar (one for bad credit), I intend to get one with plenty of rewards.
Best UK credit cards – according to the people
I was happy to see that Smart Money People had put together some stats on the best credit card in the UK and that the one I was thinking of already from a cashback point of view (the Santander 123 credit card) had come out on top. This one was the most popular with reviewers, with a score of 4.89 out of 5. How reassuring! Plus it’s easy for me to apply because I already bank with Santander – so I did, right after I read all the reviews.
Anyway, so while I was on the site, I thought I’d write a review of my own about the Santander basic current account, check it out below! If you want to see all the reviews on this account, here they are on Smart Money People.
Have you used Smart Money People before? If you don’t live in the UK, do you have anything similar?