Money Insider: Marks & Spencer serves up no-fees current account
Friday 07 March 2014
Ever since the current switching service and guarantee was launched last September, there's been a slight increase in the number of people moving banks; but that could all change this summer, with Marks & Spencer planning to launch its first "no fees" current account.
The high street chain launched two packaged bank accounts in September 2012, both with monthly fees and with a range of benefits targeted primarily at M&S shoppers.
Later this year the M&S bank will launch its first mass market current account which has the potential to drive a lot of new custom from account- holders with the big banks who have until now been sitting on the fence, not sure where to switch for a better deal. This latest offering is simple and transparent and has a number of positive features that should appeal to a wide range of consumers.
For a start, the account comes with a £500 overdraft facility, of which the first £100 is interest and fee-free – a very useful safety net when compared with some of the measly charge-free buffers of £20 or less from some competitors.
The interest rate for overdrafts above the £100 mark is 15.9% EAR, one of the most competitive in the market.
Another refreshing aspect of this new account is that there are no unauthorised overdraft charges or fees for returning unpaid cheques or standing orders.
Charges associated with using a debit card abroad is another bugbear with UK holidaymakers, and although M&S Bank will charge 2.75 per cent on overseas purchases, there are no transaction fees for ATM cash withdrawals when abroad.
There isn't any interest paid on credit balances; however if you use your debit card in M&S stores you'll earn reward points at the rate of 1p in the £ paid to you quarterly in the form of M&S vouchers.
The icing on the cake is that you'll also receive a £100 M&S gift card if you transfer your bank account using the current account switch service.
It looks like a good all-round package with no hidden nasties and is likely to prove a popular product, particularly as it's backed up with 7 days a week branch banking in 29 M&S stores nationwide and a 24/7 UK call centre.
New current account from Santander is child's play
From Monday Santander is offering children the opportunity to open their own current accounts – the Santander 123 mini.
For children aged up to 10 the account must be controlled (in trust) by an adult who must also be a Santander current account customer. For children 11 and over the account is in the child's own name.
The concept of this new account is that when the child reaches 19 it will automatically be converted to an adult Everyday Current Account but, importantly, the same account number is retained.
It offers decent rates of credit interest, with 3 per cent payable on balances between £300 and £2,000. There's no interest if the balance is below £100, while between £100 to £200 the child earns 1 per cent gross on the whole balance and from £200 to £300 it's 2 per cent.
I'm pleased to see Santander is also introducing an interactive online calculator for 123 mini customers to help children manage their money.
Hopefully the next generation won't make the mistakes of the last one, where high-cost debt has caused so much heartache.
Andrew Hagger is an independent personal finance analyst from www.moneycomms.co.uk
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Mark Dampier: Don't panic. Canny investors sit tight when the stock market falls
Shareholders can hold a company to account
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
The opera singer, the broadband delay and why customers aren’t divas if they expect a good service
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...
Day In a Page
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village