Money Insider: Marks & Spencer serves up no-fees current account

 

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; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Guru Careers: Management Accountant

    £27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

    Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

    £40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected