Spotlight: Alliance & Leicester Premier Account

Alliance & Leicester (A&L) is seeking to attract new customers to its Premier Current Account by offering a £100 switching incentive, or access to a savings account paying 7 per cent. Unfortunately you can't qualify for both, so you need to decide which offer is more valuable.

The £100 offer is online available to those who apply for a Premier Direct Account online, while the 7 per cent savings account is for those who sign up in a branch or over the phone.

The 7 per cent deal, is a Regular Saver account (see 'Beginner's Guide' below). The rate is fixed for a year and you can pay in up to £250 a month, which would earn you £113.75 in gross interest over the year. Once tax is factored in, it's pretty much on a par with the £100 switching incentive.

If you don't have £250 to spare the online offer will be more attractive.

A&L's Premier Account pays an in-credit interest rate of 0.5 per cent on balances up to £2,500 (you earn 0.1 per cent on anything above that). It also offers an interest-free overdraft for the first year. After then, rather than charging an annual rate of interest, A&L levies a daily fee of 50p to customers who go overdrawn, which is capped at £5 per month.

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