Written by Karen Bryan
There’s been quite a build up to the new Marks & Spencer Current Account along the lines of the retailer taking on the big boys of UK banking. To me, the M&S Current Account is a damp squib. For a start, it’s a premiun current account which means there is a monthly fee. I don’t like of this type of account, as the bank decides what benefits to throw my way. I think that premium bank accounts could be improved by allowing customers to choose the perks that are of most benefit to them.
The Marks & Spencer Premium Account charges a monthly fee of £20 which includes annual worldwide travel imsurance (for customers aged up to 70). It’s £15 a month if you forgo the travel insurance. We already get free annual travel insurance through our Direct Line Home Insurance Plus; this policy only costs around £250 a year for home and contents insurance.
You need to have at least £1000 a month coming in to qualify for the M&S Current Account. If you do have this level of montly income, you could open a Halifax Reward Current Account and get a reward of £5 a month (net) a month i.e. £60 a year. That would leave you £240 better off than paying £180 a year (12x£15) for the M&S Current Account.
Most of the other perks from having an M&S Premium Account will only save you money if you are a loyal M&S shopper, e.g. 2o% off vouchers and hot drinks vouchers for in the in-store cafe.
You can earn Reward Points on in-store or online shopping at M&S. I prefer to get cashback: my Aqua Reward Credit Card gives me 3% cashback on purchases (up to a maximum £100 cashback per year).
M&S Current Account holders will have access to a regular savings account paying fixed rate of 6.0% gross over 12 months. While this is a very attractive rate of interest for savers, the maximum monthly contribution is £240. I’m not a great fan of regular savings accounts; I’d much rather have that higher rate of interest on a lump sum than this drip feeding.
In my opinion, the Marks & Spencer Current Account is more akin to a loyalty card than an exciting new competitive bank account; it’s pointless for the majority of people who don’t shop regularly at M&S.