In recent years, savings accounts have paid increasingly pitiful interest rates, with current accounts becoming far more attractive.
But what if you’re the sort of person who finishes every month only a few pounds in credit after covering all of the essentials and doesn't have any spare cash to save? There are some current accounts which will leave you a little better off.
Halifax Reward Account
The Halifax Reward Current Account has been one of our favourite current accounts for a long time. It has a brilliant set up.
The account will pay you £5 a month, every month. It doesn’t matter whether your balance at the end of the month is £1 or £10,000, you will still get that £5 payment, so long as you pay in £750, stay in credit and pay out two direct debits.
Essentially you can enjoy £60 a year for a near-empty current account.
On top of that, you get a £125 welcome bonus when you open the account, while there is also Cashback Extras, where you can earn up to 15% cashback when you spend at certain retailers with your Halifax debit card.
Lloyds Bank Club Lloyds Account
The Club Lloyds account from Lloyds Bank is a good option for people with a decent amount of cash in their account, paying 4% on balances between £4,000 and £5,000.
However, if you only finish the month with a few pounds it can still be rewarding too, as not only do you get access to exclusive deals on other products including savings, mortgages, home insurance and credit cards, but you can also take advantage of what Lloyds calls a 'lifestyle benefit'.
Each year in which you have the account, you can choose from one of the following: six VUE cinema tickets, an annual magazine subscription or annual Gourmet Society membership.
The account is free, so long as you pay in £1,500 or more into the account each month. Otherwise it will set you back £5 a month.
Santander 123 Account
The Santander 123 Account pays cashback on a range of your direct debits, so even as money leaves your account you should be getting a little bit back.
There’s 1% cashback on water bills, Council Tax payments and Santander mortgage repayments, 2% cashback on gas and electricity bills and 3% cashback on mobile, home phone, broadband and TV bills.
It also pays tiered interest of up to 3% depending on your account balance.
There is a £2 monthly fee to be aware of, which is rising to £5 a month from January, but so long as you pay all of your bills through the account then chances are that will be easily covered by the cashback you receive.
NatWest/RBS Select Account
You get at least 1% of your spend back when you shop with any Cashback Plus retailer, which includes shops like Caffe Nero, New Look, Loch Fyne, Ernest Jones and BP.
What’s more, any time you make a contactless payment before 30th September you’ll get 1% cashback too, no matter where you’re spending that money.
Barclays Bank Account
Barclays recently launched the Blue Rewards scheme for its banking customers. While it will set you back £3 a month, you get £7 cashback just for having the current account, leaving you £4 a month up. There’s further cashback too if you have Barclays insurance (£3 a month) or a Barclays mortgage (£5 a month).
You can then earn another 1% cashback when you shop with certain retailer partners, like Boots, GAP and Toys R Us.
Nationwide’s FlexDirect Account is a great option if you have a decent balance, paying 5% up to £2,500 in year one. But if you tend to finish the month with only a humble balance, then the FlexAccount may be a better bet.
That’s because it comes with free multi-trip European travel insurance, so long as you pay in £750 a month and you’re aged 16-75. A nice little money saver.
What’s more, as with all Nationwide current accounts, you can enjoy a range of discounts at retailers like Butlin’s and Virgin Wines thanks to the Simply Rewards app.
The Halifax Reward Current Account is just one of a handful that will pay you upwards of £100 for opening the account. Unlike the other accounts I’ve looked at, they won’t give you much of a return beyond that welcome bonus if you tend to finish each month with a small balance, but they are worth considering all the same.
The biggest welcome bonus currently comes from the Clydesdale Bank Current Account Direct and the Yorkshire Bank Current Account Direct. Both pay new account holders £150, as well as 2% interest on your balance.
First Direct wins every customer service award going for its 1st Account, and you can help yourself to a £125 welcome bonus if you open the account. You even get another £100 if you choose to leave the account within a year. You do need to pay in £1,000 a month or else face a £10 monthly account fee though.
The Co-operative Bank pays £100 cashback if you take out one of its current accounts, plus £25 to a charity of your choice. You need to credit the account with £800 within a month.
Meanwhile HSBC will pay you £120 when you take out its Advance Bank Account. Be warned though, you need to pay in a whopping £1,750 per month for two months to qualify for the cashback.