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Are packaged bank accounts really worth it?

As many elements of "free banking" start to disappear from the UK financial scene there are concerns that some packaged bank accounts are not worth the extra money. The vast majority of UK banks offer a service which, for a small payment per month, will give the customer access to a range of insurance policies and other services at "at no extra cost". These include amongst others, travel insurance, phone insurance and other similar useful services. But are they really worth anything to the traditional UK customer?

Slowly but surely a number of nightmare stories are starting to emerge from the "premium banking" sector where many of the insurance policies offered as part of a package end up being effectively useless. From travel policies which do not cover countries or areas of the world to you are looking to travel, to phone insurance policies which appear to be deliberately complex and difficult to activate in an emergency. While there have been cases of customers receiving better standards of service when they complain, should we really need to complain to collect the "offers" to hand?

The harsh fact is that as free banking continues to disappear from the UK, more and more of us will be charged a monthly fee for our banking arrangements. Whether we get better value for money remains to be seen.

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