Why you shouldn’t have just one checking account

Why you shouldn’t have just one checking account
Opening multiple bank accounts might actually help you save money (Photo: Getty Images / iStockphoto)

You now know that I’m a bit of a money geek, and one of the things that came up is that I have 18 different checking accounts.

No, it’s not a typo: 18. You might think that’s too much – it is, more than half are old accounts or accounts I opened so that I can look at them – but I imagine a lot of you are saying, ‘Wait, can you have multiple bank accounts?’

This is a common misconception, and one that I always try to point out can be quite risky.

For Monzo and Nationwide clients, the past few weeks have been a good example. Both banks experienced brief technical issues which meant either payments were declined (Monzo) or money was not transferred in or out (Nationwide). It left a lot of angry people embarrassed.

And while it’s not a daily occurrence, it’s not uncommon. Over the past few years, we have seen problems in many traditional banks. If the systems go down and you can’t access your money, you need a backup.

You’ll obviously need to keep some cash in it, so the Virgin Money M Plus checking account is a good option, with 2.02% interest paid on balances up to £ 1,000.

I’d take it a step further, with four or five accounts giving you a combination of better banking and free money.

Hand holding mobile phone with online banking interface on it, digital financial service

Having different accounts can help you improve your budgeting skills (Photo: Getty Images / iStockphoto)

For your main account, I would consider Starling Bank or Monzo. They are app stores only, but they have a number of features that make all the basics much easier.

If you ever use your overdraft, one option is the Nationwide FlexDirect account.

For the first year, you can get a large overdraft at 0% interest, a huge difference from the 40% you’re probably paying elsewhere right now. I would look at the Santander 123 Lite account for your bills.

It comes with a monthly fee of £ 2, but you’ll earn up to 3% cash back on expenses like energy and broadband bills. This is also a good joint account if you share those costs.

Cashback can also be earned for a year with Chase Bank UK, with 1% cashback on every £ 1 spent. Transferring money from your main account for expenses through this card can also help you stay on a budget.

You can also check out which reward accounts pay a bonus each month if you meet a few conditions. My choice is the Halifax Reward account. You will earn £ 5 per month with very little effort.

You could add more, but I’ll stick to some or all of these for now and see how you go.

Loans For Poor Credit : Payday Loans no Credit Check

Andy’s Top Five Current Accounts

1. Bank of the starling

When to use it: Daily banking

Costs: Nothing

2. Virgin Money M Plus

When to use it: Backup Account with 2.02% AER on savings of up to £ 1,000

Costs: Nothing

3. Chase Bank Win

When to use it: 1% cashback on all expenses, while respecting budgets

Fee: none

4. Santander 123 Lite

When to use it: Earn up to 3% cashback on your bills

Costs: £ 2 per month

5. Halifax Award

When to use it: Earn £ 5 per month if you spend £ 500 on the debit card

Costs: None if you put £ 1,500 into the account each month

For more details on these accounts, visit becleverwithyourcash.com/banks

Andy is who to watch: SuperLucky’s Di Coke

Last month I won £ 75 via a PayPal raffle, all thanks to Di Coke, who runs the SuperLucky blog.

It is a paradise for all those who wish to try out “coming”. You will find lists of competitions to participate in and which to avoid, as well as information on how you can increase your chances of winning.

Di Coca

Di Coke Can Teach You How To Increase Your Chances Of Winning

Di’s Tip of the Week for Making Money

Di says, “Find contests by following your favorite local brands and businesses on social media.

“Instagram and Twitter giveaways are quick to grab, and you won’t even need to provide any personal details unless you win!”

Andy Webb is an award-winning Be Clever With Your Cash blogger and podcaster. Follow Andy on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram via @andyclevercash

If you want more money saving tips and tricks, as well as money discussing and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook group, Money Pot.

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