Monday Finance: M&S Current Account

If you are looking for a new current account, the M&S new current account might be for you.

Last year M&S launched their premium current account, which looked like a good thing. However, it is a fee paying account and I can’t see any good reason to pay for the privilege of having a current account. The banks makes plenty of money off us as consumers already so the least they can do is offer free banking in return. Plus, paying to get access to your own money is never a good idea.

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So when it was announced that M&S would follow up their premium current
account with a normal non fee paying account I was obviously interested.

Here’s the science bit:
M&S sold M&S Money to HSBC in 2004 so it is a trading arm of HSBC, despite the name. M&S and HSBC have some profit sharing deal worked out. This means that you can make deposits to your M&S account in your local HSBC branches. You can also do some banking in branches of larger M&S stores.

The upside is that if you transfer your banking to M&S you receive a £100 gift voucher. Helpful if you normally shop in M&S, less so if you don’t. The debit card also give you points which translate into M&S vouchers. Ditto.

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The account comes with all the mod cons of modern bank accounts: 24 hour telephone and internet banking, contactless cards, visa debit cards, and the option of an associated credit card

Customer Service is supposed to be one of the strong points of the new account. It’s not just a bank account. It’s an M&S bank account….

I’ve just opened one of these accounts and am in the process of doing the transfer, which is painless. At least it ought to be. They transfer all my direct debits and electronic payment info and any payment into or out of my old account for the next 13 months will automatically he put to new account instead. And it should all take place in 7 days.

Sounds to me like there is not a lot to lose. If I transfer my account and it’s not all that its cracked up to be I can simply transfer it again to another provider. I think I get to keep the Gift card though…

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