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How can a bank account help me to manage money?

A bank account can help you to manage your money. It also saves you having to carry cash with you all the time.

There are different types of bank account:

Basic bank account

  • You can have your salary and /or any benefits paid into the account.
  • You can take money out at cash machines with a cash card.
  • Pay your bills by Direct Debit.
  • Some banks let you have a debit card to pay for your shopping.
  • You don't need to pass a credit check to open a basic account. So long as you have money in the account to pay out any direct debits, you won't get charged.

With a basic bank account you:

  • Don’t get a cheque book.
  • Don’t get an overdraft facility.

Credit Union account

Credit Unions are run by the local community and they can offer low interest loans as well as savings accounts.

Some Credit Unions also offer bank accounts. Find your local Credit Union.

Current account

A current account can be used for day-to-day things like paying in salary or benefits, paying bills and taking money out.

  • You can have your salary and / or any benefits paid into the account.
  • You can take money out at cash machines with a cash card.
  • Pay your bills by Direct Debit.
  • A debit card to use in shops.
  • Can have an overdraft facility.
  • You may get a cheque book if you are given a cheque guarantee card.

You can also find out more from the Money Advice Service about opening and running a bank account.

Post Office account

The Post Office has a Post Office Card Account which enables you to have access to your benefit / pension payments in cash from the Post Office. You can receive a benefit payment into this account but you will not be able to make payments by direct debit from this account.

The post office is now offering 3 types of current account:

  • Standard account
  • Control account
  • Packaged account

To see a summary of the benefits of each account type and to find out which post offices are now offering these accounts, click here.

The Post Office plan to extend availability of these current accounts to more branches soon. Find out more and register your interest online or by visiting your local branch.

Useful links

The Money Advice Service offers advice and information. Take a look at these useful links on how to choose a bank account and how to open a bank account.