Are you going to open an account and you are not sure whether a salary account or another type of account is best for you? We are going to explain the main characteristics of a salary account, and explain how it is different from other accounts.
First of all, we are going to point out that these days we carry out so many transfers, payments, direct debits and deposits and other transactions, that having this type of account is necessary, since it allows us to carry out all of these transactions in a comfortable and simple way. This banking product could be defined as a checking account that, in exchange for direct deposit of our payroll or pension as account holders, provides us with certain additional advantages as we will see below.
For some time now, this type of account has evolved a lot, adapting to market demand and consumer preferences, with consumers increasingly enjoying a wider selection of accounts to choose from.
Which transactions does a salary account include?
This type of account provides us a way to deposit our salary or pension in the first place, but also our water, electricity, Internet, telephone and gas, among other things; to carry out transfers and remittances; to associate debit and credit cards, deposit checks; obtain cash from ATMs and branch offices; and carry out transactions and manage them online.
What are the characteristics of a salary account?
In the first place, a salary account requires that we make a minimum level of income as a condition to enjoy its benefits. Others also establish a maximum remunerated balance.
In addition, they have an associated credit or debit card, free of charge, and withdrawals from ATMs with no fee.
Thirdly, they have a very low fee structure, specifically the maintenance and administration fees; also those related to transfers and card issuance and renewal fees.
Some also pay interest for the money we have in the account. To estimate these earnings, we must look at the APR (or Annual Percentage Rate, which is the way in which the loan commissions will affect us).
Another feature is the mandatory maintenance periods. A few years ago it was common for banks to offer quite attractive gifts, in exchange for maintaining an account (televisions, cutlery, crockery, etc.). But as we say, this was more common in the past than today, since today there are few accounts which require continuity, and for the customer the best gift will always be better earnings.
Finally, other linked benefits, such as interest-free salary advances; online transfers without fees; insurance policies, mortgages and personal loans with favourable conditions; small loans at 0%, discounts for various industries...
How to choose the best salary account
As we mentioned, this type of account without fees is a product that is very much in demand; so much so that there are many varieties that banks offer. To choose the one that is best able to satisfy our needs, we should analyse them in a comparison, and specifically look at some points directly related to the characteristics that we have just noted.
To select the perfect account we will have to look at the nominal interest rate, and whether the APR will vary or will remain constant throughout the life of the account; additionally, for the maintenance and management fees; for the set up fees (or the equivalent: whether it will charge us something for each transaction that we make); or for overdrafts; in the charging of interest; and for other additional services.
Additionally, it will be an even better account if, for example, it offers us a discount on the bills that we direct to it; whether it requires no minimum balance; whether it allows us access to its services with the least possible expenses; whether it requires a continuity commitment; and whether it issues cards without a fee.