Advantages best interest rate, easy access
Disadvantages difficult to make large cash withdrawals
Cahoot is a division of Abbey National plc, who used to be a Building Society (remember them?) before demutualising then broadening its product range in order to leave it in its present state.Cahoot offer a whole range of financial services: current accounts, credit cards, loans, savings accounts, investment services and share services. I shall focus on just one of these services, the current account.
Cheque deposits are made by post, or at the Post Office.Up to £500 cash per day can be withdrawn from Link cash machines in the UK, and from Visa cash machines around the world.
The cash card also acts as a cheque guarantee card up to £100, provided you choose to have a cheque book, but more on that later.The current account also has a very handy automatic interest free overdraft of £250.
Setting Up a cahoot current account can be done almost completely on-line. Besides submitting the usual details of name, address, employer, income, etc. you also need to decide on a username, password, memorable year, and memorable place. You also need your mother’s maiden name.
Not everything can be done on-line. Certain formalities are still required to be done by post: signing the application, and providing two proofs of identity and address for anti-laundering requirements.During the set-up you specify certain features of your current account.
You can choose to operate the account with or without cheque book - cahoot say that one can live without a cheque book, but I’d like to see the people at cahoot try that! Without a cheque book you get a higher rate of interest.Without cheque book:
£1 - £249,999 . 3.45% AER
£250,000 + .... 3.25% AER
£1 - £249,999 . 3.35% AER
£250,000 + .... 3.25% AER
(There were 3 tiers of interest rates, but they have now cut back to 2, and made the interest rates less competitive in the process. That said, cahoot still comes out top in the MoneyFacts list of current accounts.)You also choose whether to have a monthly fee with a lower overdraft rate, or no fee with a higher overdraft rate. Obviously this is to tailor the account to your best advantage depending on whether you spend more time in credit or debit:
............... Limit . monthly rate . fee .... APR
Interest only . £3000 . 0.5650% ...... £0 ..... 7.0%
Fee only ...... £3000 . 0% ........... £13.65 . 5.6%
Having clicked on the log in link you are prompted for your username and password, plus one of the memorable year, memorable place and mother’s maiden name. (This is a lot quicker than the login process for egg accounts.)There are then seven sections:
You can make one-off payments, modify your address book of payees, make a payment to someone on your address book, and check your future payments that you have set up.Standing Orders
You can list and create standing orders to named recipients for named sums over specified periods.Direct Debits
The is your list direct debits including the reference, amount, last date and frequency – but these details are not always accurate!Account Manager
This is where you can perform all the other odds-and-end associated with operating your account.
Request new or replacement debit cardRequest New PIN
Make one-off funds transfer from another UK bankChange overdraft limit
Change rate and fee optionOrder new cheque book
Order new paying-in bookOrder tax deduction information
Change your tax statusRemove cheque book option
Duplicate paper statementInsurance claim form
Order deposit envelopesStop payment on a cheque or range of cheques
Close your cahoot current account - not something you normally find with any on-line account!
Having opened your new cahoot current account, if you want to switch direct debits, standing orders and salary payment from your old bank then order a switcher pack from cahoot.The switcher pack consists of a few simple forms for you to fill in: old bank details for closure and direct debits, employer for salary details.
Cahoot do the rest, but it can take a while for your old bank to send through the details to cahoot, and you’ll need to keep enough money in the old bank account to cover direct debits and fees as your old bank drags its feet then loses the letter telling them to close your old account!
The Web Card basically presents a unique credit card number for each on-line purchase. Selected partners also allow the Web Card to automatically fill in the payment details on your order form.
The contact section directs you to a series of FAQs on various subjects. If your question is not covered in the FAQ, then leave your message for the cahoot staff to get back to your.
Visa cash machines levy fee of 1.5% of the transaction (minimum £1.50).Debit card transactions abroad attract a 2.25% commission, plus a Visa transaction fee.
Duplicate cheque ............ £2
Duplicate voucher ........... £2
Duplicate statement ......... £2
Returned cheque ............. £20
Returned direct debit ....... £20
Unpaid standing order ....... £20
Unauthorised overdraft fee .. £25
Unauthorised overdraft rate . 21.9% APR
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