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I recently upgraded my classic account to a gold account. the account costs £8 or £10 per month, but I can a small employee discount. I have always been wary of paying to give my money to a bank, it never made sense, but I was persuaded to trial it from a friend in my local branch (not because of commission).
I pondered over the decision for a few days, looking into the so called 'benefits' and decided to give it a try. This is where the online banking comes in.
The process of upgrading my account was surprisingly simple, firstly I needed to login into my account, you are given a unique customer number which you need to enter (or the site remembers for you if you ask it to) followed by a fairly standard password (8 characters, 1 capital letter 1 number). Then you are presented with the banking standard 3 random characters of your memberable word. Once done, your in. All i needed to do then, was click on my classic account, click upgrade and select Gold Account from the list of other options. The site then presents you with the cost and benefits (incase you havent read them already), click apply - now at this point it asks you for your password again - I like this, it means you can't accidently click your way into having 14 bank accounts. Then i was done, all settings were applied, my new Gold card was automatically ordered, the site opened up options for me to use my benefits, brilliant!
The benefits of this account include AA breakdown cover, Mobile Phone insurance (x2 phones), worldwide travel insurance (x2 people) and £100 interest free overdraft. (there may be more, but i take advantage of those mainly)
That was 4 months ago, I still have this account, and will be keeping it - I have already used my phone insurance which was hassle free, and will be travelling this summer for the second time, saving me 2x travel insurance yet again.
Back to the online banking itself, on the same day as upgrading my account, I decided to open a second savings account (Easy saver), and a Cash ISA, and increase my overdraft. I managed all of this in about 15 minutes. As soon as you put your password in and confirm your choice, new accounts and / or changes are shown on the web site, new account numbers are created and displayed - it's like your behind the counter in a branch managing your banking life. Other things you can do online include - see your last transactions and export them (if you want them in a spreadsheet), transfer between accounts instantly, apply for a credit card, pay off your credit card, see where you spend most of your money each week / month. I feel like there is nothing I would gain by going to the branch itself, which is so convenient.
This all sounds like fuss over nothing, but I have been disappointed by a couple of other online banking sites, moving to Lloyds TSB online was just a breath of fresh air. So simple, yet so comprehensive.
Bad news, well, yes there is a little, the mobile phone app for lloydstsb is fairly terrible. It works for the basics, but is essentially links to their web site.