I’ve had a Nationwide Flexplus account for years now and there’s no way I’d ditch it to go full Monzo (and I’m not a Monzo customer) or full Starling (and I am a Starling customer) because quite simply, the account is far too good. It pays a cracking amount of monthly interest if you keep a balance of over £2.5k which of course offset’s the £13 monthly fee, effectively reducing the fee to about £7 a month. The travel insurance alone is worth its weight in gold to me. My Wife and I both have a car, so the breakdown insurance aspect is the silver bonus and our bronze bonus is the mobile phone cover (we both have iPhone XR’s). We also have a Nationwide Select credit card which earns us around £30 a year in cashback on spends. Not a lot granted, but it’s still 30 quid in our pocket.
The other reason we’re with Nationwide, is because we have our mortgage with them. We’re on their Base Mortgage Rate. To some, that might sound bad, but the BMR which is no longer available to new customers, promises to never be more than 2 percent above the BoE base rate for the entire period of the mortgage, so my mortgage rate is currently sat at 2.75 percent. I’ve heard the arguments about remortgaging, but by the time I’d taken arrangement fees into consideration, possibly losing among other things the perks of overpaying etc, I would possibly be worse off than I am. In any case I don’t owe much on my mortgage anyway.
The point for me is, whilst new fintech banks are absolutely great, (well I can only speak for Starling), in my opinion, a Building Society current account like Nationwide’s Flexplus is just a bit beyond their league at the moment. People keep harping on about Nationwide’s mobile App being crap, well I agree, whilst it isn’t in anyway like Starling or Monzo’s App’s, it’s not totally rubbish. The one ‘plus’ if you like concerning Nationwide’s App, is that it is actually compatible with my Apple Watch 4, meaning I can see my current balance at a glance, something I just can’t do with my Starling account balance.
I’m surprised people aren’t trying to sell the refer a friend scheme for Nationwide, £100 each for both the person referring and the new customer on completion of a successful CASS.