With free cinema tickets and up to 6.2.5% interest on savings, is it worth opening this current account with Lloyds?
Regular readers will know I’ve got a lot of current accounts as I like to take advantage of the offers and benefits they each provide. But you don’t need to have as many as me – you’ll be fine with three or four.
So how do you decide which ones to go for? The Club Lloyds account is definitely a contender right now thanks to a choice of free cinema tickets, Disney+ or magazines. Plus, there are regular switching offers worth around £175.
Here’s what you need to know about the account.
What is Club Lloyds?
Club Lloyds is a current account from Lloyds bank with some extra benefits over the standard classic account. It comes with a fee – though you can easily avoid paying it.
If you are going to get an account with Lloyds, this is the one you’ll get the best value from.
How much does Club Lloyds cost?
It’s not a free account. There’s a monthly £3 fee.
However, if you pay in £2,000 every month you will get that £3 refunded. £2,000 a month is roughly what you’d get paid if you earn £30,000 a year (not including pensions or other contributions).
That means it’s affordable for most people, which means there’s really no reason why you should pay the monthly fee.
Can you get a switching bonus?
Lloyds regularly offers switching bonuses between £100 and £175 for the Club Lloyds and Club Lloyds Platinum accounts. There tend to be three or four a year.
New and existing customers are usually able to claim the offer if they open a new account and switch to it from a different bank. I’ve shared more details on the latest offer over on this page.
Club Lloyds Lifestyle benefits
When you open up a Club Lloyds account you can claim a free gift each year. You get to choose from four different “Lifestyle Benefits”.
You need to select your choice within 30 days of opening the account and this gift remains fixed for 12 months. You can swap to a different benefit once that period ends, or stick with the same offer.
There’s also the ability to earn up to 3% interest on savings, access a 6.25% monthly saver and get cashback on some purchases.
Free cinema tickets
You can select six tickets to use at either Odeon or Vue. You’ll get all six tickets at the start of the year and they’re valid for 12 months. If you’re thinking this list should say Cineworld, then bad news. The chain was replaced by Odeon earlier in 2020.
These tickets are valid for 2D and 3D showings. At Vue you can also use them at VIP or Xtreme screenings. Odeon will let you use them for Premier or recliner seats and some Luxe screens. You can’t use them at the BFI Imax, Odeon Luxe & Dine or screen 1 at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square.
Though technically you can’t use them with another offer, I’ve seen them combined with things like Meerkat Movies – doubling your saving.
They can be used any day of the week – so they’re probably best to save for expensive days like weekends, if you want to see a movie in 3D or at pricier upgraded locations.
A new option from April 2023 is a year of Disney+, the streaming service with Disney, Marvel, Fox and Star Wars content.
Free magazine subscription
There’s a decent choice of 29 print or digital titles available. All are Hearst Magazine or Bauer Media publications (full list below). You won’t get the first issue for up to eight weeks which can making it a challenge to know when to stop buying copies if it’s something you already read.
Club Lloyds magazine choices (print or digital)
- Bird Watching
- Classic Cars
- Country Living
- Country Walking
- ELLE Decoration
- Garden Answers
- Good Housekeeping
- Harper’s Bazaar
- House Beautiful
- Improve Your Coarse Fishing
- Men’s Health
- Modern Games
- Practical Classics
- Runner’s World
- Spirit & Destiny
- Steam Railway
- Today’s Golfer
- Women’s Health
Free Gourmet Society membership
This restaurant discount card will give you 25% off your bills, including drinks at selected restaurants. There are also extra discounts available like cinema tickets, theme parks and movie rentals.
Which freebies are the best value for money?
Here’s a quick summary of how much it would cost you to buy those freebies yourself:
The value of the cinema tickets freebies depends on where you live as tickets can really vary in price. I’d say it’s within a range of £30 to £90. But if you choose to go for 3D and VIP seats then they could easily be worth more than £100.
Disney+ is £7.99 a month, but annual passes are discounted to £79.90. Though this assumes you’ll actually watch Disney+ every month. If you have other streaming services it makes sense to mix and match over the year, paying only for ones you’re actually watching. Say you cut your Disney+ usage to just six months the real saving is £47.94.
The magazine value obviously depends on which title you get and how many issues there are a year (e.g. Esquire has only six issues). But to give you an idea, a year’s subscription to Empire is currently discounted to £45 via Great Magazines.
The Gourmet Society membership would cost you £35 for a year.
Which lifestyle benefit should you choose?
Ultimately it comes down to which one you’ll actually use – and how much you’d spend on it.
It’s possible to save money on tickets most days, but it is harder to get discounts on weekends or for posh seats. So if you go to the cinema at least six times a year (or three times if you’re a couple), it’s likely this is the best option.
Or if you know you’ll have Disney+ all year around, no matter what, picking that is a locked in saving.
Club Lloyds Interest rates
You can earn interest on money held in the account and in a separate regular saver.
6.25% Monthly Saver
Pick of the bunch is a monthly saver that’s exclusive to Club Lloyds customers. This offers 6.25% and you can pay in between £25 and £400 a month.
The 6.25% is fixed for 12 months when the interest is paid and the savings account closed. It’s really easy to open this via your account. I did it via the app. You can’t access the money More details here.
You can also open a standard Lloyds Monthly Saver if you have more to put away. This has a lower rate of 5.25% and the max you can add it £250 a month.
Up to 3% interest in your account
There’s also some in-account interest. To get it you must pay out two direct debits every month.
For the first £3,999 you hold in your actual current account you’ll get 1.5% interest. Then you’ll get 3% on the next £1,000. So if you always have £5,000 in your account you’ll earn the equivalent of just under 2%.
Is Club Lloyds worth it for the interest?
The two monthly savings accounts are decent options, but the in-account interest can be easily beaten by savings rates elsewhere.
Club Lloyds overdraft
With a Club Lloyds account, switchers can get a £300 interest-free overdraft for the first three months, falling to a £50 interest-free buffer after this. Beyond these limits the rate you’ll be charged on any arranged overdraft could vary.
Club Lloyds customers actually get a lower rate than standard Lloyds customers – but that doesn’t mean it’s a reason to choose the bank.
At best it’s 27.5%, at worst it’s a massive 49.9% – making it among the worst options out there. Of course, the new overdraft regulations mean no overdrafts are good ways to borrow money so it’s best to avoid them at all costs. Here’s more on your alternatives.
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Cashback on purchases
All Lloyds accounts also give you access to Everyday Offers, worth up to 15% off when using your debit card.
You will be offered retailers based on your spending and will need to activate them before spending.
However, since I don’t use the account for any spending – just for the benefits – I’ve yet to have a single offer come my way! That could change if I spend just once as the wording does suggest this could help.
I’ve not bothered though. My experience of these offers with other banks, such as Natwest and Santander, is that it’s very hit and miss. Plus the deals are often available elsewhere.
But it’s worth checking to see what you are offered. And where these do work is that you can use them in combination with cashback site savings.
The app is effectively the same one as Halifax, and it’s relatively easy to use. In fact, it’s one of my favourite ones outside Starling, Monzo and Chase. If you want to see how it compares to apps from other banks, check out this guide.
Here are some of the features worth knowing about:
Account details and management
An important feature for me is the ability to copy and share account details from the app – and Lloyds let you do this. You can also amend your address.
Card details and controls
You can see your PIN, long card number, expiry date and security code in the app. You can also copy the long card number to paste into online shops.
There are a handful of controls too. You can set your own contactless limit and freeze the card for a handful of reasons (overseas, online, in person, gambling and contactless).
Lloyds is one of a handful of apps that lets you pay in cheques via the app. More info on how this works here.
Save the change
This is available to all Lloyds current accounts and it’s pretty cool. You may have seen it already via digital banks such as Monzo.
The idea is every time you spend money with your debit card the bank will top up the amount to the nearest quid from your account, and move it to a separate savings account.
So, say you spend £2.80, an extra 20p will be taken from your account. It’s a nice way to automate your savings and put money away without any effort.
You do need to activate the feature so it won’t happen unless you give permission.
However you won’t be earning any interest on this money so I’d get in the habit of transferring it across to a better paying account on a regular basis – which kind of defeats the purpose of making it something that happens without you doing anything.
Budgeting and tracking
It’s relatively limited but you can see where your spending goes via a spending insights option. You’re able to view upcoming payments, to help you ensure there’s enough money in your account.
As with more and more apps, you’ll get notifications of spending and money coming in via the app.
Subscription Monitoring gives you the ability to cancel subscriptions within the app. You’ll also be told when subscriptions are due to end. It’s a handy way to avoid overpaying for services you don’t use or stopping subscriptions where it’s a nightmare to get through to someone on the phone. But it’s not a reason to get the account.
Summary – should you get it?
Club Lloyds Current Account
|‘Lifestyle Benefit’ giving you a choice of 6 free cinema tickets, Disney+, a magazine subscription or Gourmet Society membership
|6.25% AER up to £400 a month (must apply separately)
|Interest on savings
|1.5% on balances between £1 and £3,000; 3% on balances between £4,000 and £5,000
|£3 a month (£0 if you pay in £1,500 a month)
|The account requires two active monthly Direct Debits to earn interest
|£50 interest-free buffer
Then 27.5% or 49.9%
Andy’s Analysis – Is Club Lloyds a good account?
The Club Lloyds account is a decent all-rounder. Not the best reward, best interest rate or best banking app. But all are still better than what you’d get from most accounts. If you already have it, I’d keep hold of it.
Personally, I think you should open one up as a spare account rather than a main account. It’s always useful to have another account as a backup, and you can claim the lifestyle rewards even if this isn’t your main account.
And you can get that freebie year after year for free as long as you transfer in £2,000 a month – which is easy to do.
But should you switch from another bank to get it? Well if there’s a switching bonus then it’s definitely worth it. But if not, then no, I wouldn’t switch. There are better accounts out there to priotitise, including some offering an incentive to switch.