Posted on 17 May 2006 in Money (No comments)

I recently got an Egg Money card thanks to Mint stopping its Cashback, and Lloyds TSB deciding to ditch Accucard (again, losing cashback in the process).

The card arrived with a leaflet for Egg Money Manager - the aggregate service that allows you to congregate all your bank accounts on one page. Sign up now and you get £10.

Well a tenner is a tenner so I thought why not.

First problem is that it's Internet Exploder only - no Firefox which meant that the likelihood of me ever really using it was very very low. Second issue was that after dutifully signing up all my accounts, I re-read the small print and realised that there's potential issues to do with breaking my other banks terms and conditions, and liability in the case of fraud. Indeed one of my banks is apparently not a big fan and has been trying to stop Egg accessing its online service via Egg Money Manager.

Hmm, I thought, and removed most of my accounts - leaving just enough to ensure I got the tenner.

It did seem like a good idea though and I did like the idea of seeing everything at a glance - savings, mortgage, current accounts etc. I could see exactly how much I had at any one time. So it would be nice if the
banking industry could come up with some way to do this properly, agree between themselves and leave the consumer feeling secure and happy, yet with control.

That brief dabble however did make me realise that I do need to tidy up my accounts, for at the minute I have four credit cards, four savings accounts - half of which are dead with almost no money in them.

The problem comes in that I'm a rate tart - I wander around looking for the best deals and then just shove the money in there. Then the old accounts just whither and rot.

Now I did plan to rationalise the credit cards. As soon as the Mint and the Accucard have paid their final amount of cashback, I'm cancelling them both. That does leave two remaining but one's a MasterCard and the other is an American Express, so it kinda works for me. But of my savings accounts, three of them are dead with about a pound each - ditto with one of my savings accounts.

The problem is that there's never an easy way to actually close an account. Take one of my savings - an Online Saver from the incompetent Alliance and Leicester. It's an Online Saver - that means it's managed entirely online. But to cancel it, you have to phone them.

In contrast, I'm rather impressed with Egg's online service (most of which does work in Firefox). For example - all the card activation is done online. No phone lines, no pressure to take out insane "insurance". And no waiting for a PIN to arrive in the post either - the PIN can be viewed at any time on the website. Which given how many PINs I have to remember, is no bad thing. Mind you, that said, Egg doesn't appear to have any way to close your account online either...

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