Is loyalty really rewarded?
Savings rates are falling and many current accounts pay next to nothing on credit balances.
However, banks are doing their best to keep us loyal with a variety of offers for longstanding customers.
From SMS alerts to loyalty savings bonuses and lower mortgage fees, we take a look at what banks and building societies are doing to keep our custom.
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The UK's largest building society, Nationwide, is one of the leaders when it comes to rewarding loyalty from its 15million members.
It recently launched Loyalty Saver; an account paying a higher rate of interest based on the length of time a customer has been a member.
You must have been a member of Nationwide for five consecutive years to qualify, at which stage you earn 2.00% on your savings.
Those who have had membership for 10 years, meanwhile, earn 2.30% and anyone who has been with the building society for 15 years or more receives 2.60%.
This does not seem that generous in comparison with best buy easy-access accounts such as the building society's own MySave Online Plus at 2.75%.
However, that headline rate includes a 12-month bonus of 1.21%, meaning the rate will become much less attractive after a year.
The bonus-free Loyalty Saver account offers unlimited withdrawals, while MySave Online Plus holders can only make one penalty-free withdrawal a year.
Nationwide also recently launched SavingsWatch, a scheme designed to keep savers abreast of variable rate changes and account launches by email or SMS.
Richard Marriott, Nationwide's head of savings, said: "In a low interest rate environment, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on the rate you are receiving on your savings.
"SavingsWatch means our variable account savers will automatically be informed of a rate change affecting them."
Nationwide is not the only savings provider aiming to retain customers with loyalty services, though.
Rival Halifax claims that savers' tax-free pots have increased by an extra £12.5million since its ISA Promise was launched two years ago.
The Promise states that the bank will pay interest from the first day it receives an ISA transfer application, rather than from when the money has been transferred.
It also makes Halifax cash ISA accounts available to both new and existing customers and gives them advance notice when any initial reward or fixed rate is due to end.
Interest rates are not the only reason we choose and stick with our banks.
When it comes to choosing a current account, one of the most important considerations is the level of service you expect to receive – and some banks have chosen to try to retain customers with helpful services rather than competitive rates.
Lloyds TSB's Classic Account, for example, was recently awarded the Fairbanking Mark for helping customers take control of their finances with its free Money Manager service, launched last year.
The Fairbanking Foundation, a research charity, praised the bank for enabling customers to stay informed about the status of their account, as well as showing them how their spending breaks down into different categories, such as travel, shopping and bills.
Jatin Patel, director of current accounts for Lloyds TSB, said: "We know our customers want greater control of their money and we are investing in the tools to help them achieve this."
Other banks, meanwhile, are attempting to keep current account customers by offering beneficial rates on other products such as mortgages and credit cards.
Take HSBC, which was voted best mortgage provider in the 2012 MoneySupermarket Super Awards. Its Premier current account customers pay a fee of just £299 for a two-year fixed rate mortgage, while non-customers would be charged £599 upfront.
The same is true of Barclays, which knocks £500 off the £999 fee on its two-year fixes for current account customers who qualify for one of its loyalty mortgage.
Favourable interest tiers
You may also find that borrowing rates are more favourable for existing customers. Nationwide's recent loyalty drive also included the introduction of two pricing tiers – one for existing mortgage customers and one for new ones. And it is the existing customers that bag the best rates.
The building society's new five-year fix for borrowers with at least 30% to put down, for example, is currently 3.59% for existing mortgage customers and 3.69% for everybody else.
That's a difference of £480 over five years, while existing borrowers also escape the £99 booking fee waived, pushing their saving up to £579.
Loyalty also pays at Coventry Building Society, where customers who have themselves (or whose grandparent, parent or guardian has) held a Coventry savings, current account or (in the case of a relative) mortgage, for the last three years get access to its "Members" range.
This includes a 5.19% five-year fix with upfront fees of just £199 and a £500 IKEA Gift card thrown in that is available to borrowers with deposits of just 10%.