Unhappy with your bank? Don’t just moan, switch, and earn up to £150 in cash while you are at it. Act now, there’s no telling how long these offers will be around for.
Too long, didn’t read? Here’s a list of the top bank account switching offers. Hurry though, some of the best are ending soon.
If you’ve been with the same bank since high-school, university, or your first job, then you are probably missing out. In fact, unless you’ve switched in the past couple of years, you’re still likely to be missing out.
If you’re unhappy with your bank, then switch. But even if you are happy, it could still be worth switching to take advantage of special switching offers and deals. The best switching deal currently pays a £150 switching bonus. That’s more than you’d earn by maxing out the very best regular saving account.
This guide compares all the best buy switching offers for you, but before we dive in, let’s take a look at how switching works.
How does bank switching work?
Bank account switching is quick and easy. The current 7-day switch guarantee scheme started in 2013. Since then over 4 million have used the service to seamlessly switch their account to a new banking provider. That is still a drop in the ocean though compared to the estimated 70 million active account holders across the UK.
To switch your account, you simply open up a new bank account then use your new bank’s switching service. It will automatically move your money, direct debits, standing orders, and payees across to your new account before closing your old one.
Any payments such as your salary, or anything else are automatically shifted to your new account. If anything does go wrong and it shouldn’t, but if it does, you’ll be compensated for any losses under the switch guarantee scheme.
Before you get started
Whilst switching your bank account is easy, there are a few things you need to know before you get started. As with most promotional offers, there are conditions that usually need to be met in order to enjoy the switching bonus.
Minimum pay-in requirements
Switching offers often contain a minimum pay-in clause. i.e the amount you must pay into your account each month in order to be eligible for the bonus. In some cases this can be as high as £1,750, or as low as £500. Usually it’s somewhere in between. Those paying their wages/salary directly into the account should be ok, but if you aren’t able to meet the minimum pay-in, don’t despite just yet. There’s a nifty little trick, that allows you to pay in less but still meet the criteria.
Let’s say the minimum pay-in is £1000, but you can only have £750 coming in. You can withdraw or transfer £250 of it to another account, then pay it back in. Bingo, you’ve now hit the £1000 pay-in threshold.
There are two things you need to be aware of with this trick though
- Some banks might turndown your application if your salary isn’t enough to meet the minimum pay-in. In which case this trick won’t work
- A month is a month is a month, except when it’s not. Whilst most banks will operate on a calendar month basis for accepting the minimum pay-in, other like Santander work by statement month. It’s important to double check to ensure you don’t fall foul of this.
Why is there a minimum pay-in anyway? It seems daft having a minimum pay-in when you can in theory just withdraw the money and then repay it into the account, but from the bank’s point of view it’s designed to make you use the account as your main account.
Similar to minimum pay-ins, to keep you using the account as your main current account, banks often require that you transfer at least two direct debits when you switch, in order to enjoy the perks. All direct debits and standing orders will be switched automatically using the switching service, but you need to make sure that you have at least two set up on your old account BEFORE you initiate the switch.
Closing your old account
To get the best perks, you have to use the full switching service. That means that your old account will automatically be closed. Be careful, as there is a partial switching service, that leaves the old account open.
The headline incentives can be tempting, but if you are regularly overdrawn you should focus on the account with the lowest overdraft cost. Overdraft interest and fees, will almost always trump the headline cash incentive for switching.
You must pass a mild credit check
If applying for or switching your current account, the new bank (in most cases) will perform a mild credit check. This shouldn’t be as strict a check as when applying for a credit card, loan, or mortgage, but it will leave a search on your credit history. It’s something to bear in mind, especially if you are thinking about applying for a big ticket financial item in the next few months.
Top cash paying switching bank account
Santander 123 Lite – £130
The Santander Lite account is our top for switchers. Due to it having the lowest minimum pay in requirements and being one of the easiest accounts to open. The Lite account Pays up to £130 for switchers plus tiered cashback on household bills (3% on water, 2% on gas and electricity, and 1% on council tax).
Unfortunately the cashback is capped at £5 a month, but it means a maximum of £15 is up for grabs.
What you get
- £130 for switching payable in 90 days
- up to £15 a month cashback on household bills
- Pay in £500 a month
- Switch within 60 days
- Must not have received a switching bonus from Santander previously.
HSBC Advance current account – earn up to £140
This HSBC switching deal offers £110, and unique amongst switching deals, it doesn’t have an end date. Whether that’s good news or not, just depends on how long it sticks around for. It is only open to new HSBC Advance and Premium customers.
What you get
- £110 switching bonus paid within 30 days of making the switch.
- £30 Uber Ests voucher
- Access to 1% saver account
- New customers only (or those that haven’t held a HSBC or First Direct account since 2018)
- Minimum monthly deposit £1,750
- Cannot have a First direct or M&S account open at the same time
RBS Reward – earn up to £150
RBS is offering £100 to new and existing customers that switch to its Reward account. The account has a £2 month fee but RBS then pays you back £5 a month, so you end up £3 a month up. It’s a strange system similar to the Barclays rewards programme.
To get the £100 bonus customers need to open the account using the switching service, then pay in £1,500 and log into online banking before 30th December 2021.
Even stranger is that to get these rewards you must pay out two or more direct debits a month, and log into internet banking once a month.
There is also a further £50 if you use the account for a year, which has even more caveats, including making 10 card payments (direct debits are also included) a month between January 2022 until September 2022.
This is a time limited offer ending 31st December 2021
What you get
- £100 bonus
- £50 loyalty bonus
- £5 per month cash back (on Reward account costing £2 per month)
- Pay in £1,250 a month
- Must not have had an RBS switching bribe in the past 3 years
Lloyds Club – £100 plus your choice of perks
The Club Lloyds account is offering new account holders £100 cash plus a choice of additional perks with an estimated value of up to £50.
- 6 cinema tickets (worth up to £65 depending on where you live)
- 12 digital film rentals
- A single magazine subscription
- Gormet Society membership
Customers can only choose on perk and that choice cannot be changed at a later date.
Where this account shines in comparison to the competition is on it’s interest. Interest rates are poor across the market but the Club account offers 1.5% on £1000 on balances between £4,000 – £5,000, and 0.6% on balances up to £4,000. that gives it an affective rate of 0.76% overall. It’s nothing to shout about but a useful feature for those that maintain high current account balances.
What you get
- £100 switching bonus
- 1.5% on higher balances
- Access to 1% regular saver account
- You must pay in at least £1,500 every month there a £3 fee for paying in less
- 2 more direct debits a month to get the interest
- Can’t have had a Lloyds account before
Nationwide FlexDirect – £100
Nationwide’s FlexDirect account is offering customers £100 for switching, plus an interest rate of 2% on balances up to £1,500 in the first year. That’s worth £30. The rate drops to practically nothing after the first 12 months, so switch again to maximise your position.
What you get
- £100 switching bonus paid within 10 days
- 2% interest on current account balances up to £1,500 for the first year
- 0% overdraft
- Pay in £1,000 a month to get the interest