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.

  • Santander 123 Lite– earn up to £140 plus cashback
  • FirstDirect– free £150 for switchers
  • RBS – £100 up front, then £50 loyalty bonus plus rewards
  • Nationwide – £100 (£125 for existing customers) plus 2% interest on balances up to £1,500

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

  1. 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
  2. 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.

Direct debits

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.

Overdrafts

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

Santander 123 Lite – £140

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

  • £140 for switching payable in 90 days
  • up to £15 a month cashback on household bills

Requirements

  • Pay in £1000 a month
  • Switch within 60 days plus 2 direct debits
  • Must not have received a switching bonus from Santander previously.

>> Switch to Santander


FirstDirect

FirstDirect 1st account – earn up to £150

This FirstDirect deal offers £150 for switchers. To get the deal customers need to open a FirstDirect account then within three months switch and pay in £1,000. The bonus will be paid within 28 days. There are no direct debit or standing order requirements for the bonus.

The ease of this combined with top level customer service makes this a star deal.

What you get

  • £150 switching bonus paid within 28 days of making the switch.

Requirements

  • New customers only (or those that haven’t held a HSBC or First Direct account since 2019)
  • Minimum monthly deposit £1,000

>> Switch to FirstDirect


RBS

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)

Requirements

  • Pay in £1,250 a month
  • Must not have had an RBS switching bribe in the past 3 years

>> Switch to RBS


Nationwide

Nationwide FlexDirect – £100

Nationwide’s FlexDirect account is offering customers £100 for switching, (£125 for existing customers) 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

Requirements

  • Pay in £1,000 a month to get the interest
  • pay in £1000 plus switch two direct debits within 30 days

>> Switch to Nationwide

 

Digital bank accounts

As the competition for customers grows a number of digital banks are offering incentives to join them. The good news is you don’t have to switch to take advantage of these offers and there are not restrictions in terms of minimum pay ins and direct debits. The bad news is that the rewards aren’t nearly as high as the traditional bank offers. That being said, they free and easy to open, so there’s nothing to lose.

Chase Bank UK – Free £20

Chase stormed onto the scene at the end of 2021 and has shown itself to be a real competitor to Starling and Monzo. It’s attracted customers through its industry beating offers including 1% cashback on spending, 5% AER interest on round-ups, 1.5% savings account, and fee free foreign spending.

We have a full review of the Chase account here. New customers can currently earn £20 when you sign up to Chase either via our link or using our sign up code a34FnkhC. The bonus will be paid immediately once you’ve deposited £20 into the account.

Due to the sheer number of people taking advantage of the offer, Chase is currently placing new sign-ups in a waiting room whilst it processes applications. Normally new accounts are opened in less than 10 mins, but the popularity of the offer means it could be a few days before you are invited to sign up proper.

Monzo – £5 sign up bonus

In terms of brand image, Monzo is the most popular digital bank in the UK. Traditionally it’s shied away from special offers and bonus to attract customers, but has recently changed that tact and is now offering a £5 bonus to new account holders. To get the bonus, you just need to sign up via our link here, and make one card purchase within 30 days of opening your account.

 

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