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.

  • HSBC – earn up to £200
  • RBS – free £150 bonus (ends Friday 8th March)
  • Halifax – £50 up front, then £85 after 6 months
  • First Direct – £100 (ends Monday 11th March)
  • Nationwide – 5% interest on balances up to £2,500 plus £100 if referred by friend (message me)

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

HSBC

HSBC Advance current account – earn up to £200

This HSBC switching deal offers £150 now and another £50 if you stay for a year. It also gives you access to a high interested saving account, but the account as the highest monthly pay in requirement in our list.

What you get

  • £150 switching bonus
  • £50 loyalty bonus (if you stay for 12 months)
  • Access to a 5% regular saving account

Requirements

  • Two direct debits or standing orders much be switched to the account]
  • You must activate online banking
  • You must pay in at least £1,750 every month

>> Switch to HSBC


RBS

RBS Reward

The RBS Reward account offers a £150 bonus. There’s a £2 per month fee for the account, but 2% cashback on bills paid by direct debit. If you’re a bill payer, this should net the average person an additional £60 per year after the fee.

RBS also have fee free account called ‘Select’ this earns the switcher the same £150 bonus, but there’s no cashback on bills.

This is a time limited offer, with the bonus paid on or before 19 April 2019

What you get

  • £150 bonus
  • 2% cashback on bills paid by direct debit

Requirements

  • Pay in £1,500 a month
  • Log into online banking before 22 March

>> Switch to RBS


First Direct

First Direct switching offer – up to £100

First Direct has always been amongst the top accounts for switching offers. Added to that, it has some of the best customer service scores of any UK bank. For a while it did drop the cash incentive for switching, but it’s back for 2019.

What you get

  • £100 switching bonus
  • Access to a 5% regular savings account
  • £250 0% overdraft

Requirements

  • You must pay in at least £1,000 every month
  • You must use the full switching service (your old account will be closed)

>> Switch to First Direct


Halifax

Halifax

One of the best for quick cash. There’s £159 up for grabs for account switchers, with £50 paid even before the switch completes. An additional £85 is paid as a loyalty bonus for switchers that stay over 6 months, but to get it you’ll need to pay in at least £1,500 per month, plus have used your debit card (at least once), and changed to paperless statements.

You can also earn £2 a month for each month you pay in £750 or more, remain in credit, and pay out two direct debits.

What you get

  • £50 up front
  • £85 after 6 months (subject to conditions)
  • £2 per month (subject to conditions)

Requirements

  • Pay in £1,500 a month
  • Two direct debits to get the £2 reward
  • Use the switching service and close your old account

>> Switch to Halifax


Nationwide

Nationwide FlexDirect

Nationwide’s FlexDirect account doesn’t offer any direct cash bribes, but it does offer an interest rate of 5% on balances up to £2,500 in the first year. That’s worth £125. The rate drops to just 1% after the first 12 months, so switch again to maximise your position.

If you have a friend with a Nationwide account, ask them to refer you and you could both earn £100. If not get in touch and I’ll share my code (only 5 to give away)

What you get

  • 5% interest on current account balances up to £2,500 for the first year. 1% thereafter
  • Access to a 5% regular savings account
  • 0% overdraft

Requirements

  • Pay in £1,000 a month to get the interest
  • Switch two direct debits to take advantage of the £100 refer a friend bonus

>> Switch to Nationwide

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