As a nation we’re notoriously reluctant to switch banks. But if you’re fed up with yours, why not? Some are offering cashback to switch banks – you can switch banks and get up to £200 or more. Find out what’s on offer:
Cashback to switch banks
You must switch using the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) to get the following perks. You can read more about how the switching service works in my article Seven day bank account switching – what’s involved?
NatWest Reward Account – up to £175 to switch plus 2% rewards
If you switch to NatWest bank by June 7th (you have until midnight to do it) you will get £125 cashback. If you stay until June 30th 2020, you’ll get another £50. You have to pay in at least £1,500 to your account every month and log in to mobile or online banking at least once every three months.
WATCH OUT: Be aware that the basic Rewards account charges £2 a month. The trade-off is that you earn up to 2% certain spending. If you have a Silver Rewards account it costs £10 a month and a Premier one is £20 a month.
You earn 2% on household bills that you pay by direct debit and 1% on shopping at what NatWest calls ‘partner retailers’.
SAVVY TIP: You can switch if you’re a new or existing customer, as long as you haven’t already had cashback for switching from either NatWest or RBS (NatWest is owned by RBS) since October 2017.
M&S Bank Current Account – up to £185 to switch
M&S Bank has 29 branches nationwide, which are open whenever M&S stores are, including evenings and weekends. If you open an M&S Bank current account, you can bank online, get 24 hour current account support from a UK based customer services team and they also have a M&S Balance App, which you can download to your mobile deice. The App has quite limited functionality, but can check the balance and available balance on your registered account(s), view the last six transactions on your registered account(s) and make pay as you go mobile top ups.
The switch offer: £125 M&S gift card when you sign up, plus a further £5 a month added to your gift card every month for 12 months, making £185 in all.
What you need to do: Pay in a minimum of £1,000 and switch two direct debits for a period of 12 months.
What you’ll get:
- Access to M&S Bank Monthly Saver account, which pays 5% interest when you save between £25 and £250 a month over 12 months.
- Minimum £500 overdraft, with the first £100 interest free (15.9% EAR variable thereafter).
- Earn one point for every £1 you spend on your M&S Visa Debit Card in store and online at M&S through the M&S Loyalty Scheme.
- Manage your account online, on telephone, in branch, on mobile (M&S Balance App) and by post.
- No monthly fee.
SAVVY TIP: This is a great account if you shop regularly at M&S and if you want a savings account that pays a high rate of interest on monthly deposits.
Halifax – Current Account – £125 to switch
Halifax was one of the first banks to use a regular cashback offer to tempt new customers. Its current offer is only available from February 6th to March 19th.
The switch offer: £125 when you switch to the Halifax Reward or Ultimate Reward current account. The Reward Account is free if you are in credit, but you’ll be charged daily fees if you go overdrawn. The Ultimate Reward Account charges a monthly fee. You can also get £125 if you already have a Halifax current account that you opened before December 2016, but you make it your main account. The offer is a bit confusing so I’d recommend that you check the Halifax website carefully before you switch, to make sure you meet the terms and conditions.
SAVVY TIP: Halifax say that if you’ve already received cashback for switching since January 2012, you won’t get it again. You also won’t get the cashback if you’re switching from Bank of Scotland, because they’re part of the same banking group, and you must use the current account switching service to switch your account. So, if you’re switching from a bank or building society that hasn’t signed up to the current account switching service, you won’t get the cashback.
What you need to do: Switch to one of their current accounts:
- Reward Current Account: Pay in £750, pay out two different direct debits and stay in credit each month, and receive £3 each month cashback.
- Ultimate Reward Current Account: £15 monthly fee or £12 if you pay in £750, pay out two different direct debits and stay in credit each month. The account includes: worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance; AA Breakdown Cover; mobile phone insurance; home emergency cover and card cancellation.
What you’ll get:
- Six month fee free overdraft. After six months, or if you change your account, you will be charged daily overdraft fees applicable to the account you hold if you use your overdraft:
- Reward Current Account: £50 buffer. £1 p/day up to and including £1,999.99 / £2 p/day from £2,000 to £2,999.99 / £3 p/day from £3,000 and above / £5 p/day unplanned.
- Ultimate Reward Current Account: £50 buffer. N/A for up to and including £300 / £1 p/day from £300.01 to £1,999.99 / £2 p/day from £2,000 to £2,999.99 / £3 p/day from £3,000 and above / £5 p/day unplanned.
- Earn up to 15% cashback by opening your account and activate Cashback Extras within online banking.
- Manage your account online, on mobile (mobile banking app), on telephone and in branch.
First Direct – 1st Account – £100 to switch
First Direct regularly wins awards for their customer service and products – this year alone they have won Which? Most Recommended Current Account, Moneyfacts Current Account Switching Provider of the Year and British Bank – Best Customer Service awards (along with others). You can bank online with them, via mobile or over the phone. The 1st Account is its current account.
The switch offer: £100 cashback when you sign up (you need to be a new customer).
What you need to do: Deposit £1,000 within three months of the account opening.
What you’ll get:
- Minimum £500 overdraft (subject to status), with the first £250 interest free (15.9% EAR variable thereafter).
SAVVY TIP: If you live in Northern Ireland and you use the switching service, you can get an interest and charge free overdraft for three months from the date you open your account.
- Manage your account online, on telephone and on mobile.
SAVVY TIP: First Direct don’t have branches, but if you need to pay in cash and cheques, you can at HSBC branches and at the Post Office.
- If you want to leave after six months, they’ll give you £100. You must have paid at least £1,000 a month into your account for six months and not have banked with them before, as well as switched initially using the Current Account Switch Service. You need to contact them within 12 months of opening your account, and you’ll get the money within 28 days of the criteria being met. If you do decide to leave, all other products you hold with First Direct will also need to be closed.
- Access to First Direct Savings Account, which pays 0.5% interest when you save from £1 with no maximum limit.
- No monthly fee for the first six months.
SAVVY TIP: Watch out for the £10 monthly account fee they apply after six months. You can avoid this by paying at least £1,000 into your account every month, or by maintaining an average monthly balance of £1,000, or by having a mortgage, credit card, Personal Loan, savings (except Regular Saver), First Directory or Home insurance with them.
TSB – Classic Plus Account – up to £120 a year cashback
TSB likes to brand itself as a different bank. It has no teaser rates on savings accounts and no sales targets for staff. Obviously it’s become known for the ongoing online/mobile banking problems recently, rather than anything else. However, we decided to leave its switching offer in the article (with a large warning!).
The switch offer: No incentive to switch but up to £10 cashback each month (ends 30 June 2018 / 31 December 2018) and 5% interest on balances up to £1,500.
What you need to do: Apply for a Classic Plus account. For accounts opened between 1 March 2017 and 7 January 2018, cashback is paid up to and including 30 June 2018. For accounts opened on or after 8 January 2018, cashback is paid up to and including 31 December 2018. Pay in at least £500 within 28 days of the switch and switch at least two active Direct Debits. You must register for Internet Banking, paperless statements and paperless correspondence.
What you’ll get:
- 5% AER interest paid monthly on balances up to £1,500.
- £5 cashback every month for having two direct debits per month (for accounts opened between 1 March 2017 and 7 January 2018, cashback is paid up to and including 30 June 2018. For accounts opened on or after 8 January 2018, cashback is paid up to and including 31 December 2018).
- Plus another £5 cashback every month if you spend with your debit card at least 20 times a month, including Apple and Google Pay (cashback end dates as above).
- Arranged overdraft: optional £35 interest and fee-free (19.84% EAR + £6/mth usage fee thereafter).
- Unarranged overdraft: £10 buffer (19.84% EAR with charges of £5/day under £25, £10/day for £25+ (max £80/mth) plus £6/mth usage fee; £10 unpaid item fee (max three/day) thereafter).
- No monthly fee.
SAVVY WARNING!: a computer system migration in April has left up to 1.9 million TSB customers locked out of their accounts, meaning they are unable to access money, pay bills, mortgages, loans and more or get paid. TSB’s Trustpilot rating is currently one out of 10.
Nationwide customers – £200 to share to refer a friend
If you bank with Nationwide and get a friend to switch to bank with them, you will each get £100. You can recommend as many friends as you like, and they will each receive £100. But Nationwide will only pay you a maximum of £500 in any tax year.
Useful Links: Find out what banks are listed on the SavvyWoman directory
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