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Would you switch banks for a free coffee?

Rebecca Rutt
by Lovemoney Staff Rebecca Rutt on 20 February 2013  |  Comments 9 comments

Is £3 enough to make anyone switch banks?

Would you switch banks for a free coffee?

The high street banks regularly promote gimmicky freebies to lure in new customers but I think the latest from Metro Bank is just ridiculous.

All new customers signing up to the bank will get (wait for it) £3 loaded onto their debit cards once their account has been opened in order to buy a free coffee (or whatever they choose).

The bank is apparently trying to “perk up” its customers by handing over £3, which given the current state of the economy seems almost offensive.

Craig Donaldson, chief executive for Metro Bank, even says the new freebie is a way to “surprise and delight” customers.

Now, while I am trying not to be overly cynical, and I do appreciate it’s hard for new entrants such as Metro Bank, anyone who thinks £3 is going to be surprising or delightful needs a large dose of reality.

To start with, it’s not a particularly tempting offer, especially when Halifax and First Direct are paying £100 to people signing up to their current accounts.

Secondly, and what I find harder to accept, is that banks are still ploughing ahead with such try-hard gimmicks.

A clear difference?

Metro Bank has tried to set itself apart from the big banks – it’s open every day, from 8am-8pm in the week, and customers can get free tea and coffee in the branches – but this latest offer seems a little too familiar.

In times of severe financial hardship, UK banking customers are looking for a bank they can trust which will give them stability, competitive interest rates, good customer service and somewhere to keep their money safe.

Therefore, what would be more beneficial would be offering a savings rate above inflation, or perhaps lowering mortgage rates further or even reducing the overdraft charges (currently set at £5 for any payments which don’t go through and £15 for those which are honoured but exceed agreed overdraft limits at the bank).

I accept that this is very wishful thinking on my part, and Metro Bank is in no way unique, but I find it hard to believe the bank is genuinely looking to cheer up its customers.

Maybe I am being too cynical or maybe I believe that the British public is after something a bit more than a free coffee from the banking system.

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Comments (9)

  • Arblaster
    Love rating 46
    Arblaster said

    There ain't no such thing as a free coffee.

    Report on 20 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • fenemore
    Love rating 255
    fenemore said

    Hmmm - don't you just love a double negative!

    Report on 20 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Mike10613
    Love rating 632
    Mike10613 said

    £3.00 is worth having, but I wouldn't open a bank account to get it. Coffee seems to attract people who are easily parted with their hard earned cash. Look at Starbucks and Costa and even Greggs is getting in on the act now. They have no shortage of customers. Make it trendy these days and it's like a licence to print money. There are people walking around Aldi now with carrier bags from the posher supermarkets; all fur coat and no knickers! :)

    Report on 20 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • CuNNaXXa
    Love rating 415
    CuNNaXXa said

    I heard today that one coffee shop chain pays around £21,000 a year to their coffee operatives, because it is such a skilled job. I know people with 'real' skills that earn less.

    I don't care what blurb they offer, or what arguments they use, coffee is coffee, and the skill used to make a cup is nothing special. After all, I have a grinder at home, along with some Java, Sumatra and Columbia, with filters and other cheap utensils, and can make an aromatic cup of coffee just as well as these so called professionals.

    Mind you, I wouldn't compare myself to a quality chef, because I can cook, while they create, but then the ingredients they use to create their meals exceeds coffee, sugar, filtered water and milk or cream by a great margin.

    Credit where credit is due. There are some talented people out there, but no one will ever convince me that someone who makes a cup of coffee is a 'professional'.

    As for the £3, that is a derisory amount to transfer to a new bank account. You'd probably spend more money on fuel or phone calls just to change accounts than you would save.

    Report on 20 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • electricblue
    Love rating 785
    electricblue said

    Have a special camera for that do you Mike?

    Report on 21 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Mike10613
    Love rating 632
    Mike10613 said

    @electricblue Yeah, a smart camera... :)

    Report on 21 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • PoohBah
    Love rating 26
    PoohBah said

    Mike: people walk around Aldi with carrier bags from other supermarkets because Aldi don't provide them and you have to carry your shopping away in something. You evidently use the store; what do you do, juggle your shopping?

    Report on 21 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • sketharaman
    Love rating 8
    sketharaman said

    Didn't someone say that switching banks was more painful than undergoing a root canal surgery? If Metro Bank is serious about getting people to switch their bank accounts to it, it should give a "joining bonus" of at least GBP 800, which is what I remember my last root canal costing me! That was 5 years ago, maybe with inflation, about a grand should do now.

    Report on 21 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • electricblue
    Love rating 785
    electricblue said

    Mike's obviously busy juggling something when he visits Aldi....

    Report on 23 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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