Co-operative Bank offers £100 incentive for taking out its Current Account Plus
The Co-operative Bank is the latest to offer you a £100 bribe to switch your current account.
The Co-operative Bank has teamed up with Co-operative Employee Benefits, part of The Midcounties Co-operative, to offer £100 cashback to customers willing to switch their current accounts to the Co-operative Bank Current Account Plus account.
£100 to move to the Co-op
To qualify for this £100 'bribe', switchers must be 18 or over, open a Current Account Plus account before 31 December, use the Co-operative Bank's dedicated switching service to transfer at least two Direct Debits, and credit £800 a month into the account for three months in a row.
Once these qualifying criteria have been met, £100 will be credited to the account within four months. This £100 offer applies to both sole and joint accounts, but only one cashback reward will be paid per account.
However, there is one catch: this offer is open only to employees of Employee Benefit's own customers, which include hundreds of companies and organisations throughout the UK. So employees of any firm which uses Employee Benefit's services -- including childcare vouchers and cycle-to-work schemes -- can get £100 simply for ditching their bank and switching to the Co-operative Bank.
Although millions of people will be eligible for this offer, only a tiny percentage will opt to move their accounts, for fear of something going wrong during the switching process. This is a shame, as the Co-operative Bank often tops the tables for its award-winning financial products and customer service.
Bag a bribe today
You can't take advantage of this offer if your employer isn't a customer of Co-operative Employee Benefits. Nevertheless, there are several other banks willing to bribe you to win your business. Right now, these are the three best offers for those willing to switch their custom to another bank:
1. £100 if you like us, £200 if you don't
First Direct, part of mega-bank HSBC, is willing to give you £100 to move your account to it.
To qualify, you need to open a First Direct 1st Account and use its Easyswitch service to transfer at least two Direct Debits and/or standing orders. After this, you must start paying in a salary or income of at least £1,500 a month within three months of opening your account. Once you've done this, First Direct will credit £100 to your 1st Account. Again, there is only one £100 payout per sole or joint account.
As a customer of First Direct since the early Nineties, I've been delighted with its service for over 20 years. Indeed, I always recommend it highly, as First Direct has won a sack of awards for its first-class service and always tops the league table of best banks.
Of course, this offer is open solely to those who can afford to deposit £1,500 a month into a First Direct 1st Account, which works out at a salary of roughly £23,000 a year. Also, for each month that you don't pay in £1,500, you'll be charged £10. Then again, the easiest way to get around this is to open a First Direct savings account and deposit £1 or more, which will stop this monthly £10 charge.
2. £5 a month, every month
Halifax is willing to pay you £5 a month -- that's £60 a year -- for opening and keeping a Halifax Reward Current Account. All you have to do to qualify for this £5-a-month bribe is to open a Halifax Reward account using its switching service and pay in at least £1,000 a month.
For every month that you pay in a grand or more, Halifax will give you £5 net of basic-rate tax (20%), which is worth £6.25 a month before tax. Higher-rate (40%) taxpayers will have to cough up £1.25 of each £5 to the taxman in additional tax. Non-taxpayers can reclaim the £1.25 of tax that Halifax has already paid, which adds another £15 a year to their reward, making it worth £75.
To pay in £1,000 a month, you'll need a yearly salary or other income of at least £14,000, so this account isn't useful for low earners. Also, Halifax levies steep overdraft fees instead of debit interest, so this account isn't suitable for customers who often go overdrawn.
3. Up to 3% cashback and interest
Santander won't give you an upfront bribe to switch to it. Instead, it offers a range of cashback rewards and credit interest designed to lure you away from your existing bank. To get the best of this deal, you must open a Santander 123 Current Account, set up at least two Direct Debits, and fund the account with £500 a month. By doing this, you get cashback of:
- 1% on water and Council Tax bills;
- 2% on gas and electricity bills; and
- 3% on communications bills (mobile phone, landline, broadband and paid-for TV packages, but not the TV Licence).
You earn cashback only on household bills paid by Direct Debit, and this reward is paid monthly. If you don't pay in £500 in any given month, you earn no cashback for that month.
Also, you get 1% AER interest once your credit balance is over £1,000, 2% AER once your balance is over £2,000 and 3% AER once your balance is over £3,000, with interest paid on balances up to £20,000. This is an exceptional deal, as many current accounts pay no or ultra-low credit interest.
In addition, Santander will give you a free arranged overdraft charged at 0% EAR for the first four months of your account, in case you slip into the red during the switching process.
Now for the bad news: this account charges a monthly fee of £2, which gobbles up £24 of your cashback and interest each year. Even so, customers with big household bills and large credit balances could make hundreds of pounds a year from a Santander 123 Current Account.
Finally, although those with incomes as low as 6,000 a year can open this account, the £24-a-year fee makes its unattractive to low earners, who would be better off looking elsewhere.
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