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Time running out to get £125 welcome bonus for opening 1st Account

John Fitzsimons
by Lovemoney Staff John Fitzsimons on 24 January 2013  |  Comments 5 comments

You'll need to get a move on if you want to pocket £125 for opening the award-winning 1st Account from First Direct.

Time running out to get £125 welcome bonus for opening 1st Account

Time is running out if you want to pocket £125 just for opening the best bank account around.

First Direct has upped its usual welcome bonus by £25, but you’ve only got until 31st January to take advantage.

The welcome bonus is paid to customers who open the online bank’s 1st Account. The account doesn’t look that spectacular on first viewing, given that it doesn’t pay a penny in interest, though it does come with a £250 interest-free overdraft.

However, the bank is obviously doing something right – the 1st Account wins every award going for customer service, including our own Lovemoney Award. Part of the appeal is undoubtedly the fact that any time you have an issue, night or day, you’ll be able to speak to someone in a UK call centre who can help.

How to get the £125

To qualify for the £125 welcome bonus, you’ll need to switch over at least two direct debits and/or standing orders.

You’ll also need to pay at least £1,500 a month into the account, or else hold another First Direct product.

The other bank paying a welcome bonus

Halifax is also paying a welcome bonus for new bank account customers, though its deal is slightly different.

For starters, it’s available on more than one bank account – you have a choice of the Current Account, Reward Current Account and Ultimate Reward Current Account.

The Current Account is a fairly bogstandard offering, though I’m a big fan of the Reward Current Account. It pays you £5 a month every month you manage to pay in £1,000, irrespective of your finishing balance. So even if you spend every money that comes in, you’ll still pocket £60 a year.

The Ultimate Reward Current Account does the same, but comes with a host of added benefits like travel insurance, AA breakdown cover and home emergency cover. However it will cost you £10 a month.

All three come with a 12 month fee-free overdraft on top.

However, what really sets this bonus apart is the fact that it’s paid as soon as you begin the application process, rather than a couple of months down the line. It’s well worth a look in my view.

More on bank accounts:

The true cost of an overdraft

The best and worst packaged current accounts

Lovemoney Awards: Smile tops current account poll

Where to find a basic bank account

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Comments (5)

  • tuttogallo
    Love rating 99
    tuttogallo said

    I have been with FirstDirect since they started in 1991 and later began to use their online service.

    I cannot praise their telephone banking staff enough. They are polite, friendly, efficient and helpful. Most of them seem to have Scottish accents and I imagine that they have to pass test for clear speaking. All this makes communication very easy, unlike speaking to India which is such hard work (no matter how hard they try......sorry!). FirstDirect regularly wins the top spot in suveys of customer service.

    Also, when you phone them you get to speak to someone straight away (with Halifax it was 2 levels of menu and punch in your account number, b*******s to that!)

    In case you think that this is to sycophantic, I swear I'm not being paid for this!!!!!

    Unfortunately their savings offerings are poor except for their regular saver which pays a stonking 8%.

    Report on 24 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • biophile
    Love rating 4
    biophile said

    How long do you have to hold the 1st account in order to retain the £125 welcome bonus?

    Report on 24 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • babyhk
    Love rating 10
    babyhk said

    The fact that you have to pay in £1500 per month excludes quite a few people.

    An alternative maybe the Halifax as if you do have a problem there are many branches open even on Saturdays.

    From May 2013 the Halifax is changing some of its conditions (Reward Account).

    Main one is that you only have to pay in £750 per month instead of £1000 which may help those on low incomes/part time work and providing you have at least 2 direct debits coming out each month then the £5 " reward" still stands.

    Report on 24 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • coloratura
    Love rating 81
    coloratura said

    So yet another set of bank offers that really offer very little. A bank used to be grateful if you did business with them. Now they are so powerful that they insist you deposit £750 plus per month in order to obtain a small sweetener on an account that will offer you very little or will only offer it for a year whereupon the rate drops to a dismally low interest rate - well they know that people who are busy earning the money to bank with them won't have time to keep swopping bank accounts. However, should you succeed in managing to bank some money and make a little interest - well, HMRC can then come along and demand a share of it (whilst at the same time keeping you held on to a premium telephone call line for ages (my wait was 35 minutes and then the person on the line kept me on for another 20 minutes to not be able to help with the enquiry - so much for what the TV and newspapers report). RIP OFF BRITAIN JUST GETS WORSE - BUT NOW IT'S RIP OFF WORLD ! I think you would have to move to a desert island on your own to ensure that someone wasn't trying to rip you off.

    Report on 31 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • governmentwhore
    Love rating 0
    governmentwhore said

    The 125 pound isn't worth it who wants to place there bank accounts into the hands of a bunch of people who recruit based on which chair a person sits in at interview?

    How can you trust a bank who does that with your money? If i was you i would try barclays or natwest.

    And that ones on the house Peter.

    Report on 31 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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