Banks have long used juicy current account switching bonuses as a way of enticing new customers.
They can be an easy way to boost your bank balance, especially if you're looking to change banks anyway.
What’s more, they often come with other perks like interest-free overdrafts and access to savings accounts with excellent rates.
So, let's run through the top switching bonuses, including the latest from HSBC, Halifax and first direct.
Switching bonuses: watch out for the fine print
Before we jump in, be warned: while the incentives are great, you need to ensure the account you're switching to meets your specific financial needs or you could end up significantly out of pocket.
For example, if you're constantly in the red and the account has no interest-free overdraft, you could quickly rack up hundreds of pounds in interest and charges.
Now that we've got the warning out of the way, let's take a look at how you can easily bag some extra cash or freebies.
HSBC – £200 cash
HSBC is offering £200 to new customers who switch to an Advance current account.
If you’re interested, you should apply as soon as possible as this bonus can be pulled at any time.
To be eligible for this deal, you must open an Advance account as a new customer and start your switch within 30 days using the Current Account Switch Service.
You must transfer at least two Direct Debits or Standing Orders and pay £1,500 into the account within 60 days, plus you’ll need to be approved for a £1,000 overdraft.
There’s no minimum monthly pay-in for the Advance account and you’ll get access to an Online Bonus Saver account offering up to 3% interest, depending on your balance and if you make any withdrawals.
This switching offer is only available for new customers who haven’t had an HSBC or first direct current account since 1 January 2019.
You can also get £200 if you switch to an HSBC Premier account but this isn’t for everyone.
To be eligible for this account, you must have an annual income of at least £75,000 and a mortgage, investment, life insurance or protection product (or £50,000 of savings or investments within six months) with the bank, or hold HSBC Premier in another country or region.
First direct - £175 cash
If good customer service is important to you, then it's worth checking out first direct. The online bank regularly tops customer satisfaction polls and is currently offering a hefty £175 bung to anyone who switches to its 1st Account.
You’ll also get a free £250 overdraft limit on the account and access to first direct’s 7% Regular Saver account (fixed for 12 months).
To qualify, you'll need to switch your account using the Current Account Switch Service and pay in at least £1,000 in the first three months of account opening.
You should get your £175 within 28 days of completing the above, but you won’t be eligible if you’ve previously had an account with first direct or HSBC since 1 January 2019.
If you’re not keen on closing your main bank account, first direct also offers a £20 welcome bonus if you open a current account and log into the app or online banking within the first three months.
You’ll get the money within the first four months of opening an account and you can’t have previously held a current account with first direct or HSBC on or after 1 January 2019.
Halifax – £175 cash
Halifax is offering £175 to new and existing customers who switch to its Reward or Ultimate Reward account, which both provide access to Cashback Extras.
With both accounts, you’ll get access to a monthly reward of your choice as long as you pay in £1,500 a month, stay in credit and either spend £500 on your debit card or maintain a balance of £5,000 each month.
It’s worth stressing if you don’t meet the above criteria, you’ll have to pay a £3 monthly fee for the Halifax Reward account.
The Ultimate Reward account costs £17 a month, but you do get extra benefits, including worldwide travel insurance and phone insurance.
To get the £175 switching offer, you must open a new Reward or Ultimate Reward account and use the Current Account Switch Service to switch into it from an account held with another bank.
You must start the switch by 19 December to be eligible for the free cash.
You won’t get £175 if you’ve received a switching offer since April 2020 or if you switch to a joint account and either party has already had a switching bonus.
If your bank doesn’t participate in the Current Account Switch Service, you also won’t be eligible.
Co-operative Bank - £125 cash
Co-operative Bank will give existing customers £125 when they recommend someone who switches to the free Standard Current Account or Everyday Extra Account (a monthly fee applies) via the Current Account Switch Service and completes a referral form.
Any new customers who join via the Refer a Friend scheme will also get £125, but they’ll have to close their old bank account.
The existing customer must have a Current Account, Current Account Plus, Privilege, Privilege Premier, Everyday Extra, Student Account or Cashminder Account when they recommend someone.
If you’re interested, it’s advisable to apply as soon as possible as this offer can be pulled at any time.
TSB – up to £100 cash
You can get up to £100 cash for switching to the Spend & Save or Spend & Save Plus account.
With the free Spend & Save account, you can earn £5 cashback a month (for the first six months) if you make at least 30 payments with the card each month.
The Spend & Save Plus current account has no end date for the cashback offer, but it comes with a £3 monthly charge.
You have to fulfil a few requirements to get the full £100 for switching. First, you need to open one of the above accounts by 16 December.
You’ll need to complete a full switch with at least two active Direct Debits via the Current Account Switch Service, as well as log onto the banking app and make one debit card payment by 13 January 2023 to get £50 by 10 February.
To get another £50, each month, you must make at least five debit card payments (excluding cash withdrawals and bill payments in a branch), pay a minimum of £500 into your account and have two active Direct Debits between 1 February and 31 July 2023.
If you meet these requirements, you'll get £50 by 31 August 2023.
Triodos Bank – £60 voucher or charity donation
Triodos Bank will make a £25 donation to an existing customer’s chosen charity (Friends of the Earth, RSPB, or Soil Association) when they recommend someone.
The existing customer must be over 18 and have a current account, savings account, cash ISA, investment ISA, or joint account to qualify, and must use the Refer a Friend scheme.
It’s worth pointing out that existing customers can recommend as many people as they want but they will have a maximum limit of 30 charity donations within a 12-month period.
New Triodos customers will be able to choose from a £60 voucher for Ethical Superstore or Neal’s Yard, a charity donation, or a combination of both.
They need to open a Personal current account (which costs £3 a month) using the email address they used to register for the referral scheme, within 60 days of registration.
The new customer must use the unique link from the recommender and deposit £100 within 30 days of opening the account. If someone opens a joint account, only one £25 donation will be made and Triodos employees and their family/household members are not eligible for this offer.
Finding the best deal
We mentioned this at the start, but it's worth repeating – make sure you consider what your long-term needs are, as well as the short-term gains a cash or voucher bonus can provide.
Some accounts will pay a decent rate on any small sums of cash you keep in them, while others will pay you cashback on various monthly bills, and the value of these can really add up over time.
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