The best bank accounts for switching bonuses

The best bank accounts for switching bonuses

Considering switching banks? We look at the best UK bank switching bonuses on offer.

lovemoney staff

Banking and Borrowing

lovemoney staff
Updated on 14 March 2023

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 available now. 

Starling Bank is a popular choice among switchers: click here to see if the bank is right for you

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.

NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – £200 cash

NatWest and RBS are offering £200 to new and existing customers who switch their bank account.

To qualify, new customers must apply using the Current Account Switch Service for a Select, Reward, Premier Select or Premier Reward account via either bank’s website or mobile app (this means your old bank account you’re switching from will be closed).

Only the Select account is free or doesn’t have any strict eligibility requirements to open an account. With the Reward account, you can earn £3 a month (after the £2 fee) as long as you have two Direct Debits and log into the app once a month.

You’ll then need to deposit £1,250 into your new account and log in to the mobile banking app within 60 days of opening your account. If you meet these criteria, you’ll get £200 within seven calendar days.

As an added bonus, you will get access to the Digital Regular Saver Account, which currently pays an impressive 6.17% on the first £5,000 in your account (0.65% for balances over this amount).

This offer is also available to existing NatWest/RBS customers with an eligible account (opened before 14 February), but to get the offer you must transfer an account from a different bank and meet the above criteria.

You won’t be eligible if you’ve received a switching bonus from NatWest, RBS or Ulster Bank between 1 October 2017 and 13 February 2023.

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. 

The 1st Account offers a free £250 overdraft limit 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 with HSBC since 1 January 2020.

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 and won’t get your monthly reward.

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 3 April 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 or if you’re an employee of Lloyds Group, you also won’t be eligible.

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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*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

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