The best bank accounts for switching bonuses

The best bank accounts for switching bonuses

Considering changing banks? We round up the best UK bank switching bonuses.

lovemoney staff

Banking and Borrowing

lovemoney staff
Updated on 13 September 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 currently available. 

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

A quick warning on bank switching

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.

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. 

Co-op - £125 cash for you + £125 for a friend

As part of its Refer A Friend scheme, the Co-op will pay a £125 bonus to customers who recommend the bank to others. On top of that, the new customer will also receive £125.

The offer applies to the bank's free current account and its packaged Everyday Extra Account, which has a £15 monthly fee.

In order to qualify, the new customer will need to complete the switch using the bank's switching service. They'll then need to deposit at least £800 per month, set up at least two Direct Debits, make a minimum of five card payments and register for online banking.

As well as the £125, the bank allows you to register for its Everyday Rewards scheme, which pays you up to £2.20 per month.

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. 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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