The best bank accounts for switching bonuses

£175 cash or £220 in vouchers - which should you go for? We've listed the best current account switching offers below.

Banks use 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.

What's more, these bonuses are getting bigger.

HSBC is currently offering £175 if you switch to them and open an Advance Bank Account.

If you don't live near a branch, there are other high street and challenger-bank bonuses on offer.

Earn up to 5% on your cash: compare current accounts now

Best switching bonuses

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.

Here are the top accounts, arranged alphabetically:

Bank account

Switching bonus

Minimum monthly payment

Extra benefits

first direct 1st Account

£100

£1,000*

5% Regular Saver linked account

Halifax Reward

£50 + £85**

£1,500

Earn £2 each month you pay in

Halifax Ultimate Reward

£50 + £85**

£1,500 + £17 fee

Various insurances

HSBC

£175 (Advance account)

£1,750

5% Regular Saver linked account

M&S Current Account

£100 + £80 vouchers***

£1,250

5% Regular Saver linked account

M&S Premium Current Account

£100 + £80 vouchers**

£1,250 + £10 fee

5% Regular Saver linked account + £245+ vouchers

M&S (existing credit card customers)

£100 + £120 vouchers***

£1,250

5% Regular Saver linked account

NatWest Everyday Select Account

£125 + £50***

£1,500

N/A

NatWest Reward

£125 + £50***

£1,500 + £2 fee

Up to 2% cashback on bills

NatWest Reward Silver

£125 + £50***

£1,500 + £10 fee

Up to 2% cashback on bills plus various insurances

NatWest Reward Platinum

£125 + £50***

£1,500 + £20 fee

Up to 2% cashback on bills plus various insurances

*Within three months of account opening

**If you make at least the minimum payment for six months

***If you continue making the minimum payments for 12 months and use your debit card every month

HSBC - £175 

HSBC sign. Image: Shutterstock.

HSBC’s £175 switching offer for an Advance account may be tempting for those looking for quick cash as payment is made within 30 days of the switch completion date.

To qualify, you must pay at least £1,750 a month into the account and transfer at least two direct debits or standing orders.

This offer is for new customers and also rules out anyone who has had a HSBC account since 1 January 2016. 

There’s no monthly account fee, exclusive discounts on offer and a free 12 months British Cycling Fan Membership (worth £24). 

New members can also open a Regular Saver account with a generous 5% interest rate for 12 months.

If you’re keen to join HSBC but an Advance account is not for you, HSBC also offers £75 if you switch to its standard current account with less hoops to jump through.

To qualify, you must pay in at least £500 a month and switch at least two direct debits or standing orders. 

NatWest - £175 + cashback

Back and bigger than ever, NatWest's £175 switching offer is tempting but takes a little patience to get.

You'll need to switch to the bank's free Everyday Select account or the paid-for Reward accounts, before 7th June.

Use the Current Account Switch Service, pay in £1,500 a month and make sure you log in to mobile or online banking before 12 July. You'll then get £125 by 9 August.

NatWest branch (image: Shutterstock)

For the remaining £50, continue making the payments and use your debit card once a month, to get paid by 30 June 2020.

The NatWest Reward account offers up to 2% cashback on certain household bills, which NatWest estimates could earn you an extra £83.

The Reward Silver and Platinum accounts are packaged accounts with hefty charges, so read our guide first before committing.

Extra cashback tip - combine with the NatWest Reward Credit Card

NatWest's Reward mastercard offers 1% cashback on supermarket shops and 0.5% at petrol stations, with extra cashback on certain retailers.

1% is as good a cashback rate as you'll find on any card.

The Reward card usually costs £24 a year, but if you also have a Reward current account it's free (just make sure you pay off your balance every month to avoid the 23.7% interest).

If you were considering getting a cashback card, taking up NatWest's bank switch offer could really be worth your time.

You can apply for the NatWest Reward card here

first direct - £100 cash

Having spent last year offering gadgets and vouchers, since 20 December the branchless bank first direct is again offering £100 cash to switchers.

Whilst this isn't the largest switching bonus out there, first direct's current account would be worth considering even without any bonus at all.

Last year a Government survey of customer service at all large banks named first direct as no.1 for overall service quality. The account also comes with a £250 interest-free overdraft, exclusive access to leading rates on loans and savings (including a 5% regular saver).

It also comes with a satisfaction guarantee. first direct promises to pay £100 to those unhappy with the account that decide to leave within a year of joining.

There’s a £10 monthly fee for the account after six months unless you pay in at least £1,000 a month, maintain a balance of £1,000 or hold another first direct product.

You'll need to pay in at least three months in a row to get the switching bonus.

You can find out more and apply for the account here

M&S Bank – £180+ in vouchers

Sadly, it's not a cash reward, but you can pocket £180 in M&S vouchers when you join M&S Bank and stay for 12 months.

You just need to switch to the M&S Current Account or M&S Premium Current Account using the Current Account Switch Service and move a minimum of four active Direct Debits - more than other switching offers listed here.

A £100 gift card will be sent to you once everything is wrapped up.

Marks and Spencer (image: Shutterstock)

You then get another £80 gift card if you stay for 12 months, pay in £1,250 a month, retain four active direct debits and opt for internet banking and online-only statements.

M&S credit card customers who switch get an even bigger bonus of £220 in gift cards if you switch and stay for 12 months.

The fee-free M&S Current Account gives you access to a monthly savings account paying 5%, £100 fee-free overdraft and 1% in M&S vouchers for spending at M&S.

The M&S Premium Current Account offers all that plus a range of other benefits in return for a £10 monthly fee.

With the account, you can also get yearly vouchers worth £95 including a birthday gift worth £10, 48 hot drink vouchers per year worth £129, preferential rates on selected products, access to exclusive offers and triple points in M&S stores and online.

Halifax - £135 + cashback and rewards

Halifax have changed their longstanding switching offer: previously £75 upfront, the offer is now a little more complicated but more lucrative.

Use the bank’s Current Account Switch Service to switch to a new or existing Reward Current Account or Ultimate Reward Current Account to earn an initial £50 bonus.

If you then stay for six months, paying in at least £1,500 each month, using your debit card and paper-free correspondence, you'll get another £85.

On top of that, the Reward Current Account also offers a £2 monthly reward for every month you pay in £750 or more, stay in credit and pay out a minimum of two different direct debits, earning you an additional £24.

You can also earn up to 15% cashback on purchases with specific retailers, although how much this is worth depends on your shopping habits

You could opt for the Ultimate Reward Current Account, which includes worldwide family travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, home emergency cover, AA Breakdown Cover and a £300 fee-free planned overdraft.

However, it'll cost you a £17 monthly fee, so do the sums and ensure the benefits outweigh the costs.

Note the fee is reduced to £15 for each month you pay in £750 or more, stay in credit and pay our a minimum of two different direct debits.

Earn up to 5% on your cash: compare current accounts now

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.

Other accounts like Nationwide's FlexDirect Account, for example, offer decent levels of interest that could provide more value in the long-term, and not just give your bank balance a quick boost.

If you have a friend with Nationwide and they refer you, you'll both get £100.

TSB will also give you and your friend £75 each if you refer them to the Classic or Classic Plus Current Account.

You can compare the benefits and features of the top current accounts by visiting the loveMONEY comparison centre.

This article is regularly updated

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