The best bank accounts for switching bonuses

HSBC is once again offering £175 when you switch to an Advance account. We've listed the few decent remaining current account switching offers below.

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.

The bad news is banks have been slashing these switching deals left, right and centre. 

So it's extremely welcome to see that HSBC has relaunched its £175 switching offer for those switching to its Advance account, making it by far the most rewarding switching incentive on the market.

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

£50

£1,000*

5% Regular Saver linked account

HSBC Advance Account

£175

£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 + £200+ in vouchers

Nationwide FlexDirect account

£100 for you and a friend***

£1,000

5% on balances up to £2,500

*Within three months of account opening
**If you make at least the minimum payment for six months and stay for 12 months
***Only available when you get a friend to apply for the account

HSBC Advance – £175 in cash 

HSBC’s sweetener is only valid until 2 September, so you need to be quick.

Also, you need to apply via Money.co.uk and uSwitch to be eligible for the free cash.

New customers can get £175 by fully switching to an Advance bank account with at least two Direct Debits or standing orders.

Also, you need to pay in a minimum of £1,750 every month or £10,500 over six months, which is a particularly high hurdle to beat.

You’ll gain access to a 5% Regular Saver account although this rate is only available for 12 months.

Unfortunately, you will undergo a credit check and there have been reports of HSBC rejecting applications, which may damage your score.

HSBC branch. (Image: Shutterstock)

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 loyalty points 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 £132, access to exclusive offers and triple points in M&S stores and online when you pay with an M&S credit card. 

first direct – £50 cash

While 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 number one 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).

Previously, there was 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, but the bank recently announced it was scrapping it as almost everyone was able to skirt it anyway.

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

Nationwide FlexDirect – £100 for you & a friend

This one requires you to rope in a friend, but you'll both get £100 for your troubles at the end of it.

In cased they need some convincing, tell them the Nationwide FlexDirect account is fee-free and pays 5% on balances of up to £2,500 for the first 12 months (falling to 1% thereafter).

To qualify, you'll need to be an existing current, mortgage or savings account with the building society.

You'll then need to speak to Nationwide to get some information that you can send on to your friend.

They'll need to sign up within 90 days of the invitation, ensuring they set up at least to direct debits and pay in £1,000 a month in order to qualify.

Know a few people who would be up for switching? You're entitled to invite up to five people, so there's a potential £500 to be earned by both you and them. 

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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