As competition heats up, big banks are wooing customers with attractive offers – and TSB has upped the ante, offering up to £375 for referring friends to its Classic Plus account.
Under TSB’s ‘recommend a friend’ offer, new and existing TSB customers can receive £75 for each person they refer to sign up for the account – up to a total of £375. But there are a number of caveats.
Which? looks at the most competitive switching deals and how they stack up.
How does the TSB Classic Plus offer work?
If you switch to the TSB Classic Plus account before 5 March 2018 – having been recommended by a friend – you could receive £75 for switching.
Once you’re a customer, you have the potential to earn a further £75 for each person who signs up on your recommendation, up to a total of £375.
But there’s a catch: this offer is only available to the first 5,000 customers who switch.
The TSB Classic Plus account also pays 3% AER credit interest on balances up to £1,500 when you pay in at least £500 a month, register for internet banking, paperless statements and paperless correspondence.
There is also a cashback offer of £5 a month for making 20 debit card payments, and a further £5 for making at least two monthly direct debit payments.
If you meet all the conditions, you could earn up to £604, but there are a number of caveats. This is how is works out:
- £75 received for switching, if you are recommended by a friend
- a maximum of £375 for recommending friends once your current account is set up – if this happens before 5 March 2018 or before the limited offer to 5,000 people runs out
- £154 from a £10-a-month cashback between February and December 2018, and earning interest on £1,500 while keeping to account conditions.
What are the best current account switching offers?
It’s rarely worth switching accounts just because a bank is offering short-term perks. But if you are looking to change providers anyway, then it’s worth seeing which incentives are on offer.
See the table below for the best switching incentives currently available.
Why switch your current account?
Regularly switching your current account means you can take advantage of some of the great offers on the market.
Aside from bonuses, many accounts offer higher interest rates in the first year, before the rate drops dramatically.
Nationwide’s FlexDirect account, for instance, offers a high interest rate of 5% AER, but only for the first year – after that it dips to 1%.
You should keep an eye on the market, and switch when necessary, to make sure your money is earning the best returns.
But there are things to consider before you switch:
- Do you always stay in credit, or will you need an overdraft?
- What are the interest rates like? Will they change after the first year?
- How does the bank rate for customer service?
- How do you open and manage the account? Will it suit you if it’s online only?
- Would you benefit from any cashback offers?
- Is there a monthly charge to use the account?
- Is there a minimum amount of money that must be paid into the account each month, or a minimum amount of direct debits that must be paid from it?
If the account can’t deliver what you need on any of these points, don’t be tempted to switch for the sake of a joining bonus.
Banks to share more information
Finding the right bank account for you is set to get easier this year, as new rules outlined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will require banks and building societies to publish information that will help people make more meaningful comparisons.
This means that from 15 August 2018, you’ll be able to find out:
- how and when services and helplines are available
- contact details for help
- how long it will take to open a current account
- how long it will take to have a debit card replaced
- how often the company has reported major and operational security incidents
- the level of complaints made against the firm.
Find out more: The best bank accounts if you always stay in credit
How do you switch bank accounts?
Most banks have signed onto the switching service. This means it should take just seven working days to transfer your money from your old to your new account – plus, the process is mainly automated, so there’s little that you need to do.
When you open a new account, you’ll need to have two separate documents for proof of identity and proof of address.
To check which banks and building societies are participating in the switching service, you can search for them on the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) website.
For more details, read our full guide on how to switch your bank account.