Barclays is doubling its Blue Rewards incentive, giving some customers the chance to earn at least £132 in the first 12 months of opening an account.
New customers who switch can earn double rewards for up to a year, while existing customers will have the additional benefit for a month.
Switchers who have other financial products with Barclays, such as a mortgage or personal loan, can have their earnings boosted up to £348 under the scheme.
We take a look at how the new Barclays Blue Rewards incentive works, and whether it’s enough to consider switching banks.
How do Barclays Blue Rewards work?
Launched in 2015, Barclays Blue Rewards offer new and existing customers a range of perks for banking online or via its app.
To qualify for the scheme, customers need to pay a minimum of £800 into an account, set up two direct debits and pay a monthly fee of £3.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get up to £7 each month you make two direct debits – or £14 month for the first year if you’re a new customer.
Taking into account the fees, a new customer could earn £132 in the first year of opening your account and then £48 per year after that.
For example you could be entitled to the following rewards:
|Existing customers||New customers|
|Two direct debits in a current account||£7 a month||£14 a month|
|Barclays mortgage||£5 a month||£10 a month|
|Barclays home insurance||£3 a month||£6 a month|
|Barclays personal loan||£1 a month||£2 a month|
Barclays Blue Rewards also give you an additional 1% cashback (or 2% for switchers) at more than 150 retailers when shopping through online banking or using the Barclays mobile banking app.
It’s definitely worth checking cashback sites before you start spending though, as they may have better cashback deals on offer.
- Find out more: how to open a bank account online
How to get Double Barclays Blue Rewards
To qualify for the double-points scheme, new customers need to open a Barclays current account with Blue Rewards using the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) by 29 June 2018.
Existing customers that don’t currently use Blue Rewards have until the 31 May to switch their account through online banking, via the Barclays mobile banking app or in branch. These customers will benefit from double the rewards for the month of May only.
For every month you’re part of the Blue Rewards scheme, you’ll need to pay the £3 fee.
- Find out more: How to switch your bank account
How does Barclays’ switching offer compare?
Barclays’ new switching incentive lasts up to a year, and can be quite lucrative if you have multiple products with Barclays such as a mortgage.
But the bonus is dependent on making two direct debits, with £3.50 (or £7 for new customers) paid per transaction each month. So if you don’t make direct debits, you’ll have to pay the fee without gaining the reward.
Another potential downside is that the money you earn is built up over a long period of time rather being paid in one lump sum.
Other banks such as M&S Bank, Halifax and First Direct offer switching deals ranging from £75 to £150 in value which offer an immediate pay-off.
Switch to Halifax for £75
Halifax is currently offering £75 as an incentive for new customers to switch to its Rewards or Ultimate Rewards accounts.
In addition to this bonus, the Halifax Reward account pays you £3 a month when you pay in £750, have two direct debits set up and stay in credit, with no account fee. Over the course of a year, you could earn £36 extra into your account.
You can also get up to 15% cashback on spending at selected retailers in-store and online.
The Ultimate Reward account offers perks including travel insurance, mobile phone insurance and breakdown cover for a monthly fee of £15 (or £12 if you have two direct debits set up and stay in credit). From July 2018 this monthly fee is increasing £17.
If you’re considering this account, make sure that the perks are worth the additional annual cost.
- Find out more: Best bank accounts for cashback
Switch to First Direct for gifts and travel vouchers
New customers that switch to First Direct’s 1st account can choose from a range of ‘switcher gifts’.
These include online self-development courses, the latest technology and £150 worth of Expedia travel vouchers.
The 1st account, which comes with a £250 interest-free overdraft, must have £1,000 paid into it within the first three months to complete the switch.
- Find out more: how to open a bank account online
Switch to M&S Bank for £185
M&S Bank is offering new customers M&S gift cards worth up to £185.
You’ll receive a gift card worth £125 when you first sign up.
Then, for the first year after you switch, your gift card will be topped up with £5 a month when you pay a minimum of £1,000 a month into your account and set up two direct debits – for an additional bonus of £60.
- Find out more: Best basic bank accounts
Is Barclays’ switching deal worth going for?
When it comes to switching your bank account, sign-up incentives can be a great added bonus.
The most important thing to consider, however, is whether or not a particular bank account suits your financial needs.
Making sure you shop around and compare different deals can really help to pick out the best bank accounts.
The level of customer service is also worth considering, so that your banking experience runs smoothly and you get the best possible help when you need it.
For more tips on finding the right bank account for you, check out our guide on the best and worst banks.