Halifax has reintroduced its £100 current account switching incentive, which is available from today (7 July).
To get the cash, you need to switch to the Halifax Ultimate Reward Current Account before 3 August 2021.
However, it’s a paid-for account which won’t be right for everyone – so below, we explain how the account works and also reveal which other banks are currently offering a switching bonus.
How to get the Halifax switching bonus
The £100 switching bonus is only available if you switch to the Halifax Ultimate Reward Current Account. This is a packaged account, which costs £17 a month.
To get the bonus you must:
- be a new Halifax customer
- use the current account switching service (CASS) to make the switch
- start the switching process by 3 August 2021
- not have received a switching offer for switching to a Halifax Reward Account or Ultimate Reward Account since April 2020.
The bonus is paid into your Halifax account in one go, within three working days of the switch completing.
When the bank last ran its £100 switching bonus in April and May of this year, its Reward Current Account was also included, but that’s not the case this time.
Existing Halifax customers cannot get the bonus for switching from an alternative Halifax current account.
- Find out more: how to switch your bank account
What does the Halifax Ultimate Rewards account offer?
This is a packaged account, which means it comes with a range of extra features.
These include AA breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance, home emergency cover and worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance.
You can also qualify for Reward Extras, which mean you can either earn £5 a month or get a monthly ‘lifestyle benefit’, such as a cinema ticket, digital magazines or digital film rentals.
To qualify, you must pay in at least £1,500 into your account and stay in credit, plus either:
- spend £500 on your debit card each month
- keep a balance of at least £5,000 in your account for every day of the month.
The account comes with cashback offers on your spending, too. You can earn up to 15% cashback when you spend on your Halifax card with the Co-op, Costa, Hilton and Sky.
It costs £17 a month to hold the account – that’s £204 a year. With the switching bonus, this cost is effectively reduced to £104 a year which, if you actually make use of all the available benefits, you’ll definitely make back over the course of the year.
However, if you don’t need the insurance products – or they don’t offer the cover you need – then it’s not worth switching.
- Find out more: best packaged bank accounts
How does this compare to other switching incentives?
If the Halifax switching offer doesn’t suit you, there are several other bonuses up for grabs right now.
£125 from HSBC
The highest cash bonus is offered by HSBC when you switch to its Advance or Premier bank accounts.
This is only for new customers; you won’t be eligible for HSBC’s switching bonus if you’ve held an account with HSBC or opened an account with First Direct since 1 January 2018.
To open the HSBC Advance account you must pay in a minimum of £1,750 per month or £10,000 over six months.
To qualify for the HSBC Premier account, which comes with travel insurance and a relationship management service, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- have an individual income of at least £75,000 and hold an HSBC mortgage, investment, life insurance or protection product;
- have savings or investments of at least £50,000 held with HSBC within six months of opening your current account; or
- hold and qualify for HSBC Premier in another country (eligibility criteria varies).
These accounts will also give you access to HSBC’s regular saver, which pays 1% AER.
The switching bonus will be paid within 20 days of the switch completing.
£100 from First Direct
Having briefly upped its switching bonus to £125 last month, First Direct has now returned to offering new customers £100.
Similarly to its sister bank HSBC, you won’t be eligible for First Direct’s switching bonus if you’ve held an account with First Direct or opened an account with HSBC since 1 January 2018.
First Direct’s current account is free, and there’s no minimum deposit requirement. It also gives you access to First Direct’s regular saver account, which currently pays 1% AER.
It’s worth noting that First Direct is a Which? Recommended Provider this year, earning its place after scoring top marks for customer service, communication and transparency of charges.
£150 gift card with Virgin Money
If you switch to a current account with Virgin Money, there are a few bonus options you can choose from.
The first is to take advantage of its offer for a £150 Virgin Experience Day gift card.
To get this perk, you must apply for the account online and complete the switch with the CASS within 45 days. This must include at least two direct debits.
You’ll also need to download and register for the Virgin Money mobile banking app, and add £1,000 to the linked savings account (which pays 2.02% AER on balances up to £1,000).
Within 14 days of fulfilling these criteria, you should receive an email from Virgin Money with a Virgin Wines code and instructions on how to redeem it.
If wine doesn’t appeal, you can also apply for the current account via the Virgin Red app or website, and you’ll get 15,000 Virgin points for switching instead. You’ll need to have already signed up to Virgin Red to do this.
Points can be spent at selected high street retailers, as well as on Virgin Experience Days, Virgin Atlantic Holidays and Virgin Voyages. Points’ value ranges between one point per £1 to 10 points per £1, depending on the retailer/what they’re being spent on.
- Find out more: best and worst banks
Editor’s note: This article was updated on 7 July 2021 to reflect changes to Virgin Money’s switching incentive offer.