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Santander, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Bank have launched cash switching incentives to encourage more people to switch to their range of current accounts.
However, while the offers worth up to £150 may be tempting, you should do your research to make sure the banks and their accounts are the right fit for your needs.
Here, Which? looks at the new range of switching incentives, what you need to do to qualify, and what else you need to consider before making a move.
What are the banks offering to switch?
We outline the offers from each bank below and the qualifying criteria.
RBS £150 switch and stay offer
RBS is offering £150 to new and existing customers who switch and stay.
You can opt for the Reward account, which gives customers £4 per month for two direct debits and an additional £1 for logging onto online banking. There’s a monthly fee of £2, but customers can benefit from regular retailer cashback offers.
You can also consider RBS’s Select account which has no monthly fee and includes a benefit called ‘GetCash’ which allows customers to withdraw money from a cash machine without their bank card using a passcode sent to their mobile phone.
Customers must pay in £1,500 to the account and log into online or mobile banking through the Royal Bank mobile app before 30 December 2021. After these conditions are met, £100 will be credited to the account by 28 January. An additional credit of £50 will be applied to the account if 10 debit or credit transactions are made per calendar month between 1 January 2022 to 30 September 2022.
This offer runs until 18 November 2021.
Santander £130 cash bonus
Santander is offering £130 cashback to new and existing customers who switch their current account to a 123, 123 Lite, Everyday, Select or Private Current Account.
The bank’s most popular account is the 123 Current Account. It offers 0.3% AER/gross variable interest on balances up to £20,000 and up to 3% cashback on household bills (capped at £5 on each tier each month) but comes with a £4 monthly fee.
To qualify for the £130 cashback, you will need to complete the switch to one of the qualifying accounts within 60 days of requesting it, which will involve closing your old account, setting up two direct debits, depositing at least £1,000, and logging in to your new Santander account using either online or mobile banking.
The £130 cashback will be paid directly into your qualifying Santander account within 30 days, as long as these conditions are met.
Existing customers who have previously opened a 123, 123 Lite, Everyday, Select or Private Current Account can still benefit from the cash incentive, as long as they complete a full switch from an account they hold elsewhere to their Santander current account.
- Find out more: what real customers think of Santander’s customer service
HSBC £110 cash bonus plus £30 vouchers
HSBC has also launched a switching incentive today blending cashback and vouchers.
It offers new customers switching their current account to an Advance or Premier Account £110 in cash plus an additional £30 to eat in using Uber Eats, or to eat out using the Dining Out Gift Card, making the total deal worth £140.
To qualify for Advance, you’ll need to pay in £1,750 a month (or £10,500 over six months) and be approved for an arranged overdraft of £1,000 plus.
To qualify for Premier, you must meet certain criteria such as having an income of £75,000 plus and one other eligible HSBC product.
- Find out more: what real customers think of HSBC’s customer service
Lloyds Bank £100 switching offer
Last week, Lloyds bank launched a switching bonus of £100.
To qualify you must open and switch to a new Club Lloyds or Club Lloyds Platinum Account.
The Club Lloyds Account offers monthly interest on balances up to £5,000 as well as the choice of a reward like six cinema tickets or 12 free movie downloads each year. It’s fee-free as long as you pay in at least £1,500 a month, otherwise, there’s a £3 monthly charge.
The Club Lloyds Platinum Account is a packaged account that comes with the perks of the CLub Llyods account plus breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance and travel insurance. It costs £21 a month, plus a £3 monthly Club Lloyds fee that’s refunded each month you pay in at least £1,500.
You won’t qualify for the £100 offer if:
- You are switching to an existing account or any other Lloyds Bank current account that isn’t named above
- You upgrade any existing account to one of the qualifying accounts
- You’ve received cashback for switching to Lloyds since April 2019
- You start your switch after 19 October 2021.
- Find out more: what real customers think of Lloyds Bank’s customer service
Are there better current account switching deals?
Last month Nationwide launched a £125 switching incentive to encourage existing customers such as those with a Nationwide mortgage or savings account to open a current account. New customers to Nationwide can get £100 as part of this offer.
First Direct upped its switching incentive from £100 to £125 in June, although with some restrictions. For example, you can’t have held a current account with First Direct or opened an account with HSBC since 1 January 2018.
Should you switch for a cash incentive?
Switching incentives can be very appealing, especially if you need some extra cash.
But since most of us interact with our current accounts more than other products like savings accounts, it’s really important to make sure you’re banking with a provider that’s right for you and your needs.
So before jumping ship it’s worth checking whether you’ll be able to manage the account the way you’d like – for example, an online-only provider won’t suit those who like to bank in-branch.
You may also want to find out the provider’s reputation for customer service, whether it’s signed up to the voluntary APP scam code to protect you from fraud and how it treats customers with accessibility issues. In May, we found some banks failing to support disabled customers.
- Find out more: you can check out our analysis of providers in the best and worst bank accounts to see how real customers have rated dozens of banks and building societies.
Other bank account perks to consider
There are heaps of other bank account perks you can consider before making a decision.
For example, a cashback account can give you money back on your spending each month. Both the Santander 123 account and the 123 Lite account pay up to 3% cashback on selected household bills, capped at £5 per cashback tier per month.
Other providers like NatWest and RBS also offer decent cashback rewards. Now, you can earn £4 for paying out two or more direct debits (valued at £2 minimum), plus £1 for logging into the mobile banking app each month. Both banks offer 1% cashback on spending at certain retailers as well.
Alternatively, a packaged account could potentially save you money on insurance premiums. Our research found that packaged accounts from Nationwide and The Co-operative Bank offer the best deal, as they include travel insurance, car breakdown cover and mobile phone cover. The Co-operative Bank’s Everyday Extra account also has the option to opt-in for its cashback scheme.
How to switch your bank account
Most banks have agreed to use the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), which means it should take just seven working days to switch you over from your old account once the new account is opened.
If you want to check which banks and building societies are participating, you can search by name here on the CASS website.
The switching service is largely automated. Check out our detailed guide which outlines a step-by-step process on exactly what happens.
This story was first published on Monday 13 September but was updated on 16 September with details of the RBS switching incentive.