We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

News.

When you click on a retailer link on our site, we may earn affiliate commission to help fund our not-for-profit mission.Find out more.

17 Aug 2021

Nationwide launches £125 switching bonus: is it worth it?

Existing customers will get the biggest bonus
People walking past a Nationwide branch

Changing your current account to Nationwide could net you a £125 cash reward, as the building society has launched a new switching incentive. But you'll only get the full amount if you're already a Nationwide customer.

From Wednesday 18 August, existing Nationwide members - with mortgages or savings accounts, for example - will receive £125 for switching their main current account to the building society. If you're a new customer, you'll instead receive £100 for switching your current account to Nationwide.

Here, Which? looks at how the incentive works, how it compares, and whether it's worth making the move.

Be more money savvy

Get a firmer grip on your finances with the expert tips in our Money newsletter – it's free weekly.

This newsletter delivers free money-related content, along with other information about Which? Group products and services. Unsubscribe whenever you want. Your data will be processed in accordance with our Privacy policy


How does the new Nationwide bonus work?

The new switching incentive will be available from Wednesday 18 August.

To pocket the £125 (or £100) bonus for switching to Nationwide, you need to move your bank account by using the Current Account Switching Service (CASS), and you must have a minimum of two active Direct Debits set up on your account.

You'll need to log into the website or use the app to make the switch if you're an existing customer. The switch must be completed within 30 days of it being requested.

While current account switching offers from other banks often exclude existing customers, Nationwide has opted to give them a bigger reward.

Tom Riley, director of banking and savings at Nationwide Building Society, said: 'As a mutual we always look to reward our members' loyalty with exclusive products and services. This is why our new switching incentive offers a higher level of reward for existing members compared to those who are new to the Society.'

Is it worth switching to a Nationwide current account?

Nationwide scored an impressive 74% in our latest customer satisfaction survey, with users particularly impressed with the building society's mobile and online banking, so it's well worth considering.

To qualify for the cash bonus you must switch to one of Nationwide's three main current accounts: the FlexAccount, FlexDirect or FlexPlus.

The FlexDirect account offers 2% AER interest on balances up to £1,500 for 12 months (0.25% AER thereafter) as long as you pay in £1,000 a month. It also comes with an interest-free overdraft for 12 months.

The Flex Direct account is up there as one of the best high-interest current accounts but currently the market-leading account is offered by Virgin Money, with its M Plus Account paying 2.02% AER on balances up to £1,000.

We rated Nationwide's FlexPlus account as the joint-best packaged account, tied with the Co-Op Bank's Everyday Extra account. For £13 a month the FlexPlus offers a bundle including worldwide family mobile and travel insurance, UK & Europe breakdown cover, and no fees on spending abroad.

Nationwide current account customers will also be able to exclusively access the society's new Flex Instant Saver account, which pays 0.35% AER. Just bear in mind that it's not the most competitive deal - the top instant-access deal currently pays 0.65% AER.

What are the alternative switching bonuses?

Switching to a Virgin Money account could bag you a free £150 Virgin Experience Day gift card.

To qualify, you need to switch your current account, transfer at least two direct debits, download the mobile banking app and pay £1,000 into a linked savings account - all within 45 days of opening the account.

You won't get the bonus if you've had an account with Virgin Money, Clydesdale Bank or Yorkshire Bank at any point since March 2021.

Should I change my current account?

Even though it's the account they use the most, people often stick with the same current account for years without even looking into switching.

So it's definitely worth exploring your current account options. As well as the perks on offer, you should decide based on the services a bank offers.

For example, if you prefer to bank online you should look into a bank's mobile app. Or if you prefer to bank in person, check whether there's a branch nearby.

Last month, Pay UK revealed that challenger banks Monzo, Starling and Virgin Money gained the most new customers through switching in the first three months of 2021.

Nationwide fared less well, with a net gain of 1,474. However, this was a much better result than many of its high street rivals, such as Santander and NatWest, which each lost more than 10,000 customers.

To help you weigh up the pros and cons of each bank, read our reviews of the best bank accounts here:

Find out more:the banks thousands are switching to