Save, make, understand money


BLOG: ‘I switched bank account after 30 years and I have no regrets’

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

I stayed loyal to Santander since childhood but last year when NatWest offered a cash incentive for new current account customers, I decided to take the plunge.

I had been banking with Santander (Abbey National) for 30 out of my 40-odd years and while I often saw banks offering up to £200 to switch, I thought it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

As a full-time worker and mum-of-two, I imagined it would be a huge manual task to update all my direct debit and standing orders, plus I’d have to learn new pin numbers and accounting details.

But with a number of Santander 1|2|3 rate cuts in recent times, I decided to take up NatWest’s £100 current account switch offer at the end of 2020. I was drawn to its Digital Regular Saver paying 3% on up to £1,000, as well as its monthly rewards for setting up direct debits and logging in to the app.

I have now had the NatWest Reward current account since November 2020 and I’m still happy with my decision.

My main reason is the user-friendly and intuitive NatWest app. You can easily flit between windows so you don’t have to keep entering your login information to transfer money to someone if you turn away from the current page.

I also have a mortgage with NatWest (since 2007), and the app is a great way to view all accounts in one place. I have already had rewards paid out to me of nearly £100 from cashback from retailers, as well as cashback for using the app.

The app also has a spending tracker, where you can limit spend on clothes, food, entertainment etc. The spending tracker automatically takes from your budget depending on the retailer. For example, all my payments to Boots were removed from my toiletries budget. This means I don’t have to manually enter amounts like I had to do previously when I used a separate spending tracker app.

I do admit I don’t use this function as much as I should. But now the world has opened up again, I will be using it more as my travel spend and other office-related expenses have increased. I also haven’t tried the function to withdraw cash from ATM machines without using my card, but it is reassuring to know this is something I can do if I ever lose my bank card.

Another attraction was the £100 cash incentive, though this did take longer to arrive than I was anticipating. I was in contact with NatWest via their online chat, which was also very easy to use, and was told that the cash incentive would be paid out once I had £1,500 credited into the account, and set-up two direct debits by 31 December 2020. The £100 cash incentive was paid out to me by 27 January 2021.

I was also happy about the 3% interest rate on my savings, which was initially on a maximum £50 a month, but it has just increased to £150 a month.

All-in-all, I’m happy I made the move to NatWest – it has been really helpful with my mortgage and I can’t fault the app.

At present, I have no plans on moving again unless there is a good incentive. But now I’ve learnt the three digit security number at the back of my card – which makes online purchases easier – it would have to be a really good incentive for me to want to move.

And as the switch was done through the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), everything was done for me, which was the biggest bonus.

Lorraine Francisco is marketing and customer insight manager at AE3 Media’s YourMoney.com