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Chase ends refer a friend deal as Virgin pips it to top spot

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Chase will end its friend referral scheme, just as Virgin Money takes its crown in the best buy tables.

US banking giant JPMorgan Chase has confirmed it will end the refer a friend scheme at 11:59pm tomorrow – Tuesday 7 June 2022.

The scheme offers the existing customer £20 for referring a friend, who also gets £20.

Anyone who is in the middle of joining will be added to the Chase waiting room. It said it is processing applications on a first-come, first-served basis where prospective customers can then complete their application. This may take three to five weeks but Chase confirmed that if a customer was referred by a friend and joined the waiting room before 11:59pm on Tuesday 7 June 2022, they will be eligible for the reward as normal.

The digital challenger, which has amassed 800,000 savers since it launched in September 2021, said it is “looking forward to bringing more exciting offers in the future”.

In March this year, it launched a market-leading easy access savings account paying 1.5% AER – the highest rate in two and a half years.

It has kept this top spot, but now Virgin Money has raised its linked savings rate to 1.56% AER, storming into the lead in the easy access savings category.

The linked savings accounts on the Virgin Money M Plus Account, Virgin Money Club M Account and Virgin Money M Account will now pay 1.56% AER (variable) on balances up to £25,000.

The rate rise is automatically passed onto existing customers and comes after successive Bank of England Base Rate rises.

While customers do need to have a Virgin Money current account to get the linked saver, there’s no need to close your existing everyday banking to get the 1.56% linked savings rate.

Current account customers also get 2.02% AER variable on balances up to £1,000, as well as cashback.

Hugh Chater, chief commercial officer at Virgin Money, said: “Following the Bank of England’s recent base rate increases, our new market-leading rate gives consumers more reasons to bank with Virgin Money. As well as rewarding customers with Virgin Points, this boost to our linked savings rates means we can offer both new and existing customers even better value for their savings.”

Anna Bowes, co-founder of Savings Champion, said: “At last someone has knocked Chase from the easy access top spot, that it has been dominating since its launch in March this year. This is good news although you will only earn the rate of 1.56% AER on balances of up to £25,000 – it’s 0.75% thereafter. Hopefully other providers will follow suit and push rates higher still.”