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Current account switching perks are back

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Written by: Emma Lunn
01/02/2022
Bank customers can pocket up to £150 in cash for switching current accounts as banks fight for business.

Some of the offers are for a limited time only so consumers should act quickly once they make the decision to switch.

NatWest is offering £150 cashback to switchers, up from the £100 the bank offered at the end of 2021. The deal launched on 25 January and is due to close on 7 April.

Santander now offers £140 cashback on its 123 Current Account, up from the £130 it offered a few months ago. The offer was launched last week and is available to people who switch to a 1I2I3, 1I2I3 Lite, Everyday, Select or Private current account.

Virgin Money has tweaked the switching incentive on its M Plus Account. Switchers now receive a £100 Virgin Experience Days Gift Card, and the account pays a higher credit interest rate of 5.02% on balances up to £1,000 for a year.

First Direct currently has a £130 cashback offer which was launched 29 December, while Nationwide offers £100 for new customers and £125 for members to switch to it.

Bank customers will need to initiate the switch using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) to get the incentives on offer.

Some banks also stipulate that you must deposit a certain amount of cash in the new account and set up direct debits to be eligible for a switching incentive.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “Consumers looking to switch their current account will be pleased to see an array of free cash and perks launched which may entice them. Those who switch using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) could get either an upfront free cash incentive or perk as providers heat up the market with new offers to fight for new business. As much as £150 in free cash is on offer from NatWest, which launched just last week.

“Current account holders looking at the overall package of their account may find the new offer from Virgin Money attractive. Not only do switchers get a £100 Experience Days gift card, but they will also get a credit interest boost. Those who have £1,000 in their account will earn 5.02% AER interest in the first year, as the underlining 2.02% AER rate has seen a fixed bonus of 3% applied for switching customers. This is welcome news for anyone looking to maximise interest earned on their current account but, in addition, they can also earn cashback on purchases at selected retailers online and in store.

“Those customers who would like a free cash boost may like the offer from Santander, which recently launched a £140 free cash offer. The 123 Current Account pays credit interest of 0.30% on balances up to £20,000 and boasts 1-3% cashback on selected household bills and Santander home or life insurance premiums. Overall, this account may help consumers earn a little extra off their spending, but it is worth noting they will need to pay a £4 per month fee.”

Although switching offers might be tempting, it’s rarely a good idea just to switch current accounts for a cash handout. Instead, make sure the account is right for you.

If you are regularly overdrawn, you should look for an account with a competitive overdraft rate. If you are normally in credit, an account with high in-credit interest will be better for you.

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