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Last current account switch bonus vanishes: Top bank deals now

Last current account switch bonus vanishes: Top bank deals now
Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The last current account switch sweetener has been pulled, but that shouldn’t deter savers from moving banks. Here are the best perks on the market right now.

Current account switch deals offering savers up to £200 to uproot your everyday banking to a new provider have come in dribs and drabs over the last few months.

But now, after First Direct’s £175 switch bonus was pulled yesterday, it means there are currently no other sweeteners on the market to entice new customers away from their provider.

It follows in the footsteps of NatWest and RBS, which ended their £200 free cash offer earlier this month, while Santander’s £185 deal also closed. Elsewhere, Lloyds Bank offered £175, while HSBC launched a £220 switch-and-save deal last month that was only available for a short while.

Other cash deals worth up to £125 were also previously offered by TSB and The Co-operative Bank earlier in the year.

‘Disappointing’ but savers ‘shouldn’t be deterred’

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfactscompare.co.uk, said these perks “come and [go] at different times of the year”, but acknowledged savers will be disappointed that no free cash boost is available when using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).

Springall said: “Consumers could still find cashback on spending, or for paying bills, and savers could stand to earn a decent return on a high-interest current account. The best package will rely on an individual’s circumstances, so it’s wise to keep that in mind when comparing perks.”

Top for overdrafts: Starling Bank

For those requiring an overdraft facility, the most attractive deal comes from Starling Bank (15% EAR) – half the rate typically charged by banking giants. This means a £1.35 cost for borrowing £500 over a week. By comparison, a 39.95% EAR would cost spenders £3.27.

Top for in-credit interest: Nationwide

If you’re in the market for a high in-credit interest rate, Nationwide Building Society pays 5% AER on its FlexDirect account when meeting certain conditions. However, the rate’s available for the first 12 months before it plunges to 1%.

Fee for extra frills: Santander

Elsewhere, if you’re happy to pay a fee for further incentives, the £5 per month Santander Edge Up current account offers 3.5% AER on balances up to £25,000 when savers deposit £1,500 per month. Here, you’ll also get cashback on selected spending and household bills.

Springall added: “The current account market will no doubt see a return of free cash offers, but these typically return when banks and building societies want to draw in new customers, or indeed when they expect consumers to be actively looking to move their deal, such as at the start of a new year.

“Consumers hoping to switch their current account may now pause to do so until free cash offers return to the market. Those not swayed by a free cash boost and ready to move away from their existing provider would be wise to ensure the new account suits their needs and that they can meet any eligibility criteria.”