Bank account switching is back on the cards if you’re looking to earn some easy extra cash. But is it worth it?

The number of switching offers – where a bank will pay you cash to change your main current account to them – saw a big drop off during and even before the pandemic. However, banks are once again competing hard for current account customers, meaning deals for switching are popping up like mushrooms. The deals however do come and go quickly, depending on how successful they are for the bank looking to attract new customers, so you’ll often have to move quickly.

The best deals right now

At the time of writing, the best deal on the market comes from first direct, which is offering a £175 cash bonus if you switch your account to them. Until recently Nationwide offered £200, NatWest offered £175, and Lloyds Bank was offering £150 – but all of these deals have now expired. However, it is highly likely that new deals will come around again in short order, so it is worth keeping an eye out for when they do.

How to switch

For the first direct switching offer, there are a series of caveats in order to obtain the £175 cash. You’ll need to open a 1st Account and use the current account switching service (CASS) to move from your old account within three months of opening. To make the switch you’ll just have to fill out a request on the first direct website. You’ll need to pay in over £1,000 to get the bonus, which will be paid within 28 days once this is done.

Is switching worth it?

Switching bank accounts might seem like a big hassle, but the process comes with guarantees to make it as simple as possible. The CASS guarantees to switch over all your direct debits and ensure your money is moved over to the new account within seven days and promises to make the process as seamless as possible. CASS will even ensure your salary goes into the new account without you needing to do anything. This doesn’t however extend to regular card payments such as a Netflix or Spotify subscription. You’ll need to update these details with the providers yourself.

With regards to first direct in particular, the bank is owned by HSBC but operates independently. It has routinely come near or top of customer satisfaction ratings which the Government commissions. The bank is only bested by digital-only providers Monzo and Starling. Neither offer a switching bonus but come with an array of other benefits which might be more tempting than a simple cash offer. It’s worth remembering first direct is also a branchless bank, so if you need access to a local bank, this won’t be the one for you. It is also worth considering the other benefits that come with the account. For instance, first direct offers an interest-free overdraft up to £250, with anything above that charged at 39.9% EAR variable.

There are other considerations such as savings accounts on offer and other packaged benefits you might get with a current account. But if you principally just use your current account as a place to keep your spending money, then an extra £175 could be just the ticket.

Any opinions stated are honestly held but are not guaranteed and should not be relied upon.
The information contained in this document is not to be regarded as an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of any offer to buy or sell, any investments or products.
The content of this document is for information only. It is advisable that you discuss your personal financial circumstances with a financial adviser before undertaking any investments.
All the data contained in the communication is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. Unless otherwise specified all information is produced as of 12th January 2023.