Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, has urged families to take advantage of bank switch deals – with many high street lenders paying £175 or £200 for new customers
Martin Lewis has explained how to get £200 for free in time for Christmas.
The MoneySavingExpert.com founder has urged families to take advantage of bank switch deals. Many high street banks are currently paying people to move their current account – but you’ll need to act fast.
Speaking during a Christmas edition of his Martin Lewis Money Show Live on ITV this evening, he explained how the process is “pretty simple” these days. To make a bank switch, you’ll need to use the free Current Account Switch Service (CASS) which will complete your move in seven days.
He said: “You’ll have to pass a not-so-harsh credit check. When you do that, your direct debits and standing orders will be automatically moved. Your old bank account will be closed and any payments to the old account will automatically be moved to the new one.”
Here are the current bank switch offers flagged by Martin this evening – including one that ends tonight at midnight.
Nationwide – £200
Nationwide currently pays the biggest bank switch, offering £200 when you move to its FlexDirect, FlexAccount or FlexPlus account. FlexDirect gives you access to an 8% regular savings account on up to £200 a month, plus some people will get a 0% overdraft on up to £1,500 for a year, depending on your credit rating.
If you pay in at least £1,000 a month, you can also get 5% interest on up to £1,500 for a year. FlexDirect is free to open and maintain. FlexAccount is described as “no thrills” by MSE as it comes with less perks, while the FlexPlus costs £13 a month but comes with insurance products.
To get the £200 switch money from Nationwide, you need to be moving from a non-Nationwide account. You also must not have had a switch bonus from Nationwide since August 18, 2021. Finally, you must move across at least two direct debits. The bonus is paid within 10 days.
First Direct – £175
Switch to the First Direct 1st Account and you’ll bag £175. This account gives you access to a linked regular saver which pays 7% interest on up to £300 a month, and many also get a 0% overdraft on £250, subject to your credit rating.
To get the switch money, you can’t have ever had an account with First Direct, and you also must not have opened a current account with its sister bank HSBC since 2020. You’ll need to pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening your new account, then wait 28 days for the £175.
Lloyds – £175
Lloyds is currently offering £175 when you switch to its Club Lloyds account, plus you can choose a reward from 12 months of Disney+, six cinema tickets, a Coffee Club & Gourmet Society membership or a magazine subscription.
You also get access to a linked regular saver paying 6.25% fixed interest on up to £400 a month. But the Club Lloyds account does come with a £3 monthly fee, unless you pay in at least £2,000 a month.
The £175 is only available to those who haven’t had switch cash from Lloyds or Halifax since April 2020. If you’re tempted, you’ll need to go quick as the switch must be started by 11.59pm this evening. Lloyds pays the £175 in three working days.
Barclays – £175
Barclays is also offering £175 and Martin says this is “the first time he can remember” the bank advertising a switch bribe. When you move to the Barclays Bank Account, you’ll also be able to open an easy-access savings account which pays 5.12% interest on up to £5,000.
You’ll need to use the Barclays mobile app to switch an account with at least two direct debits and join its Blue Rewards scheme. The Blue Rewards scheme requires you to pay in at least £800 a month, sign up to online or mobile banking, and costs £5 a month.
However, you get £5 a month cashback if you have at least two direct debits – which effectively cancels out the £5 monthly fee. You can’t have had a Barclays current account on or after October 31, 2023, to get the switch money. The £175 should be paid within 28 days.