Best Bank Switching Offers

Switching bank accounts is easy and here's how to do it.

Updated: April 2, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Jason Mountford

Edited By

Jason Mountford

 

If you’ve been with the same bank for longer than you can remember, you may want to consider switching to take advantage of bank switching bonuses.

It’s possible to earn a few hundred pounds by switching your current account. It’s easy money with very little hassle to you. So why not get started?

This article will outline the best bank switching deals currently up for grabs.

When switching current accounts, make sure to go through the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) within 30 days of opening your current account to qualify for any of the bonuses offered below. 

Make sure you select the ‘full switch’ option rather than opting for a partial switch. You’ll typically have to include at least two direct debits or standing orders when switching.

We explain more here about how to switch current accounts.

What Is Bank Switching?

Although the term is fairly indicative of what the process entails, there’s far more to switching banks than just opening a new account with another provider. As you can imagine, changing over all of your direct debits, automatic payments, and account details would be a complete nightmare.

Instead, there is the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) which makes the whole process a lot easier.

There are over 40 banks and building societies in the UK that have signed up to the CASS service and over 4 million current accounts have been transferred.

The service is a standardised method for banks to transfer customer accounts. It’s a hassle-free way for customers to have their details and money automatically transferred to their new provider.

CASS comes with a guarantee that all of the payments associated with your old account will be switched over to your new one. That means you don’t have to worry about your finances getting messy or confused. Additionally, the service means that any payments made to your old account will be automatically redirected to your new one.

Not only does the CASS system help customers, but it also means that all banks that are signed up to it have a cohesive set of rules that they can follow.

Best Bank Account Switch Bonuses

When switching current accounts, make sure to go through the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) within 30 days of opening your current account to qualify for any of the bonuses offered below. 

Make sure you select the ‘full switch’ option rather than opting for a partial switch. You’ll typically have to include at least two direct debits or standing orders when switching. We explain more here about how to switch current accounts.

Below are some of the best deals currently available. 

ProviderSwitch bonusNew customers onlyClosing date
Natwest£200NoNone given
Santander£185NoNone given
First Direct£175Yes22 April 2024

1. Natwest: £200

You can earn £200 cash by switching to one of Natwest’s current accounts, including a NatWest Select or Reward account.

The money will be paid within seven days of completing all of the following criteria:

  • Pay £1,250 into your eligible account within 60 days of switching (can be spread over multiple payments)
  • Log into the Natwest mobile app within 60 days 

The offer is available to new and existing customers, as long as you haven’t received a Natwest switch bonus since 1st January 2020. Joint accounts are eligible for only one payment.

You must apply to switch your non-NatWest account using the Current Account Switch Service online or via the mobile app. You cannot switch over the phone or in branch.

2. Santander: £185

Get £185 by simply switching to one of Santander’s current accounts. You’ll get the money within 90 days of completing the switch criteria.

To qualify, you must:

  • Complete the full switch within 60 days of requesting the switch process
  • Pay in at least £1,500 within 60 days
  • Set up two active direct debits

New customers can switch online, over the phone or in branch. Existing customers must visit a branch to start the switch process.

3. First Direct: £175

You’ll get £175 when you switch to First Direct’s 1st Account, and the account also comes with a £250 interest-free overdraft.

To qualify for the bonus, you must:

  • Pay in £1,000 within 30 days of your account opening
  • Register and log on to digital banking within that time 

The £175 will be paid to you before the 20th of the following month. The offer expires on 22 April 2024, but can be withdrawn before then.

You must be a new First Direct customer to get the bonus. First Direct is owned by HSBC, so you also won’t qualify if you have been an HSBC customer at any time since 1 January 2018. 

HSBC was offering a £220 switch incentive earlier in the month, but the offer ended on 28th March. 

See our round-up of the best current accounts here.

Why Should I Switch Bank Accounts?

You may be wondering why you’d ever want to switch your bank account. There’s a high chance that everything is working just fine for you, and you’re familiar with the way your current provider handles things. However, there are some valid reasons you may consider changing:

A Better Deal

Banking is a competitive marketplace these days, and financial institutions are trying to outmanoeuvre each other to attract customers. Such rivalry is often a good thing for consumers, as it means there are more attractive products on the market.

By changing your bank, you may be able to get a better deal on your savings interest, have more access to credit, or a more suitable overdraft.

Convenience

Branch locations often change, and people regularly move house. You may find that your existing provider no longer has a branch that’s close by. If you have a location of a competitor bank nearby, it makes a lot of sense to change accounts.

Incentives

Such is the demand for customers that many financial institutions will offer attractive incentives to get you to switch. These can range from free gifts and even straight up cash. You may also get a preferential rate on a credit card or loan if you change provider.

Service

You may find that either your financial services or the customer service you receive aren’t quite up to scratch. Many banks are striving to put the customer first, so changing could mean you gain a better experience by switching.

How Do I Switch Banks?

Now that you’re familiar with why you should consider transferring and how the service is set up, it’s time to address how you should actually go about switching your bank account.

There are some steps that you need to take:

Choose Your Account

As we’ve mentioned, there are a lot of banks out there, many of them vying for your business. It’s a good idea to shop around before you commit to one. We have a range of articles available on all types of accounts, including current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards.

Weigh up your options and decide which kind of service is right for you. For example, if you generally have a lot of money in your account, try to pick one that rewards that with high interest. Alternatively, if you rely on your overdraft a lot, choose a bank that has low fees.

Compare Your Options

It’s likely that you’ll have a few accounts that match your requirements. Compare all of them to find out which bank provides the most attractive package all around. Consider elements such as benefits, incentives, location, service, and convenience.

Read reviews about the banking products you’re choosing from and make an informed decision. Don’t be afraid to contact the bank directly for more information, and ensure that they’re part of the CASS scheme.

Open Your New Account

You will have to open your new bank account to get the procedure underway. This process is usually straightforward, but you’ll need to have some ID with you, as well as details of your old account. This includes bank statements as well as another proof of address. These days it can almost always be done fully online.

Choose Your Switch Date

One of the benefits of the CASS scheme is that it allows you to choose a switch date that’s convenient for you. It takes seven working days for the process to complete, so bear in mind that your selected date can’t be a weekend or bank holiday.

You can continue using your existing account as usual at this point, meaning that payments will be made and you’ll have access to your cards. However, if you set up any new direct debits during the seven day period, these won’t be transferred across.

Start the Switch

Once everything is in place, you can inform your new bank that you want to move your old account over. They will then take care of the whole process for you. There are some forms that you’ll need to fill in and sign, including a ‘Current Account Switch Agreement’ as well as the ‘Current Account Closure Instruction’. These give both banks authority to transfer your money.

There’s little else that you need to do except wait for the process to complete. Your new provider will inform you once your account has been changed, and then you can start using it. All of your automatic payments will be switched, and any payments coming into your old account will be redirected to your new one.

If you have an overdraft, this can also be transferred over. However, banks have different terms and conditions surrounding how much you’ll be entitled to. Make sure you check this before you begin the process.

What Happens After I Switch?

Once the switch is complete, everything should progress as normal.

However, if for any reason there are problems with payments as a result of the process, your new bank will be responsible for them. The Current Account Switch Guarantee means that any interest paid or lost will be refunded by them.

Your old account will be closed after the transfer is finalised. All of your regular payments will have been rerouted to your new provider. You can continue using your new account without issue.

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