THOUSANDS of bank customers could get hold of £175 in free cash through First Direct’s new switching offer.
From today, prospective customers will be in line for the money if they switch their current account using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).
CASS was introduced in 2013 to make changing your bank easier.
They also must pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening the account to be eligible for the £175.
On top of the new switching offer, the bank is also increasing its rates across a number of savings accounts, including its Cash ISA and Fixed Rate Saver accounts.
If you want to make the switch across to First Direct, there is criteria you have to meet however.
First, the offer is only available to people who haven’t previously held an account with First Direct.
Second, you can’t have opened a HSBC current account on or after January 1, 2019.
This means if you opened one before that date, you will be eligible for the switching bonus.
And if you don’t want to switch your current accounts, there is a £20 incentive for just opening one with First Direct.
The current account from First Direct, called the 1st Account, features a £250 interest-free overdraft.
Whether you’ll get one is dependant on your income and credit history though, so there’s no guarantee.
Through the account you also get a 3.5% AER gross Regular Saver Account.
Chris Pitt, chief executive officer of first direct, said the new switching offer was “market leading” and an increase on the bank’s previous £150 bonus which was available up until today.
Of course, when looking at switching current accounts, you should always check whether it suits your needs and you’re not just switching because of a cash bonus.
There might be specific eligibility criteria and there might be extra requirements for the switching bonus which could cost you money.
How do I switch bank account?
It’s easy to switch your bank account using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).
You don’t have to remember to move direct debits over when moving as it does this everything for you.
All you have to do is apply for the new account you want and the new bank will let your existing provider know you’re moving.
There are some steps you can take before switching though, such as choosing your switch date, or organising transferring your old bank statements to your new account.
To get your old statements you should get in touch with your bank.
What other switching bonuses are there out there?
First Direct is not the only bank to offer a switching bonus, but you do get the most for switching.
Many banks and building societies try to tempt customers away from their rivals with their own offers.
Santander is one. If you switch to their 1/2/3 Lite Current Account, you can get an extra £160.
Customers switching over to Halifax will be in line for £150.
Using the CASS, you can switch to a new or existing Reward Current Account or Ultimate Reward Current Account.
One thing to bear in mind with the Ultimate Reward Current Account is that you have to pay a £17 monthly fee to maintain the account.
For the Reward Current Account, there’s no monthly fee if you pay in more than £1,500 each month otherwise it’s a £3 monthly fee to maintain the account.
Nationwide also offers a switching bonus, and you can get £100 if you’re not a member, and £125 if you are.
People wanting to switch to Virgin Money can get 20,000 Virgin Points if they complete.
The points can be used like vouchers.
10,500 points will get you a cream tea with a glass of champagne for two at Harrods and a wellness aromatherapy pamper gift set is worth 5,750.
A Virgin Voyages backpack will set you back 5,500 points.
We previously compared the best savings and bank accounts to boost your cash.
And we revealed how to find the best basic bank account and get accepted.
Source: The Sun