Switching bank accounts, if that’s something you’ve been thinking about doing, is relatively easy, and you may be interested to know that there are currently six banks who will offer you £175 cash for switching to their services. Also, it’s worth noting that some accounts pay savings interest or will offer you cashback on bills.
Here’s a quick list of which bank is offering which service (on day of publication):
First Direct: £175 to switch, plus TOP service
Santander: Free £175 plus 1% to 3% bills cashback (ends this Thurs)
NatWest/RBS: Free £175 plus £3/month cashback
Nationwide: £100 free cash for new customers
Virgin Money: 25% cashback on supermarket/fuel spend (max £160)
Santander 123 Lite: 1% to 3% bills cashback
Chase: 1% cashback, 1.5% interest plus fee-free overseas
Also our in depth round-up of our best easy access savings accounts this Autumn is here.
Virgin: 2.02% on £1000 plus 1.71% on £25,000
Chase: 1.5% on up to £250,000
Nationwide: 5% on £1,500, for ONE year
If you’re overdrawn
Most of the main banks charge about 40% interest for overdrafts but some offer 0% overdrafts, so if you’re in the red, it’s worth noting that you CAN still switch if you’re overdrawn BUT is does depend on your intended new provider’s lending procedure. They may decide not to offer you an overdraft, or could offer you a lower overdraft limit. However, many banks have eligibility checkers to determine whether you’re likely to get the overdraft before you try for it.
These three banks offer:
First Direct: £250 0% overdraft
Nationwide: 12-month 0% overdraft
Starling: Low overdraft rates
Nationwide: £500+/year insurance for £156 p.a.
The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) process takes seven working days to apply for: you just open a new account with your chosen bank, then request a switch, and provided both banks are signed up to CASS, the switching service will close your old account and transfer your money, direct debits and standing orders across
It’ll also handle payments due to your old account by automatically directing them into the new one, for at least three years. It also guarantees a refund of any charges wrongly accrued due to this process.
Otherwise known as Continuous Payment Authorities, these are set up using your debit or credit card details, as opposed to your account number and sort code: so things you’ve set up like storee cards or memebership fees. So if you switch, make sure to give your new card details to any companies that take money from your card this way.
ACTIVE DIRECT DEBITS
An active direct debit is one that has paid out in the last 13 months or is less than 13 months old. Old direct debits can stay active even if you’re not paying out on them every month in case they’re needed again, or if they’ve been set up for annual payments. After 13 months, your bank may remove them from your account, or mark them as inactive.
YOUR OLD ACCOUNT
You must close your old account if you switch via CASS (the norm if you want the switching incentives). Your new bank will automatically move across all payments like direct debits or your salary.
ISAs and Credit Cards
Moving your current account won’t affect these kinds of payments as they’re separate from your account; if you set up a direct debit for these, it will be automatically moved to your new bank account.
There is currently no switching service for savings accounts but you can move them yourself by opening the new savings account and transferring your money across.