It simply doesn’t pay to be loyal to banks or insurers.
Chances are, you will find a cheaper policy by shopping around when it’s time to renew your car or home insurance. And as far as your current account is concerned, you can actually earn cold hard cash by switching to another bank.
On top of that, you can move to an account with more and better features, such as high rates of interest and cashback and rewards on spending.
It is simple to do, and made hassle-free with the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) – a government and banking sector collaboration – which guarantees your account will be switched successfully in seven working days, guaranteed.
Your balance, direct debits and standing orders are automatically taken over, as are your incoming payments, such as salary or pension. The service redirects payments that may have gone astray for up to three years.
But which current accounts are offering the best deals to switch at the moment?
If you switch to the HSBC Advance account, then you can get £150 for switching and a further £50 if you stay for a year.
So what are the stipulations for getting the cash?
You must use the CASS service to qualify and instruct them to start a full switch of your account within 30 days to get the £150, which will paid into your account within 50 days.
You must also pay a minimum of £1,750 per month (or a minimum of £10,500 every six months) into the account, and bring over at least two direct debits or standing orders.
You can get a further £50 when you register for mobile or online banking within 60 days of the account opening, and you must meet all of the above criteria for at least nine of the first 12 months.
You will also qualify for 0% interest and no fees on your overdraft for six months*.
To hold an Advance account, you must be 18 years old and a resident of the UK.
*HSBC Advance Overdraft - 17.9% Representative example (assumed overdraft £1,200): 17.9% EAR variable
If you switch to an M&S current account then you will receive a £125 M&S gift card, plus another £60 of spending power if you stay for more than 12 months, making a total of £185 you can spend in store or online.
To qualify for the £125 gift card you must use the Current Account Switch Service to switch accounts with at least two active direct debits. You will get the gift card through the post within a month of the switch being completed.
For the extra £60, which is paid on to your gift card in 12 monthly £5 instalments, you must pay in at least £1,000 per month into the account and keep up the two direct debits for that time period.
You’ll get a debit card, online banking and a bank app for easy access, plus you’ll be added to the M&S Loyalty Scheme that gives you one point for every £1 spent on your debit card.
Also included in the current account is an overdraft of at least £500, the first £100 of which is interest free. After that, you’ll be charged at 15.9% variable* (subject to status). There are no overdraft fees.
You also gain access to the Monthly Saver, which has a rate of 5% AER/gross when you save more between £25 and £250 a month. So if you were to save the maximum of £250 a month, then you would make £81 per year gross at the end of the year.
As usual, you must be 18 years old and a resident of the UK.
*Representative example (assumed overdraft £1,200): 0% EAR variable on the first £100, 15.9% EAR variable thereafter.
You can get £125 cashback when you switch your current account to First Direct with MoneySuperMarket.
To get the cashback, you must make the switch through CASS and MoneySuperMarket. This offer is exclusive to the Moneysupermarket Group, so you won’t find it on other comparison sites or even on First Direct’s website.
To get the cashback money you need to pay in at least £1,000 into the account within three months of opening it.
You must then continue to put in £1,000 a month after six months to avoid being charged a monthly £10 fee (unless you have another First Direct product).
The cashback will be added to your account within 28 working days of depositing the £1000, and is reserved for new First Direct customers only.
The account comes with a £250 interest free overdraft, 24/7 banking all year via internet, telephone and mobile app. An added perk is that if you aren’t completely satisfied after the first six months, then First Direct will actually give you £100 as a leaving gift, Terms and Conditions apply.
Again, you must be a resident of the UK and be over 18 years of age.
If you want to find out more about switching current accounts, check out our guide on switching.