Focus on: Switch your current account to Clydesdale and earn £150

Rewards on offer for switching your bank account are stepping up a gear as now Clydesdale is stumping up £150 to those who jump ship.

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It’s a great little boost to the Christmas budget – but beyond the cash gift is there anything else worth switching for?

Here’s a look at the finer details of Clydesdale’s Current Account Direct deal.

What’s the deal?

Switch to Clydesdale’s Current Account Direct before February 28 next year and the bank will pay you £150 cash – beating the next closest cashback deal (First Direct’s 1st Account) by £25. (The same offer applies to Clydesdale’s sister bank, Yorkshire).

Beyond the cashback, the Clydesdale account offers a decent and ongoing 2% AER (variable) on in-credit balances between £1 and £3,000, and charges 9.9% EAR on arranged overdrafts.

Who’s it good for?

This account is a great switching option, whether you are happy with your current bank or not. And if you are consistently £250 or more overdrawn (we'll explain this later) the 9.9% EAR on planned borrowing it’s also competitive. In fact, the Clydesdale account is listed in this week’s article on the best accounts to be overdrawn in.

Any catches?

A few, yes. First off, to qualify for the £150, you need to use Clydesdale’s Current Account Switch Service, which means closing down your old bank account.

You then need to pay in a single payment of at least £1,000 within 31 days of your switch completing. This doesn’t include any balance transferred from your old bank account, nor any other accounts you might have with Clydesdale or Yorkshire Bank.

The offer is available to new customers and to existing customers.

It’s a great little boost to the Christmas budget – but beyond the cash gift is there anything else worth switching for?

You need sign up to Clydesdale before February 28, 2015, and complete the switch within 21 days of doing so. Given that it only takes 7 working days to switch current accounts now, that shouldn’t be an issue, though.

The way the account is operated is a bit unusual, too. It’s a 'self-service' account which means you'll need to manage it by internet or phone. Only if a transaction can't be carried out this way can you use one of the bank's 292 branches.

And while the planned overdraft rate comes up trumps, if you go overdrawn by more than you’ve agreed, you’ll pay a whopping 29.99% EAR.

What’s the verdict?

The £150 cashback offer from Clydesdale is generous and well-timed before Christmas, though you should check the Ts and Cs carefully to make sure you will be eligible for the payment.

If you tend to stay in credit in your current account, it’s also a great chance to start getting something back from it. But if you only tend to go up to £250 overdrawn, there may be better options. First Direct's 1st account for example, is interest-free up to that amount.

If you want to claw your way out of your overdraft in a year, Nationwide Building Society FlexDirect offers a 12-month 0% arranged overdraft facility. (And it pays 5% AER on in-credit balances of up to £2,500 – but, again, only for the first 12 months.)

Top tip

Don’t worry about all your bank account’s standing orders, direct debits and incoming payments – the current account switching service automatically reroutes them all. You even get a 13 month re-direct on the old account, making sure that any cash sent to your old account still get to you.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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