Millions of us stick with the same current account provider year after year, even though a different account might suit us better.


Recent weeks have seen several banks introduce switching incentives to encourage us to move current accounts, with many of these offers only available for a short period of time.

Halifax, for example, is offering a £100 incentive if you switch to either its Reward or Ultimate Reward current account, but you’ll need to get your skates on if you want to apply, as to qualify your switch must start before 14 September.

There’s a £3 monthly fee for the Halifax Reward Current Account, but this is waived if you pay at least £1,500 in each month. As the name suggests, account holders can earn Reward Extras, from which they have a choice of two digital movie rentals, three digital magazines, one cinema ticket or £5 paid directly into the account. To qualify for these, you must either spend £500 on your debit card each month, or keep £5,000 or more in your account every day of the month.

The Ultimate Reward Current Account charges a much higher £17 monthly fee but comes with a range of extra benefits such as worldwide travel insurance, mobile phone insurance and vehicle breakdown cover, as well as the chance to earn Reward Extras.

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Rachel Springall, finance expert at financial website, said: “Overall, the Halifax Reward or Ultimate Reward Current Account offers a decent package where consumers can earn a little extra each month. As is common before entering any arrangement, consumers would be wise to compare the overall package of an account and not be swayed by upfront perks alone.”

Other switching incentives
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has also introduced a £100 switching incentive for new customers switching to its Select or Reward Silver, Reward Platinum or Reward Black accounts. Existing customers can also qualify for £100 if they move to a Reward Silver, Reward Platinum or Reward Black account.

This incentive is available until 19 November, you’ll only receive the £100 once you’ve paid paid at least £1,500 into the account and logged onto their account online or through the RBS app before 30 December 2020.

Other banks offering switching incentives include Metro Bank which has a ‘Refer a Friend’ switching offer. Existing customers will receive £50 for every friend that switches to a Metro current account, up to a maximum of £250 if five friends switch. New customers that switch to the bank will receive £50 as a welcome to Metro Bank. This offer is available until 11 December this year and to qualify, customers must first register online with the bank. They’ll then receive a unique code that their friends must use when opening an account.

Bear in mind that while switching incentives may be tempting, it’s vital to choose a current account deal that suit your needs. This is particularly important if you regularly dip into the red, as overdraft charges on many current accounts can be steep.

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How switching works

Since the Current Account Switch Service launched seven years ago, switching current accounts has become much more straightforward. More than 6.7m accounts have been switched using the service, although switching numbers have fallen in recent months due to coronavirus.

If you do want switch current accounts, make sure the bank you’re moving to belongs to the Service, which is free to use. To get started you need to tell the bank you’d like to switch to that you want to move your current account across to them. They’ll require proof of your identity, such as your passport or driving licence, along with evidence of your address such as a bank statement or utility bill.

You’ll need to fill in two forms, a Current Account Switch Agreement form and a Current Account Closure Instruction form, and your new bank can then sort everything else out on your behalf.

The switch should be completed in seven working days. All payments which go out of your account, such as any Direct Debits or standing orders, and those coming in, for example your salary, will be automatically moved from the old account to your new account. Any that are accidentally slip through the net will be automatically redirected to the new account, and your new bank should refund any charges or replace lost interest if anything goes wrong.

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