Martin Lewis shares 4 banks who pay up to free £200 for easy switch

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    Money always feels more scarce in the lead up to Christmas.

    So, a magical money tree would be appreciated right about now by many. Although no one has mastered how to grow cash on vegetation as of yet, you could still get your hands on some 'free' money before the end of the year.

    Martin Lewis and the MoneySavingExpert (MSE) team have provided an update on the list of banks that give away 'free' money just by switching from a competitor to them.

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    For most people, they opt to stick with the same bank for their entire lives. But doing so could mean that they are missing out on the 'rewards' of switching – including 'free' money. In a recent newsletter published by the MoneySavingExpert team, Martin noted: "it's been a while since a new bank decided to lob some cash to win your custom."

    Though, that has all changed. There are now four major banks that are offering cash just to sign up to them, and you could make as much as £200. The sound of switching banks might sound like a faff, but it's actually relatively simple with a little help from initiatives such as the he Current Account Switch Service (CASS).

    Martin and co say this service makes switching over 'easier' and 'quicker'. By using the CASS, it makes sure that the bank switch will be completed in just seven working days where it manages tedious tasks such as moving balances, transferring incoming and outgoing payments and, of course, closing the old account.

    So what banks are offering cash to switch? In the newsletter, Martin and team mentioned that the four banks who are offering money to sign up are Nationwide, First Direct, Lloyds Bank and Barclays. But the cash reward will not be given to everyone.

    There is a slight catch. If you're wanting to switch to the above banks and get your hands on the 'free' cash, then you'll need to meet a set of criteria – which differs from each bank.


    If you've got your eye on switching to Nationwide's FlexDirect account then you will get £200 along with a no minimum pay-in, reports MSE. So what will get access to? The account includes: "A regular savings account paying 8% interest on up to £200/month, a year's 0% overdraft on up to £1,500 (credit-check dependent) and, if you pay in £1,000+/month, the current account pays 5% interest on up to £1,500 for a year,"

    First Direct

    Similar to Nationwide, switchers to First Direct will expect a no minimum pay-in to get their hands on the 'free' money which comes in at a little lower at £175. Those switching will get access to: "First Direct's 1st Account…linked regular saver which pays 7% interest on up to £300/month, and many get an ongoing £250 0% overdraft. The debit card is also fee-free for overseas spending and ATM withdrawals."


    For those wanting to switch to 'Club Lloyds', then expect to choose from a selection of rewards – including 12 months of Disney+, six cinema tickets, a Coffee Club & Gourmet Society membership or a magazine subscription. Although, if you pay in less than £2,000 a month then you'll have to pay a monthly £3 fee.

    And on top of that, you get the £175 in cash.


    Fancy switching to Barclays? Well, you could be getting your hands on £175. Although this isn't the "main perk", according to MSE.

    Apparently, their easy-access savings is not too shabby at all. The MSE team explained: "The main perk here, other than the switch cash, is the easy-access savings account that you get access to, which pays a decent 5.12% AER interest on up to £5,000 – only a smidge shy of the top rates. There are a few hoops to jump through to qualify, though none too arduous."

    But, what are the finer details? To switch over, you'll have to pay-in the minimum amount which is £800 per month for Blue Rewards. In order to get the £175 in cash, then you have to open a sole account by using the Barclays mobile app (no joint accounts) or join "Premier Banking by opening a sole Premier Current Account in the app". After this, join Blue Rewards.

    Then you need to complete a full switch from the different bank in the Barclays app – that includes at least two active Direct Debits. You must start the switch by 30 November 2023 and then wait 28 working days for the £175.

    • Martin Lewis
    • money

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