It used to be that people would stay with their bank for life. These days it's a lot easier to switch - give them your old bank details when you join and the process is mostly automated and quick.
Not only is it easy, the banks are desperate to lure us into switching with joining incentives of £100+.
By simply switching between banks you can take advantage of these offers in exchange for free money. Save up and then use it to take yourself on a nice holiday courtesy of the banks.
The banks require you to meet their offer terms for switching. Usually that you transfer at least 2 direct debits and pay in a minimum amount each month.
I always have at least two current accounts: my main current account that I use as normal, and a second rotating bank account as my “switcher” with two small and predictable direct debits (currently a subscription and TV licence).
If you have a second bank account you rarely use, switch two direct debits over now so it's ready to be offered up in sacrifice for free money. If you don't, set up one now with a bank that hasn't historically offered switching incentives such as Barclays.
I personally do around 1 switch per year, as the bank does a credit search which can impact your rating. More regular switches would probably be fine, but be wary of the impact of a lot of activity in a short space of time, particularly if you're going to be getting a new mortgage.
Switching bank account is a hassle, but a very small one considering the reward. Meeting the minimum payment can be as easy as transferring the required amount back and forth once each month between your main and switcher account - even easier if you set it up just once as standing orders. If you don't have the full amount you can just switch a smaller amount back and forth multiple times.
My average experience has been 15 minutes to join, and then 5 mins maintenance in each of the first 6 months to meet the joining criteria. That's around 45 mins work for £100+ reward! Just think, if your boss offered you the chance to come in for an extra hour for that money, would you take it!? It doesn't matter that it is free or a bonus, money is money and you should always treat it as such.
Here's a list of the deals I have taken so far.
|Oct 2011||Santander||£100 + £55.55 Quidco|
|Apr 2013||First Direct||£100 joining + £100 leaving|
|Oct 2015||Yorkshire Bank||£150|
That's over £800 just for switching banks - beyond christmases and birthdays the easiest money I have ever made!
Deals come and go fairly regularly, so I just take the best suited to me at the time. Here is the current selection (as of 14th December 2016). Most banks will only pay a switching bonus once.
|Bank||Reward||Requirements (check incase changed)|
Do not feel guilty. The banks make a lot of money out of you and offer these incentives because it is profitable for them to do so. They are banks - this is not an act of charity.
I've been a bank slut for over 5 years and it feels great! Give it a go now.
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