Best current account switching offers, cashback & incentives

14 min Read Published: 08 Jun 2022

The best bank switching, cashback and interest offers

Switching bank accounts got a whole lot easier on 16 September 2013 thanks to the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), brought in by regulators in a bid to boost competitiveness within the banking sector.

Previously, switching current accounts was seen as a nightmare, taking up to 30 days to complete and with little incentive to do so. It is perhaps unsurprising that consumers have typically only switched their bank once every 16 years.

In this article, we round up the best switching offers, cashback and interest rates so you can find the best current account for you.

How to switch current account

Under CASS, consumers are able to choose the date on which they want to transfer their current account and the whole process will not take more than 7 working days. Direct debits and standing orders will also be automatically transferred across to your new account, as will any payments sent to the old account (for a period of 13 months). If any payments are missed, they will guarantee to reimburse you in full.

Check before you switch

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects your savings for losses up to £85,000 (£170,000 for joint accounts) should your bank or building society go bust, as long as it is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, the scheme protects your savings up to £85,000 per bank or building society providing the bank or building society has its own banking authorisation.

Some banks and building societies share their banking license with other brands because they are part of a bigger group (for example, HSBC and First Direct). In these instances, you will only be covered for £85,000 across both banking brands for accounts in your sole name (£170,000 for joint accounts). Therefore, it is important to ensure that you understand how switching bank accounts will impact your protection under the FSCS when viewed in the context of your existing accounts.

This handy tool allows you to select the banks and building societies that you currently hold money with (or plan to hold money with) to see your level of protection under the FSCS if any of them were to go bust. For more information on the FSCS read our article, 'What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?'

The best current account switch offers

Bank/Building Society Switching Offer Small Print Extra Benefits
HSBC Advance  £170 for new customers that switch to an Advance account Must switch using CASS and start the switch within 30 days. Must pay in at least £1,500 within first 60 days and switch 2 direct debits or standing orders. You must qualify for an optional arranged overdraft of at least £1,000. Must not have or opened a HSBC or First Direct current account since January 2019. No minimum monthly amount. Access to £1,000 overdraft.
First Direct £150 for new customers that switch to a 1st Account. £20 for customers that open an account but don't want to switch yet. Must switch using CASS. Must pay in at least £1,000 within 3 months of opening account. Only available to those who have not previously held a First Direct account and/or have not opened a HSBC current account on or after 01/01/19. Access to £250 interest-free overdraft.
Nationwide £125 for existing customers and £100 for new customers that switch to a Nationwide current account. Must switch using CASS with minimum 2 active direct debits to be eligible. Existing customers must use Nationwide's online bank to open a current account in order to qualify. Switches made using CASS must be completed within 60 days of request. Available on all current accounts, including FlexAccount, FlexDirect and FlexPlus. 2% interest fixed for first 12 months on balances up to £1,500 with a FlexDirect account.
Lloyds Bank  £125 for new customers switching to a Club Lloyds or Club Lloyds Platinum account. Must start your switch using CASS before 27th June 2022. Must open a Club Lloyds or Club Lloyds Platinum account. Must not have received cashback from Lloyds for switching since April 2020 and you cannot upgrade an existing account to qualify for the offer. Lifestyle benefits such as free cinema tickets, movie rentals and magazine subscriptions. Earn interest on your balance when you pay 2 direct debits each month. 3 months 0% interest-free overdraft
Virgin Money  20,000 Virgin points for new customers that switch to a M Plus or Club M account. Must switch using CASS. Must set up minimum 2 active direct debits and pay in £1,000 to the linked savings account and leave it there until the promotion is emailed to you. You must also download and log in to the Virgin Money mobile banking app. Excludes existing M, M Plus and Club M account customers, including closures since 31/01/22 and those who have previously benefited from Virgin Money switching offers. No fees abroad

HSBC switching offer - £170 bonusHSBC logo

The details on HSBC's switching offer:

  • Must switch using CASS
  • Must switch to a HSBC Advance account and pay in £1,500 within 60 days
  • Must set up minimum 2 active direct debits
  • Must qualify for £1,000 optional arranged overdraft
  • Must not have or opened a HSBC or First Direct current account since January 2019

First Direct switching offer - £150 bonus First Direct logo

The details on First Direct's switching offer:

  • Must switch using CASS or you will not be eligible
  • Must pay in at least £1,500 in the first 60 days
  • Access to a £250 interest-free overdraft
  • Access to a 3.50% AER Regular Saver account
  • Not available for those that already have a First Direct account

Nationwide switching offer - £125 bonusNationwide

The details on Nationwide's switching offer:

  • Must switch using CASS or you will not be eligible
  • Available on all current accounts including FlexAccount, FlexDirect and FlexPlus
  • Offer is paid once per qualifying account
  • Must pay £1,000 into account each month for interest
  • Process must be completed within 60 days of request

Lloyds Bank switching offer - £125 bonus

Lloyds

The details on Lloyd's switching offer:

  • Must switch using CASS
  • Must switch to a Lloyds Club or Lloyds Club Premium account (there is a monthly fee for the accounts)
  • Offer is paid within 10 working days of the switch
  • Must pay a minimum of £1,500 to have the £3 monthly fee refunded for the Club Lloyds and Club Lloyds Platinum account
  • £21 monthly fee for the Club Lloyds Platinum account
  • 3 months 0% interest-free overdraft

Virgin Money switching offer - 20,000 Virgin pointsvirgin money travel insurance review

The details on Virgin Money's switching offer:

  • Must switch using CASS
  • Only available to new M, Club M and M Plus customers
  • Must set up minimum 2 active direct debits
  • Must pay £1,000 into linked savings account and leave it in there until the promotion email has been sent
  • Benefit from 20,000 Virgin points

Best current accounts for cashback

Bank/Building Society Incentive Min. Monthly Monthly Fee
Santander 123 Lite 1% cashback on mobile and home phone bills, broadband and paid-for TV packages and the first £1,000 you pay towards a Santander residential mortgage; 2% cashback on gas and electricity bills, Santander home insurance and Santander life protection; 3% cashback on water bills. Plus up to 15% cashback at a range of major retailers. £500 £2
Barclays Blue Rewards Earn £5 per month for setting up 2 monthly direct debits, plus £3 per month for a Barclays mortgage, £5 per month for life insurance with critical illness cover (£1.50 for standard life insurance), £1 per month for a personal loan, 3% when you take out or renew home insurance. £800 £5
Chase Bank  Get 1% cashback on your everyday spending for the first 12 months. Also round up your spending to the nearest £ and earn up to 5% interest on your round-ups. No minimum £0

Santander

Santander 123 Lite

To get 1-3%* cashback on bills with a Santander 123 Lite account, you must:

  • Pay £2 a month to maintain the account
  • Pay in at least £500 a month
  • Add 2 active direct debits to the account
  • Pay bills via direct debit
  • Log in to online banking every 3 months from account opening

*Cashback is capped at £5 per month in each of the 1%, 2% and 3% cashback tiers, so you can get a maximum of £15 each month.

Barclays Blue RewardsBarclays

To get up to £5 per month cashback with a Barclays Blue Rewards account, you must:

  • Have an existing Barclays current account
  • Pay £5 a month to maintain the account
  • Pay in at least £800 a month
  • Add 2 active direct debits to the account
  • Register for the Barclays app or Barclays online banking

Chase Bankchase bank cashback

To get 1% cashback with a Chase Bank account, you must:

  • Open a Chase current account
  • Activate cashback rewards within the app
  • Use round-up spending to benefit from up to 5% interest on round-up savings

Best current accounts for interest

Current Account Interest Min. Monthly Monthly Fee Small Print
Virgin Money M Plus Account 2.02% on balances up to £1,000; 1.56% on balances up to £25,000. (New customers switching can benefit from 20,000 Virgin Points) £0 (£1,000 initial payment into savings if switching and a new customer) £0 Interest is paid annually
Nationwide FlexDirect Account 2.00% on balances up to £1,500. Reverts to 0.25% after the first 12 months. Also falls to 0.25% if a minimum of £1,000 is not deposited each month during the first 12 months. You could get up to £125 if you switch to a FlexDirect account (£100 if you're already a member). £1,000 £0 Reverts to 0.25% after the first 12 months. Also falls to 0.25% if a minimum of £1,000 is not deposited each month during the first 12 months.
Bank of Scotland Vantage Account 0.60% on balances up to £4,000; 1.5% on balances between £4,000 and £5,000; 0% on balances above £5,000. £1,000 £0 Must stay in credit and pay at least two separate direct debits each calendar month to qualify for the advertised rates.

Virgin Money M PlusVirgin Money

To qualify for 2.02% interest on a Virgin Money M Plus account, you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Have a good credit history

To qualify for 20,000 Virgin Points on a Virgin Money M Plus account, you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Not already have an M, M Plus or Club M current account (or haven’t closed one since 31 January 2022);
  • Have not previously taken up a Virgin Bundle or Virgin Red Points offer for switching to Virgin Money
  • Pay £1,000 into the account and keep it there until the promotion email is sent

Nationwide FlexDirect Nationwide

To qualify for 2% interest on a Nationwide FlexDirect account, you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Be a UK resident
  • Pay in £1,000 a month (excluding transfers from other Nationwide accounts or Visa credits)
  • Open an account for the first time solely in your name or a joint account with someone else
  • Hold no more than 4 existing sole or joint Nationwide current accounts

Bank of Scotland VantageBank of Scotland

To qualify for 0.60% interest on a Bank of Scotland Vantage account, you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Pay in at least £1,000 into your account each calendar month
  • Stay in credit (above £0) during the monthly billing period
  • Pay at least 2 different direct debits from your account each calendar month

More on current accounts

Head over to our up-to-date list of the best current accounts in the UK, and keep an eye on our round-up of the best high-interest current accounts for the latest deals and offers.