Best current account switching offers, cashback & incentives

12 min Read Published: 01 Dec 2021

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.

The best current account switch offers

Bank/Building Society Switching Offer Small Print Extra Benefits
First Direct £100 for new customers that switch to a 1st Account. 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 01/01/18. Access to £250 interest-free overdraft and a 1.00% AER Regular Saver Account.
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 30 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.
Halifax £125 for new customers that switch to a Halifax Reward or Ultimate Reward account. Must switch using CASS. Must open account between 03/11/21 and 14/12/21. Must start switch by 14/12/21. Halifax Reward account costs £3 per month but is free if you deposit £1,500+. Ultimate Reward account costs £17 per month. £5 or a lifestyle benefit - e.g. worldwide travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, AA breakdown cover, or home emergency cover - every calendar month. Contactless VISA debit card. Up to 15% cashback.
HSBC £150 plus a £10 payment to Shelter for new customers that switch to a HSBC Advance account. Must switch using CASS. Must set up minimum 2 active direct debits and pay in £1,500 in the first 60 days to be eligible. Save between £25 to £250 each month and access a 1.00% AER Regular Saver Account.

First Direct switching offerFirst Direct logo

The details on First Direct's new switching offer:

  • Must switch using CASS or you will not be eligible
  • Must pay in at least £1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Access to a £250 interest-free overdraft
  • Access to a 1% AER Regular Saver account
  • Not available for those that already have a First Direct account

Nationwide switching offerNationwide

The details on Nationwide's new 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 30 days of request

Halifax switching offer

The details on Halifax's new switching offer:

  • Must switch using CASS or you will not be eligible
  • Not available for accounts opened before 3 November 2021
  • Halifax Reward account is free if you pay in £1,500+ per month
  • Access to Save The Change round-up function
  • £5 cashback or your choice of lifestyle benefit every calendar month

HSBC switching offerHSBC logo

The details on HSBC's new switching offer:

  • Must switching using CASS
  • Only available to new customers
  • Must set up minimum 2 active direct debits
  • Must pay in at least £1,500 in the first 60 days
  • Includes a £10 charity donation to Shelter

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 £4
Barclays Blue Rewards Earn £7 per month for setting up 2 monthly direct debits, plus £5 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 £4
NatWest Rewards Earn £4 a month for setting up 2 or more direct debits (need to be at least £2 each). Plus, earn an extra £1 a month for 1 mobile app log in. Access to 1% cashback when you spend with Caffe Nero, EuropCar, Barrhead Travel, Boux Avenue, P&O Ferries or ATG Tickets. Plus, £100 cashback for switching and an extra £50 if you stay. £1,250 £2

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 £7 per month cashback with a Barclays Blue Rewards account, you must:

  • Have an existing Barclays current account
  • Pay £4 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

NatWest RewardsNatwest

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

  • Have an existing NatWest current account
  • Pay £2 a month to maintain the account
  • Pay in at least £1,250 a month
  • Add 2 active direct debits of minimum £2 each to the account
  • Log into online banking once a month

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; 0% on balances over £1,000. £0 £0 N/A.
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. £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

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
  • Have an existing Classic, Silver, Gold, Platinum or Premier Bank of Scotland account
  • Pay in at least £1000 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.