Throughout the year some banks will offer lump sum rewards, monthly benefits and/or vouchers in return for completing a switch to them. If you can catch these when they become available and be sharp enough to meet the criteria they set out, you can nab the bonus with just a little bit of effort – sometimes £250 for a 10 min application and some online banking.
In total, I managed to bank nearly £900 in just over a year completing switches as they became available with FirstDirect, Yorkshire Bank, Halifax, TSB, HSBC and NatWest, all whilst only taking a small hit to the credit score and getting a mortgage on a house.
The best resource for keeping on top of latest bank switches is usually Money Saving Expert.
View the best ones available here – then use our guide below to successfully switch.
The ‘How To’ Guide
The Set Up and Switch
Thinking Ahead – if you haven’t already downloaded it, you may find our Little Debits Bank Account Tracker useful to keep track of all the bank account details so you can save them and access all your accounts later (opens in Google Sheets, pw: littledebits)
Your Main Account – try and keep a stable account free that you will not switch, so you have it available for qualifying requirements such as pay-in transfers later. Preferably keep one account that you’ve had the longest if it isn’t costing you anything as this has a positive influence on your credit score. Preferably you want to keep an account with good online banking so you can set up everything quickly later.
Donor Account – the account you will use to switch – this can be one you have and don’t use or want, or you can usually go to your main bank account and create a new separate account without having to close your old one or provide time consuming documentation. You can also set one up rather quickly using Monzo on your phone, as their document checks are quick and simple. If you need to though, you can also set up a basic account with Santander, NatWest or HSBC online or on the high street.
The Switch Account Set Up – Go to the website of the bank you wish to switch to above. Add your details, choose a transfer date (note it down) and set up passwords and access info. Save account number and sort code when done. We recommend not selecting an overdraft as this usually involves and active credit search and can affect your credit rating.
Switching Service – after the setup, there is usually an option to directly add your old account details to transfer from the switch bank in 1, sometimes also requiring a debit card number.
Qualifying For The Reward
Check what criteria you need to meet in order the get the reward – it usually one, two or all of the following:
Pay-in transfers – usually you just need £x paid into the account every month. Simply set up a standing order from your main account for the £x amount into this account every month, or in smaller batches if you need to. You can then set a similar standing order to send this amount back on the same day or a few days after. Once you have the reward you can just cancel both.
Direct Debits – you may need x number of direct debits, sometimes none, but usually one or two. Sometimes they must be paid out within a number of days of the switch completing and not be cancelled before receiving the bonus. We recommend using ones you already have, which are usually easy to switch over from another account. Plus, they will automatically switch over to the new account if they are already on your donor account. If you need any extra, you may choose to use our effective altruism Charity Direct Debits to qualify. You are free to and can cancel them any time, or you can continue to give if you like, as 100% of the profits go to charity.
Other Requirements – some bank switches specify that you need to log in to internet or mobile banking once after the switch to qualify, so set it up when you can. Either sign up to their online banking or download the app on your phone by searching for it in Google Play or the App Store. Log in and set up, then just make sure you access it within the x time they require.
Voila – you will be paid your reward within the number of days of the date you set for switch completion. Note when your switch date is and they pay out date and save them in your calendar. Remember our free bank account tracker linked above – I wish I’d used it when I started…