A number of financial institution switching bonuses: The right way to nab as much as £990

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Move your bank account for free cash, then move it again, and again…

I’m a serial bank switcher, having completed 15 separate switches since 2013 when it became a lot easier to go from one bank to another.

The banks have tried all sorts of different things to get you to change to them. From cashback on bills through to high interest on savings, there’s no reason for you to stick with a single bank if it’s not doing anything for you.

But the incentive that’s worked the best is the cash bonus. At one point or another in the last nine years, all the major banks have given away anything from £50 to £200 just by getting you to open an account with them – and importantly close your old account.

Here’s which banks are offering money right now, and how you can combine multiple switches to get even more free cash,

You can either watch these two videos explaining the latest offers or keep reading.

February switching offers:

Head over to my YouTube channel to comment and like

March’s additional switching offers:

Before you switch

Bank switching basics

Bank switching isn’t something you should be scared of. All your payments in and out will be moved over – including future ones. And there’s a guarantee which means you’ll get compensation if things go wrong. There’s more on how it works in my guide here.

Existing and previous customers

Though all accounts are open to new customers for each bank, some of the switching bonuses are also available to either existing or previous customers. You can even get a bonus for a second time, as I did with Halifax a few years ago.

However there will be criteria here you need to check. For example, there could be a cut off date for when you closed the previous account or for when you previously received a bonus. So check the terms and conditions.

The impact on your credit report

Each application will also require a credit check. There’s no soft check here, though the chances of rejection are low for this type of thing.

However, multiple checks in a short period will hit your score. As will moving away from a bank you’ve been with for a long time – credit reference agencies like stability.

These aren’t much of a problem for most people – especially when you think people often change broadband and energy suppliers at the same time when they move house.

But if you are planning to apply for a loan, credit card, mortgage or other credit-dependent forms of borrowing then you might want to wait until that’s sorted. Here’s more detail on the impact when you switch.

Which banks have switching offers?

Right now there are six main offers, with up to £150 available from Santander, Lloyds, Natwest (or RBS, not both), First Direct, Virgin Money and Nationwide. In fact it’s possible to get two lots of cash from the latter, so technically there are seven everyone has the chance to get.

There’s also a deal from Co-op, though you need to know an existing Co-op Bank customer to refer you, and one from Barclays, though this is limited to Premium customers. I’ve not included those in this article for those reasons.

I’ve written a full analysis of each of the main offers available right now, so do read these to check you are eligible

(A quick aside here: It’s the better-off who will likely benefit from these incentives and that to fund them it’s the poorer customers in overdrafts who lose out. So it’s not exactly fair).

Details on each switching deal

There’s also more information about the Co-op and Barclays switching deals in my bank offers guide.

How to get up to £990 from switching bonuses

Getting cash for one switching deal is great. Getting money from more than one is even better! And if you are eligible for more than one offer there’s no reason why you can’t get them.

Technically it should be possible to keep switching the same account to get three of the bonuses, but you’ll need an extra account or two to switch to get all six incentives.

If you don’t already have a spare account, I’d recommend opening one just for switching – you could quickly get a Monzo and / or Starling for this purpose.

Bear in mind too that though most of the offers have a while to run, they can end early, and some don’t have any end date published so could go at any time.

Switch one, two and three

The fastest deals are from Lloyds, Nationwide, First Direct and Virgin Money. I’d prioritise Lloyds as we know when this ends, then either Nationwide or First Direct.

Make sure you’ve met all the criteria needed for the switches on day one so you can complete the switch as fast as possible.

Combined these will be worth up to £425 and you could potentially have the cash within 68 days.

Bank Amount Earliest you’ll get the cash End date
Lloyds £150 3 days after you switch (10 total) 21 March 2022
Nationwide £100 or £125 10 days after you switch (20 total) N/A
First Direct £150 28 days after meeting criteria (38 total) N/A

Switch four

Once you’ve got those three, you can look at either Santander or Natwest/RBS. Since the RBS offer runs for a few weeks more than Natwest it’s probably the best one for stacking multiple switches.

Another reason to favour Natwest/RBS is we know when this will end – mid-April. Though the Santander one could go at any time, it could also still be running in late June, meaning you could switch again from the RBS account.

However it will probably be too tight to get the First Direct money in after Lloyds and Nationwide and hit the 21 April date unless any of the banks pay you earlier.

I think both the RBS/Natwest Reward and Santander 123 Lite accounts are worth keeping hold of thanks to monthly rewards/cashback, but you can always switch them again for other deals that might appear.

Complete one of these on top of the other three switches and you’ll be up £565 to £575 by the summer.

Bank Amount Earliest you’ll get the cash End date
RBS £150 24 June 2022 21 April 2022
Santander £140 60 to 90 days after starting the switch N/A

Extra switches

If you have extra accounts you can switch for the other account from this choice as you’re not restricted by the payout time.

We don’t know when the Santander deal will end, so it could be gone by the time you’ve completed the other switches. If you’re worried about that then it makes sense to start that switch earlier, and use Natwest for the third consecutive switch.

There’s also that Virgin Money switch. Since the 3% bonus on interest isn’t paid until June 2023 this isn’t one to switch away from straight away.

Finally if you have a joint account on top of your personal accounts, you can get another £125 by switching that into an extra Nationwide account.

If you do all of these along with the three switches above, then it’s a total of £840 in cash incentives, £50 in interest and a £100 voucher, adding up to £950!

Bank Amount Earliest you’ll get the cash End date
Natwest £150 9 June 2022 7 April 2022
Santander £140 60 to 90 days after starting the switch N/A
Virgin Money £100 voucher + 5% interest 14 days after completing the switch June 2023
Nationwide (Joint) £125 10 days after meeting criteria N/A

Are there more to come?

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think there will be more. Halifax and Lloyds are yet to run an offer in 2022, so keep an eye out for them.

HSBC is rarely away from the market, and Halifax usually follows Lloyds – however these you can’t get cash from the former if you’ve taken advantage of the First Direct offer.

Every time there’s a new promotion I list it in by constantly updated list of all the different offers and incentives you can get from banks – not just switching bonuses. So check that out for any updates!

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