Cashback when you switch bank - how it works

What happens when you decide to take up up the offer of 'free money' and change bank?

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One pund coin over blur credit card

Banks want your current account business. So much so, they're willing to pay you cash to switch.
But that doesn't mean you'll get a wad of fivers through the post, or a hefty brown envelope next time you pop into the branch.

Most people stick with the same current account for years, even decades. That's why so many juicy cash carrots are being dangled in a bid to make more people switch.
(And remember, thanks to an industry scheme back by all the major banks, switching takes just seven working days, guaranteed – and the new bank will handle all the palaver surrounding moving direct debits and payments-in.)

Waiting times

First things first: any cashback you're due for switching will be credited to your account – but not immediately after you make the switch. In fact, you could end up waiting 70 days, depending on the bank.

So here's a run-down of the banks that pay cashback when you switch, how to qualify, and when you'll get your wedge.

First Direct

What's the deal: In an exclusive deal with MoneySuperMarket, First Direct is paying £150 when you switch to its 1st Account (so long as you haven't previously held an account with the bank).
And if you're not happy after six months, it will pay you another £100 and help you switch to a different bank.

How you get it: You a 1st Account using the Current Account Switch Service mentioned above, and then pay in at least £1,000 within the first three months.

If you pay in at least £1,000 a month (or having another First Direct product, such as a mortgage), you'll dodge the account's £10 monthly fee.

Cashback details: The £150 cashback will land in your account within 28 days.

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks

What's the deal: Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks (both owned by National Australia Bank) each offer £150 cashback when you switch using the Current Account Switching Service. This offer ends on 31 March.

How you get it: You need to set up at least two direct debits on the account and pay in at least £1,000 a month.

Cashback details: You'll get the £150 in your current account within 70 days.

Halifax

What's the deal: The Halifax Reward Current Account pays £100 switching cashback, plus a £5 monthly reward and entry into a monthly prize draw.

How you get it: You'll need to switch all your debits and credits to Halifax and close your old account. But you'll need to start the ball rolling by January 31, 2016.
You get the £5 monthly reward when you pay in £750 or more each month, set up two different direct debits and stay in the black.

Cashback details: The £100 cashback is paid into your account within three working days after your switch.

M&S Bank

What's on offer: You'll get a £100 M&S gift card if you switch to M&S Bank. The card can be used at M&S stores or on the M&S website. If you pay in £1,000 per month and maintain two direct debits, you'll get an extra £10 on your card per month for a maximum of 12 months, giving a potential total of £220.

How you get it: Once you've opened the M&S current account or M&S Premium current account, you must switch to the bank within six months using the Current Account Switch Service.

Reward details: Your gift card will be posted to you within one calendar month of completing the switch.

Remember...

You shouldn't choose your current account based just on the basis of the cash or card incentive. Check what else is on offer and what conditions apply before making your decision.

Terms and conditions apply to all switching offers.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.