Five bank accounts that give you something for nothing

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SmilingA bank account is one of life's essentials these days, somewhere for your salary to be paid into and your bills to come out of.

But it doesn't have to be boring – many current accounts offer you something exciting as a thank you for having the account!

#1 - £60 a year for an empty bank account
More often than not, there's not a huge amount of cash left in my current account at the end of the month. As a result, it doesn't make that big a difference what rate of interest my account pays. 5% of nothing is the same as 1%, after all.

However, there is a current account that offers you a decent return each month, no matter what your balance looks like – the Halifax Reward Account.

With this account, so long as you pay in £1,000 each month, you'll get £5 cashback. So even if you spend every single penny that comes in, you can still get £60 a year from your account! Be warned though, that cashback will swiftly be eaten up if you go into your overdraft – Halifax charges £1 a day that you're overdrawn.


#2 – Free travel insurance
The Nationwide FlexAccount could save you a few quid if you spend a lot of time travelling, as the account offers free annual European multi-trip travel insurance.

The insurance covers all account holders aged between 18 and 73. All you have to do is pay £750 a month into the account.

In fact, this account doesn't just offer free travel insurance – you also get to take advantage of the Simply Rewards scheme, which offers account holders discounts on all sorts of goods and services.

#3 – Cashback for opening (and closing) the account

How about cashback just for opening a bank account?

first direct pays customers £100 as a welcoming present when they open the bank's 1st Account. All you need to do to qualify for the bonus is transfer your direct debits over. What's more, the bank is so confident that you'll love the service you receive – first direct wins every customer service award going, after all – that it will give you another £100 if you decide to leave the bank within the first 12 months, as a parting gift.

You won't enjoy any interest on your money though, while you'll also need to pay in £1,500 a month into the account or else pay a £10 fee for the privilege of having the 1st Account.

#4 – Free cinema tickets
If you hold a NatWest current account, you can see films for free! The bank holds Film First screenings, allowing you and a friend to see films up to two weeks before they go on general public release.

There's a new film showing every month – this month's is We Bought A Zoo, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. For more on the offer, check out the FilmFirst site.

#5 – Cashback on your direct debits
The new Santander 123 current account is unlike any other, as it pays cashback on a range of monthly bills paid via the account. So you'll earn 1% cashback on your water and Council Tax bills, 2% cashback on the money you spend on gas and electricity and 3% cashback on your communications spending (landline phone, mobile, broadband, TV packages, etc).

On top of that, the 123 account pays a market-leading rate of interest at 3%. However, to enjoy that rate you'll need to have more than £3,000 in the account. If your balance falls to between £2,001 and £3,000 then the interest drops to 2%, while between £1,000 and £2,000 the rate falls to 1%.

What's more, the bank is chucking in the 123 credit card, which offers cashback on your spending, fee-free for the first year. With the card you earn 1% on the money you spend at the supermarket, 2% on money spent at department stores and 3% on fuel (capped at £9 a month).

There's also a monthly fee of £2 with the 123 account to consider. So it's not quite something for nothing, but it's pretty close!

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