Now you can get even more cash to join First Direct

The popular bank has boosted the switching bonus on its 1st Account

Updated: 
The popular bank has boosted the switching bonus on its 1st Account

First Direct has increased the switching incentive on its 1st Account to £125, up from £100.

With this move, the bank hopes to entice people who are dissatisfied with their current provider.

However, be aware that you have to pay in at least £1,000 a month for the first three months in order to get the bonus. You'll also need to either pay in £1,000 a month, or keep an average balance above £1,000 in the account, or take out another First Direct product such as a savings account, credit card, loan or mortgage, otherwise you'll have to pay a £10 monthly fee. This fee is automatically waived for the first six months you have the account.

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How it compares to other current accounts

Though that £125 incentive seems rather appealing, how does the 1st Account compare to the other current accounts out there? We've rounded up some of the most competitive deals on the market to help you make up your mind.
Product and providerInterest Rate (AER)Authorised overdraftAnnual feeSwitching incentiveMinimum monthly depositPerks
Nationwide FlexDirect Account5% interest rate for first year on balances up to £2,500, 1% thereafterFree for 12 months, 50p a day thereafterNoneNone£1,000Access to exclusive products

You'll get a refund for the first accidental overdraft fees you incur
TSB Classic Plus Account5% on balances up to £2,00019.94% and
£6 per month
NoneNone£500Commission-free foreign currency and non-sterling travellers cheques
Access to exclusive products
Lloyds Bank Club Lloyds Current Account4% on balances between £4,000 and £5,000; 2% on balances between £2,000 and £3,999.99; 1% on balances between £1 and £1,999.99Free for 3 months, 50p a day thereafterNoneNone£1,000
(A £5 monthly fee will be charged if you don't have this amount in your account)
Choose an annual lifestyle benefit from:
Six Vue cinema tickets
An annual magazine subscription
Annual Gourmet Society membership
Santander 123 Current Account3% on balances between £3,000-£20,000; 2% on balances between £2,000 and £2,999.99; 1% on balances between £1,000 and £1,999.99£1 a day£24
(£2 per month)
None£5001% cashback on water and council tax bills, 2% cashback on gas and electricity bills and 3% cashback on mobile and home phone bills, broadband and TV packages
Access to exclusive products
Tesco Bank Current Account3% on balances up to £3,00018.9%£5 per month if £750 minimum deposit not met None£750Collect extra Clubcard points in and out of Tesco with your debit card. One point for every £4 spent in Tesco and one point for every £8 spent out of Tesco in each card purchase transaction.
Bank of Scotland Classic Account with Vantage3% on balances of £3,000-£5,000; 2% on balances of £1,000-£2,999.99; 1.5% on balances of £1-£999.9919.94%NoneNone£1,000Earn up to 15% cashback with Everyday Offers and the chance to win one of your purchases back up to the value of £500 on a monthly basis with 'It's on Us'
Yorkshire Bank Current Account Direct2%9.9% and £6 per monthNone£150£1,000£150 switching bonus when you use the Current Account Switch Service and credit the account with £1,000 within 31 calendar days following your switch completion
Clydesdale Bank Current Account Direct2%9.90% EAR
and
£6
per month
None£150£1,000£150 switching bonus when you use the Current Account Switch Service and credit the account with £1,000 within 31 calendar days following your switch completion
First Direct 1st Account0%15.9%£120 (£10 per month) if £1,000 monthly deposit is not made or you don't keep £1,000 in the account or you don't hold another First Direct product£125None (£1,000 if you want to avoid £10 fee and don't meet other criteria)£125 switching bonus, providing you pay in £1,000 a month for first three months
If you're not happy banking with First Direct after six and within 12 months, First Direct will help you move banks and pay you £100 for your trouble
Access to exclusive products
The Co-operative Bank Current Account Plus0%18.9%None£100£800£100 switching incentive plus £25 charitable donation when you use the Current Account Switching Service, pay in at least £800 into the account within 31 days and set up two active direct debits
Access to exclusive products
The Co-operative Bank Current Account0%18.9%None£100None£100 switching incentive plus £25 charitable donation when you use the Current Account Switching Service, pay in at least £800 into the account within 31 days and set up two active direct debits
Access to exclusive products
NatWest Select Account0%19.89% and £6 per monthNoneNoneNoneEarn a minimum of 1% cashback at selected retailers and an additional 1% on contactless purchases
Access £300 emergency cash from NatWest/RBS ATMs if your debit card is lost or stolen.
Royal Bank of Scotland Select Current Account0%19.89% and £6 per monthNoneNoneNoneEarn a minimum of 1% cashback at selected retailers and an additional 1% on contactless purchases
Access £300 emergency cash from NatWest/RBS ATMs if your debit card is lost or stolen.


Even though the switching incentive seems pretty appealing, it's worth noting that both Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank are both offering a higher switching bonus of £150 and both pay credit interest of 2% on balances up to £2,000.

Top-notch customer service

Though the 1st Account doesn't beat its competitors in terms of interest rates, First Direct is always top dog when it comes to customer service. You can see this from the generous £100 offer it makes if you decide to switch away from it to another bank in the second six months you have your account.

First Direct is continually winning awards for its high standard of customer service. The bank beat market favourite Lush in September 2014's Which? customer service survey with an impressive 87%. Scores were based on customers feeling valued, knowledge of products and services, helpfulness of staff, resolving problems or complaints and access the customer support.

It also topped last year's Nunwood Customer Experience Survey of 250 top UK brands, knocking John Lewis off the number one spot.

Does the enhanced bonus make you want to bank with First Direct? Let us know in the comments below.

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