Banks now offer up to £200 if you switch current account

The current account switching battle has heated up again, with both HSBC and Halifax offering cash incentives to move.

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Banks now offer up to £200 if you switch current account

There's never been a more rewarding time to switch your current account as providers battle it out to attract new customers.

The latest move comes from Halifax, which has brought back its £125 switching offer for those that move to its Current Account, Reward Current Account or Ultimate Reward Account for a limited period.

This follows HSBC, which last week launched an impressive £200 switching bonus for switchers to its Advance and Premier accounts, the largest payout on the market right now. However, you'll need to stick with the account for at least 12 months to get the full amount.

Here are the top switching bonuses around if you're thinking about making a move.

Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank is offering a whopping £150 when you switch to the Standard Current Account or Smile Current Account (web only).

With the Standard Current Account, you can also sign up to its Everyday Rewards programme, which allows you to earn up to £5.50 a month.

You'll get £4 a month just for opting in plus you can earn 5p per debit card transaction you make throughout the month up to a maximum of £1.50. So in just one year you could pocket a total of £216 from the bank.

To benefit from Everyday Rewards you'll need to be able to pay in at least £800 a month, stay in credit, maintain four direct debits, log into online or mobile banking at least once during the month and stay opted in for paperless statements.

The Smile Current Account doesn't come with Everyday Rewards but it does give you an automatic £500 overdraft, however it's not interest free and all borrowing attracts interest at 18.9%.

To qualify for the £150 bonus with either account, you will need to complete a full switch using the Current Account Switch Service and set up at least four active direct debits. The bonus will be paid into your account within 45 days.

HSBC

Switch to HSBC's Advance or Premier current account and you'll bag £200, although you'll only get £150 upfront. The rest will appear in your bank account if you stay with HSBC for 12 months. And as with many other bonuses, you must move your account over using the Current Account Switch Service.

Watch out for the other conditions too, as you'll need to earn a few bob to benefit from the switch. Firstly, you have to deposit a minimum of £1,750 a month into your account to reap the reward, meaning that you need an income of at least £26,250 a year to have enough left over after tax and National Insurance each month.

Customers are also required to register for online or mobile banking within the first 60 days of opening the account and to transfer at least two active direct debits within the first 30 days.

If that's all fine with you, make sure you sign up before July 10.

Halifax

Halifax has brought back its £125 switching offer for those that move to its Current Account, Reward Current Account or Ultimate Reward Account.

The Reward Current Account is a great one to go for as it also pays £5 a month (as long as you deposit at least £750 each month, have two direct debits set up and stay in credit). That means in your first year you could pocket a whopping £185 from the account.

You can also earn as you spend on your debit card with a scheme called Cashback Extras, which allows you to earn money when you shop at certain retailers online or in store.

The £125 bonus will be paid into your account with three days of completing a switch when you use the Current Account Switch Service to transfer and close your old account.

You will need to act quickly though as the offer is only available until July 18.

First Direct

First Direct offers a £100 incentive to those that open its 1st Account and pay in at least £1,000 within three months.

There's a £10 monthly fee for the account after six months unless you pay in at least £1,000 a month or hold another First Direct product.

The account comes with a £250 interest-free overdraft, exclusive access to leading rates on loans and savings, plus an award-winning level of customer service with real people on hand 24/7.

It also comes with a satisfaction guarantee. First Direct promises to pay £100 to those unhappy with the account and decide to leave within a year of joining.

M&S Bank

M&S Bank offers a £100 M&S gift card when you sign up to the M&S Current Account or M&S Premium Current Account that you can spend in store or online.

The fee-free M&S Current Account gives you access to a best buy monthly savings account paying 6%, preferential rates on other products like loans and travel money, £100 fee-free overdraft and the chance to earn M&S Loyalty points each time you spend.

The M&S Premium Current Account offers all that plus a range of other benefits for a £10 monthly fee. With the account you can get £212-worth of vouchers a year, a birthday gift worth £10, preferential rates on selected products, access to exclusive offers and triple points in M&S stores and online.

Finding the best deal

When switching current account, it's important to consider what your long-term needs are as well as the short-term gains a cash or voucher bonus can provide.

Other accounts like the Santander 123 Current Account and TSB Classic Plus Account for example offer decent levels of interest that could provide more value in the long term, and not just give your bank balance a quick boost

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