Halifax ups switching bonus: is it a good deal and can you beat it?

Halifax has increased its switching bonus to £125 while paying out monthly rewards. So how does it stack up against other offers?

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Banks have often used current account switching bonuses as a way of enticing new customers.

The latest is from Halifax, which promises to give you £125 for switching (increased from £75), and pay you monthly rewards.

Despite the increase, there are still more generous offers out there, which we'll take a look at below.

Note we've ordered the accounts based on how much money you can get up front.

HSBC – £150

You can now get £150 for opening a new HSBC Advance or HSBC Premier account and switching a minimum of two Direct Debits or Standing Orders using the Current Account Switching Service within 30 days.

If you register for mobile or online banking within 60 days and keep your account for 12 months, you'll get a further £50. As part of the switching incentive you will also get a six-month interest-free overdraft.

The HSBC Advance account offers a £1,000 overdraft, preferential rates on savings accounts and no cash fees on ATM withdrawals abroad. However, you'll need to be able to pay in £1,750 a month in order to qualify for this account.

The Premier account is only available to people that earn at least £100,000 and have a HSBC product or that have savings or investments worth £50,000 with HSBC.

The account offers worldwide travel insurance for you and your family, preferential rates on HSBC products, £500 interest-free overdraft and a dedicated relationship manager.

The offer ends 23 July.

M&S Bank – £125

Sadly, it's not a cash reward, but you can pocket £125 in M&S vouchers when you join M&S Bank.

You just need to switch to the M&S Current Account or M&S Premium Current Account using the Current Account Switch Service and move a minimum of two active Direct Debits.

You can then get a £5 top up on the gift card each month that a minimum of £1,000 is paid into your account and two Direct Debits remain active, for up to 12 months after you switch.

So that's a total of £185 in year one – provided you meet all the criteria.

The fee-free M&S Current Account gives you access to a monthly savings account paying 5%, £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 in return for a £10 monthly fee.

With the account, you can get yearly vouchers worth £95 including a birthday gift worth £10, 48 hot drink vouchers per year worth £127, preferential rates on selected products, access to exclusive offers and triple points in M&S stores and online.

Halifax – £125 up front

Halifax offers a £125 switching incentive to new customers that switch to its Reward Current Account or Ultimate Reward Account.

The Reward Current Account is a good option as it also pays £3 a month (as long as you deposit at least £750 each month, have two direct debits set up and stay in credit). So after one year you could have earned £161.

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 after you've completed the switch when you use the Current Account Switch Service to transfer and close your old account.

Co-operative Bank – £110 up front

The Co-operative Bank will pay you £110 when you switch to its Standard Current Account.

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 £176 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.

To qualify for the £110 bonus, 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.

First Direct – £100

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 that decide to leave within a year of joining.

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 TSB Classic Account and the Santander 123 Current 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

You can compare the benefits and features of the top current accounts by visiting a comparison centre.