Banks offer £250 incentive: should you switch?

Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks are offering the largest-ever bank switching bonus. But is it worth switching?

Banks offer £250 incentive: should you switch?

Banks use current account switching bonuses as a way of enticing new customers. The latest bung from Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank is worth a whopping £250.

So how does it compare to other top switching offers on the market?

Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank – £250 cash bonus

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks have launched 'A Big Hello' £250 bonus for new and existing customers that switch to its range of current accounts.

These include the Readycash, Private, Current Account Plus, Current Account Control, Signature Current Account and the app-based B account.

The B account is the most interesting fee-free account, as it also offers 0.25% interest on credit balances up to £2,000.

The switch must be completed using the Current Account Switch Service, which will transfer all Direct Debits and Standing Orders and close your old account.

To qualify for the offer, you must also have two active Direct Debits and credit the account with £1,000 for two consecutive months after completing the switch.

The £250 will be paid within 70 calendar days of your account switch completing, which is a pretty long time to wait.

Already a customer, or simply not for you? Here are some alternatives to consider.

HSBC – £200 cash bonus

The £200 bonus is paid in two parts: £150 within 30 days of you opening the account, and £50 if you stick around for 12 months.

While the £1,750 monthly deposit is pretty strict compared to other banks, the account does have a few nifty perks.

For starters, you'll get £250 off booking fees on HSBC mortgages. You'll also get access to its Regular Saver account, which pays 5% on monthly deposits of up to £250. That means at least some of your savings will be beating inflation.

The offer ends on 26 November.

M&S Bank – £185 in gift cards

Sadly, it's not a cash reward, but you can pocket £185 in M&S vouchers when you join M&S Bank and stay for 12 months.

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.

A £125 switching bonus will appear in your account once everything is wrapped up.

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 cash bonus

Halifax is offering a £125 bonus for customers who 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.

The 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.

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 Ultimate Reward Account is a packaged account including multi-trip family travel insurance and mobile insurance. It costs £15 a month.

You'll need to hurry as the offer ends on 13 November.

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 our comparison centre.

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