Free wine and cash among rewards offered for switching current accounts

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

Current account customers could get a free case of wine, or cash, or perhaps slash the cost of their overdraft and boost their savings returns by choosing a new deal, analysis of the market has found.

Financial information website Moneyfacts said current account switching perks appear to be making a comeback.

Moneyfacts said it is always worth customers reviewing their current account to see if it is working hard enough for them.

While interest rates are generally low, there may be some perks which appeal to people.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “One of the best deals on the market for consumers looking for a high interest rate is from Virgin Money – on its current account, savers will earn 2.02% on balances up to £1,000, the overdraft charges 19.9%, around 20% less than some other alternatives on the market – and if consumers switch using the Cass (Current Account Switch Service) they will get a free case of wine.”

The 12-bottle case, available to customers aged 18 and over, will be delivered by Virgin Wines, plus a £50 donation to charity can be made through Virgin Money Giving. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic options are available.

Switchers can choose to support a range of good causes, from larger household-name charities to thousands of smaller organisations.

Charities saw donations drop by 16% in the second half of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, according to Virgin Money Giving data.

As with perks offered by other providers, terms and conditions apply in order to qualify for the deal.

Meanwhile, HSBC UK is offering £125 in cash to customers switching to its Advance or Premier current accounts using the Cass.

Moneyfacts also highlighted an overdraft offered by Starling Bank.

Ms Springall said: “Overdraft tariffs have changed since the flat fee ban came into place in April 2020, so, for any banking customer who may dip into the red, one of the best tariffs comes from Starling Bank as it charges 15%.”

She added: “It is too soon to tell whether we will see any more switching offers launch in the weeks to come, as providers may still be assessing their ranges in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whatever consumers decide to do, switching by using the Cass is worth contemplating but they must be sure any account suits their overall banking needs and not to be swayed by a perk alone.”

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