Would £125 tempt you to switch bank current accounts?

NatWest offers free cash in bid to lure customers frustrated by rivals’ IT problems

The battle to attract current account customers is hotting up, with several banks now offering freebies. On Wednesday, NatWest announced it will give £125 to new and existing customers switching their main bank account. The offer runs until 3 December.

There are a few conditions – for example, switchers are required to use the industry’s Current Account Switch Service, close their existing account with their current provider, and move their main account over.

Meanwhile, Barclays says customers who move to it using the switch service before 14 November will get double Barclays Blue Rewards for 12 months, receiving up to £30 a month or £360 over the year.

To benefit from Blue Rewards, people need to have a suitable Barclays account, pay in £800 every month, have monthly direct debits and pay a monthly £3 fee.

Barclays Blue Rewards customers receive cash payments, as well as for holding certain products such as a mortgage and home insurance, plus cashback from its retail partners.

The deals come at a time when some people may be feeling tempted to switch – for example, they may have been affected by one of the recent IT hitches, or may have fewer perks with their current provider.

In recent weeks many people have been left frustrated by technical problems with online banking, with Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest, Barclays and HSBC among those affected. TSB also suffered a huge IT meltdown earlier this year.

In June, First Direct, which regularly tops customer satisfaction surveys, replaced a cash offer to switch with a choice of gifts.

The new offers come as Halifax has cut the monthly reward payment on its Reward account from £3 to £2.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, says the Halifax’s move may be making providers rethink their incentives.

She says there are other options for current account customers: “For instance, the Co-op Bank pays £4 net a month when customers meet certain eligibility criteria, plus up to £1.50 a month on top when using their debit card, which totals £66 in the first year.”

Springall adds: “Consumers must make sure they weigh up all the benefits of a current account and make use of them, particularly if they are paying a monthly account fee.

“Free cash is a nice sweetener, but it doesn’t mean the account is offering the best possible package for someone’s circumstances.”

Contributors

Vicky Shaw and Rupert Jones

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Lloyds offers £100 to tempt new customers to paid-for current accounts
Qualifying accounts are £3-a-month Club Lloyds or Club Lloyds Platinum, costing £21 a month but with benefits

Miles Brignall

11, Sep, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
M&S Bank to shut all current accounts and in-store branches
Customers will have to look for new bank as focus turns to credit cards and other services

Rupert Jones

06, Mar, 2021 @7:00 AM

Article image
Are packaged current accounts still worth it?
As Nationwide downgrades its FlexPlus account, customers need to weigh up value of added extras

Miles Brignall

07, Sep, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
Monzo is ‘one of the best’ ethical current accounts
App-based challenger bank comes out on top of rankings by Ethical Consumer, along with Triodos and the Ecology

Rupert Jones

19, May, 2018 @6:00 AM

Article image
Starling Bank attracts switchers as Tesco plans to shut current accounts
App-based lender emerges as biggest winner in new figures, with Virgin Money also making sizeable gains

Rupert Jones

31, Jul, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
JP Morgan launches digital-only Chase current account in UK
Analyst believes offering from US bank ‘will blow the competition out of the water’

Miles Brignall

25, Sep, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
Switch bank accounts now if you want best freebies, consumers told
Financial data firm Moneyfacts says some of the £100-£130 cash incentives are ending soon

Miles Brignall

27, Nov, 2021 @7:00 AM

Article image
Co-op Bank is up for sale – is it time to leave?
Its ethical values and cooperative approach are under threat. We look at what it means for its 1.4 million current account customers, and at the alternatives

Patrick Collinson

18, Feb, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
The best current account deals for bank switchers
As market leader Santander increases the cost of its 123 account, we look at the other high street options

Rupert Jones

19, Sep, 2015 @6:00 AM

Article image
Complaints soar as packaged current accounts fail to deliver
Which? reports a ‘worrying’ rise in customers unhappy with paid-for bank accounts

Samantha Partington

27, Sep, 2014 @6:00 AM