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Current account switching competition heats up

Current account switching competition heats up

Category: Banking

Updated: 23/10/2017
First Published: 23/10/2017

A few months ago, it looked as though competition in the current account market was beginning to wane, with switching incentives being cut and additional perks pared back. However, things appear to be getting back on track, with cash incentives of up to £250 now readily available for those seeking a better bank account.

Rising competition

Providers have been regularly tweaking their accounts in recent weeks, with many adding to their range of perks and rewards in an attempt to snap up your business. This can range from cashback (such as when you shop on the high street, arrange a mortgage or set up a direct debit) to switching incentives, so it's worthwhile taking a look at the offers available with each account - ideally by heading to our Best Buys - to see if you can benefit.

The latest provider to launch a cash incentive is Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, with a fantastic £250 now on offer to those who switch using the Current Account Switch Service. A few conditions apply - you need to fully switch within 31 days of initial instruction, must hold two direct debits and need to credit the account with £1,000 for the next two consecutive 31-day periods - but if you're thinking of switching current account and want the best possible cash reward for doing so, this could be a great option.

However, it isn't the only possibility, as the table below shows. For example, HSBC's incentive adds up to £200 if you hold the account for more than a year, and with M&S Bank you can accrue rewards worth £185 after the first 12 months, so it could pay to shop around to see if any of these deals meet your requirements.

Selection of providers with upfront switching cash incentives Switching cashback
first direct 1st Account £100
Halifax Reward Current Account £125
HSBC Advance Bank Account £150 + £50 in 12 months
M&S Bank Current Account £125 gift card + £5 top up p/m
Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks (any) £250

"It's great to see such an enticing incentive on offer from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank," commented Rachel Springall, finance expert at moneyfacts.co.uk. "This significant amount of cash could easily come in handy for anyone already considering the cost of Christmas, not to mention sway those waiting for a big enough cash perk to switch.

"It is still worthwhile for customers to compare the entirety of the current account structure before they commit, as it is essential they make sure it covers their everyday needs."

Time to switch?

If you've been thinking about changing your current account, now could be a great time to do so. It isn't only the cash rewards that are worth considering, either - if anything, these should be secondary to the account's other features, but with providers still vying for your business, you're sure to find plenty of suitable options.

For example, many offer high in-credit interest rates which could make them a viable place to squirrel away your hard-earned savings, while others offer a package of benefits such as travel insurance, gadget cover and preferential mortgage and loan rates, and some offer low overdraft rates for those who regularly dip into the red.

It's all about comparing the options to see which one works best for you and your needs, and then all you've got to do is switch! The Current Account Switch Guarantee means this should be a completely hassle-free process, so you needn't worry about the time or hassle involved. Find out more about how to switch current account here, and check out our current account Best Buys to see if it's time to make the most of rising competition.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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