Get £200 paid into your account – free cash for switching bank

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As the cost of living rockets, the opportunity to get more than £200 in just a few minutes is not to be sneezed at. You could get up to five percent interest on your savings, too.

Banks are competing to win new customers by offering current account cashback incentives for switching bank.

Four leading banks and building societies will now pay you cash if you switch your everyday banking to them, and fulfill certain criteria.

Building society Nationwide raised the stakes on Monday, by handing new customers a one-off upfront payment of £200. This market-leading bonus is paid when applicants transfer from their existing bank to one of three of its current accounts.

This comes hard on the heels of Lloyds Bank, which launched a £150 switcher incentive on September 21.

First Direct and NatWest both offer £175 to new customers, although a similar offer from Santander has just been withdrawn, after strong demand.

In tough times, many find the chance to claim free money too hard to resist.

These switcher incentives are typically only available to new customers who switch from their old bank account using the seven-day Current Account Switch Service (CASS). They are not open to recent or existing customers, though.

Always check the rules to see what you have to do, for example, you might have to pay a set sum into the new account, and set up two active direct debits.

To qualify for the £200 Nationwide bonus, new customers must switch their current account with another building society or a bank to either its FlexAccount or FlexDirect current accounts.

They can also claim the bonus when switching to its FlexPlus packaged current account, which includes benefits including worldwide family travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, UK and European breakdown cover and commission-free overseas use. This account has a fee, though, of £13 per month.

New customers can complete their switch online through the Nationwide website, via its internet bank or mobile banking app.

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Nationwide FlexDirect pays five percent increase interest on your in-credit balance. That is an attractive rate but is only paid on a maximum of £1,500 for just 12 months. After that, it falls to 0.25 percent.

Customers also need to switch at least two active direct debits, and pay at least £1,000 a month into the account.

Nationwide’s director of banking and savings Tom Riley said switching has never been easier due to CASS, which switches all of your balance, direct debits, standing orders and salary commitments free of charge within seven days

Riley said: “Current account members will also have exclusive access to Flex Instant Saver, where the rate has been doubled to two percent a year.”

The Lloyds Bank £150 switcher offer, its largest ever, applies to customers switching from another bank to a Club Lloyds Account or Club Lloyds Platinum Account before November 14.

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New Club Lloyds customers can choose from a range of lifestyle benefits including cinema tickets, magazine downloads and movie streaming. They will earn interest on balances under £5,000 and cashback when shopping at select retailers.

NatWest switchers must apply online or by app before 5pm on November 3, deposit £1,250 and log into its mobile banking app before December 16.

First Direct switchers must deposit £1,000 within three months of opening their new current account, which includes a £250 interest-free overdraft

The popular bank is owned by HSBC, and the offer excludes new customers who have opened an HSBC current account on or after January 1, 2019.

New First Direct customers also get access to its Regular Saver Account, which pays interest of 3.50 percent.

Banking expert Andrew Hagger of MoneyComms said before switching, make sure you actually qualify for the account in question, as criteria differ.

Also, check which extras you really need and which you do not. “If you never go overdrawn, a £250 overdraft facility is pointless.”

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