Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert warns you could miss out on up to £175 of free money from the banks


FOUR major banks are offering change bonuses to customers – and you could earn up to £175 from them.

Martin Lewis’ revealed the four banks in its weekly newsletter.


A number of banks offer switching bonusesCredit: Getty

They include First Direct, NatWest, Nationwide and Virgin Money.

Switching bonuses are regularly offered to customers in an attempt to dissuade them from one bank to another.

But there are usually terms and conditions attached that consumers should be aware of.

Below we reveal what each bank offers and what you need to do to get your money.

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Direct premiere

The bank offers £175 to new customers who switch to its 1st account.

But you have to open an account and pay £1,000 or more in the first three months.

Once you have done this, the £175 will be paid within 28 days.

You also won’t be able to make the change if it’s from an HSBC or First Direct account.

Customers upgrading to the First Direct 1st account will get interest-free arranged overdrafts on any balance up to £250.


The bank is offering new and existing customers £175 if they switch to a NatWest Reward or RBS Reward account.

NatWest and RBS belong to the NatWest group.

Customers will also be able to pocket £36 a year in cashback, but accounts come with a fee of £2 a month.

If you don’t want to pay the fee, you can open a new NatWest Select or RBS Select account instead – and you’ll still get the £175 cash bonus.

One thing to keep in mind is that you will not be eligible for the switch bonus if you have already switched to a NatWest or RBS account since October 2017.

You must also switch from a non-NatWest account if you switch to NatWest, and from a non-RBS account if you switch to them.

The deadline to upgrade to a NatWest account is 5 p.m. Nov. 3 and 5 p.m. Oct. 20 for RBS.

Additionally, you must pay £1,250 or more and use mobile banking by December 16 to get a bonus through a NatWest account and December 2 for an RBS account.

If you’ve done this, you’ll get the £175 by January 12 for NatWest and January 29 for RBS.

At national scale

The building society is offering new customers £100 if they switch to a FlexDirect account and existing customers £125.

However, you must make two direct debits and start a change within 30 days of opening the account.

Once you have done this, the bonus should be paid out within 10 days.

Nationwide FlexDirect account starters will get interest-free overdrafts on balances up to £2,750 for the first year the account is opened.

Remember, though, that an interest-free overdraft should only be used for emergencies or to tide you over if you’ve had a costly month.

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First-timers who upgrade to a Virgin Money M Plus account get 25% cash back on UK supermarkets and spend up to £160 a month for two months.

You must open an M Plus Saver account online or via the app, pay £1,000 or more, make two direct debits and sign up for Virgin Money cashback using the mobile app, all within 45 days .

You should then receive an email within 14 days confirming that you are eligible for cashback and can withdraw the £1000 if you wish.

How to change bank account?

Switching bank accounts is easy – just open your new account and the new bank will notify your existing account that you are moving.

This is done using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) and overall the whole process should take about a week.

You do not have to move the direct debits because the CASS should do it for you.

However, there are steps you can take before switching to make the process smoother.

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You can choose your changeover date, organize the transfer of your old bank statements to the new account.

You can contact your bank to retrieve old statements.


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