HOUSEHOLDS have just days left to get £200 paid directly into their accounts this winter.
Thousands can give themselves a free cash boost by switching their current accounts and getting a sign-up bonus.
HSBC is currently offering those who switch to an advance account £200 in free cash – but you’ll have to be quick.
The high street bank has announced that anyone who wants to switch will need to do so by midnight on Thursday, December 22 to get the offer.
To be eligible for the free cash, customers have to make the switch using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).
You’ll need to start the switching process within 30 days of opening the new account.
Customers will also need to set up two direct debits or standing orders and pay in £1,500 in the first 60 days to ensure they get the free cash.
But once this is done you should receive the £200 within 20 days – meaning you could boost your household’s income by hundreds into the new year.
The Advance account comes with no fees but you’ll be charged if you go into your overdraft.
The first £25 of any arranged overdraft is interest-free, plus the bank is offering thousands of customers the chance to extend that to £500 for 12 months.
New customers can also deposit up to £10,000 in a 3% easy-access savings account.
This would mean that if you saved £1,000 over 12 months you could expect to earn £30 in interest – save more and you’ll get more back.
But bear in mind this interest rate could change and if you withdraw any money in that 12-month period you’ll get less back.
Banks use switching bonuses to entice new customers on to their books.
Free cash, vouchers, cashback and exclusive savings rates are usually up for grabs.
What other banks offer free cash?
First Direct is offering new customers £175 if they make the switch, plus £20 just for opening the account.
To get the £20 you just have to open a new 1st Account and use mobile or online banking within three months of doing so.
The £20 in free cash is then paid directly into the account within four months.
To get the £175, you have to open a First Direct 1st Account and switch to another account into it within three months.
You’ll also need to pay a minimum of £1,000 into the new account – and you can expect to get the £175 in free cash within 28 days.
Halifax is also offering £175 to customers who switch to its Reward Account.
You just have to open it and start the switch by Monday, December 19 – so you’ll have to be quick to secure this deal.
The bonus is then paid within three days of switch completion.
But remember, free cash shouldn’t be the single switching draw and if you’d benefit more from other account perks it’s best to go the other way.
For example, if you’re a frequent traveller, Nationwide FlexPlus account holders get £500 travel, mobile and breakdown cover for just £13 a month.
How do I switch bank account?
It’s easy to switch your bank account using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).
You don’t have to remember to move direct debits over when moving as it does this everything for you.
All you have to do is apply for the new account you want and the new bank will let your existing provider know you’re moving.
There are some steps you can take before switching though, such as choosing your switch date, or organising transferring your old bank statements to your new account.
To get your old statements you should get in touch with your bank.
How to find the best bank accounts
If you’re not fussed by the free cash perks and are more interested in other benefits of switching, don’t waste time looking at individual banking sites – it’ll take you an eternity.
Research websites like MoneyFacts.co.uk and price comparison websites such as Compare the Market, Go Compare and MoneySupermarket will help save you time and show you the best rates available.
These sites let you tailor your searches to an account type that suits you.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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