You see it in the news, on TV, on Facebook and just about everywhere else; switch your current account and you could get £100 / a pair of Bose headphones / some vouchers towards a holiday / blah blah blah. The problem with these adverts and the accounts they show off though is that they often come with caveats, such as 0% interest on your balance once you’ve switched, no option to open a regular saver, or some obscene pay in / direct debit requirement that you’ll struggle to ever meet.
So with that in mind, over the last few days I’ve been looking at all of the options out there, and I’m now here to present to you my best pick out of the lot:
£306.25 to switch to Nationwide!
Nationwide’s Flex Direct account has been around for a few years now, but mostly floats under the radar due to a lack of non-financial benefits for holding the account (think phone insurance, travel insurance, cinema tickets etc.). What it does however are the following financial incentives:
- An initial £100 for switching to Nationwide, if you:
- Transfer an account with at least 2 active direct debits
- Are referred by an existing customer (that’s where I come in handy!)
- 5% interest on a balance of up to £2,500 (this equates to a maximum of £10.42 per month or £125 per year) for the first 12 months
- Access to a 5% regular saver, into which you can pay up to £250 per month (giving you up to £81.25 interest at the end of the year)
- Bonus: the ability to refer others to Nationwide, netting you £100 per referral, as well as £100 for the people you refer
So not only does this account get you over £300 at no expense to you, but it also lets you earn a bunch more money on top if you’ve got some friends to refer! Even without referrals though, this account does much better than the next best option of around £280 from the HSBC Advance Bank Account (something I’ll be writing about a little later), and that one doesn’t even feature a referral scheme.
Now given that this is a product that pays you money, there are of course a plethora of requirements in order to qualify for the above bonuses. Don’t worry though, they’re thankfully very straightforward:
- You’re only eligible to these introductory perks once, according to the website (though many have found / been told by Nationwide that they become eligible again after a 12 month hiatus)
- You have to pay in at least £1,000 per month (which, if you need to, you can easily achieve by setting up a standing order of £1,000 in and out of the account every month, so long as it’s going to / from a non-Nationwide account)
- You must switch from a non-Nationwide account to benefit from the £100 referral bonus, and be referred by an existing customer
- Anything else listed on the product page or in the terms and conditions
Finally, I should point out some of the drawbacks to this particular account:
- After 12 months you’ll lose that headline 5% interest rate, as well as the regular saver, but I’d always recommend switching again then anyway
- Their desktop online banking looks like it was made in the 90’s (but on the plus side, their mobile app is great)
- Between the referral and the switch, you might have to wait a few weeks for the initial £100 bonus (though this applies to all referral and switch based bonuses on all accounts anyway)
Additionally, if you’re not able to keep a balance of £2,500 and save £250 a month for the first 12 months (meaning you’ll have a total of at least £5,500 held in the account by the end of the 12 month period), you’re obviously going to lose some money. You’ll still get the £100 referral bonus, but may get reduced interest or even no interest at all for certain periods, depending on what you can afford to save, so it’s worth shopping around for an alternative if this sounds like you (again, I’ll be doing write ups on other accounts in the near future).
So if you’re interested in earning over £300 for very little effort (and getting some money back from the banks while you’re at it), just fill out this form and I’ll send you over a referral!