Martin Lewis: Money Saving Expert explains how to claim £175 with switch current bank account offers

  • Money Saving Expert highlights three accounts that will give you £175 when you switch
  • Enjoy other bonuses like cashback, high-interest savings and no foreign exchange fees
  • Learn the criteria for qualifying for these enticing bank bonuses
  • Make sure you use the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) for a seamless transition

Martin LewisMoney Saving Expert has outlined three ways you could get £175 for free, just by switching your bank account.

Banks compete fiercely for customers, and so many of them offer enticing “free cash” incentives to attract new customers and encourage them to switch their current accounts.

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Even though the banks pay out the cash incentives - which are sometimes affectionately referred to as “legal bribes” - they expect to recoup this money through other services, such as loans or credit cards.

To qualify for most bonuses, new customers often need to do certain things, like setting up direct debits or maintaining a certain level of account activity. Here are three accounts that will give you £175 for switching, and all the information you need to know.

Santander Edge

What do you get?

Alongside the £175, by switching to the Santander Edge account, you can earn up to £20 a month cashback for a monthly £3 fee.

You can get 1% cashback on bills (like energy, council tax, broadband, TV, mobile, and water), up to £10 a month, as well as earning 1% cashback on spending at supermarkets, petrol stations and train travel – again, up to £10 a month.

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Additionally, there’s a linked saver account that pays 7% interest on balances up to £4,000 for the first year. At maximum balance, this translates to around £270 in interest annually.

The Edge debit card also doesn’t charge foreign exchange fees when used abroad, ensuring you get a competitive exchange rate.

How do you get it?

  • Open an account online or in-branch (you can also switch to an existing Santander Edge or Edge Up account)
  • Within 60 days, switch in an account from a different bank, set up 2+ Direct Debits, and deposit £1,500 or more
  • The bonus will be paid between 60 and 90 days after starting the switch

Note: To qualify for the bonus, you must not have received a switch bonus from Santander before, and you need to be switching from a non-Santander, Cahoot or Cater Allen account

Santander customers can also apply for the Edge credit card, which offers an impressive 2% cashback on most UK and overseas spending (up to £15 per month). Just remember to pay off the card in full each month to avoid the 29.8% representative APR interest.

(Photos: Getty Images)(Photos: Getty Images)
(Photos: Getty Images) | Getty Images

First Direct 1st Account

What do you get?

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First Direct’s 1st Account offers more than just free £175 switch cash and top service (Money Saving Expert have given it a 91% 'great' rating) - you’ll also have access to a linked regular saver account that pays 7% interest on balances up to £300 per month.

Many customers can also enjoy an ongoing £250 overdraft with 0% interest, and when spending abroad or making ATM withdrawals, the debit card doesn’t charge any fees.

How do you get it?

  • Open the account through the First Direct app (or online for joint accounts)
  • Switch in an account from a different bank, ensuring it has 2+ Direct Debits or standing orders
  • Within 30 days of opening the account, pay in at least £1,000, use your debit card at least 5 times and log in to online banking
  • The £175 bonus will be paid by the 20th of the following month

Note: You’re eligible for the bonus if you’ve never had any account with First Direct (such as a current account, credit card or mortgage. You also can’t have opened a current account with sister bank HSBC since January 2018.

Club Lloyds

What do you get?

Alongside its upfront £175 switch cash, the Club Lloyds account offers the option to choose a reward each year. You can pick from 12 months' Disney+ (with ads), six cinema tickets, a Coffee Club & Gourmet Society membership, or a subscription to a magazine.

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There is a £3 a month fee, but that’s waived if you pay in £2,000 or more, and you’ll also be given access to a linked regular saver account with a fixed interest rate of 6.25% for a year on balances up to £400/month (which could earn you up to £161 in interest).

The same switch offer is available for the Club Lloyds Silver account (which includes insurance benefits for £10 a month) and the more expensive Club Lloyds Platinum account (£21 a month).

How do you get it?

  • Open the account online, by phone, or in-branch
  • Switch in an account from a different bank, ensuring it has 3+ Direct Debits
  • The £175 bonus will be paid within 10 working days of starting the switch

Note: You’re eligible if you haven’t received switch cash from Lloyds, Bank of Scotland or Halifax since April 2020.

Things to remember

To qualify for switch bonuses, you’ll need to close your old account using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS). Your new bank will automatically transfer all payments, Direct Debits and standing orders to your new account.

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Before switching, consider downloading a few years’ statements from your old bank in case you need them later.

You must use the official CASS to qualify for these offers, and the accounts you're switching between must be with different banks. More information on switching accounts through CASS can be found at currentaccountswitch.co.uk.

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