Martin Lewis reveals top bank accounts to switch to
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New customers looking to switch their current account could be tempted by the latest Nationwide Building Society’s sweetener of £100 to switch to its FlexAccount, FlexDirect, or added value account FlexPlus. Existing members who currently have a mortgage or savings account with the bank won’t miss out either, they’ll get a £125 switching bonus if they decide to move their current account over as well.
Savvy savers looking for the best bank switching offers of 2021, have three Nationwide accounts to choose from, all offering different rates and benefits.
The FlexAccount which is fee free, FlexDirect which offers a two percent AER – 1.98 percent gross a year – interest rate fixed for 12 months on balances up to £1,500 and the FlexPlus which costs £13 a month.
FlexPlus offers added benefits such as UK and European Breakdown Cover as well as travel and mobile insurance for families.
Switching bank accounts has become a lot easier now that most high street lenders are signed up to the Current Account Switch Service which is free for customers and ensures that all direct debits and upcoming payments are moved over within seven days.
Banks are offering exciting incentives to switch (Image: Getty)
It is a popular way for savvy consumers to get a better savings rate as well as earn free cash or other incentives for doing very little.
Now Nationwide has launched a new incentive to compete with its competitors and it is urging savvy savers to hurry because the deal will not be around forever, although it is not clear when this will actually come to an end.
What is also interesting is that the provider is rewarding its loyal customers with a slightly bigger cash prize of £125 when they move their current account to the lender.
To take advantage of this free cash incentive, customers can apply online and the Current Account Switch Guarantee ensures that the new bank will switch payments and transfer a balance, within just seven days. That will include all direct debits, standing orders and regular payments, such as wages.
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Customers do not need to close their old account either, it is all catered for under the current account switching service and there is no sales calls to try and convince customers to stay.
As there’s very little effect to a person’s credit score for switching bank accounts, it is not uncommon for savvy savers to continually switch banks looking to take advantage of these free cash incentives.
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis is a big fan of switching banks to get free cash and one couple have thanked him for his advice, saying they have made £1000 after following the tips in his weekly email.
Ian, 68, and Susan Dalglish, 63, from East Lothian, Scotland first got the taste for switching in 2017 when they switched to TSB bank and made £125.
What are the best and worst places to retire? (Image: Getty)
After finding it relatively simple, they have switched accounts a further six times since then and their bank balance is more than £1,000 healthier from switching bank accounts.
Now, the retired couple are urging others to take advantage of these free switching offers as they said they never experienced any major problems.
How to switch bank accounts:
Decide on a new account with a chosen bank and use that bank’s online switching process
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Any payments that are due to go into an old account will be moved to the new one automatically for the first three years. If something does go wrong, it is covered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee, so customers can contact their new bank for a refund.
Sweeteners like free cash can be tempting but what suits one person when it comes to choosing the best bank account might not suit another. Individuals are encouraged to consider aspects such as interest rates and overdraft fees – added benefits like free breakdown cover and home insurance are all well and good if they will be taken full advantage of.
It is also considered to be a good idea to make sure policies aren’t ‘doubled up’ and that consumers aren’t paying for things like travel insurance and mobile phone cover twice.
And it can be worth looking at the customer satisfaction ratings too, as well as considering whether the bank has a high street presence if this is important to the saver.