December 7, 2021, 19:54

    Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert team explains how to get free £130 for Christmas

    Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert team explains how to get free £130 for Christmas

    Christmas is fast approaching – but there is still time to make cash from your bank.

    Martin Lewis ’ MoneySavingExpert team has explained how you can get £130 just for switching your current account.

    The top bank switch bribes come from First Direct and Santander, with Halifax shortly behind with a £125 offer.

    Nationwide and NatWest are offering £100 to customers who move to them, while Virgin Money will give you a £150 Virgin Experience voucher or 12 bottles of wine.

    The MoneySavingExpert team explained the latest bank deals in its weekly newsletter – and most will pay out before Christmas.

    It said: “The festive season has become the bank switching season.

    “There are currently seven banks offering to pay you to move, with Halifax the latest to join the party.“

    Banks will pay you to switch to them

    Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    For any switch bribe you’re interested in, you’ll need to meet the terms and conditions before you apply – or you won’t get the cash.

    This could be that you need to be a completely new customer, or pay in a certain amount of cash within a timeframe.

    You should also make sure the bank account you’re switching to is right for you – don’t just move for the cash reward alone.

    Finally, make sure you switch using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) to get these rewards.

    Here is a breakdown of how each bank bribe works:

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    First Direct – £130 and 0 per cent overdraft

    First Direct has boosted its switch bonus from £100 to £130 – and you can get the cash in time for Christmas if you qualify.

    To get the reward, you need to apply for its 1st Account by November 22 and pay in £1,000 within 90 days.

    The bonus is then paid within 28 days, so you should get it in time for the festive season if you act now.

    This account has no minimum monthly pay-in and many will qualify for an arranged 0 per cent overdraft up to £250.

    Over this amount, you'll be charged 39.9 per cent EAR variable.

    You can get the bonus if you've never opened a First Direct account before, or opened a current account with HSBC since January 2018.

    Santander – £130 plus cashback

    Santander is one of the top players for bank bribes right now


    Santander is offering £130 for customers who move across to its Santander 123 Lite account.

    With this account, you need to pay in a minimum of £500 per month and there is a £2 monthly fee to keep it open – but you do get cashback on bills paid by direct debit from it.

    You can get up to £5 per month in each of the three "tiers" that are eligible for cashback, so that means you could bag £15 in total and it effectively pays for the monthly fee.

    This is broken down as follows: 3 per cent for water, 2 per cent energy, 1 per cent council tax, mobiles, broadband, paid-for TV & Santander mortgages.

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    The account comes with arranged overdrafts fees of 39.9 per cent EAR variable, or 0 per cent EAR on an unarranged overdraft.

    To get the cashback, you need to pay in £1,000 to this account, set up two active direct debit and log on to online or mobile banking within 60 days of starting the process.

    You can either switch to a new account, or one you've already got with the bank to qualify, but must not have had a previous switch reward from Santander.

    Sadly, you won't be able to get the switch cash in time for Christmas.

    This is because the bank says it will assess your account 60 days after the switch has been instructed to decide whether you have qualified for the cash bribe.

    If you qualify, it could then take up to 30 days for the money to hit your account – so you're looking at mid-January for the reward.

    The switch bribe ends on December 2.

    There are other Santander accounts that qualify for the £130 switch deal – 123 Current Account, Everyday Current Account, Select Current Account or Private Current Account – but these come with different terms and conditions.

    Halifax – £125 plus monthly freebie

    If you switch to Halifax Reward, you'll get £125 plus the opportunity to bag a freebie each month including cinema tickets or digital movie rentals.

    To get the bonus, you need to open a new account and start a switch by December 14.

    The switch cash is then paid within three days of the move completing.

    There is a monthly fee of £3 with the Halifax Reward account but you can avoid paying this if you pay in at least £1,500 each month.

    You can also qualify for the following monthly freebies if you either spend £500 or more a month, or keep £5,000 or more in your account:

    • 2x Digital Movie Rentals with RakutenTV
    • 3x Digital Magazines
    • 1x Cinema Ticket at Vue Cinema
    • £5 in your account

    Once you've picked your reward, your choice will be fixed for a year.

    The account comes with arranged overdrafts fees of 39.9 per cent or 49.9 per cent EAR variable, or 0 per cent EAR on an unarranged overdraft.

    You qualify for the £125 switch bribe if you haven't had a bonus from Halifax since April 2020.

    You must be switching from an account that's not already with Halifax.

    Nationwide – £125 (existing customers) or £100 (new customers)

    Nationwide has different offers for new and existing customers

    Daily Post)

    If you're an existing Nationwide customer, you can get £125 by choosing it as your current account provider, or new customers will get £100

    The £100 offer is available across a range of Nationwide accounts but the "stand-out" offer is the fee-free Nationwide FlexDirect according to the experts at MoneySavingExpert.

    This account offers a 0 per cent overdraft for one year before converting to 39.9 per cent EAR after that.

    If you already have a FlexDirect, FlexAccount or FlexPlus account, you must use Nationwide internet banking to switch an account you hold with another provider to claim the £125 bonus.

    Nationwide mortgage or savings customers can also open one of the three Flex accounts above and request the switch.

    To complete the switch you must, within 30 days:

    • Set up at least two active direct debits

    There is no minimum pay in.

    Nationwide also hasn't said how long this deal will run for but it can be stopped at any time.

    In its terms and conditions of the offer, the bank says it will credit the switch payment to your current account within 10 calendar days of the full switch completing.

    NatWest/RBS – £100 plus £50 after a year

    Switch to the NatWest Reward or RBS Reward account and you'll get £100 – plus another £50 a year later.

    To get the bonus, you need to switch by December 2 for NatWest or November 18 for RBS.

    You also need to pay in a minimum of £1,500 and use digital banking by January 13 for NatWest users, or December 30 for RBS.

    The bonus is paid by February 11, or 28 January for RBS, so keep in mind this may not be one if you're looking for extra Christmas cash.

    To get the extra £50 you need to make at least ten transactions every month from January 2022 until September, with the bonus cash paid by November 30 for NatWest and November 16 for RBS.

    New and existing customers switching from a non-NatWest, RBS or Ulster account can apply for the switch bonus, as long as they've not had switching cash from any of the three since October 2017.

    Both accounts come with a monthly fee of £2 and you need to pay in a minimum of £1,250 per moth – but you can qualify for £5 per month cashback, meaning you'd be £3 up.

    To qualify for the cashback, you need to use the mobile app and pay two direct debits of at least £2.

    There's also a 3 per cent linked regular savings account but you can only put in £50 per month into it.

    In terms of overdrafts, it charges 39.49 per cent EAR variable on an arranged overdraft and the same with unarranged overdrafts.

    Virgin Money – £15 0 voucher or 12 bottles of wine

    You can get a voucher or wine from Virgin Money

    Rob Browne / WalesOnline)

    Instead of cash, Virgin Money will give you a £150 voucher to put towards Virgin Experience Days, or a case of 12 bottles of wine.

    This is for switching to its Virgin Money M Plus account.

    You also get 2.02 per cent interest on up to £1,000, a linked easy-access savings account paying 0.35 per cent AER variable and no fees on overseas spending or ATM withdrawals.

    To be eligible, you must set up at least two active direct debits, register for mobile banking and keep at least £1,000 in the linked 0.35 per cent savings account until you get the gift card.

    The above must be done within 45 days.

    You'll be emailed a code to redeem your gift card or wine within 14 days of meeting all switch criteria.

    You can't have a Virgin Money current account, or have closed one since July 2021, and can't have ever had a Virgin Money current account switch bonus, to get the offer.

    For your arranged overdraft, you'll be charged either 19.9 per cent, 29.9 per cent or 39.9 per cent EAR variable, and the same goes for unarranged overdrafts, plus a £4 unpaid transaction fee.

    Virgin Money hasn't said how long this offer will last for.

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