Martin Lewis' MSE reveals easy trick to get up to £2,000 in free cash from banks – and it takes just minutes | The Sun

Martin Lewis' MSE reveals easy trick to get up to £2,000 in free cash from banks – and it takes just minutes | The Sun

August 30, 2023

MARTIN Lewis' MSE has revealed how you can get up to £2,000 in free cash from banks with an easy trick.

Bank switching takes just minutes and you can even bag some extra dosh by moving your money to a different account.

One savvy saver wrote to Martin Lewis' MSE to reveal how they had bagged £2,000 in free cash by simply switching.

They said: "I set up a spare account for me and my husband with our current bank last year and have switched accounts repeatedly, earning over £2,000 in bonuses.

"This paid for our summer holiday."

Switching accounts can be an easy win, but remember to check all the terms and conditions related to an account so you're not caught out.


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All you need to do is open the new account and let your new bank know you're switching over.

Give it your old bank details and it will do all the legwork of moving over direct debits and standing orders.

It takes just five minutes to fill in the form – and the switch is usually completed in seven working days using the Current Account Switching Service (CASS).

But don't just switch for the cash boost – make sure an account works for you and offers you what you need.

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For example, some accounts require you to pay in a certain amount a month to maintain them. Others charge you for setting up an overdraft.

Plus, it's good to be aware of the impact that potentially switching can have on your credit score.

Lenders want to get an idea of how trustworthy someone is before they lend them money or approve them for a bank account.

But if a customer has moved bank accounts a lot, then a lender won't have as much information on you compared to someone who has stuck with the same account for 10 years.

The Sun recently spoke to a money expert to find out how much bank switching can actually affect your credit score.

Here are the best switching deals currently available:

NatWest and RBS

Customers switching to the NatWest Reward or RBS Reward current account get £200 in cash and £4 a month so long as they pay out two or more direct debits for £2 or more.

You can earn an extra £1 each month you log in to the app.

You must switch from a different bank, deposit £1,250 into your account and log into the mobile banking app within 60 days.

You'll get the £200 after seven days. The account charges a £2 a month fee.

NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank also offer current accounts with no fee and you'll still get the £200 cash, just not the cashback and rewards.

First Direct

Switch using the Current Account Switch Service and deposit £1,000 within three months to get £175 free cash.

Given all the criteria is met, you'll receive the bonus within 28 days.

You can only benefit from the offer if you've never had any sort of account, loan, mortgage or other First Direct product.

If you've opened a current account with HSBC on or after 1 January 2020, you also can't apply.

New customers to First Direct only, who have not previously held a first direct product. 

The account offers access to a linked savings account paying 7% interest on the first £300 saved every month.

That is more than double the best easy access savings rate, currently on offer from Yorkshire Building Society which pays 3.6%.


Halifax has launched a new switching incentive and customers have until tomorrow (August 31) to snap it up.

You can earn £150 free by signing up for the bank's New Reward or Ultimate Reward current account.

The money is then paid within three working days of completing the switch – it will show up as "Cash Credit".

Plus, you can earn £25 in cashback when spending £750 or more on one of the new Halifax debit cards each month.

If you do this for three months, you will receive £75 cashback – when combined with the £150 this adds up to £225 in total.

You can also receive either £5 cash back each month or a choice of other benefits including cinema tickets or magazine downloads when monthly criteria is met.

You meet the monthly criteria either by spending £500, keeping £5,000 or more in your account each day of the month and paying in £1,500 or more into your account each month and keeping your balance above £0.

You have to pay a £3 monthly fee to maintain the New Reward card, unless you deposit a minimum of £1,500 or more in each month.

Meanwhile, the Ultimate Reward card has a £17 monthly fee, although it does come with a host of benefits including travel insurance, vehicle breakdown cover and mobile phone insurance.

How to switch current account

By far the easiest way to switch banks is to use the Government's Current Account Switching Service.

You'll usually need to use this to qualify for a bank switching bonus.

After you choose an account, apply and ask your new bank or building society to switch your account using the service.

All your standing orders and direct debits will be transferred over and you can start using your new account in seven days.

Everything is handled by the banks so you don't have to do anything.

You can still use your old account until the switch is completed.

How to find the best bank accounts

With your current rates in mind, don't waste time looking at individual banking sites to compare rates – it'll take you an eternity.

Research websites like MoneyFacts and price comparison websites such as Compare the Market, GoCompare and MoneySupermarket will help save you time and show you the best rates available.

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These sites let you tailor your searches to an account type that suits you.

You might come to realise that a different account is suited to you rather than the one with the biggest switching incentive.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

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