The latest news to help you get the most from your bank account.
Here’s my monthly update sharing changes for leading UK current accounts, as well as some of the relevant articles you might have missed on the blog.
April’s bank account update videos
For a more detailed update, watch these videos from my YouTube channel.
April’s current account news
Latest bank switching deals
A number of deals have finished though! Offers from Santander, Natwest and Lloyds all ended, and the RBS deal is set to close on 21 April.
There’s no set end date for the offers from Nationwide, Virgin Money and Co-op, so they could go any time. It’s also been a while since HSBC have run a promotion, so that could well return.
You can switch multiple times (all at once or one after the other), just be aware of the impact on your credit score.
This month’s bank switch offers
- Barclays Premier – “£200” Avios switch bonus
- Co-op – £50 refer-a-friend offer
- First Direct – £150
- Halifax – £125 (ends 9 May)
- HSBC – £175 (*added 13 April)
- Nationwide – Up to £125 switch bonus
- RBS – £150 (ends 21 April)
- Virgin Money – £100 voucher and 5.02% interest (*changed on 13 April to 20,000 Virgin Points)
Non-switching bank offers
If you don’t like the idea of switching, you can now get £20 for opening a current account with First Direct. You’ll get the money after four months, but it will mean you won’t be eligible for larger switching amounts in the future from FD or HSBC. More here.
There have also been a couple of minor changes to the TSB Spend & Save welcome cashback deal. It’s moved from Quidco to TopCashback and the terms and conditions now say you can’t take advantage if you already have any TSB current account. The rate has also dropped to £20.
Santander 123 Direct Debit warning
I’m a fan of the Santander 123 Lite account for paying your bills and earning cashback (more on how it works here). If, like me, you use it JUST for paying Council Tax, energy, water, broadband, mobile and TV then a quick reminder to check you are transferring enough money in each month in light of price hikes – particularly energy.
Linked savings improve
Though this is my current account update, it’s worth noting that some of the best savings rates are reserved for those with current accounts. And quite a few of those have improved in the last month. They include Chase’s new 1.5% easy access account (more here), Natwest and RBS boosting their Digital Saver rate to 3.3% and Santander increasing its regular saver to 2.5% (more on these here).
Virgin & Chase struggle with applications
Following the launches of their high paying savings accounts, I heard from a few readers who’ve had a long wait for opening up Virgin Money accounts, while the Chase app struggled under the demand.
I asked Virgin Money about this and they told me “our application process means customers should be able to open an account the same day but if additional checks as needed (eg personal identification checks) it may take a little longer. Our current account is proving to be really popular and while we are working hard to get through all applications that require our attention, we’d encourage anyone experiencing a delay of more than five days to contact us on 0800 678 3654 so we can help.“
Barclays Blue Rewards are no longer worth it
Sadly the last month hasn’t seen anything exciting develop with Barclays Blue Rewards, so if you’re still signed up you’re now paying £5 a month to get £5 back. I’ve cancelled mine. Read my full analysis of the changes to Blue Rewards.
More branches closing
Yet more bank branches are going this year. This time it’s the turn of HSBC (69 branches) and Halifax, Lloyds and Bank of Scotland (60 branches).
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.
My top current accounts for April 2022
I always think it’s worth having more than one current account (find out why here) and here’s my run-down of the top accounts to have this month.