April 2024’s current account news & offers

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 this video from my YouTube channel.

April’s current account news

Latest bank switching deals

We’ve had a few offers come and go in the last month, with deals from Natwest, RBS, Ulster, Lloyds, HSBC and Santander all lasting between two and six weeks. Apart from the Lloyds one, all were pulled with just a day or two’s notice (or none at all in the case of HSBC).

The only core offer still around is for £175 from First Direct, and this will end on 22 April. You can boost it by another £36 or so if you go via TopCashback. There’s also a 7% regular saver available to current account customers. All the details are here.

There is also the Barclay’s Premier Banking offer via it’s Avios Rewards scheme. However, following the devaluation of Avios to Nectar points swap, that’s now only worth £125, down from £166.

Nationwide to buy Virgin Money

The building society Nationwide has agreed to buy Virgin Money. Though it’s still to be approved by the regulator, it’s set to go through by the end of 2024.

Assuming it does, both brands will operate separately for a while, potentially six years, so there won’t be any change for Virgin Money customers in the short term. That means you’ll keep your accounts and the separate Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection.

But eventually that brand will be phased out and it’ll likely mean you’ll be moved over to Nationwide accounts. The “branch promise” from Nationwide that says none will close until at least 2028 will be extended to those from Virgin – unless they’ve already been slated to close.

It does mean that some Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank customers could see their accounts moved for a third time, following the merger with Virgin Money in 2018.

Time to grab a £30 voucher for opening a Virgin Money account?

It’s been more than year since the last Virgin Money bank switch offer ran, and the news above would suggest it’s unlikely to return.

If that is to prove the case (and it’s impossible to say for sure), then it could be worth nabbing a £30 Amazon voucher for opening up an M Plus current account via budgeting app Snoop. There’s another £5 voucher on offer for those new to Snoop too if you go via our link. More details here.

Nationwide reduces need for card reader

While we’re on Nationwide, good news for customers is a change to how much you’ll need to use the separate card reader. It’s always been a frustration for me, and a big part of why I moved my everyday banking over to Starling a few years ago.

You can’t ditch the card reader completely, but you can now make payments in the app to new people without one. Instead you’ll approve the new payee with biometrics or selfies. You still need one for online banking though, or to change personal details.

Chase cashback extended but rules change

The 1% cashback from Chase is continuing, though the monthly deposit needed to trigger it each month is increased from £500 to £1,500.

Some have been upset by this, but it’s easily worked around as you don’t need to add the money in one go, so it can be the same £500 added, withdrawn, added again, and repeated another time.

There are more details from when we covered this when the new rules were announced in late February.

Monzo and Chase cash deposit changes

These digital banks do a lot of things better than other banks, but where they’ve been a let down is on cash deposits. We’ll that’s improved a little.

Monzo now let you pay into Post Offices as well as PayPoints. However this still comes with a £1 charge each time you do this, and there’s still a cap of £300 per deposit and £1,000 every 180 days.

Chase had announced it would allow cash deposits to accounts via PayPoints from mid-February, but then back tracked. Hopefully it will come about soon.

RBS hack Revolut warning

Over in our Facebook group, member Ben shared a message he received from Revolut warning him that his use of Revolut to top up his RBS savings account could lead to the account being suspended.

He’d been using his RBS debit card to top up Revolut by £10.01. That added 99p to his Digital Regular Saver via the Round-up feature, which was increased to £1.98 as he’d chosen to double these top ups.

So far, no problem. The issue was Ben was doing this a lot. Round ups are a way to get around the £150 a month cap on deposits to this 6.17% paying regular saver.

The pop up warning was labelled “Excessive top-ups and transfers” and said using Revolut to game an advantage was against the terms and conditions.

This is something I’ve warned about before when the double round-up hack has been mentioned, and this is a clear sign it’s not worth it.

That doesn’t mean you can’t use the likes of Revolut to hack other rewards. I use it for my one of my Halifax Reward accounts to gain £5 a month – but I only use it once. For my other two Halifax accounts I use other methods, such as paying my cashback credit card or moving money to Monzo. You can read more on the hack here.

TSB launches My Rewards

At the start of the year TSB launched the My Rewards portal for customers to get savings at various retailers. In short, it’s pretty rubbish and most of the offers I looked at could be beaten elsewhere. But if you’re a customer it’s worth a quick look from time to time.

Yet more branch closures in 2024

Barclays, Natwest, RBS, Ulster, Lloyds, Halifax and BoS have all announced more branch closures for this year. You can find out if your local is affected in these articles:

Metro to reduce opening hours and days

As part of cost cutting measures, Metro branches will all now close on Sundays, and around half will also not open on Saturdays. They’ll also reduce opening hours on the days they are open.

Curve offers 1% cashback on referrals

Curve is no longer a card I recommend for most people, but they now offer 1% back on spending for 30 days for every friend you get to sign up. They also get the offer.

This can stack, so if you refer two friends you’ll get 60 days cashback, and so on. And this works alongside cashback from the likes of Chase and Barclaycard Rewards (as these aren’t retailer dependent).

However I wouldn’t bother, and instead I’d focus on other cashback cards.

Trading 212 cashback card rollout begins

Investing app Trading 212 said it would launch a debit card in March – but only a few people on the waitlist have so far had invites to apply.

It’ll pay 0.5% with up to £20 cashback earned each month. Overall that doesn’t seem worth it, but I’ll share more when it’s open to more people.

British Bank Awards voting closes soon

If you want to have your say in who should win categories such as Best British Bank, Best Banking App and Best Ethical Finance Provider, then you’ve got until 16 April to vote in the British Bank Awards.

It’s run by our sister site Smart Money People, and if you vote (by leaving a review) you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win £1,000.

My top current accounts for April 2024

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.

  1. Best account for everyday banking / app – Starling (review)
  2. Best account for everyday spending – Chase (review)
  3. Best account for bills – Santander Edge (review)
  4. Best account for rewards – Halifax Reward (review)
  5. Best account for savings interest – Santander Edge (review)
  6. Best account for 0% overdraft – Nationwide FlexDirect (12 months only) (review)

2 thoughts on “April 2024’s current account news & offers

  1. I avoid both Natwest and Nationwide now – the “selfie” verifications feel like such an invasion.

  2. I’ve found the Nationwide card reader easy enough to avoid. I simply transfer money to my Halifax account instantaneously and pay third parties from there. I might have needed to use the card reader the first time I made a transfer to Halifax, but not subsequently.


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