Bank Switching Q&A

I asked for your questions, and here are the answers!

I’m a huge fan of switching banks to get a better current account, save on your overdraft, earn monthly rewards and, of course, get some of that free switching cash.

For some of you, this is all pretty new, so I reached out on YouTube and Instagram for your questions, and here are my responses.

What happens to money coming into my account?

If someone sends money to your old account in five years’ time, will it be redirected to your new account?

Hedwig, via Instagram

Will wages switch over as well?

BarrelsandWine, via YouTube

Yes, all payments in and out will be transferred to the new account. indefinitely. Re wage, your employer will also be told that you have new account details. Personally with something like your salary I’d always let my HR team know just to be safe.

Will my Direct Debits all be moved?

If I switch to a new bank, would that switch all my preset Direct Debits too?

Karachi_te, via Instagram

All your Direct Debits and standing orders will move over to the new account. The only ones that won’t come with you are payments made with the long card number on your debit card. These will need to be changed in the payment settings for each service (e.g Netflix).

Do my wages need to go into the new bank?

If I switch to First Direct do I need my wages in the switching bank? Or just 2 direct debits +£1000 deposit will fit for the reward?

ML, via YouTube

I’ll answer this more broadly. Unless a bank switch deal specifically says you must pay in a certain amount every month in a single go, then you don’t need to.

Most offers just require some cash going in, and this usually doesn’t need to even be in a single deposit. So you could pay in a single sum of £250, withdraw it to another account, pay it back in, withdraw it again and repeat two more times.

For First Direct’s current offer of £150, it’s a total of £1,000 within the first three months. And that’s all. You don’t need any Direct Debits for this specific deal.

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What does my new account require?

Are there rules for new switched accounts: money deposit/flow direct debits?

Natalia, via YouTube

You’ll need to check each switching offer’s terms and conditions to check you meet their criteria. But you also need to check additional conditions for the new account you’ve opened. For example, the Halifax Reward and Club Lloyds accounts require you to pay in £1,500 a month or you’ll be charged £3 a month.

When do my Direct Debits need to be set up?

Do you have to have 2 Direct Debits/standing orders in place BEFORE you switch?

Hedwig, via Instagram

I think you’re talking about the latest HSBC offer, and the answer for this one is you can set them up on the new account once you’ve opened it or move them over as part of the switch from the old account.

This is how most offers work. However, Nationwide requires them to be active on the old account before the switch completes, which means they have to also have been paid from the old account before switching. If you don’t have any there are some quick and easy ones that you can set up.

Can I access statements after switching?

Is there a way to access old statements once I’ve switched?

Farawayrajee, via Instagram

Sadly not. You’ll need to contact the bank to request them if you need them. Some might charge for this, so it’s worth downloading electronic copies from your online banking before closing the old account if you think you’ll need them,

Will switching bank hurt my credit score?

Does it affect your credit score?

Ali, via Instagram

How will switching banks affect your credit? I mean for example, for a mortgage, how will the lender view switching? 🙂 Thanks!

HZ, via Youtube

When a bank account is closed because of the switching, does it negatively impact my credit score?

Gabz87, via YouTube

This is a really popular question, and I’ve answered it in detail here. Switching itself won’t have an impact, but opening and closing accounts can. Very quickly, there are two key ways it can impact.

Most of the time you open a current account you will be credit checked, and this will show on your credit report. Only Monzo, Starling and Thinkmoney won’t check you on application, unless you apply for an overdraft. It’s likely you’ll see a small drop in your score to reflect this credit check, but it should be pretty short-term.

It’s probably wise to not open too many accounts in a short space of time, though if your score is good enough and there aren’t any major applications on the horizon you might be ok. I’ve made multiple applications over a few weeks and months, but you need to decide for yourself if you’re ok with any potential hit than comes as a result.

The second way relates to closing an account as part of the switch. This could also hurt your report. It depends on how old the account you’re closing is.

Longevity in any account is a good signal on your credit file, so closing a long-held account as part of a switch will see your score fall accordingly.

One way around this is to open up new accounts that you use just for switching and keep the old account around, even if you don’t use it anymore. And if you still have a few additional accounts of a similar age then the average age of all your accounts will still be reflected.

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Can I switch with a bad credit score?

Is bank switching a good idea if your credit rating isn’t good?

OrganisedPauper, via YouTube

Do you need to have good credit to switch?

Savingthosepots, via Instagram

As my answers to the last question shows, opening a new account and closing an old one can have a short-term negative impact on your score.

And of course if you have serious issues with your credit score you might not be able to open up a new account.

However, there are loads of benefits of switching such as the free cash or perhaps a 0% overdraft. And on its own changing your bank won’t be what makes a difference, so you should look at other ways to improve your credit report.

Can I close an account after switching?

Can I switch to a new bank just for the cash reward and once the switch is complete close that account? Would that impact any future dealings with that bank ?

Theboywall, via YouTube

It all depends on the terms and conditions of the offer, but most of the time as soon as you have the money in your account you are free to do what you want with that new account. You can keep it, downgrade it, switch it again or close it.

There is a chance that closing it or switching away will have an impact on your relationship with that bank. For example, if you have other products with them you might need to close those too. Often these are specifically linked to the current account, like a special savings account. Most of the time though you should be able to keep these extras open.

The other, likely short-term, impact could be if you want to reopen an account with the bank. It could be they have a period before you can do this.

How soon after opening an account can I switch?

Do you have to keep an account open for a minimum time? How often can you switch?

Frostyboylad, via Instagram

Unless terms and conditions for a switching deal say the account must remain open, you can switch away immediately. And you can switch as much as you want, just bear in mind my answers to the next few questions about credit scores.

Do you get paid to promote offers?

What incentive did HSBC give you to have the link to their £175 switch offer on your website?

Hedwig, via Instagram

The short answer here is nothing at all. I’d obviously like to change that (I’ve got to pay the bills), but as it stands I don’t get any money for any of the switching deals.

But if I ever did manage to turn those offers into affiliate links, it’s a vital part of this site I treat every account or offer in terms of what’s best for my readers, regardless of whether I get paid for it or not.

2 thoughts on “Bank Switching Q&A

  1. when I switch bank how do I make it so I only switch 2 of my direct debits?

    1. To get the free cash you’ll need to complete a full switch, which moves everything over and closes your old account

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