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.
December’s bank account update videos
For a more detailed update, watch these videos from my YouTube channel.
December’s current account news
Latest bank switching deals
Some more changes since last month’s update, with some new and some gone.
Hot off the press is a new £175 bonus from Halifax – the largest amount the bank has ever offered for switching. This is for the Reward or Ultimate Reward account. Here’s my analysis.
Another new deal is from TSB, though massively lower in value to the one in October. This time you’ll get £50 for switching and another £50 for sticking about until next summer and using your debit card. Full details here.
The extra £10 Quidco welcome bonus for the HSBC account that I negotiated with Quidco has ended, but keep an eye on the analysis of that switch deal in case I can get it renewed for you.
Even better Tide business account incentive
This short-term Black Friday offer via Nerdwallet is better than the offer I told you about last month – but you’ll need to be quick. You’ll get £100 and you just need to add £50 to your account rather than spend any cash. Use the code BLACKFRIDAY2022 when joining. Ends 30 November 2022.
Boosted 0% overdrafts
HSBC and First Direct are temporarily offering customers £500 interest-free overdrafts. With both banks you need already have an agreed overdraft, and then opt in to receive this.
Lloyds brings back Silver packaged account
There’s a new packaged bank account costing £10 a month from Lloyds. The Club Silver and Silver accounts offer:
- European family travel insurance
- Mobile phone insurance for two handsets
- Breakdown cover for the whole household
The £10 fee, or £120 a year, makes it one of, it not the, cheapest accounts out there offering this kind of thing – though some of the others do offer worldwide travel insurance and other extras.
Santander Edge vs Santander 123
Last week I gave you my instant reaction to the new Santander Edge account on the day it was released. There are now some online calculators available for you to check what you’d earn in cashback from the new account, helping you compare it with the Santander 123 which is still available. Sadly the 123 Lite is closed to new applications, but remaining for existing customers.
- Santander Edge bills cashback calculator (expand the Cashback dropdown section)
- Santander 123 cashback calculator
It means if you only want one account for cashback on your bills, the full 123 account might actually be a better payer – at least while energy bills remain so high. Say you have a £250 direct debit for your gas and electricity, that extra 1% a month will be worth another £2.50. Taking into account the £1 additional charge for the 123, you’ll get another £1.50 a month, or £18 more a year.
However, I’d still lean towards the Edge if you have savings as the 4% rate on £4,000 is the next best place for a lump sum after the Barclays Blue Rewards account.
Santander Boots replace Retailer Offers
Another change from Santander is the launch of Santander Boosts. This is a cashback and competition add on for any Santander debit or credit card, and replaces the Retailer Offers.
From the handful of time I’ve looked it’s not been impressive at all. Some of the deals mentioned are just the standard offer available at the linked retailers, for example, up to 20% off paperbacks at Waterstones was available going direct to the book store’s website. Other cashback offers were less than you’d get from Quidco and TopCashback.
Still, it’s new, so it’s worth signing up and keeping an eye on there to see if anything comes along that is useful to you.
Starling offers a second account for free
You can now pick up an additional current account from Starling for free, with the £2 a month charge dropped in November. You won’t get an extra debit card. Instead you’ll change in the app which account you’re paying from.
I’m not sure if this would work as a dummy account for switching, especially as many switching offers require the debit card number to verify your old account.
Renewing debit cards
Finally, while we’re on the point of requiring debit cards for switching (and other promotions), those of you with a number of accounts should check if any have expired. I had a look and found three which were not reissued upon expiration as I didn’t use them much – so I’ve had to ask for replacements.
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s award-winning podcast. Episodes every Tuesday.
My top current accounts for December 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.
- Best account for everyday banking / app – Starling (review)
- Best account for everyday spending – Chase (review)
- Best account for bills – Santander 123 or Edge (review)
- Best account for rewards – Halifax Reward (review)
- Best account for savings interest – Barclays with Blue Rewards (review)
- Best account for 0% overdraft – Nationwide FlexDirect (12 months only) (review)