First Direct bank switch offer: Get £175

Another bank switch deal has launched, this time offering £175 for switching.

First Direct regularly offers between £100 and £125 for changing bank, but it’s currently boosted the offer to a huge £175.

Here’s how the offer works and my analysis.

How much can you get for switching to First Direct?

This First Direct switching offer is pretty straightforward. You’ll get a fixed £175 if you meet the conditions outlined below. This is the highest I can remember from the bank.

You can only get one bonus per person, regardless of whether you have more than one solo or any extra joint accounts.

You’ll also only get one payment per joint account, not one each. So if two of you want the cash you’re better off opening two new individual accounts.

Who can get the First Direct switching offer?

The offer is only available to new First Direct customers, so no luck if you are an existing or previous customer.

You’re also barred from getting the free cash if you opened an HSBC current account on or after 1 January 2019. However if you opened an account prior to this date, even if you still have it, then you’ll be eligible for the First Direct money.

Andy’s podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

What are the requirements for the First Direct switching offer?

To get the £175 you need to open a 1st Account (this is First Direct’s standard current account) and pay in £1,000 within three months of opening the account (it doesn’t have to be in one go)

As with most switching deals, you need to use the Current Account Switching Service to move over an account from a different bank.

When will the money be paid?

The full £175 will be paid to your account within 28 days of meeting the criteria.

First Direct switching summary

Switching bonus£175
Bonus paidWithin 28 days of meeting criteria
Open to existing customersNo
RequirementsPay in £1,000 within three months of opening the account
Switch using the Current Account Switch Service and close old account
ExclusionsNot already have or had a First Direct account
Not have opened an HSBC account since 1st January 2019
Offer limited to once per person
Offer endsUnknown

Is First Direct any good?

First Direct always scores well on customer service, but bear in mind there are no branches – banking is all on the phone or online. It’s also part of the HSBC group, so the FSCS protection is shared between the two.

First Direct 1st account benefits

The account is pretty bog standard, with no rewards or fancy features. The app has improved a lot, but it’s still quite basic and not as good as what you’ll get with Starling or Monzo.

The £250 0% buffer is a useful feature for anyone who occasionally goes overdrawn by a small amount.

First Direct traditionally offered the highest paying regular saver account, but since early 2021 this can be beaten or equalled elsewhere.

Benefits£250 0% overdraft
Access to 3.5% AER (fixed) regular saver (Save between £25 and £300 a month)
“Sweep” autosaving feature (moves spare money in account to savings)
FeeNone
RequirementsNone
NotesShared FSCS protection with HSBC

Is it worth switching to First Direct?

Andy’s analysis

If you’ve not had free cash from HSBC or First Direct before then it’s well worth grabbing it, and at £175 this is the highest I’ve seen from FD.

HSBC sometimes offers the same deal, or slightly better with the inclusion of a voucher of some kind, so if you’re only after the money (rather than ongoing banking) then that might have the edge.

Personally I wouldn’t use it as my primary bank because you can get better apps or better rewards elsewhere. However if you occasionally go overdrawn then it’s hard to beat the 1st account.

Are there better switching offers?

If you’re a repeat switcher and aren’t planning to keep an account then this is one of the best. But if you plan to just switch once I’d actually look at other options which have added rewards or cashback.

These come and go, so here’s everything you need to know about all these and other different bank switching deals.

Previous First Direct switching deals

  • £150 (February to August 2022)
  • £130 (January to February 2022)
  • £130 (November 2021)
  • £100 (October 2021)
  • £100 (July 2021)
  • £125 (June 2021)
  • £100 (Feb 2021)

23 thoughts on “First Direct bank switch offer: Get £175

  1. Hi Andy, thanks so much.
    I have an old unused current account with lloyds.
    Can i switch to FD from that account and just pay a £1000 pound in from my main HSBC account.
    Do they require it to be a regularly ‘used’ account?

  2. I had a first direct account around 15 years ago , but closed it around 8 years ago , will I still get the £175 ?

  3. Hi Andy,

    How long do I have to stay with First Direct for before I can switch again?

  4. Will this also close my savings account with my previous bank does it just close your current account when you switch

  5. Neville Matthews August 16, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Andy
    We had an HSBC Account which we closed in 2016 when we switched to Santander, would we get the £175 bonus if switching to First Direct? Many thanks.

  6. Hi Andy, thank you very much for writing this article, its very helpful. Just a quick question, in order to be eligible for the switching bonus, would I have had to have been with my previous bank for a substantial enough period of time and show a significant number of transactions on old account; or can you switch from even a relatively new, largely untouched account?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Ben

    1. No, there’s no requirement for that when you switch!

  7. Hi Andy,
    I’m in the process of switching to a 1st Account to get the £150, but it’s unclear from the Ts & Cs whether their First Directory service is mandatory with the account or not. This carries a £15 per month fee so would total £180 per year, but everywhere I’ve read about the 1st Account it’s advertised as being free. I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere online – can you help, please? Thank you!

  8. I have a mortgage with First Direct (started 5 May 2022). Would I qualify for this switching offer?

    1. Yes, as long as you’ve not had a current account with them in the date specified you’re eligible

  9. Hi Andy,
    Does the account have to direct debits going out to qualify for the £150. I understand one must put £1000 within 3 months of opening the account. Just wondered about if there was a requirement for DD’s.
    Thanks

    1. No direct debits on this one (as of May 2022 – it could change on later offers)

  10. Hi Andy, to get the 150 can I simply perform an account switch, or do I have to open the FD account and then switch?

    In other words, is going through the CASS switch service counting as opening a FD account or not.

    TIA.

  11. Hi Andy, do I need to keep the £1000 in the account until I receive the switch bonus or can I pay it in and cash it straight back out?

    Thanks

    1. I spoke to a first direct agent and they said that the money does not need to be left in the acc but i am leaving it there. just incase

  12. Hi Andy,
    I have just opened a TSB Current Account as my Switching Account. My main account is Santander 123. (I’m very happy with this account as my main account)
    Is there any time limit that I need to keep the TSB account for before switching?
    I intend to switch to First Direct. My question is about the switching process. Is the following correct?
    1 Open First Direct account.
    2 Use First Direct switching process.
    3 Two above will close the TSB account and transfer my balance to First Direct.
    4. Transfer say £500 from my Santander account (twice) then transfer to my Chase Bank Account ( Thanks Andy for the information on Chase Bank I use this for all my transactions to get the 1% Cash back for one year)
    Have I missed anything?
    Great Podcast

    1. Yes, that all sounds good. You only need to keep the TSB account if it was linked to another offer (eg cashback from Quidco). If so that will have its own conditions.

  13. do i need to switch everything and close my other account totally?

    1. Hi Lynda, yes a full switch will close your old account

  14. Hi Andy,

    For the first direct switching offer do you need to pay in the £1000 before you request to switch or can you pay it in after the switch has occurred?

    1. It can be anytime in the first three months of opening the account, and can be after the switch

  15. Link labelled First Direct Switch actually links to NatWest Current Accounts

    1. Thanks! Fixed

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