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 2020. However if you opened an HSBC account prior to this date, even if you still have it, then you’ll be eligible for the First Direct money.
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
|Bonus paid||Within 28 days of meeting criteria|
|Open to existing customers||No|
|Requirements||Pay in £1,000 within three months of opening the account|
|Switch using the Current Account Switch Service and close old account|
|Exclusions||Not already have or had a First Direct account|
|Not have opened an HSBC account since 1st January 2020|
|Offer limited to once per person|
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.
|Benefits||£250 0% overdraft (subject to status)|
|Access to 7% AER (fixed for 12 months) regular saver (Save between £25 and £300 a month)|
|“Sweep” autosaving feature (moves spare money in account to savings)|
|Notes||Shared FSCS protection with HSBC|
Is it worth switching to First Direct?
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)