First Direct bank switch offer: Get £175 + £45

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. There’s also a chance for extra cashback on top.

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 of ANY product.

You’re also barred from getting the free cash if you opened an HSBC current account (other products are fine) on or after 1 January 2018. Previously this was 2020, so it’s another example of banks wanting to make it harder for people to repeatedly switch.

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.

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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 30 days of opening the account. This doesn’t have to be in one go but each deposit does need to remain in the account for at least 24 hours.

As with most switching deals, you need to use the Current Account Switching Service to move over an account from a different bank, also within 30 days of opening it.

Earlier this year, First Direct added the requirement to move over two direct debits or standing orders from the old bank. If you don’t already have direct debits in place then the easiest thing to do will be to set up standing orders. These are simple payments from your account to another of your accounts. Once the switch is complete and you’ve got the cash, can cancel the these payments.

And this time there’s yet another condition to be met. You need to use the debit card five times with the same first 30 days.

When does the offer end?

First Direct has usually had an open ended offer on launch, and that’s the case with this one too. We’ll update it if any notice is given of when it ends.

When will the money be paid?

The full £175 will be paid to your account before the 20th of the month following you completing all the criteria.

Bonus cashback on top

If you apply via Quidco or TopCashback in the first instance you can get £45 cashback on top. If you’re new to the site you can get up to £20 as a bonus as well, though that needs to be triggered by a purchase at a different retailer.

First Direct switching summary

Switching bonus£175
Open to existing customersNo
RequirementsMove two direct debits or standing orders from your old bank
Switch using the Current Account Switch Service and close old account
Pay in £1,000 within 30 days of opening the account (and keep it there for 24 hours)
Use your debit card five times in the first 30 days.
ExclusionsNot already have or ever had a First Direct account
Not have opened an HSBC account since 1st January 2018
Offer limited to once per person
Bonus paidBy the 20th of the following month after meeting the criteria
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 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. The standout is access to a 7% regular saver, fixed for a year.

However, customer service is well thought of, with a decent phone support line.

Over at customer reviews site Smart Money People, the 1st account scores 4.69 out of 5.

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)
Fee free spending overseas
NotesShared FSCS protection with HSBC
Smart Money People advert

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 FD have offered.

HSBC offers tend to be higher but more complicated, so if you just want an easy switch I’d favour FD. Plus there’s that decent regular saver.

Sadly the extra cash available from Quidco or TopCashback isn’t currently showing as available on top.

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

  • £175 (March 2024)
  • £175 (September to late 2023)
  • £175 (early 2023)
  • £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)

53 thoughts on “First Direct bank switch offer: Get £175 + £45

  1. Is it possible to open the FD joint account through switching from a joint Santander account? But we have previously both received HSBC rewards from individual current accounts back in 2020?

  2. Hi Andi, does the deposit means to depositing physical cash through the bank’s branch or a normal transfer from another account can also be considered as deposit?

    1. Any way you add money will count, so bank transfer, paying in cash etc

    2. New first direct offer out today.£175 pounds incentive.i first done then many years ago,states no further payment unlike other offers.
      Has anyone got away with having done them more than once,and how ?

  3. will this offer back soon?

  4. Hi Andy,
    Will my monthly wage account for the £1000 deposit or does it have to be a completely separate deposit on top of wages?
    Thank you

  5. I’m in the middle of my 90 days requirements for the 175 to be classed as qualified as wasn’t quite sure how the 1,000 is counted. if my work pays in my salary at approx 400 a month does this count to the £1,000. if so i should have now been placed in the completed pile.

  6. Does First Direct offer no fees spending abroad like Chase?

  7. Hi Andy,

    I opened my HSBC account formally Midland about 28 years ago, so my understanding is that I would qualify for the First direct account. If I transfer to FD and close HSBC – I guess I will lose my HSBC Overdraft. Can you close an account then re-open it?


  8. I tried to switch and open account with First Direct, however it was a pain because I hold an International passport, they have asked me to mail a CERTIFIED copy. It can’t be done digitally.

  9. Someone ask this question, but you didn’t reply. May I know the answer, please.

    Does the 1000 need to stay for sometime to receive the incentive, or can be withdrawn immediately?

    1. It can come straight out

      1. Does the £1000 have to be paid in at one time or would two £500 payments it a total of £1000 gone in throughout the 3 months or actually £1000 in there to qualify. If I put£500 in and spent it then another £500 and spent that , would that count ?

      2. Do I need the two direct debits moving to get this deal? Also would having a HRBCcredit card stop me from getting the deal?

  10. Switcheroo Newbie June 8, 2023 at 6:18 am

    Switched, worked well and received incentive of £175 within 5 days of switch happening.

    Now wondering if I should use this an account to transfer to NatWest and get the £200 cash too !

    1. I applied for first direct before the £175 deal ended but my old bank hasnt closed yet, will i still get the money.

  11. Paying 1250?
    Will it work if i transfer 1250 from 1 account and send it back?

  12. Hi Andy, is it still the case (I saw you answered last year) that the account you switch from does not need any direct debits coming from it?
    I am want to switch over to get the £175 and open the 12 months savings account and would like to just used my weekly shopping account – will this be ok? Thank you. Kind Regards, Karen

  13. Hi
    Sorry if this has been asked I’ve set up switching, to happen in March. Do I have to pay in a total of £1000 and leave it there? I can pay in my wages but will need some to pay bills. Do I need to be £1000 in credit at the 3 months point?
    Thank you, cris

  14. Hello,

    After how many days did you guys get the bonus?

  15. Hi,
    I have questions?
    If I already have HSBC bank account which was opened long time ago on 2015 and also I have Lloyds bank account which I would like use for switching offer for first direct would this offer goes trough?

  16. Just found out that the account I wanted to switch to First Direct can’t be transferred using the Switch Your Account website. Is it compulsory to do it that way? Does this mean that now I have opened an account, I won’t be able to get this incentive paid to me because I can’t use the switching tool?

  17. Hi Andy,I am in the middle of changing from RBS to First Direct.They have emailed me that my account is being set up and that i am due the £175 after conditions are met.The elephant in the room is i have a HSBC account which i started in 2020.Do you think they will cross reference and see that i dont qualify?

  18. Can you switch from an HSBC account?

  19. 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?

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

  21. Hi Andy,

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

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

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.


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

  25. 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!

  26. 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

      1. I’ve just been told by First Direct I don’t qualify for the incentive payment, because I have a Mortgage wit FD. Met all criteria otherwise, so rather annoying.

    2. I switched two months ago and been waiting on the incentive payment as all criteria met. Called them today and was told that as I have a first direct mortgage, I do not qualify for the payment.

      I quoted that any documentation merely states “accounts” and not mortgages, but was basically told tough!

      1. I was in the exact same situation as you with a FD mortgage and they refused my £130 switch incentive because of this. I made an official complaint that their wording wasn’t clear enough and was ambiguous and they agreed as a gesture of goodwill to credit my account with the £130, which they did.

        So, moral of the story, if you complain to the right department and back up your complaint with evidence, they will pay it.

  27. 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.

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

  28. 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.


  29. 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?


    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

  30. 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.

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

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

  32. 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

      1. Does the 1000 need to stay for sometime to receive the incentive, or can be withdrawn immediately?

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

    1. Thanks! Fixed


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