Open a new Halifax Reward or Ultimate Reward account to get the free cash.
Switching bonuses are a great way to get some free cash, but once you’ve worked your way around all the banks the fun is over, right? Wrong! More and more of the bonuses are open to existing or ex-customers.
And that’s the case with this new offer from Halifax. Here’s who can get a second switching bonus and how.
Who can get Halifax’s £125 switching bonus?
On 3 November 2021 Halifax brought back a switching bonus. It last ran in July – but this time it’s slightly different – and worth even more. You now get £125 rather than £100.
To get this you need to open up a new Reward or Ultimate Reward account before 14 December 2021. Once you’ve successfully done this (a credit check will take place), you can start your switch.
You’ll need to fully close the old account you switch over and it needs to be from a different bank. So you can’t switch from another Halifax account.
You also can’t have received a switch bonus from Halifax since April 2020, but it means a load of people will be eligible who’ve had the offer in the past.
The bonus will be paid by three days of your switch completion, which can be as fast as seven working days after you start the switch.
Which Halifax account should I switch to?
The standard Reward is the best option for most people. You can get £5 a month by jumping through a few hoops. Here’s more on how to do this in my Halifax Reward review. I’d certainly go for this account if you don’t already have it.
You will need to pay in £1,500 a month to avoid a £3 fee each month, but that’s easy to achieve with most salaries. The money doesn’t need to stay in the account. And you can even do it in smaller batches, e.g. transfer £500 in from another account. Withdraw it, then pay it in again. And then repeat for the third time.
I don’t think the Ultimate Reward account is worth it – there are cheaper packaged accounts out there. Though if you already have the Reward account then it’s worth doing this and then downgrading once you get the bonus.
How new Halifax customers can get the bonus
Just open up a new Halifax Reward or Ultimate Reward account and then switch into it from a different bank.
How existing Halifax customers can get the bonus
It’s good news for existing Halifax customers as you can still get the bonus if you’ve not had a switching bonus from Halifax since April 2020.
However, unlike when Natwest last allowed customers to switch in and get a bonus, Halifax won’t let you switch into a pre-existing account. You do have to open up a new account.
If you have a Halifax “Current Account”
The no-frills standard account from Halifax is called the Current Account. If you’ve got this then you just need to open up either a Reward or UItimate Reward account.
If you have a Halifax Reward account
I’m sure many of you already have this account thanks to the decent £5 a month freebie. So you will need to open up the Ultimate Reward account. If you don’t want to keep it you can downgrade the account once you’ve switched and got the cash (details below).
If you have the Ultimate Reward account
Simply do the opposite and open up a Reward account. Don’t forget to switch to it from a different non-Halifax account.
If you have both the Reward and Ultimate Reward accounts
If you already both of these accounts, then fortunately that’s not going to be a problem either.
You simply need to downgrade one of your existing accounts to any other type of Halifax account. Then apply for the same account afresh. Then switch as normal! I’ve got confirmation from Halifax that this is ok.
Of course if you do this with the Ultimate Rewards account there could be some differences to your insurance policies so do compare these before making the decision to downgrade the existing account.
Here’s confirmation from Halifax via webchat that you can downgrade a Reward or Ultimate Reward account and then open up a new account.
Andy’s top reward current accounts
- Halifax Rewards: £5 a month or 12 free cinema tickets
- Chase Bank: 1% cashback for one year
- Santander 123 Lite: Cashback on bills
Get more details on these on my list of the best bank account offers
Avoiding the Ultimate Rewards monthly fee
The downside to the Ultimate Rewards account is that it comes with a £17 monthly fee. In return you get a bundle of insurance products. These can be decent value if you need them all – but you still might be able to get a better deal from similar accounts elsewhere.
The good news is you can avoid this £17 if you don’t want to keep the account. When I took advantage of the same offer last summer, I assumed it would mean I’d really only make £83 profit.
But as soon as the cash arrived in my account, I went into my Halifax app and downgraded the account to a standard Halifax current account which is free.
This change was instant, and the £17 charge never came! Of course, things might have changed but I imagine it will be the same for you. And the worst that can happen is you do get charged for one month – you’re still up by £83.
You’re also left with a spare Halifax account to use for future switching offers at different banks.
Which old account should you switch?
You can switch pretty much any full current account over, though bear in mind to get the bonus this will be closed down.
I always think it’s worth having an account you use just for switching, as this means you can take advantage of offer after offer without losing the benefits you might enjoy on another account.
Here’s more in my guide to why I have more than one account.