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.
June’s bank account update videos
For a more detailed update, watch these videos from my YouTube channel.
June’s current account news
Latest bank switching deals
The Lloyds offer (full details and analysis here) is £150 when opening and switching to a new Club Lloyds account. The big differences this time are that it’s £50 less than the previous offer, is only for people opening a new account and it excludes those who’ve had cash from both Lloyds and Halifax.
A few people have reported trying to get this even if they’ve had the cash before from either bank, with mixed success – though I saw one person share they’d got the money only for it to be clawed back soon after. Personally I don’t think it’s worth the risk.
Co-op has also tightened its switching criteria, once again via a refer-a-friend scheme. You now need to have direct debits, use the debit card and deposit cash (full details and analysis here). If you don’t know anyone with an account who can refer you, there’s a “pay it forward” thread in our Facebook group.
In fact I’ve finally got around to applying for Ulster and attempting that switch. I’ll report back in detail how to do this in an article soon.
Chase joins switching service and open banking
At last you can switch to and from a Chase current account, with the American giant now formally part of the Current Account Switching Service (or CASS). It’s one of the big features that’s been missing, but benefits here are mixed.
If you are wanting to use Chase as your main account, you can now move everything over automatically with additional protections. And of course, you can now also use Chase to switch to another bank – potentially in order to get a bonus. Since there’s no hard credit check for opening an account, it could be a decent dummy account.
Though you can create additional sub-accounts within the Chase app, they still link to the main account, so you can’t switch those additional accounts – just the main one.
However, I’d caution against using Chase to switch elsewhere. At the moment once you close a Chase account you won’t be able to open a new one EVER. That could of course change, but it’s a risk seeing as the 1% cashback feature makes it one of the best ways to spend right now.
As part of this change, Chase is now also part of open banking. Though it’s not yet compatable with all apps that use open banking, you can now connect your account to MoneyHub – though you require a subscription to do this. As yet there’s no news on when it’ll come to similar services like Snoop or Emma.
Chase wins big at British Bank Awards
The 2023 British Bank Awards took place in May, run by Smart Money People (which Be Clever With Your Cash is now part of). I was there in person, hosting a table of nominated financial journalists and influencers and presenting one of the awards.
All the winners are decided by public vote so it’s banks and building societies with loyal customers that tend to do well. And this time around, Chase picked up some of the biggest awards such as Bank, current account and savings provider, though Monzo picked up Best banking app and Starling got Best business account. Here are the key winners.
- Best British bank – Chase
- Best banking app – Monzo
- Best newcomer – Yonder
- Best building society – Leek Building Society
- Best business banking provider – Starling Bank
- Best credit card provider – Monzo
- Best current account provider – Chase
- Best personal finance app – Plum
- Best savings provider – Chase
- Best ethical financial provider – Triodos Bank
- Best children’s financial provider – HyperJar
Nationwide adds £100 bonus for some customers
Good news if you’re an active Nationwide current account user who also has either savings or a mortgage with the building society. If so you’ll be getting a £100 payment in June, as part of a profit-sharing scheme with members known as a Fairer Share Payment.
The bad news is many customers will miss out as they don’t have eligible accounts. I get that it should be active customers rewards, rather than people like me with a dormant current account, But I can see why some are angry about this – such as people who are using their current account for savings (the 5% for one year from the FlexDirect) or have been long term regular savers with a main account. I’ve written a full analysis of who does and doesn’t get it here.
Barclays ends Blue Rewards cashback on home insurance
From 29 July Barclays Blue Rewards current account customers will no longer earn an extra 3% cashback if they also have a Barclays home insurance product.
I still think Blue Rewards is worth keeping for those with enough cash to put in the linked 5.12% savings account (though only on balances up to £5,000), but it’s certainly not worth getting Barclays home insurance if it’s available for less elsewhere.
More Barclays branches to close
Since the last update, even more Barclays branches are set to go, with a total of 122 closing or already closed in 2023. Find out which ones here.
Starling offers National Trust pass for referrals
Join Starling Bank via a refer-a-friend link and you’ll both get a National Trust day pass, valid for six months.
It’s not quite up there with free cash for joining a bank (Monzo will give you a fiver, along with the referrer), but if you’re going to join Starling then you may as well ask a mate for their referral link.
You do wonder if Starling, and Monzo for that matter, will ever offer bigger incentives, even switching deals, given the success of Chase Bank. If it happens, I’ll obviously let you know here on the blog.
Revolut still waiting for full banking licence
It’s been years since Revolut first tried to get a full banking licence, meaning it’d be able to offer things like credit cards and full FSCS protection on deposits. Well the wait goes on, and the Telegraph reported in May that the latest application is going to be rejected. I’m not a fan of the app anyway – it’s got too much going on – but I’ll report on the site if the licence is granted and what it means for customers.
Monese ups debit card top up charge to 1%
Hopefully no one is still using Monese to add money from their Halifax debit cards to earn monthly rewards. Earlier this year a 0.3% charge was added for those on the free account, and from 1 August 2023 that’ll increase to 1%.
Since the bank hasn’t offered discounts on gift cards at all this year, or cashback on spending, it’s really not worth using this account in my opinion when others will do the same things better, such as fee-free spending. However since you can’t switch it away (it’s not part of CASS), you may as well keep it in a drawer at home in case offers return.
My top current accounts for June 2023
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)