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.
March’s bank account update videos
For a more detailed update, watch these videos from my YouTube channel.
March’s current account news
Latest bank switching deals
Since last month’s update, there’s been one increase and two new offers.
The First Direct deal is now £150, up from £130. There’s no end date set for this. Here are all the details.
The first new deal is from Lloyds, though this time it’s only running for their packaged accounts which come with extras like breakdown cover and travel insurance. It’s also offering £150 and I’ve written about how new and existing customers can get it.
The other newbie is from RBS, and it’s a carbon copy of the Natwest deal except it lasts a few weeks longer.
There’s no set end date for the offers from Nationwide, Virgin Money, Santander and Co-op, so they could go any time.
You can switch multiple times (all at once or one after the other), just be aware of the impact on your credit score.
This month’s bank switch offers
- Barclays Premier – “£200” Avios switch bonus
- Co-op – £50 refer-a-friend offer
- First Direct – £150
- Lloyds – £150 (ends 21 March)
- Nationwide – Up to £125 switch bonus
- Natwest – £150 (ends 7 April)
- RBS – £150 (ends 21 April)
- Santander – £140
- Virgin Money – £100 voucher and 5.02% interest
Chase to allow direct debits
One of the main issues I have with the Chase Bank current account is the lack of direct debits, meaning you can’t really use it as your main account. That’s due to change in March!
In an email to customers, the bank also revealed it has plans for a savings account and more cashback offers at some point in 2022. I’ll update you when details are announced.
Monzo now lets you set your own contactless limit
Joining Starling, Halifax and a few others, Monzo will now let you choose whether you want to limit your contactless payments to less than £100.
Starling changes cash deposit rules
From 1 March 2022 you’ll be limited to how much you can pay in for free at the Post Office to £1,000 a calendar year. Over this and you’ll be charged 0.7% (minimum £3 per deposit).
There’s also a limit of £250 in coins per year. These changes apply to personal accounts.
I already recommend having an additional account (or two) at a high street bank, so it makes sense to just use this if you do have money and digitally transfer the cash to your Starling account.
Virgin Money launch cashback
If you have an account with Virgin Money it’s worth looking at the new “Discover” tab and activating the cashback rewards. On my account there’s 10% back at Morrisons, 8% at LNER, 5% at Costa and more – though most, if not all, are also available as offers from the likes of Barclaycard and Natwest.
There are also changes to the linked savings accounts which you can read about here.
Barclays Blue Reward reveals new features
As previously reported, the new £5 monthly charge begins in March, though you won’t pay it until the second working day of April. So if you don’t want to carry on with this extra you have until 5pm 31 March to cancel it.
There will be new rewards announced throughout year, and the first of these were revealed in an email early in February.
The new features included access to a Blue Rewards Saver (paying a rubbish 0.25%) and four prize draws with the chance to win the following:
- £50 M&S voucher
- £50 Currys voucher
- Premier League tickets
- Womens Super League tickets
There was also something called Money 1:1, offering three months of personalised money support with Barclays Money Mentors. Space for this was limited and has been filled, but you can register interest here. Usually this scheme offers a single 45 minute session.
More branches closing
Yet more bank branches are going next year. This time it’s the turn of Natwest and RBS, with a 32 going in total. Find out which ones here.
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.
My top current accounts for March 2022
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.