A cash incentive is available to both new and existing customers.
This is the first switching offer from Nationwide since pre-pandemic days, and unlike previous promotions it doesn’t require a referral link.
Here’s everything you need to know.
How much can you get for switching to Nationwide?
This new cash incentive launched on Wednesday 18 August 2021 and offers either £100 or £125.
Existing customers can get the full £125 if they switch into their existing account or open an additional account. The lower amount of £100 is for new customers who don’t already have a qualifying account.
However, it’s not valid on all Nationwide accounts. Both new and current customers need to switch to one of these accounts:
- FlexDirect (read my review here)
If you switch into a joint account you’ll only get one payment in total, even if you both individually switch separate accounts into it.
What are the requirements for the switching offer?
First up you need to switch from a different bank to Nationwide using the Current Account Switch Service. This moves across all money, standing orders, Direct Debits and incoming payments, while also guaranteeing against anything going wrong.
The switch will take seven working days, though you can set a later date if you want. However, Nationwide require the switch to take place within 30 days to qualify for the cash.
You also need to make sure that you use online or app banking to start the switch. The terms and conditions don’t include phone or branch banking as options. Existing customers can only do this via online banking (not the app).
The initial information I had said you need to set up at least two Direct Debits on the new account, though I’ve now got access to the full terms and conditions it says you need to switch these over. I’ve asked for confirmation on this.
** Update ** I’ve had it confirmed that you must move over two Direct Debits. This means they need to be active on the account you will be switching from. This also applies to existing account holders taking advantage of the offer.
If you’re short on ideas for new Direct Debits, then read this article sharing how some easy and cheap ones to set up. These don’t need to stay active once you’ve got the switching money.
Remember, the old account you use for the switch will be closed and you won’t be able to use it anymore.
Also, existing Nationwide members don’t have to already have one of the current accounts listed above. You’ll be eligible for the extra cash if you have a mortgage or savings account and then open one of the current accounts.
Can you get a personal and joint switching bonus?
I’ve added this section in after getting confirmation from Nationwide that you can get two payments. One for switching in a personal current account to a personal Nationwide account. And another as well (or if you choose, instead) if you switch a joint account into a new or existing joint Nationwide account.
However, with joint accounts it’s only one payment per account rather than per person.
How to switch?
I had to log into my desktop Nationwide online banking to switch into my existing account (new customers should have the option to do this as part of the application process).
On the landing page you’ll see you existing account and on the right of this is a drop-down menu. Select switch your account and follow the steps. You’ll need to use either the card reader or a One Time Passcode sent via text to verify you want to do this.
You’ll also need the account number, sortcode and long debit card number of the old account you want to switch from.
In total it took me just three minutes. I set the switch date for three weeks away which will give time for the new Direct Debits I added to the old TSB account to activate (in case you’re interested, Plum and MoneyBox). If you already have two active DDs then don’t need to worry about that. But remember you have to set a date less than 30 days from when you start the switching process.
When will you get paid?
The money will reach your account within 10 days of the switch completion. Once you have the cash you can cancel the Direct Debits if they’ve been set up specifically for this bonus.
How to get the extra £25 for switching
If you’re not already a Nationwide customer, I think you could take a small extra step in order to qualify for the full £125 payment rather than £100.
You only need to be a ‘member’ the day before you request the switch, so you could become one of these via a savings account.
To do this, apply online for any eligible savings account, such as this instant access saver. You’ll need to add some money to this so it doesn’t close within 30 days, but you won’t have to keep it in there long term.
It hopefully won’t take long to make this application, though Nationwide’s website says there is a six day wait to register for online banking.
Then once you have opened the savings account and got access to Nationwide’s online banking, you can then apply for one of the current accounts and switch.
Missing £25 from your bonus?
*Update 10 September 2021
A few readers commented below that they’d only got £100 even though they’re existing Nationwide members. After kindly sharing their account details with me I put this to the building society to see if this was an error or something else. Fortunately it was the former. Here’s the formal reply from a Nationwide spokesperson:
“There was an issue where a small number of people were not recognised as existing members, meaning they received £100 rather than the full £125. This has now been resolved and we are arranging payment of the additional money for impacted members, including Mr Jones, next week and will be contacting them to apologise.”
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.
Can I get the money if I’ve already switched to Nationwide?
This offer is only available once, so you if you use the promotion and switch you won’t be able to do it again. The terms and conditions also say you won’t be eligible again even if they withdraw the offer and launch it again at a later date.
However if you received £100 via the referral offer that ran until early 2020 you can still use this offer. The same goes for anyone who switched in and didn’t receive any switching cash.
Is Nationwide any good?
If you’re worried about what your bank (or building society in this case) is doing with your money then in many ways Nationwide current accounts are among the best available.
Though it doesn’t offer the top ethical current account, these accounts are free (Triodos charges £3 a month – here’s my review). And you can be assured your cash isn’t being used to fund things that contribute to climate change, armed conflict or other issues you might not agree with.
It’s also always had great customer service (in my experience at least) and offered decent extras such as interest and overdrafts on accounts.
However, the app leaves a lot to be desired, which is why this year I finally stopped using my FlexDirect as my main account and went over to Starling. The app is fine and will do most things you need, and I’ve no doubt it’ll improve, but it lags well behind the best alternatives.
Which Nationwide account should I choose?
As mentioned there are three accounts where you’ll be eligible for the bonus.
The most popular is the FlexDirect. This offers 2% interest on £1,500 for the first 12 months, which is pretty good right now. However, you can only get this offer the first time you get this account, and personally I’d say for the sake of £30 interest it’d be better to wait to see if the rate improves.
However this is a great account if you are struggling with your overdraft as you can ask for a 0% overdraft (again only for the first 12 months). It’s possible to check your eligibility for this, and discover the size you’d get, before applying.
The FlexPlus is a packaged account that comes with worldwide family travel insurance, phone insurance and breakdown cover. For £13 a month it’s probably the best value account like this out there – but only if you actually need those extras.
Finally, it’s the FlexAccount. This is a no-frills account but it’ll do everything you need it to do with no charge. I’d suggest this is the best bet for most people taking advantage of this offer.
Is it worth switching to Nationwide?
Should you take advantage of this offer? Yes. It’s £100, possibly £125, for very little effort.
I’ve written before about why it’s good to have more than one current account, so hopefully you’ll have a spare account specifically for nabbing these bonuses.
If not and you’re thinking of moving your main account over, then obviously check if there are benefits you’ll lose if you do close that old account.
And if you are someone who does all their banking on the app you might be frustrated with Nationwide.
But these can easily be overcome. I’d say try out the Nationwide account and app and see how you go. If it’s not suitable for the long term then you could always open up a new account elsewhere to use as your main account – perhaps the likes of Starling or Monzo – alongside your Nationwide.
Or just switch to another bank later in the year if there’s another offer available.
Are there better switching offers?
Cash incentives for switching come and go. A few weeks back you could get money from Halifax, First Direct and HSBC, but by the end of this week it’ll only be this new Nationwide deal (unless more banks start new offers!). You can keep up to date with all the latest offers here.
But even if those deals were around the £125 for existing customers is hard to beat. And since this is the first proper switching offer from Nationwide it’s likely even serial switchers won’t have nabbed this cash yet!
You could alternatively opt for Virgin Money’s M Plus account switch that’ll give you a £150 voucher to spend on Virgin Experience Days, though personally I’d rather have the cash.
Don’t forget that once you’ve switched, you can always switch again later as long as you need the individual offer terms and conditions.