A cash incentive is available to both new and existing customers.
This is a welcome return of the switching bonus from Nationwide, which you can get for both a personal and a joint account – meaning there’s the chance to get £600 as a couple!
Here’s everything you need to know.
How much can you get for switching to Nationwide?
This new cash incentive launched on Thursday 21 September 2023 and offers £200.
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 have one of the above Nationwide accounts. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to open one online.
You’ll also 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. However your old bank account must be closed in order to get the free cash.
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 60 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).
You’ll need to switch over two “active” direct debits, where “a valid regular direct debit instruction exists on the account”. This means they need to be live, and possibly already paid out, 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.
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.
Sadly, this means the deal will only be open to those who’ve not had switching cash from the building society since 18 August 2021 (when the first offer was launched).
Can you get a personal and joint switching bonus?
Unlike other switching offers, there’s the potential to 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. But that means there’s a total of £600 up for grabs for couples.
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How to switch?
Existing customers may need to log into your desktop Nationwide online banking to switch into your existing account. New customers will have the option to do this as part of the application process.
On the landing page you’ll see your existing account and on the right of this is a drop-down menu. Select switch your account and follow the steps. You may 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.
When I did this in 2012, in total it took me just three minutes. I set the switch date for three weeks away which gave time for the new direct debits I added to the old 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 60 days from when you open the account.
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.
When will the Nationwide bank switch offer end?
At the moment there’s no published end date, though Nationwide say it’s a limited time offer. We’ll update here and on our socials when (or if) a date is announced in advance.
Can I still get an extra £25 as an existing customer?
Previously existing Nationwide customers would get a £25 bonus for switching, but sadly this is no longer part of the offer and everyone will get the same £200.
£200 switching offer
|Bonus paid||Within 10 days of the switch completing|
|Open to existing customers||Yes (more details here)|
|Requirements||Open a new or already have a FlexPlus, FlexDirect or FlexAccount|
|Transfer two direct debits|
|Switch using the Current Account Switch Service and close your old account within 30 days of starting the switch|
|The old account must be from a different bank|
|Not received a bonus from a switching ofer since August 18 2021|
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. There’s also the new loyalty bonus, first paid in 2023, that could return in future years.
However, the app leaves a lot to be desired, which is why a few years ago 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 5% interest on £1,500 for the first 12 months. However, you can only get this offer the first time you get this account, so you might want to open a standard account for the switching bonus and leave your application for FlexDirect for when (or if) rates improve.
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.
Nationwide Flex Direct
|Benefits||0% overdraft for the first 12 months|
|Interest||5% AER (fixed) interest on the first £1,500 saved for 12 months (drop to 0.25% after a year)|
|Access to 8% AER (variable) Flex regular saver (max £200 a month)|
|Requirements||Pay in £1,000 a month|
|Multiple accounts?||Two – one personal and one joint|
|Notes||Transfers in from other Nationwide accounts don’t count towards the £1,000|
Is it worth switching to Nationwide?
Should you take advantage of this offer? Yes. It’s £200, 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.
And don’t forget there’s also the new 8% paying regular saver you can nab on top!
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. You can keep up to date with all the latest offers here.
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.