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.
October’s bank account update video
For a more detailed update, watch this video from my YouTube channel.
October’s current account news
Nine bank switch offers!
Right now you can get free cash or vouchers for switching from eight different banks.
**UPDATE 11/10/21 – Natwest has now joined in, making it nine offers!**
Click the links for details on each offer.
- Barclays Premier – “£200” Avios switch bonus
- First Direct – £100 switching bonus
- HSBC – £110 switching bonus + £30 Uber Eats voucher
- Lloyds – £100 switching bonus
- Nationwide – Up to £125 switch bonus
- Natwest – Up to £150 switch bonus
- RBS – Up to £150 switch bonus
- Santander – £130 switch bonus
- Virgin Money – £150 Virgin Experience voucher
The Santander and Lloyds ones are due to end later this month, with RBS set to finish mid-November. The others don’t have a published end date, which means they could go at any time. I’d expect some of them to disappear once the Santander and Lloyds offers go.
Obviously if you’ve had offers before you might be limited in which ones you can get right now (if any). But if you’re new to switching then my top pick – if you’re only switching once – is the Santander deal. This account, if you don’t already have it, will pay you up to 3% cashback on your bills. Combined with the £130 switching offer that’s almost £200 you’ll make.
If you’re happy to switch more than once, then it’s still possible to perform multiple switches from a single account, though the deadlines are tight. Here’s my top switching combo to earn up to £375.
|Switch 1||Lloyds by 19 October||At least 10 days (paid 3 days of completing switch)|
|Switch 2||Nationwide||At least 17 days (paid within 10 days of completing switch)|
|Switch 3||Natwest by 30 November||£100 by 28 January 2022, extra £50 by 16 November 2022|
Alternatively you have more than one spare account then you might want to switch them at the same time. That would allow you to get multiple offers in the next month or so. Don’t forget you can also get a joint account payment from Nationwide on top of a solo account payment.
Just bear in mind the impact multiple account openings can have on your credit report in the short term. There’s more on the switching offers in my guide to all the best bank offers.
Some banks will let you set your own contactless limit
On Friday 15 October, the contactless limit increases from £45 to £100. I think there are pros and cons to this, with the impact on budgeting and overspending more of a worry for me than security and fraud.
If you’re apprehensive of the change, then you might be able to set your own lower limit – it depends which bank you’re with. The following will have the feature via online, app or phone banking:
|Bank||Personal contactless limit|
|Bank of Scotland||Increments of £5 between £30 and £100|
|Halifax||Increments of £5 between £30 and £100|
|Lloyds||Increments of £5 between £30 and £100|
|Starling||Increments of £10 between £10 and £100|
If you’re still worried about this you can see if you can order a card without contactless functionality or see if the app has the feature to turn this off.
Tesco launches current account replacement
You’ll know by now that Tesco Bank is closing all current accounts by mid-November. In it’s place is a new debit card (not current account) called Tesco Clubcard Pay +.
I’ll looked into it here, but there are much better alternatives on the market so I think this is really only going to benefit people who need a prepaid card.
Chase Bank launches new current account
I’ve already covered in detail the launch of the new digital current account from Chase Bank UK. It offers 1% cashback for 12 months, plus 5% interest on roundup savings. Here’s everything you need to know in my Chase Bank review.
One update though is a useful bit of information from follower Ollie who contacted me after watching my video. He’s been using the card and made a transaction for £120 where the cashback didn’t come through. On investigation he found out this is because the merchant used Square to process the payment. This is seen as “professional and financial services” – and that’s excluded from the cashback. Sadly it’s not always going to be easy for you to know when this is happening
Monese changes free and paid tiers
The digital bank Monese has revamped it’s account portfolio. There are now three paid options (rather than two), and the free account (“Starter”) has stripped-back features. I can’t really recommend this account to anyone when there are much better free options available.
Monzo launches Flex
As I mentioned last month, Monzo has moved into Buy Now, Pay Later with the launch of Monzo Flex. This allows you to spread the cost of purchases out over three months with no interest charged.
My concern is this (like services such as Klarna and ClearPay) make it too easy to borrow. In fact, many people don’t realise that using these services is actually borrowing.
The Monzo service will at least have proper credit checks to stop lending to those who can’t afford it. This also means the money you borrow will appear on your credit report. I’ll be writing more about BNPL in the comming months.
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s award-winning podcast. Episodes every Tuesday.
My top current accounts for October 2021
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.