Refer-a-friend: Get paid when your friends switch bank

If you bank with Nationwide, TSB you can get up to £100 for every friend who signs up – and they get a bonus too.

*These offers are no longer running, but you can find more bank switching and opening deals in my banking offers guide.*

How bank refer-a-friend schemes work

Very simply, the banks are asking you to recommend them to your friends and family. In return they’ll give you a sweetener that is paid into your account. Right now both TSB and Nationwide are offering £100. Recently both Santander and First Direct have also had similar offers, while many digital banks offer a smaller incentive.

Obviously you need to have an account with the bank in order to play matchmaker, but once you do it’s a nice way to earn a little extra.

And your friends will get something in return too. Both banks are offering a £100 sweetener, as well as high paying interest.

Here’s what you need to know for each scheme.

Nationwide referral bonus

This is my pick of referrals – and possibly my top bank switching deal too. You’ll both get £100, and your friend could potentially get another £125 in interest. To refer someone you need to go the Refer-a-Friend page and enter in some details. You’ll be emailed a unique link to give to your friend. This link is only valid for 90 days.

Once they’ve got the link they need to follow it and open up either a FlexDirect, FlexAccount or FlexPlus account with Nationwide and then switch their old bank over. They also need to transfer two Direct Debits set up to come out of this account.

You’ll get the money within 30 days of your friend completing the switch. However, make sure they don’t close the account within three months as Nationwide reserves the right to get the money back from all of you.

You can recommend five people every financial year, which runs from April 6th to April 5th the following year. You also don’t need to have a bank account with Nationwide to refer someone – it works if you have a savings account or mortgage too.

On top of the £100, your friend will get 5% interest for a year on a balance of up to £2,500 if they choose the FlexDirect account. This is that extra £125. Your friend can also apply for an interest-free overdraft for the first year.

> Refer a friend to Nationwide

TSB refer a friend bonus

The latest bank referral offer from TSB ends on the 28th February 2020, though it could well be extended. You and your friend can both get £100 as long as they complete a full switch that includes two active direct debits and pays £500 into the account. They also can’t currently have a TSB account or have received a switching bonus in the past.

To make a referral you need to fill in this form, which requires your account number and sort code. You’ll then get emailed a link for you to forward to your friend. You can refer up to five friends while the offer is running.

The TSB Classic account is actually not a bad one to have as you can earn 3% in interest on balances up to £1,500 – only the Nationwide account above beats this.

> Refer a friend to TSB

Digital bank referral schemes

To get new customers many of the new digital-only banks are offering cash rewards as incentives. Monzo did this for a long time (though sadly not anymore) and I’ll share those I know about below. Comment if you’re aware of any others.

Monese refer a friend bonus

Monese offers £25 via it’s invite and earn program. You’ll part of the cash when you use the card for the first time and the rest after a set amount is spent via the card.

It’s not clear on the app right now what that level is, but when the promo was £20 the split was £5 then £15 after spending £500. If you don’t have an account and want to get one then you can sign up here with the code ANDR4552 to get your own sign-up bonus.

N26 referral scheme

Similarly, N26 offers £15 to each of you. I don’t have this account (yet).

Closed referral schemes

First Direct referral bonus

First Direct has put its referral scheme on hold at the moment but should return at some point in 2020. Previously you would need a recommend a friend pack which you could order via your online banking, though I got sent a copy in the post. The pack had a handful of cards to hand out, and on each there’s a gap to enter your name and postcode.

When your friend called up the number on the form they needed to quote both of these in order for you to get your bonus. On the call they then applied for the new account, which is often voted the number one for customer service.

Then, as long as they also switch their existing bank into this one and pay in £1,000 within three months, they got the offer, normally between £50 and £100, As long as that all went ok you got your £50 with 28 days. You’re limited to three referrals in total.

> More on how to recommend First Direct

Santander refer a friend bonus

As with First Direct you can’t currently get a Santander bonus for referring your friend. Previously they offered both you and your friend a £50 Amazon voucher for a full switch. The offer finished in June 2019. If it comes back I’ll update it here and on my bank switching deals page.

Monzo golden tickets scheme

Popular digital bank Monzo closed its scheme in 2019.

Bank switching and other offers to consider

These are both decent deals for you and your friend, with the Nationwide one a top pick. In fact they’re both worth getting referred to even if you’re not a customer with them and getting your own bonuses (if you know me then get in touch and I’ll send you the links!).

But these aren’t the only bank switching incentives, and you might be better off at a different bank, depending on your circumstances. These deals change frequently, so I regularly update my bank switching and incentives page. Do check it out.

You also need to remember that bank switching involves closing down your old account completely. However, as part of the Current Account Switch Guarantee, all your Direct Debits and standing orders will be transferred, and any payments in (such as your salary) and out will be forwarded. If something was to go wrong you’d get compensation. Here’s more on how to switch bank.

More financial refer-a-friend schemes

Though these are the only decent bank account schemes, other credit cards and savings accounts offer similar incentives.

Though there are quite a number of credit card referral schemes out there, you need to think carefully before recommending a credit card to someone. Will they pay it off in full each month or will they borrow more than they can afford? If you think they can manage it, then there are additional benefits with the Amex.

Get a mate to successfully apply for an American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card and you’ll get £30 (up to £150 per calendar year) and they get £25, which makes it fee-free. They’ll also get the normal introductory offer, currently 5% cashback for three months up to £125. Other Amex cards have similar schemes though the rate might vary. It’s also possible for your friend to get a similar bonus via cashback sites but you’ll miss out. Here’s more on American Express cards.

Vanquis also offers £25 to you and your friend if you recommend someone to their credit card, but this isn’t a cashback credit card so there’s probably a better reward out there for your friend – even if it means you don’t get your referral bonus.

7 thoughts on “Refer-a-friend: Get paid when your friends switch bank

  1. what is the definition of a friend? Can a family member or spouse be considered as friend?

    1. Hi Hemanshu, it’s always worth checking the terms and conditions but I think most of the time yes family members and friends count for referral schemes.

  2. Halifax gave me my bonus of £50 within 7 days even of just starting the switch, are there any others doing this? And if my husband refers me to switch to lloyds (his bank) can we get anything?

    1. Lloyd’s don’t offer anything like this. You can switch without a referral to Barclays, M&S and First Direct at the mo. I’ve a full article about this here

    2. Lloyds has really nice switching offer at the moment pls check

  3. I recommend my sister to nationwide neither of us got anything

    1. Did you complain?


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