Another brand new switching offer, and it’s open to existing customers too.
Another week, another bank switching offer, and this time from Santander – a bank that hasn’t really offered big cash incentives to join them.
Here’s what you need to know in order to get the free cash, and my analysis of how it compares to the other options available right now.
How much can you get for switching to Santander?
This offer is a hefty £130, making it the largest cash bonus we’ve seen for a long time. Though the Santander website doesn’t list an end date, the press release I received from the bank says the offer will finish on 21 October 2021 – though it could be withdrawn earlier.
You can only get one £130 bonus per person, so there’s no trick to double this with extra accounts or joint accounts. There’s also only one payment per joint account, so I’d suggest couples open up two separate accounts to maximise the cash they get.
Who can get the Santander switch bonus?
It’s available to new and existing customers on the following accounts:
- 123 Lite (review here)
If you don’t have one of these accounts you’ll need to open one. If you already have it, you can switch directly into it.
You have to use the Current Account Switch Service to transfer in from a bank account held at another bank. This old account will be closed.
You can’t get the money if you’ve ever had a switching bonus from Santander. I checked and this includes the £50 refer-a-friend offer that used to run. This includes offers for Cahoot or Carter Allen banks which are part of Santander.
What are the requirements for the Santander switching offer?
There’s quite a bit you need to do with this switch, though you’ll find that these are also requirements for some of the accounts – including my pick of the Santander 123 Lite (more on these option below).
Two active Direct Debits
First the account you switch into needs to have two Direct Debits active when the run their eligibility checks (around 60 days after starting the switch).
These can be set up after the switch if you don’t have them on the old account you’re switching from.
If you are an existing account holder and already have Direct Debits on there then you don’t need to set up new ones. I’ve had confirmation from the Santander press office on this.
A £1,000 deposit
You must pay into the account at least £1,000 in the first 60 days. This can be a single payment, or multiple deposits. The money doesn’t have to stay in the account. You can spend it or transfer it out to a different account.
Check online banking
Finally, make sure you log in to your online or app banking at least once in this first 60 days.
Switching as an existing customer
This is a bit annoying – to switch to an existing Santander account you need to visit the branch. This might require an appointment. You might be able to get around this by opening up an additional account online.
When will the money be paid?
The bank will check you’ve met the conditions 60 days after you’ve started the switch, and pay the money within 30 days of this. So you’re looking at three months at most to get the cash.
Which Santander account should I choose?
From the available options my top pick for most people is the Santander 123 Lite account. For a monthly fee you’ll get cashback on most of your household bills. As long as your company is covered (most are) you’re looking at £40 to £60 profit each year.
I’d 100% go for this version over the full 123 account. Here’s my comparison of the two 123 options with more details.
However, this account only makes sense once per household as you’re only paying one set of bills. So if the person you live with already has this or you’ve a joint version of this account, I’d look instead at the free accounts.
The Everyday current account does all the basics you need from a current account but there’s no fee or monthly requirements to be met.
Is it worth switching to Santander?
I’m a big fan of the Santander 123 Lite account for anyone who pays bills, so this £130 on top is a winner in my eyes.
Personally I’d keep this as a separate account just for your bills. This helps with budgeting and also allows you to take advantage of better banking experiences from the likes of Monzo and Starling.
Though there’s a 90 day window before you get the cash, I think this is a great account to keep rather than switch again for a different deal.
Are there better switching offers?
With five different banks offering an incentive to switch, you might need to be picky. So how do you pick?
The fact that most people are unlikely to have nabbed free cash from Santander before means most of your reading will be able to get it – whether you’re a serial switcher or a newbie. That’s a definite plus.
You’ve got to remember there’s only until 21 October 2021 (or earlier) to get this one, but that would potentially give you time to open a Club Lloyds account and get £100 in 10 days and then switch that same account over to Santander for two bonuses.
The Nationwide switch of up to £125 might be an achievable alternative in the time too – though it’s unlikely you’d get both unless you did them simultaneously.
A quick note though that if you are opening new accounts (rather than switching into existing accounts) you will be credit checked on each application.