Another brand new switching offer, and it’s open to existing customers too.
Another new bank switching offer for 2022, and this time from Santander – a bank that only started offering incentives in late 2021.
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 £175, increased from the £160 offer launched just a few weeks prior. It’s also the highest paying right now, and when you factor in account cashback it’s easily worth £240 or more in year one.
You can only get one £175 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 also 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 they 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 the first 60 days.
When does the offer end?
* UPDATE: the deal ends 22 September 2022 *
Santander hasn’t published an end date for this offer, so it could be any time. The last offer ran from mid January to early March so if it’s a similar time frame for this offer expect it to last until early October – but that’s a complete guess!
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 can get around this by opening up an additional account online. This is what I did last time. I already had a 123 Lite account, but applied for an Everyday account, and switched to that. It also meant I had a spare “dummy” account to use for future switching deals.
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.
However it could be earlier. I got my cash in eight weeks last year.
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.
|Benefits||Up to 3% cashback on bills|
|Limited cashback with retailers via debit card|
|Fee||£2 a month|
|Requirements||Two active Direct Debits|
|Pay in £500 a month|
|Opt for paperless statements|
|Log into online or mobile banking at least once every three months|
|Multiple accounts?||Yes, but you can only get the cashback on each bill from the account|
Is it worth switching to Santander?
I’m a big fan of the Santander 123 Lite account for anyone who pays bills, so this £160 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.
Switch offer summary
£160 Santander switch offer
|Bonus paid||Around 90 days after requesting the switch|
|Open to existing customers||Yes|
|Requirements||Open a new or hold an existing 123, 123 Lite, Everyday, Select or Private current account|
|Set up two Direct Debits after the switch|
|Log into app or online banking|
|Switch using the Current Account Switch Service and close your old account within 60 days of starting the switch|
|The old account must be from a different bank|
|Not have received a bonus already|
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 additional ongoing cashback from Santander makes it my top pick, but there are decent alternatives. The Halifax £150 offer and the Nationwide switch of up to £125 both pay quite fast, so you might be able to get one (or both) of those and then pick up Santander too.
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.
Previous Santander bank switch offers
- September to December 2021 – £130
- January to March 2022 – £140
- August 2022 – £160