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.
September’s bank account update videos
For a more detailed update, watch these videos from my YouTube channel.
September’s current account news
Latest bank switching deals
A few changes since last month’s update. First up is the latest iteration of the Virgin Money offer, which changes every three or four months. The bank now offers up to £160 back via cashback on supermarket and petrol spending over 60 days. I think this is the best offer they’ve had yet. I’ve gone into detail on how the offer works and who can get it here.
Elsewhere, a couple of banks hiked the money on offer. First Direct increased from £150 to £175. There’s still no news about the refer-a-friend trial becoming something all customers can benefit from.
In response Santander also increased its offer to £175 (just a few weeks after relaunching at £160). It’s open to new and existing customers as long as you’ve not had the money before.
There’s still no news on offers from HSBC, Natwest, RBS or Lloyds. I’d expect one or two this month. Obviously I’ll update you on my newsletter if these happen before my next roundup, so make sure you sign up.
For the rest – we know the Halifax offer finished 5 September. Other ongoing deals have no set deadline (so they could go any time). These are from Virgin Money, Nationwide and First Direct and more complicated deals from Barclays Premier and Co-op.
This month’s bank switch offers (A-Z)
Click the links for further details and analysis
- Barclays Premier – “£200” Avios switch bonus
- Co-op – £50 refer-a-friend offer
- First Direct – £175
- Nationwide – Up to £125 switch bonus
- Santander – £175 switch bonus
- Virgin Money – Up to £160
Chase extends 1% cashback for early users
If you signed up to Chase bank before 1 March 2022, then you’ll hopefully have spotted that your 1% cashback has been extended until the end of February next year. If you signed up after this date you’ll still get just 12 months. More details here.
Get three Halifax Reward accounts now
Last month I told you about changes to the Halifax Reward account terms and conditions from 1 November which allow you to have three Halifax Reward accounts, rather than just one (though you could already get a joint account on top).
Well I gave this a go early and I was able to open up an extra account now AND earn my reward on it. I went for £5 a month again as I get cinema tickets for free elsewhere, and I’ll open a third account soon.
Checking my credit report, the application doesn’t appear to have triggered a hard search on Experian (via MSE’s Credit Club), Equifax (via Clearscore) or Transunion (via Credit Karma). However, these update monthly so there’s a chance something could appear in the coming days.
You’ll obviously still need to meet the criteria for the benefit, including depositing £1,500 a month and either spending £500 a month on the debit card or saving £5,000 for a month.
I also discovered that internal transfers between my two Halifax Reward accounts is counted as part of the £1,500 deposit, so it’s easy to meet this requirement. For the £500 I’m paying off a cashback credit card. Here’s my full review of the Reward account.
Monese cashback disappoints
The first lot of cashback for people who signed up in June for the 1.5% cashback from Monese hit accounts at the end of August. This was for spending during July.
I’ve not used it, but it does seem you’ll just get a total amount rather than a breakdown per purchase. It’s also impossible to see if you’ve got the offer active on your account or not. It’s not the end of the world, but people in my Facebook group have been disappointed.
Also, the popular 20% off gift cards offer didn’t appear in August – but popped up on 6 September. So it looks like it’s still going but as ever you can’t guarantee.
Barclays closes overdrafts
A few outlets reported that Barclays have been giving notice to some customers that overdrafts would be removed in a month’s time. The reasoning being they’d not used it in a year
Though this might sounds like bad news for Barclays customers, it’s worth remembering that most banks are charging a massive 40% interest on overdrafts. So if you need to borrow these are going to be one of the worst ways to do it.
For short term spending that’ll take you below zero, ideally use savings, but if they’ve been depleted already, you can get a 0% buffer of £250 from First Direct. Or look for a 0% credit card.
More banking hubs to open
Will hundreds of bank branches closing each year, a trial for shared “banking hubs” is to be expanded. 10 new hubs will open, on top of 15 already announced (though yet to open).
The idea is that banks will share the costs of providing a base, making it more cost effective to retail a high street presence.
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.
My top current accounts for September 2022
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.