September 2023’s current account news & offers

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 this video from my YouTube channel.

September’s current account news

Latest bank switching deals

And then there was one… with offers from Natwest, RBS and Ulster finishing on 11 September (with just a few days notice) and another from Halifax closing at the end of August, there’s just one pure switching deal left.

And the offer from First Direct (£175) has been pimped slightly for September in the form of a prize draw. If you apply for the account, switch into it and meet the other criteria within 30 days (shorter than the usual three months), you have the chance to win one of five £12,500 prizes.

There are two other switching deals, though they are a little different.

First is Co-op’s refer-a-friend switch scheme (£125), which is also still available. This requires you to know, and be referred by, an existing Co-op Bank customer. If you don’t know anyone with a Co-op account who can refer you, there’s a “pay it forward” thread in our Facebook group. At the moment there’s no end date published for this.

The other offer is Barclay’s Premier Banking offer via it’s Avios Rewards scheme. This is pretty restrictive current account (you need to earn £75,000 a year or have more than £100,000 in savings). But if you do – and you’ve not already got a current account with Barclays, you could get 25,000 Avios points. Convert them to Nectar points and you’ll make the equivalent of £163 – though there’s at least £8 of charges to factor in too.

There’s still no news on the existing customer switch offer for First Direct that we reported was being trialed a few months ago.

TSB launches £100,000 prize draw for customers

If you have a TSB product, including current accounts, savings accounts, mortgage or loan, then you’ll automatically be entered into a prize draw to celebrate 10 years of the bank (before this is was part of Lloyds).

You’re eligible if you had an open account on 9 September 2023, are over 18 and live in the UK.

The total prize fund is £100,000, though that’s split into just ten £10,000 prizes – so chances are you won’t get lucky!

You don’t need to do anything to enter. The draw will take place on 18 October and winners will be notified by 20 October.

Some Barclays customers get 5% cashback on Google Pay

If you’ve not used your Barclays debit card on an Android phone’s Google Pay wallet yet then you can get 5% back until the end of September. It’s capped at £10 in total, so it’s not earth shattering, but worth a look. More details here.

Santander Edge fee conditions clarified

If you read my recent review of the new 7% rate for the Santander Edge Saver account, you might have spotted where I talked about a potential hack to avoid the £3 fee that comes with the account.

The potential workaround was spotted by a reader who saw that the Ts&Cs said the cashback and fee are only activated when you pay in the required £500 and add two active direct debits. Obviously if you want to earn the cashback you’re going to do this.

But if you already have a better paying Santander 123 or 123 Lite account, or you don’t pay bills, then this sounded like you could just not meet those requirements to activate cashback and therefore not get charged the fee. And that would leave you ready to earn the full 7% interest (on up to £4,000) – potentially across an additional joint account.

Sadly Santander have confirmed to me that this isn’t likely to work. Here’s what their press office told me:

The fee for the Edge Account is charged once a customer qualifies for cashback for the first time. If after opening, the customer’s circumstances change and the account is no longer right for them or they don’t meet the requirements of the terms and conditions they can, or we may, switch them to a different account within our range which doesn’t charge a fee.

The choice of “may” in the wording could be interpreted as not a guarantee you’ll be downgraded if you don’t pay the fee. So you might want to still give it a try. Let me know what happens if you do.

More bank branches to close

Another udpate, and yet more banks have announced branches that will close this year. Since July’s article, Lloyds & Halifax, Virgin Money and Barclays have all revealed more sites to close.

Monzo pushes out redesign to all users

Monzo has a new look. Open up the app and you’ll see a redesigned dashboard. Personally I’m a fan. I think it’s a lot easier to see all your pots, track your spending and also “do things” like add money or see your card.

I’m now much more likely to recommend it to people than I have been for the last few years, especially for things like budgeting. Here’s our updated review. works for Halifax Rewards

In my July update I shared that Monzo should work for the £500 spend required on for Halifax Rewards account reward – though I hadn’t tried it myself. Well I now have, moving £500 over using the Halifax debit card to pay via the Monzo.Me link. It’s tracked in Halifax Rewards so all is good.

And a reminder that it can take a few days for these payments to track, so do give it a few days before worrying (I get a lot of messages from people concerned these hacks, especially using Revolut, have ended).

Chase can be a dummy account for switching

Good news for those looking for a new dummy account to use for bank switching deals.

Since Chase Bank joined the Current Account Switching Service earlier in the summer you’ve been able to use it to move your banking into or out of a Chase account. Previously I’d suggested not to use Chase to switch away as the bank had a rule that once you’ve left it you can’t rejoin (for now at least).

However, since you can open up multiple Chase current accounts within the app, I wondered what would happen if you had more than one open – and used one of these to switch away. Would it close your entire Chase account, including savings? And what would happen to the debit card – there’s only one card that works across all your different current accounts?

Well the Chase press office confirmed to me that as long as you still have one Chase current account alive after a switch you’ll be OK. And the debit card won’t be impacted either.

In fact you can open up to 20 Chase accounts, and that number doesn’t decrease with each switch away. Say you have the maximum 20 accounts open and move one away, you don’t drop to a max of 19. You can then open up another to reach the total of 20 again (if you wanted).

My top current accounts for September 2023

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.

  1. Best account for everyday banking / app – Starling (review)
  2. Best account for everyday spending – Chase (review)
  3. Best account for bills – Santander Edge (review)
  4. Best account for rewards – Halifax Reward (review)
  5. Best account for savings interest – Santander Edge (review)
  6. Best account for 0% overdraft – Nationwide FlexDirect (12 months only) (review)


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