It’s replaced by a “Spend & Save” account.
Pretty much every major high street bank has made big changes to it’s rewards in 2020, and now it’s the turn of TSB.
From December 2nd the interest rate will drop from 1.5% (on balances up to £1,500) to zero. ZERO. Following on from the NS&I cut which will take place in late November it’s a huge blow to savers.
Existing Classic Plus customers will be able to keep their accounts, but it’s now been closed to new applicants. It’s been replaced by a TSB Spend & Save account.
Here’s more on the new account, and what to do if you currently have a TSB Classic Plus.
TSB’s Spend and Save account
Right, let’s take a look at the replacement for the Classic Plus. The name gives away the intent – Spend and Save. To get the benefits you need to use it as your main account.
The spend aspect rewards you with £5 cashback each month – though only for the first six months. The save element brings in some of the auto-savings and top-up features we’ve seen at banks like Monzo and Starling.
Those with Monzo will be familiar with this idea. You essentially separate your money into sub-accounts and name them for different goals or expenses. So you could have one for holidays, one for Christmas, one for emergencies and so on.
If your main account balance gets too low (you set the level), money can automatically be moved out of the pots to avoid you going overdrawn or missing payments. You need to activate this “Auto Balancer” feature.
Save the Pennies
This roundup feature takes each debit card transaction and tops it up to the nearest pound. That extra doesn’t go to the merchant though. Instead it’s moved to one of your savings pots.
For the first six months you can earn £5 cashback a month, so a total of £30. However to get this you need to make 30 debit card payments a month.
You can get this offer when you open the account up, or if you switch an existing TSB account over – but NOT a Classic account.
Is it any good?
Frankly no. Though the budgeting features are good, you’re better off going to Monzo or Starling as you’ll get more features.
And the cashback is ridiculous. Asking someone to make 30 transaction a month right now – at a time when we’ve been asked once again to go out less – just isn’t practical. And since it’s not ongoing, it’s hardly worth opening a new account just for six months.
So all-in-all not an account you want to bother with.
What to do with your Classic Plus accounts
Your next move depends a little on why you’ve got the account. Is it, like me, just for savings? Or is it your main current account?
With both it makes sense to switch away. Here are a few options:
If it’s mainly for savings
It’s another frustration for savers this week. I’m particularly peeved as Becky and I have six Classic Plus accounts between us (back when you could have two personal accounts and two joint accounts each). So we, and many others will now be looking to move that cash.
You can wait until the rate drops in December and keep earning that 1.5% until that date. Do this and there’s the risk that other rates will fall and you’ll miss out.
If you haven’t had one already, the best account is the Nationwide FlexDirect offering 2% for one year on £1,500. It’s only for new customers, but one workaround is to open an additional joint account. And since it’s a current account you can move your money in and out, even though the rate is guaranteed for 12 months.
Alternatively, and if you’re able to fix, then it might make sense to open another a savings account now rather than in December. At the time of writing a one-year 1.3% fix was available with Tandem – but that could be gone any day!. And I’d say it’s unlikely you’ll see an account with a higher rate any time soon.
If you need easy access it might also make sense to move now to a new account, even though they come with variable rates as there’s the chance they could be pulled from the market. Virgin Money’s current account offers 2.02% on up to £1,000. However, there’s no guarantee the rate there or elsewhere won’t drop – just as we saw with NS&I.
Here’s my regularly updated guide to the best easy-access cash savings and regular savings accounts
If it’s mainly for banking
If savings aren’t an issue (or once you’ve moved them) then you’ve got quite a few options, and while there are bank switch bonuses available I’d say you should look to nab some of those while you can.
At the time of writing you can choose between £100 from Lloyds or RBS, £125 from HSBC, and possibly £50 from Metro. You could even get hold of more than one – perhaps even all four.
But when you’re thinking of which bank is best for you in the long run as your main account there are other things to think of.
In my latest podcast episode I’ve looked at the most ethical accounts, and Nationwide, Co-op, Starling and Monzo all come out well. The winner though is Triodos – but that does come with a £3 a month fee.
As mentioned above new Nationwide customers can earn interest for the first year, while Monzo and Starling are also great for budgeting.