Ulster bank switch offer: Get £200

There’s a third option from the Natwest group – and it’s not just for people in Northern Ireland.

I’ve already written about the £200 switch offers from Natwest and RBS – both part of the Natwest Group. Well there’s also a third option from Ulster Bank that works to the same rules.

That’s great if you live in Northern Ireland, or if you’re trying to get an additional bonus after Natwest or RBS. But the application process isn’t quite as simple. Here’s how the offer works and my analysis.

Other switch offers

Now the Ulster offer has ended, you might want to check out one of these additional deals that are currently running

Latest switch offers (A-Z)

As of 21/9/23

Click the links for further details and analysis

How much can you get for switching to Ulster Bank?

This Ulster Bank switching offer is pretty straightforward. You’ll get a fixed £200 if you meet the conditions outlined below. This is the largest switching deal they’ve offered yet.

You can only get one bonus per person, regardless of whether you have more than one solo or any extra joint accounts. You’ll also only get one payment per joint account, so if two of you want the cash you’re better off opening two new individual accounts.

Who can get the Ulster Bank switching offer?

It’s another deal where new and existing customers can get the free cash. New customers will need to open up the following account via the Ulster Bank website or app:

  • Select

Existing customers will need to have one of these accounts prior to 14 February 2023:

  • Select
  • Foundation
  • uFirst Gold
  • Current
  • Current Plus
  • Private Current
  • uFirst Private

Then you need to use the Current Account Switching Service to move over an account from a different bank (this is only non-Ulster Bank, so a Natwest or RBS account will be fine).

What if you’ve had a bonus from Natwest or RBS already?

Officially, you won’t get the money if you’ve had any cash between 1 October 2017 and 13 February from switching to any bank in the Natwest Group, which consists of RBS, Ulster Bank or Natwest.

However, dozens and dozens of readers have shared in our Facebook group that they’ve had not just one bonus, but two and sometimes three – something we’re calling the “triple crown”.

I’ve personally had the cash from RBS in the last few months, even though I’ve also had money from Natwest in that time frame, and I’m waiting to see if I’ll also get the Ulster Bank bonus (update – I’ve got the cash!).

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What are the requirements for the Ulster Bank switching offer?

To get the £200 you need to:

  • Open or already have one of the accounts listed above
  • Start a full switch via the Current Account Switch Service via the Natwest website or app
  • Pay in £1,250 within 60 days of opening the account (it doesn’t have to be in one go)
  • Log in to mobile or app banking within 60 days of opening the account
  • Keep the account open until you’ve had the switching cash
  • Not had a bonus from the Natwest group banks between October 2017 and 13 February 2023

Note, for existing customers switching in, the 60 days begins when the switch completes.

When will the money be paid?

The full £200 will be paid to your account within seven calendar days of meeting the above criteria

When will the offer end?

There’s no set end date for this promotion, so it could end at any time. I’ll update this article if a date is announced. The offer will end at 8am on Monday 11 September 2023.

Ulster Bank £200 switch summary

Switching bonus£200
Bonus paidWithin 7 Days of completing criteria
Open to existing customersYes (more here)
Eligible accountsSelect (for new customers, longer list for existing customers)
Requirements Pay in £1,250 within 60 days
Log on to online or app banking within 60 days
Not have received a switching bonus from Ulster, RBS or Natwest between 1 October 2017 and 13 February 2023
Switch using the Current Account Switch Service and close your old account
You must start the switch from the Ulster website or your mobile app
The old account must be from a different bank
ExclusionsOffer limited to once per person
Offer ends8am on Monday 11 September 2023

Applying for an Ulster Bank current account

Unlike opening an account for Natwest or RBS, the process with Ulster Bank is laborious and and at times confusing. I had to rely on some of the experiences you shared in the Facebook group to get through it all – and even then it wasn’t always simple.

Here’s are some of the stumbling points you might come across.

Be prepared to wait

From submitting the application to account opening took 13 days. Add on the switch completion and the total was 21 days. That’s much longer than I’ve had with any other new account or switch

The switch cash was paid just two days later – faster than the seven says that some of you have had to wait.

Choosing a branch

You’ll apply online, which is largely pretty simple. But one stumbling point is when you’re asked to select your branch. If you live in Northern Ireland that’s easy enough, but if you don’t? Well, one trick is to just type in Belfast (or any town or city) and a list will appear. Pick one of these at random – it won’t make a difference longer term.

Selecting your switch date

I’d usually choose the date that will complete the switch as soon as possible, as that means I’ll get the money faster. However the whole process took so long that I hadn’t even had an open account by the time the switch was due to complete.

In the end it happened seven days after the account way opened. It’s probably worth choosing a sooner than later date anyway, just be prepared for the switch to take place later than what you choose.

Completing the application

Right at the end of the application process the screen asked me to close the page by clicking on the page. This wasn’t possible without closing the entire window, so I wasn’t sure if the application had gone through. Fortunately it had, but this wasn’t clear.

Sending back ID and a signed letter

I’d heard stories in the group that it took weeks for a letter to arrive. I actually got it within two days, though as it was just before the weekend I wasn’t able to send it back for another couple of days.

The letter itself is confusing. It suggests you need to send ID, but most people won’t need to do this. I simply signed it and put it back in the post.

It’s only people who can’t have their identity confirmed online who will need to send offer documents and this should be specified in the letter if necessary. It looks like that is a very small number of people, and largely those who weren’t born in the UK.

If you are asked for this you should be able to pop in to a Natwest or RBS branch rather than get certified copies or put originals in the post (which is not a good idea) – though this hasn’t always been a simple process according to some of you.

Setting up online banking

You should receive your customer number via text, but you need your sort code and account number to set up online banking (and they don’t appear on your debit card when that arrives).

I got those details via a live chat, which meant I could activate online banking and pay in the required £1,250. If you don’t want to do this then they will eventually arrive in the post.

If you don’t have an activation code via text, you can get one sent when you begin the online banking set up.

Is it worth switching to Ulster Bank?

Andy’s analysis

Unless you live in Northern Ireland and specifically want to access a local Ulster Bank branch (there are Natwest branches there too), it makes more sense to go for a Natwest or RBS account.

You’ll be able to choose a Reward account instead of a Select account, that could earn you £32 a year (not a huge amount I know), and also get access to the 6.17% paying Digital Regular Saver.

However, if you’ve already had switching cash from both Natwest and RBS, and want to try for the triple crown, then you could give it a go.

Just be aware that you will be hard checked for opening this account and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the money if you’ve had it previously from either of the other banks in the Natwest group within the excluded date range. And there’s always the chance the bank will claim back your money at a later date.

Are there better switching offers

If you’re a repeat bank switcher then you might only be able to pick one or two options, but for complete newbies you’ve got a few choices.

Here’s a list of the current offers. Click the links for more details.

Latest switch offers (A-Z)

As of 21/9/23

Click the links for further details and analysis

One thought on “Ulster bank switch offer: Get £200

  1. It looks like I will be likely unable to do anymore bank switches, unless it’s Halifax & the odd other bank. Despite now having a passport as photo ID, trying to do a switch with First Direct, NatWest group, I can’t get past their insistence on uploading the passport & doing the ludicrous face thing onlIne.

    I tried a number of times, one seemed ok, but I eventually get a message saying it was “unacceptable”. It could be my dexterity (due to disability) or something else, but now too stressful.I had to call First Direct to stop the e-mails about “you haven’t completed your ID thing”. If I read one more blurb about having to offset fraud etc. My response was the other banks I did switch from & didn’t insist on this ID online, don’t want people committing fraud either! But when you say that, they just clam up & repeat the mantra.


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