HSBC has launched a cash incentive for new current account customers, offering them a £200 bonus for switching.
The current account deal matches Nationwide as the most generous switching offer available on the market.
New customers will need to apply for either an HSBC Premier or HSBC Advance account using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) and set up at least two direct debits or standing orders.
Joiners will also need to deposit at least £1,500 into the new account within 60 days of opening it.
Switch: A new £200 current account switching offer has been launched by HSBC, the bank’s largest switching offer since 2018
As well as the £200 freebie, both providers are also offering their customers access to some exclusive market leading savings deals.
When combined together, it means either bank is worth considering as a place to keep a rainy day or emergency savings fund.
If a saver both switched their current account and opened a member-exclusive savings account, it could make them more money than if they had opened the best easy-access savings account on the wider market.
HSBC’s Online Bonus Saver account is essentially an easy-access deal paying 3 per cent on balances up to £10,000, exclusive to HSBC banking customers.
The best ‘non-exclusive’ easy-access deal currently available pays 2.81 per cent, courtesy of Al Rayan Bank. The rest pay 2.55 per cent or less.
Someone depositing £10,000 in HSBC’s account could expect to earn £300 in interest after one year, though the interest rate could be changed again in the future.
Someone depositing £1,500 in the current account and then £10,000 in the Online Bonus Saver would be able to secure a £500 return in one year from the bank account incentive and savings interest combined.
On a £11,500 total commitment, that represents an almost 4.4 per cent return after one-year, whilst retaining full access to their cash.
The drawback is the fact that the 3 per cent rate only applies for any month in which no withdrawals are made. During a month in which a withdrawal is made or the account is closed, savers will only earn 0.5 per cent.
This means savers who sign up would be wise to treat this account as their emergency fund, rather than everyday savings they can dip in and out of.
Offer: Those who switch a current account they hold with another provider to one with Nationwide will get a £200 bonus
Nationwide, by comparison, offers in-credit interest on its FlexDirect bank account paying 5 per cent on balances up to £1,500, enabling new joiners to secure up to £75 a year on top of the £200 joining fee.
To qualify, customers must complete a full switch using the Current Account Switch Service and a minimum of two active direct debits must be transferred to the new account.
For someone keeping £1,500 for a full year in the account, that effectively represents more than an 18 per cent return on investment, when the £200 joining bonus is added.
Read the small print
Whilst the returns on offer at HSBC and Nationwide are much better than what typical easy-access savers can secure on the open market, there are a few hoops to jump through.
This means that unlike many of the savings rates on our best buy easy-access tables, benefiting from these exclusive bank account deals will require more time and admin.
For those who value an easy life over maximising returns on their rainy day savings, settling for one of the deals at the top of the tables may be a better option.
For example, three app-based challenger banks, Zopa, Tandem and Atom Bank, are offering easy-access accounts paying between 2.4 per cent and 2.55 per cent at present.
While switching bank accounts has obvious benefits, it will also involve some admin to ensure you are eligible.
Signing up with one of these providers will take about 10 minutes and thereafter can be entirely managed via a smartphone.
But for those determined to make their rainy day fund work as hard as possible, then switching to either HSBC or Nationwide could be a good option.
However, it’s important to sign up to the correct bank account in either case – HSBC’s Advance account and Nationwide’s FlexAccount have no monthly fees attached, but enable joiners to fully benefit from both the switching bonus and savings perks.
Here are the rules that switchers need to be aware of before signing up.
Joiners will need to complete a full switch from their existing current account to HSBC using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), with at least two direct debits or standing orders.
They must start the switch within 30 days of opening their new account and must deposit at least £1,500 into the new account within 60 days. The £200 will then be paid within 20 days.
Joiners will not qualify for the £200 offer if they have held an HSBC or First Direct bank account since 1 Jan 2019.
Interesting: HSBC’s Online Bonus Saver has the best headline rate, but for those looking to stash away more than £10,000, it may not be the most lucrative option
Unlike with HSBC’s offer, Nationwide’s £200 incentive is open to both new and existing members.
Existing members can switch a current account they hold with another provider to an existing account they already hold with the Society.
This means it is still possible for existing Nationwide bank account holders to benefit, as long as they have another bank account elsewhere that they can switch away from.
To qualify for the £200 giveaway, switchers must complete a full switch using the Current Account Switch Service and set up a minimum of two active direct debits.
It’s worth noting that people won’t be eligible if they have switched from one Nationwide account to another, or if they have benefitted under any previous current account online switch offer since 18 August 2021.
THIS IS MONEY’S FIVE OF THE BEST CURRENT ACCOUNTS
Chase Bank will pay £1% cashback on spending for the first 12 months. Customers also get access to an easy-access linked savings account paying 1.5% on balances up to £250,000. The account is completely free to set up and is entirely app based. Also no charges when using the card abroad.
The Club Lloyds account offers £150 free cash when you switch. It also pays 0.6% on balances up to £4,000, and 1.5% on £4,000 – £5,000. There is a £3 monthly account fee to pay. But this is waived each month that you pay in £1,500 or more.
HSBC’s Advance Account pays £200 when you switch. You just need to set up two direct debits and deposit £1,500 in the account within 60 days of opening it.
First Direct will give newcomers £175 when they switch their account. It also offers a £250 interest-free overdraft. Customers must pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening the account.
Nationwide’s FlexDirect account comes with up to £200 cash incentive for new and existing customers. Plus 5% interest on up to £1,500 – the highest interest rate on any current account – if you pay in at least £1,000 each month, plus a fee-free overdraft. Both the latter perks last for a year.