Compare Switch Incentive Current Accounts
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£150 when you switch to the NatWest Select Account
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Switch Incentive Current Accounts FAQs
What is a switch incentive current account?
A switch incentive current account is a current account that offers rewards to customers who change banks. To encourage you to switch, many banks now offer cash incentives when people move their current account over from their present provider.
The Current Account Switch Service, introduced in 2013, was the catalyst for banks offering incentives for switching accounts. It aimed to increase competition in the current account market by taking the hassle out of switching bank accounts and ensuring that all switches would be carried out securely.
Who can take out a switch incentive current account?
Anyone who has a current account with a participating bank and who wants to open an account with a different participating banking provider could take out a switch incentive current account. Banks who are part of the Current Account Switch Service will have the Current Account Switch Guarantee Trustmark.
Each bank will have their own eligibility criteria that individuals need to meet in order to open certain accounts and benefit from any rewards. You should look carefully at these before deciding whether you should switch current accounts.
What benefits do switch incentive current accounts offer?
Many banks offer cash incentives when you switch to one of their current accounts, although some may also offer vouchers. Often you can receive an initial cashback when you switch, with the potential of getting further rewards after several months.
However, in order to earn these rewards, individuals will have to meet certain requirements. For example, most banks need you to pay a minimum number of direct debits and pay a minimum amount into the account per month. Individuals should check these terms to ensure they fulfil all the requirements needed to access the rewards.
How do you decide which switch incentive current account to move to?
Aside from looking at the initial cash incentive, you should look more broadly at what the different current accounts offer. Depending on what you primarily use your account for, you might look for accounts with better interest rates or lower overdraft fees than your present account, or see if other banks provide extra services or features.
Many current accounts with switch incentives have a number of terms attached to them and some may charge fees, which could counteract the initial benefit you receive as a cash reward. You should look at all the requirements needed to gain the incentives, which may include minimum monthly payments, as well as the more general terms of the different current accounts to see which would be more beneficial for your circumstances.
Can you take out a switch incentive current account if you are overdrawn?
Yes, in many cases you can still switch accounts and benefit from the incentives even if your old bank account is overdrawn. A new agreement would have to be made with your new bank before you switch, as banks offer varying overdraft limits. If the amount you owe is more than the new bank will accommodate, you would need to make arrangements to pay back the overdraft to your old bank before switching.
How do you apply for a switch incentive current account?
Usually you will just need to go through the normal process of opening a new current account with the bank you want to switch to. You may be able to open an account online or visit a branch in-person. You will need to provide the new bank with your old account details and personal information, and they should take care of everything else.
Do you need to close your old account?
No, as long as they are part of the Current Account Switch Service, the new bank takes responsibility for closing your old account, moving your balance across to your new account and transferring any ingoing and outgoing payments. If anything were to go wrong, the new bank should take responsibility for refunding any charges or interest that you may incur as a result of the error.
Can you earn rewards if you switch a joint current account?
Yes, holders of a joint account who want to switch to a new provider will normally be eligible for the same incentives offered with sole current accounts. To switch you will need the permission of both parties and you would have to open a joint account; you couldn’t switch from a joint account to a sole account.
Check the terms and conditions of each provider and account before switching to ensure you choose the account that is best for your needs. As well as looking at the initial cash incentive, you should look at any longer-term requirements for the account and any fees they may charge.
Helpful links for current account issues
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - The UK financial regulator's website features lots of useful information for banking customers covering everything from knowing your rights to how to stop unauthorised payments.
Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS) - The FSCS is the best place to find out if your bank is covered by the compensation scheme and for advice on making a claim.
Financial Ombudsman Service - If you've complained to your bank and are still having ongoing problems then the Financial Ombudsman is the next step - their website covers everything you need to know about making a complaint.
Money Advice Service - The government's Money Advice Service provides unbiased advice on choosing, opening and managing a current account.