NewsPersonal Finance

Banks Offering Free Cash for New Account Holders


This time last year, one of the best things about switching bank accounts was the perks: different providers were very keen to entice people in as customers, so most banks were offering bonuses such as free cash for switching over. In most cases you could expect to get at least a hundred pounds for switching, sometimes a lot more.

These offers dried up a few months ago, and for a while all of the switching bonuses were on hold. However, over the past few weeks we’ve started to see them return – so here’s a roundup of what’s currently available.

RBS – £100 to switch by 19 November

Switch your main account to the Royal Bank of Scotland by mid-November, and they’ll put a hundred pounds into your account to say thank you. Switching itself is easy: simply apply for an account and let them know that you’d like to use the switching service to turn it into your main bank account. All of your direct debits and payments into the account will be transferred automatically, and your existing account will be shut down.

There are some criteria that you need to meet in order to qualify for the bonus:

  • Pay £1500 into your account and log in to online or mobile banking before the end of the year
  • Pay a minimum of £1250 into your account every month on an ongoing basis

Existing customers are eligible if moving from a non-RBS account, however those who have already had a switching bonus from RBS (or their sister banks NatWest and Ulster) since 2017 will not be.

Metro – £50 if referred by a friend

Metro Bank have a referral form that allows you to refer a friend and get £50 each. One account holder can refer up to five people for a total maximum bonus of £250. The money will be paid into both accounts within 30 days of the following criteria being met:

  • The new account holder needs to pay in £500 a month for the first two months
  • They need to make a minimum of ten purchases on their debit card within the first two months
  • They need to log in to online or mobile banking within the first month

Metro Bank regularly rank well for customer service when compared to other banks, generally outperforming all of the traditional high street banks.

Other reasons to switch

These are the only two banks currently offering a switching bonus, but that’s not the only reason to switch your account. You could also consider changing to an account that will offer you a regular bonus such as cashback on your bills, interest on your account balance or incentives for logging into online banking or setting up direct debits. Santander, NatWest and RBS are among the banks currently offering reward accounts. Do be aware that these accounts will sometimes charge you a fee.

You could also consider switching if you’re unhappy with the service you’re receiving or the features that are available. Typically, the challenger banks such as Monzo and Starling get the best reviews in these areas. If you’re not ready to switch then you could also open a secondary account.

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