first direct offers Britons £150 free cash and chance to secure 3.50% interest rate

Interest rates: Expert advises on savings and mortgages

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Many banks are now stepping up the competition in the hopes of attracting new savers, especially as the Bank of England base rate improves. One way providers are doing so is by offering switching incentives – free cash or other perks to reel in custom.

For those who are already looking to switch provider, it could make or break their decision on which bank or building society to select.

first direct says it will offer Britons £150 as part of efforts to “say hello” to new customers.

It is one of the leading switching offers currently available on the market, which may make it more enticing to savers.

To get the £150 offer, individuals will need to open first direct’s 1st account – a current account.

They will also need to switch their everyday banking to the provider using the official Current Account Switch Service.

Finally, they will be required to pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening the account.

The offer, however, does come with some eligibility criteria to consider.

It is limited to solely one payment per customer or joint account. In addition, it can only be offered to those who have not previously held an account with first direct.

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Savers must also have not opened an HSBC current account on or after January 1, 2019.

As long as this criteria is met, the people should get the money within 28 days.

first direct states the process of switching “is not a nightmare” and “won’t be hard work”. It can be done fairly easily through the switching service.

All Britons will need to do is choose a date and professionals will move all of their affairs over in seven working days.

What’s more, if there are any errors which occur, then savers are protected using this scheme. 

Opening a 1st account with first direct has the potential for Britons to secure a solid interest rate, by gaining access to the Regular Saver Account.

With this account, Britons can put away between £25 and £300 for a fixed 12 month term, maximum of £3,600.

The bank explains: “If you save £300 every month for 12 months and qualify for the 3.50 percent AER/gross interest rate, you’ll earn approximately £68.25 interest (gross). 

“Interest is paid at the end of the 12 month period and you can’t make partial withdrawals. If you close your account before this, we’ll only pay you interest at our standard variable rate.”

Other switching offers could be considered by Britons who are looking for a new bank.

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Santander is currently leading the pack with an offer of £160 in free cash, as well as one to three percent cash back on bills paid by direct debit.

However, with switching to the 123 Lite account, there is a £2 per month fee to consider.

Halifax is also providing Britons with £150 in free cash, plus the chance to secure freebies such as magazine subscription or movie rentals.

Nationwide is offering a free £100 or £125 for existing customers to switch to its fee-free FlexDirect account.

It also offers zero percent overdraft, with a limit depending on credit record. 

With all of these accounts, different eligibility criteria apply, so it is important to look into to find the right account for personal circumstances. 

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