A Martin Lewis fan has described how he got £4,000 of free cash from his banks by switching banks – and persuading others to do the same.
David Buckridge of Coventry said he put money into a deposit to buy his first home, which he “never could have done” if it weren’t for taking advantage of bank switching deals.
Banks often whip out freebies or make deals as an incentive for Brits to switch providers – and gain more customers in the process.
When you agree to the swap, the bank will handle all the hassle of converting your current account – including direct debits and standing orders – to a new one.
This is usually done within seven days – and you don’t even need to tell your old bank that you’re switching, as everything happens automatically.
David explained on the Martin Lewis Extreme Savers show on ITV how he switched banks — and persuaded others to do the same — to get providers that offered free cash deals.
Over the past five to six years, David said he has changed banks up to 16 times, gaining £1,600 banks in the process.
By referring banks to friends and family, making the most of interest rates and monthly rewards, she earned even more – and earned £4,000 in total.
He got the best deal when he received a total of £250 from one bank, £150 up front for the swap and another £100 when he threatened to leave after six months.
At one point, David had 16 bank accounts open at the same time when he took advantage of the incentives on offer.
However, some banks say that you need to put away a certain amount of money in your new account, usually between £500 to £1,500, in order to get a switching deal.
This is for you to attempt to pay your salary to your new account.
But David explained how he transferred money between his various accounts to make sure each had enough cash to receive his reward.
“It doesn’t really have to come from your salary,” he said. “As long as you’re transferring that money in some way, it’s going to meet the requirements to receive that bonus, interest rate and rewards.”
Martin Lewis explained that to do this, you can transfer money to your new account one day, and transfer it directly to the original account the next.
David set up a spreadsheet to log all of his standing orders into different accounts to make sure he was meeting all the deadlines to receive his free cash.
Be careful, though – switching accounts can be time-consuming and wasteful, so make sure you’ve given it enough time to sort it out.
how to switch current accounts
Switching current accounts and seeing what’s the best deal can be a bit wasteful.
But if you do your research and take the time to apply, you can get cashback and free gifts.
A comparison website can be a good place to find the best current account deals rather than contacting each provider separately.
You can search by account type and see the interest rates that may be paid to you as well as any fees.
Most of the major banks and building societies are part of the current account switching service.
This means that your new provider will handle all the hassle of your current account switch.
This includes closing your old account and transferring your balance, along with direct debits and standing orders, as well as ensuring that your pay goes to the right place.
You don’t even need to tell your old bank that you are switching as everything happens automatically.
The switch is usually done within seven working days.
Make sure that before making the switch, you’re not missing out in other ways—for example, low interest, poor customer service, or a bad savings rate.
And like David, you also have to make sure you have enough cash in the bank to get them for free as well.
Martin Lewis also cautions that changing banks too many times can affect your “creditworthiness.”
“It’s not a problem if you don’t have a credit application to do,” he said.
“But if you’re about to make an important application soon — for example, a mortgage — I’ll be in the clear for a while.”
Martin Lewis also explains in his latest MoneySavingExpert newsletter how you can get up to £340 free cash if you change banks – and you’re in a couple.
Martin explains how switching to First Direct, Virgin Money or Santander can put hundreds back in your pocket.
Other banks have been whipping up free cash in the past to woo new customers.
Halifax launched a deal in April where new customers can get £100 for free when they swap banks.
While HSBC was offering a £125 bonus for switching to its main account or advance account in February.
Martin’s consumer website MoneySavingExpert also warned this week that card users need to check their personal details — or risk declining payments.
The consumer expert also urged Britons to investigate car insurance before major rule changes on renewal policies.
He reminded married couples to claim tax breaks of up to £1,220.