Santander has recently launched a switching incentive for new and existing customers who move to one of its current accounts.
Those thinking of switching to the Santander Edge, 123 or Everyday current accounts could pocket £200 for the move.
What’s more, the Santander Edge and 123 accounts both pay cashback on household bills which could boost your finances during the cost of living crisis – but there are also monthly fees you’ll need to take into account.
Here, Which? takes a closer look at the new switching offer and compares how it stacks up to other deals on the market right now.
Which accounts are included in the switching offer?
Launched in November, the Edge account offers the chance to earn money back on both debit card spending and direct debits, plus a linked savings account paying 4% AER.
You can earn 1% cashback, capped at £10, for debit card spending on ‘essential’ grocery shopping and transport.
You can also earn 1% cashback, capped at £10, on household bills paid via direct debit such as council tax and gas and electricity bills.
There’s a £3 monthly fee, and you’ll need to pay in at least £500 each month, plus have two active direct debts to maintain the account and qualify for cashback.
Anyone who holds the Santander Edge current account can access its linked Santander Edge saver – an instant-access account that pays a variable rate of 4% AER on balances up to £4,000.
However, the interest rate will drop to 3.5% AER after the first 12 months and if your balance exceeds £4,000 then cash above the limit won’t receive any interest.
Santander 123 account
The 123 account also rewards you with 1-3% cashback on household bills.
You can earn 1% cashback, capped at £5 a month, on council tax bills, mobile and home phone bills, broadband and paid for TV packages. You’ll also get 1% on Santander monthly mortgage payments.
You can earn up to 2% cashback, capped at £5 a month, on gas and electricity bills and Santander home and life insurance premiums.
You can earn 3% cashback, capped at £5 a month, on water bills.
The cashback is paid monthly, but the account does come with a £4 monthly fee, which would wipe out some of your cashback gains.
You’ll also get paid monthly interest of 1.75% AER on all balances up to £20,000.
In order to qualify for the cashback, you’ll need to pay in £500 a month and have two active direct debits.
Everyday current account
Santander’s Everyday current account is also eligible for the switching offer, and has no annual fee. It also offers free ATM withdrawals abroad.
However, you won’t get any cashback on household bills, but you’ll still be able to access Santander Boosts – a perk that comes with all Santander current accounts. This is a reward platform with retailer cashback offers, vouchers, discounts and prize draws.
What’s in the small print?
To get the switching incentive, you’ll need to switch using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS). Within 60 days of opening the account you must set up at least two active direct debits, log on to online or mobile banking and pay in at least £1,000.
You’ll receive the £200 lump sum around 90 days after you initiated the switch.
New and existing customers can not have previously received or participated in any other switching offer with any of Santander’s accounts, or any accounts with cahoot or Cater Allen, which are part of Santander UK.
Is Santander a good provider?
Santander received a customer satisfaction score of 73% in our latest survey of the best and worst banks, coming 14th out of 21 providers.
Customers rated it highly for its branch service, customer service and its online banking service, but it received a middling score based on how it deals with complaints.
Are any other switching offers available?
Although we saw quite a few deals before Christmas, there’s only two other switching offers right now, from Lloyds Bank and First Direct.
Lloyds Bank £200 switching offer
Like Santander, Lloyds Bank is also offering customers £200 for those that switch to its Silver or Platinum accounts before 20 March – but note that both of these accounts come with monthly fees.
The Silver Account costs £10 a month and offers everything its ordinary classic account would, but you also get UK and European multi-trip family travel insurance up to age 65, AA breakdown family cover with roadside assistance, and mobile phone insurance.
The Silver account would set you back £120 annually, but as you are getting £200 cashback to switch, this would still leave you with £80 profit.
The Platinum Account costs £21 a month, and offers all of the same perks that come with the Silver Account, plus extras such as worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance up to the age of 80, AA breakdown family cover with roadside assistance and national recovery at home.
The Platinum account would set you back £252 annually.
These accounts are only worth it if you are going to make full use of the insurance benefits.
First Direct £175 switching offer
First Direct is offering £175 to new customers who switch to its 1st Account.
You must use the Current Account Switch Service to switch, deposit £1,000 within three months of opening the current account and you cannot have been an HSBC current account holder on or after 1 January 2019.
The bonus will be paid into your account within four months.
The 1st Account offers a £250 interest-free overdraft (subject to status), it has no monthly fees, and has a Regular Saver account which pays 3.5% AER.
First Direct achieved Which? Recommended Provider status in our latest survey on the best and worst banks. Nearly every aspect of its service was rated five stars by customers, including online banking, complaints handling and overall customer service.
Should I switch my current account?
If you’re tempted to switch to Santander Edge, Lloyds Silver account or a First Direct account, first ask yourself if you would still switch if there was no money involved.
The promise of a switching bonus shouldn’t be the only reason to move, as there are important considerations depending on your individual needs and circumstances.
For instance, if you prefer to manage your money in-branch, an online or app-only account will not be best for you. Similarly, if customer service is important to you, use our reviews to do some research on the bank or building society’s reputation.
Take a look at our range of guides to help make your decision:
How to switch current accounts
Most banks are part of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), which means it should take just seven working days to switch you over from your old account once the new account is opened.
If you want to check which banks and building societies are participating, you can search by name on the CASS website.