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Best current accounts: First Direct brings back £100 switching bonus

Best current accounts: First Direct brings back £100 switching bonus

First Direct has brought back its £100 switching bonus for newcomers as the bank looks to snap up current account customers after closing to new appli

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First Direct has brought back its £100 switching bonus for newcomers as the bank looks to snap up current account customers after closing to new applicants for a large portion of last year.

It will pay the three-figure bonus to those who switch through the official service and pay in £1,000 within three months of opening the account.

The move comes a week after its parent HSBC relaunched its own £125 switching bribe after it lost close to 15,000 net customers between July and September 2020.

First Direct has brought back its £100 switching bonus

First Direct has brought back its £100 switching bonus

First Direct has brought back its £100 switching bonus

The return of the old switching bonus comes as the bank has unveiled a new logo, which appears to be a fingerprint displaying a stylised ‘f’ and ‘d’ and is under new leadership.

Former HSBC head of marketing Chris Pitt was appointed as its new chief executive at the start of last October, replacing Joe Gordon, who was Britain’s youngest bank boss until last May.

The HSBC offshoot overtook Starling to rank second in the latest current account rankings released by the Competition and Markets Authority on Monday. 

Some 83 per cent of customers said they would recommend the bank to friends and family, just behind Monzo which scored 85 per cent.

First Direct’s approval rating is unchanged from last August, but Starling’s fell by 2 percentage points to 82 per cent. 

As well as the upfront bonus First Direct customers can also benefit from a £250 fee-free overdraft, the largest interest-free offer available on the market.

First Direct ranked second in the latest current account rankings. 83% of customers said they'd recommend it to friends and family

First Direct ranked second in the latest current account rankings. 83% of customers said they'd recommend it to friends and family

First Direct ranked second in the latest current account rankings. 83% of customers said they’d recommend it to friends and family

Any borrowing above that buffer will be charged at an interest rate of 39.9 per cent, similar to the rate charged by other high street banks.

The branchless bank, which has 1.5million customers, closed its current account to new applicants in March 2020 as it focused on existing customers amid the chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

It reopened it later last year but is only now actively encouraging people to switch to it.

Virgin Money's new switching offer gives customers 3 fewer bottles of wine than it did before, 'costing' them £42

Virgin Money's new switching offer gives customers 3 fewer bottles of wine than it did before, 'costing' them £42

Virgin Money’s new switching offer gives customers 3 fewer bottles of wine than it did before, ‘costing’ them £42

Virgin slims down perk 

Meanwhile Virgin Money, which ranked third from bottom with just 54 per cent approval from customers, also revamped its switching bonus by offering fewer bottles of wine to newcomers. 

It originally offered 15 bottles ‘worth’ £180 when it made its major play for current account customers last November but has now shrunk that to 12 bottles ‘worth’ £138. 

The new offer means each bottle of wine is estimated to be worth less at £11.50, compared to £12 before.

Instead, the bank is offering switchers a £50 free donation for any one of 13,000 charities registered with Virgin Money Giving. 

Switchers who don’t drink can get 15 bottles of non-alcoholic wine.

To benefit from the welcome bonuses, applicants must switch through the Current Account Switch Service, set up two direct debits, register for mobile banking and pay £1,000 into a linked savings account which pays 0.5 per cent interest.

This rate, paid quarterly, will be cut to 0.35 percent from April, while the account itself pays 2 per cent monthly interest on up to £1,000. 

Meanwhile customers who find themselves in the red will be charged 19.9 per cent APR.

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This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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