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Switching current account to First Direct
Why we like it: Earn 1.50% AER (variable) interest on balances up to a maximum of £20,000. Up to 3% CASHBACK on various household bills. Monthly fee of £5. Must pay in £500 pm.
Why we like it: 0.50% AER (variable) payable on your entire balance up to £2,000. Linked to instant access savings account currently paying 1.00% AER, paid quarterly. Zero transaction fees wherever you spend worldwide (arranged and un-arranged lending, other providers & other fees and interest may still apply). Apple Pay & Google Pay enabled contactless debit card. Rated ‘outstanding’ by Moneyfacts. Must be 18 or older and a UK resident. No account fee. No minimum funding required to open account or requirement to pay in regularly
First Direct 1st Account review
First Direct is a telephone and internet-based bank in the UK, which is part of HSBC Bank plc. With over 1.35 million customers, First Direct has a reputation for excellent customer service.
First Direct offers a single current account, known as a 1st Account and it comes with a number of benefits for new customers. If you are considering switching your day-to-day banking to First Direct, the following are some of the benefits you could receive with a 1st Account.
First Direct 1st Account benefits
Switch to a First Direct 1st Account and receive:
- £250 interest-free overdraft
- £100 cash joining bonus (subject to conditions)
- Another £100 if you choose to leave within the first 12 months (again, subject to conditions)
- 24/7, 365 banking by internet, telephone and mobile
- Award-winning UK-based customer service
- Pay in cash and cheques at HSBC branches and at the Post Office
- No account fee for the first six months
- No account fee after the first six months if you pay in £1,000 plus a month, maintain an average monthly balance of £1,000; or have a mortgage, credit card or other qualifying product with First Direct (otherwise a £10 per month account fee applies)
What to look for when switching current accounts
When choosing a new current account, there are various things to consider that can make one account more appealing compared to another. The following are some of the key things to look out for:
Interest rates – Most current accounts will offer two different interest rates – the one you can earn on your savings and the one you will pay on your overdraft. Depending on whether you mostly tend to be in credit or in your overdraft, the relative rates on offer will be of more or less importance.
It’s also worth looking at what the balance limit is for earning interest, as many current accounts only offer interest up to a relatively low threshold, above which you will earn nothing on your savings.
Switching incentives – Many leading accounts offer attractive switching incentives, including cash up front. This can make an account much more appealing, but any joining bonus needs to be weighed against the ongoing benefits of the account and any monthly account fee.
Cashback – A lot of accounts now offer cashback as an ongoing incentive. For example, with a TSB Classic Plus Account you can earn up to £120 cashback a year just for having active monthly Direct Debits and using your debit card regularly. Others, such as the Santander 1|2|3 Current Account offer cashback on your household bills, which can soon add up to significant amounts.
Additional benefits – Most current accounts offer a range of other benefits, including free insurance, free internet security software and more which can save you a significant amount of money, depending on your needs.
Compare current accounts
When switching your current account to a new provider, it pays to do plenty of research about the different options available to you. The joining incentives, interest rates and other benefits offered by various different providers vary considerably, so choosing the right account for you will depend on your personal circumstances and banking needs.
Take a look at the range of current accounts presently on offer from all the leading providers across the market right now to see which offers the best deal for you.