Is it the best time ever to switch your bank?

Competition within the UK current account market continues to be strong according to analysis by MoneySuperMarket, and the comparison site says consumers should take full advantage. Demand for switching current accounts has risen up 165% since the start of the year. Here's what's on offer

Increase in incentives on offer - earn up to £150

  • There have been a number of new switching incentives in 2015 aimed at attracting new current account customers, with Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank’s launching the latest, offering £150 cashback for anyone using its dedicated switching service. You must pay in £1,000 monthly and maintain at least two direct debits.
  • Halifax recently upped its cash switching incentive to £125 for new Reward Current Account customers. In addition, the account credits customers with a £5 reward per month – amounting to £185 in a year as long as they deposit a minimum of £750 into the account each month. It also offers up to 15% cash back on debit card purchases through selected retailers.
  • Regular M&S shoppers looking to change their account can earn £125 to spend in store simply by switching before the end of this month. Furthermore, unlike many others, the account does not require any minimum funding per month. This must be applied for via MoneySuperMarket.

Maximise savings with in-credit interest

  • You can also earn extra just by keeping a certain amount of money in your account. Santander’s 123 account pays a higher interest rate than any savings account on the market - 3% AER - on balances between £3,000 and £20,000 for a monthly fee of just £2, provided that it is funded with £500 each month. On top of this, it also pays you up to 3% cashback on a variety of essential bills, such as utility, council tax and mobile and home phone bills.
  • Nationwide currently offers an even higher 5% AER on balances up to £2,500, as well as a 0% EAR on overdrafts for the first year, as long as £1,000 is paid into the FlexDirect account monthly.

Don’t just be tempted by the offers  – consider how you will use the account day-to-day

Make the right switch

Kevin Mountford at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Many providers are taking advantage of the poor savings rates at the moment and ramping up their offers and benefits on current accounts to entice customers. Savvy consumers should make the most of this, and cash in on the tempting incentives if they aren’t satisfied with their current deal. Several current accounts now pay better rates than some savings accounts, so it’s worth assessing whether you can get more for your money."

“Now that you can earn as much as £150 just for switching, it’s madness not to shop around for a better deal. However, don’t just be tempted by the offers on these accounts – consider how you will use the account day-to-day and double check any fees and charges to make sure you won’t be paying over the odds, especially if you are likely to go overdrawn,” he adds.

Use MoneySuperMarket's current account finder to get the best deal for you.

* Use our current account switching checklist here. Plus 6 reasons to save in a current account here.