Martin Lewis shares four banks where you can get up to £150 for free


As The Bank of England is predicted to raise one of its most influential interest rates in a move to tackle further inflation rises, Money Saving Expert has shared a number of banks who are giving away free cash for switching.

The change in base rate could mean that it will cost customers less to borrow money, but others will earn less on their savings. And in the midst of the cost of living crisis, every little helps.

Martin Lewis has recommended four banks who will currently pay customers to switch to their current accounts, including one who will offer up to £150.

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The money expert said: “If you’re unhappy with your bank, switching is quick and easy – and now’s a great time to do it as four banks currently pay for your custom with up to £150 cash.

“Four banks currently offer switch bonuses – three pay straight cash bribes, and one gives points you can spend on a variety of experiences, flights and gifts. Unusually, two of them are available to existing customers. But read carefully – you need to hit certain conditions to get the bonuses.”

Here are four banks offering customers free cash when they open a current account:

First Direct

Customers who have never had a First Direct account, or, have not opened a current account with sister-company HSBC since 2019 can benefit from £150 – plus a £20 bonus with their 1st Account.

Shoppers can bag £20 for opening an account and using mobile or online banking within three months, with the £20 being paid into the account within four months. It’s slightly more laborious to get the £150, but it’s worth the effort.

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Bank users can open an account with First Direct and then, within three months, complete a switch from another current account that isn’t HSBC or First Direct, paying in more than £1,000.

Martin added: “You can either request the switch online when applying or later by calling it. The £150 is then paid within 28 days.”


Customers who want to snap up £125 will have to be quick as this offer ends on Monday, May 9. New and existing customers who switch to the Halifax Reward account can get the free bonus money, alongside monthly rewards.

The bonus arrives pretty quickly, within three days of the switch completing, however, there’s a minimum monthly pay-in of £1,500 a month to avoid a £3 a month fee.

But, you can only access the offer if you haven’t already had a switch bonus from Halifax since April 2020, and must be switching from an account that’s not already with Halifax. It means, for example, you can hold a current account with Halifax and another bank, but you must be switching your second account to the Halifax Reward one.

£10 off Iceland

£10 off with a £35 spend in the form of cashback when you join Topcashback free.

£10 off Sainsbury’s

£10 off with a £40 spend in the form of cashback when you join Topcashback free.

Another term of the bonus is that you must either spend £500 a month or keep £5,000 in the account. Martin said: “You must choose which of these you’ll do in advance and your choice is fixed for a year.”

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Other benefits with the account include monthly rewards such as £5 cash, a Vue cinema ticket, two RakutenTV movie rentals, or three digital magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health.


Existing Nationwide customers can get £125 when they switch to the Nationwide FlexDirect account, with newbies copping a free £100. But you can only get it if you haven’t had the switch bonus before and are moving from a non-Nationwide account.

Switchers must have two or more direct debits going out of the account, with the bonus being paid within 10 days of the completion date, which can take up to 30 days.

A picture of the Nationwide sign above one of the branches
Nationwide Building Society

Martin added: “In addition to the free cash, you get 2% fixed interest on up to £1,500 and many get a 0% overdraft – both last for the first 12 months, unless you’ve had this account before, in which case you’ll get just 0.25% in-credit interest and no 0% overdraft.”


While Virgin aren’t offering customers free cash, they are giving away free Virgin Red points which can be spent on a variety of experiences, gifts and flights.

Newbies switching to the Virgin Money M Plus account can get 20,000 points, which can be used with a number of retailers. Some examples of what the points can get you include a 12-bottle case of wine for 19,000 points, afternoon tea for two for 6,250 points, and two tickets to a comedy night for 4,000.

To get the bonus customers must open an account online, then within 45 days, switch and pay in £1,000 to the M Plus Saver account, use the mobile app, and set up two direct debits.

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Martin said: “Once done, a code to redeem your Virgin points is sent within 14 days – you can then withdraw the £1,000+ if you wish. It’s also a good account for travel as there are no fees on overseas spending or ATM withdrawals.”

Switchers can’t have had a Virgin Money current account or have closed one since January 31, 3033, or have ever received a Virgin Money current account switch bonus.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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