Best current accounts: NatWest and Santander now offering cash 1

Best current accounts: NatWest and Santander now offering cash

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Energy bills are surging alongside fuel and food prices, while many will be facing up to higher council tax, bigger broadband and mobile bills, and the National Insurance crunch come April.

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With that in mind, savvy Britons will be looking for ways to help negate the cost of living crisis.

Switching bank account can be one such way of making easy cash gains for minimal effort – and two of Britain’s biggest banking names have relaunched bribes.

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NatWest is offering £150 and Santander £140, the latter of which also offers cashback on a raft of household bills, including utilities and council tax. 

Ofgem's price cap is due to increase by as much as £600 from its current level of £1,277 as wholesale prices continue to soar, fueling the energy crisis and leading to increased bills.

Ofgem’s price cap is due to increase by as much as £600 from its current level of £1,277 as wholesale prices continue to soar, fueling the energy crisis and leading to increased bills.

Switching itself is simple with the Current Account Switching Service pledging to transfer your account and any direct debits over in seven days. 

NatWest is offering £150 to new and existing customers who switch their main current account by 7 April.

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Similarly, Santander is offering £140 cashback to both new and existing customers who switch to one of its current accounts using CASS.

Both banks also offer some additional perks. For example, Santander offers customers ongoing cashback on household bills, while NatWest offers monthly cashback if certain requirements are met.

What is Santander offering?

Santander’s £140 offer is on top of the cashback already offered by the bank on household bills such as gas and electricity for its 1I2I3 and 1I2I3 Lite customers

Its customers can earn 2 per cent cashback on their gas and electricity bills up to a cap of £5 each month as well 3 per cent cashback on water bills with an additional cap of £5 each month in place.

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The average annual cost of a water bill is £408, according to Water UK meaning the £5 monthly cashback cap is unlikely to be reached.

Santander will be offering £140 cashback to customers who switch to a Santander current account.

Santander will be offering £140 cashback to customers who switch to a Santander current account.

Given the average bill, a typical Santander customer could expect to get about £12 cashback on their water bills.

The average three bedroom home uses £1,163 of energy a year, according to EDF Energy.

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However, those coming off fixed deals onto new ones have found their estimated bills are increasing by hundreds of pounds with many reporting their annual bill is expected to reach over £2,000 – a massive jump.

For someone facing an annual gas and electricity bill of £2,000 a year, 2 per cent cashback could end up being worth £40.

Santander is the only bank to offer customers ongoing cashback on household bills.

Santander is the only bank to offer customers ongoing cashback on household bills.

For those paying their council tax, mobile and home phone bills, broadband and TV packages though one of these two current accounts they can also earn 1 per cent cashback up to a maximum of £5 each month.

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The average Band D council tax set by local authorities in England for 2021-22 will be £1,898, according to government figures. 

Even 1 per cent cashback on the average council tax bill could therefore be worth £19 after a year.

However, Santander’s 1I2I3 and 1I2I3 Lite account come with a £4 and £2 monthly charge respectively.

This means an average Santander’s 1I2I3 and 1I2I3 Lite account holder could expect to earn an additional £23 or £43 with accounts costs included.

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Given that a Santander mortgage product will also be eligible for 1 per cent cash back and a Santander home insurance product could be eligible for 2 per cent, it may be possible for some to make more/

Santander 1I2I3 customers can also earn 0.3 per cent interest on balances up to £20,000, meaning those who maintain a balance of £20,000 in their account could expect to earn an extra £60 over the course of the year – although better returns are possible by moving your cash into a top paying easy-access savings account.

How to qualify?

To qualify for the £140 cashback, within 60 days of requesting the switch, you will need to complete the switch and set up and maintain two direct debits.

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You will also need to deposit at least £1,000 into the account and log in to your account using either online or mobile banking.

The cashback will be paid directly into your Santander account 30 days after this.

Existing customers who have previously opened a 1I2I3, 1I2I3 Lite, Everyday, Select or Private Current Account can still benefit from the cashback, as long as they complete a full switch from an account they hold elsewhere to their Santander current account via the CASS.

However, it’s worth noting that anyone who has benefitted from a previous switching offer from Santander won’t be eligible.

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NatWest is offering £150 to new and existing customers who switch their main current account.

NatWest is offering £150 to new and existing customers who switch their main current account.

What is NatWest offering?

NatWest’s £150 offer is available to those switching to either a Select or Reward account. Although, existing customers can also switch to Reward Silver, Reward Platinum or Reward Black accounts to benefit.

The Reward account gives customers £4 per month for two Direct Debits and an additional £1 for logging onto online banking.

However it does come with a £2 monthly fee equating to an extra £36 per year for customers.

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This means someone taking advantage of NatWest’s switching offer could expect to earn £186 in total after the first yea if they switched to its Reward account.

The Select account comes with no monthly charge, however, nor does it offer the extra cashback. 

How to qualify?

Switchers are required to use the Current Account Switch Service, close their existing account and transfer their main current account to NatWest by 5pm 7 April 2022.

You must pay £1,250 into the account and log into online or mobile banking through the NatWest mobile app before 12 May 2022.

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After these conditions are met, £150 will be credited to the account by 9 June 2022.

It’s worth noting that switchers must have not received a switcher offer from the NatWest Group for opening a new current account and switching since October 2017. 

TOP ACCOUNTS FOR FREE CASH, INTEREST AND PERKS AT A GLANCE
AccountPerksConditionsOverdraft 
First Direct 1st Account  £130 switching incentive
£250 interest-free overdraft
Earn 1 per cent via Regular Saver Account
NAAbove £250 it is charged at  39.9 per cent
Nationwide FlexDirect£100 switching incentive. If you are a Nationwide member, you’ll get £125 for switching.
2 per cent interest up to £1,500 and fee-free overdraft, both for the first year only. After the first 12 months, it’s 0.25 per cent.
Interest-free arranged overdraft for 12 months
Pay in £1,000 a month.After the first 12 months it is 39.9 per cent
Halifax Reward
 The choice of £5 a month paid into your account, two film rentals or three magazine rentals, or a free cinema ticket each month.£3 monthly fee or pay in £1,500 a month. Spend £500 on your debit card each month or maintain a balance of £5,000.39.9 per cent 
HSBC Advance £150 switching incentive ONLY available via Moneysupermarket or MoneySavingExpert.
Additional £10 will be donated to housing and homelessness charity, Shelter.
Earn up to 1 per cent interest via regular saver account.
£25 interest free overdraft. 
Switch using CASS with two direct debits or standing orders. Must not have been a First Direct or HSBC customer since 2018.After first £25 its 39.9 per cent 
Club Lloyds Pays 0.6 per cent on up to £4,000, and 1.5 per cent on £4,000 – £5,000.
Choose a reward each year from 6 cinema tickets, an annual magazine subscription, 12 digital movie rentals.
£50 interest free overdraft
£3 monthly fee or deposit £1,500 a month, pay out two direct debits.After first £50 its 27.5 per cent.
Santander 123
£140 cashback incentive
Santander will pay up to 3 per cent cashback on bills. Capped at £5 each month.
Pays 0.3 per cent on balances up to £20,000.
£2 a month fee. You must pay in £500 a month and maintain two active direct debits.39.94 per cent.
NatWest Reward £150 switching incentive
£5 a month back in rewards and 1 per cent back from certain partner retailers.
£2 monthly fee. Must set up two direct debits a month for £4 bonus, and then log into mobile banking once a month for £1 bonus. 39.49 per cent 
Starling Bank current account 0.05 per cent interest on balances. Fee-free spending and ATM withdrawals abroad.Online and smartphone-only bank.15, 25 or 35 per cent depending on credit score.
Virgin Money A £150 Virgin Experience Days gift card to switch and a free £50 donation to a charity registered with Virgin Money Giving. Account pays 2.02 per cent monthly interest on up to £1,000 and comes with a linked easy-access account paying 0.35 per cent.Apply online, switch through CASS with two direct debits and pay in £1,000 to a linked easy-access account.19.9, 29.9 or 39.9 per cent based on credit score.
Barclays Bank account Access to Blue Rewards membership with cashback offers including £7 a month, £5 a month for having a Barclays mortgage and 3% back on Barclays home insurance policy. £4 monthly fee and you’ll need to pay at least £800 into the account each month. 35 per cent 
Triodos Bank Low overdraft rate of 18 per cent.
Promises only to lend on projects that make a ‘positive impact’ for people and the planet.
£3 monthly fee.18 per cent.

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