Martin Lewis regularly advises savers to switch bank accounts to take advantage of the best deals but the Money Saving Expert acknowledged coronavirus may have made this difficult. Martin explained banks pulled back their switching offers as the pandemic raged on but generous deals are returning.
Martin detailed: “During the pandemic we did not see many bank switching offers.
“Not many of the bribes are being consistent in terms of trying to get you to switch, but they’ve started to turn the tap on again and there’s a good number available right now.
“So if you’ve been sitting on your hands thinking, ‘I don’t really like my bank’, this is time to stop pitching and start switching.”
Martin explained now is the “perfect moment” to switch as banks are now willing to pay customers and they’ve “actually upped the amount that they’re willing to pay.”
“It launched a £100 switching bonus a couple of months ago and it’s now up to 125 pounds, so simply if you switch to first direct and you’re a new customer moving to it you’ll get 125 quid.
“Also, most people get a zero percent overdraft up to the first £250.
“So a no cost overdraft if you like. And one of the key advantages of it over the others out there is its customer service.
“It’s rated 91 percent, in the last poll I did and that’s pretty staggering for a bank, and it’s always been consistently up there.”
While First Direct may offer the best option right now, Martin went on to break down what other deals are available.
Martin continued: “Now there’s a very similar offer from its sister bank HSBC. £125 is available from it [for] free.”
He warned customers may have their eligibility affected if they already hold an account with these banks but savers should go for First Direct initially as it has the best customer service.
Martin concluded by examining another option which provides a number of perks on top of a switching bonus.
He said: “The other alternative is Virgin Money, which actually changed its deal this morning just before I came on air so I’ve just had to quickly [review] what that is.
“It’s offering new switchers a £150 voucher for experience days, things like driving tracks and hot air balloons.
“It also gives you two percent in credit and when we do go back to travelling abroad, it’s debit card is one of the best for travelling overseas.”
All of these deals, as Martin explained, have terms and conditions but where a person “doesn’t love” their bank at the moment, Martin urged people to look into what’s available.