Yesterday the latest Cornwall Insight prediction suggested that the energy price cap may reach £4,266 a year by January. Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis called this “tragic” news for Brits, and called upon the “zombie” government to address this crisis immediately.
His words may unfortunately fall on deaf ears, as has most of his warnings to Number 10 over the past year. Energy bills, already at record highs, are set to increase dramatically over the coming months, forcing thousands to choose between heat or food – the problem is only escalating.
The cost of living crisis is something out of the average Brit’s control, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t find ways to manage ourselves through it. Take advantage of every single money saving tip available to you, and look out for cost cutting methods. What’s the latest trick up the sleeve from the financial wizards? – target the banks (legally).
Here’s how to make £100s from simply switching banks
1. Choose the account you’re going to switch from. The simplest way is to repeatedly switch your main account, as you’ll likely be able to meet the income criteria and have direct debits set up ready to switch over.
Yet if you want to leave your main account and day-to-day banking untouched, you can instead set up a second ‘burner’ account, which you can then use solely for switching to banks offering freebies. Go for a bog-standard one from a bank that rarely offers switch incentives and is signed up to the Current Account Switch Service.
2. Target your switching bribes. If there are lots of offers around, you can be clever about the order in which you switch.
– See if there’s an end date to each offer & pounce on those ending soon.
– Check how quickly each bank pays so you can time switches.
– Check if you could qualify for another switch incentive from each bank at a later date (for example, Halifax will pay to anyone who hasn’t had switching cash from it since April 2020).
3. Get your payment strategy right. Study the eligibility criteria carefully so you don’t accidentally miss out on any freebies. There are two main things to watch out for:
– You’ll need to switch enough direct debits or standing orders. This is usually two or more regular payments. If you don’t have enough, set up small direct debits to charities to meet the criteria (and give a little back too).
Do you think the government should “wake up” and do something about this crisis? Have your say in the comments
– You’ll need to meet minimum monthly pay-ins. Some accounts require you to pay in a set amount each month in an attempt to make you pay in your salary – for example, Halifax Reward requires £1,500/month or you’ll pay a £3/month fee.
4. Wait for the freebie to arrive, then switch again. You’ve done all the hard work by this point, so you can just sit back and wait for the freebie to be paid – which is typically just credited to your new account, though some do send codes to redeem via email. Once you have the cash, you’re good to start a new switch and repeat this process – though many serial switchers do this over years rather than weeks or months, so go at your own pace.
5.IMPORTANT:If you’ve a big credit application coming up (such as a mortgage), hold off. A single application for a new current account can have a slightly negative effect on your ability to get new credit for a few months, though it’ll be minor. But some lenders don’t like to see several applications in a short space of time, or to see short-lived accounts. So don’t do multiple switches if you’ve, say, an important mortgage or credit card application due.