Never heard the expression ‘bank tart’ before? Neither had I, until a few months ago! A bank tart is someone who repeatedly switches bank accounts, in order to take advantage of various offers from different banks. Often these are bonuses for switching to a particular bank, but sometimes they offer a monthly bonus for jumping through a few hoops. Those hoops tend to be things like setting up a certain number of direct debits, or paying a certain amount into the account each month. It’s vital that you check the terms and conditions of whichever one you have signed up for, to make sure that you fulfil all the criteria needed to obtain your bonus.
You can use sites like MoneySavingExpert to find out what the best current deals are. The word on the street is that there’s up to £800 available, for free – just for switching. So far we’ve taken advantage of £110 from the Cooperative Bank. We were going to stay with them and get £5 a month in addition, but given that they are about to go under (according to BBC news, it could happen at any time), we’ve decided to switch away immediately before we get into a tangled web with our finances.
Next up on our list is First Direct which is offering £125 to switch, plus once the account is open, you have the opportunity to open a regular saver account earning 5% interest up to a certain amount. There are other great deals from Halifax, Nationwide and Santander out there and more! It is possible to keep several accounts open and switch money between them, to meet the criteria of several accounts at once. I’m not sure if I’m up to that challenge or not at the moment. But I’ll keep you posted!
Switching was completely hassle free using the switching service and everything was done for us. Even down to the minor details of switching all our former payees and adding them into our new bank account, so that we didn’t have to. We were impressed and apart from our switch date getting put back by a few days – it went without a hitch.
So, come on – ‘fess up! Are you a bank tart or a switching virgin? My running total is £235 free cash currently. What’s yours?