Should I switch my current account?
Written by Robert Bester, Consumer Finance Expert Robert has been a writer for six years, specialising in consumer finance and the UK lending market. Concentrating on consumer credit products, Robert writes informative articles that help customers manage their personal finances efficiently.
11th January 2021
2 minute read
Switching current accounts can net you all kinds of rewards, whether it’s useful perks, discounts, offers and even cash rewards. If you’ve been tempted to switch current accounts, think about the following before you do:
- Do your research on account providers
- The highest cash reward doesn’t always mean the best account for you
- Make sure you can make use of all the perks available
- Check with your old account provider if you need to close your overdraft first
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s always worth doing your research and feeling comfortable that making a switch is the best move for you. The Guru knows all too well how scary change can be, but sometimes it’s for the best. If you can believe it, he used to be a big fan of wearing sandals without socks.
Read on to find out whether change would be beneficial for you, by switching current accounts.
The benefits of switching current accounts
As much as you might feel a certain loyalty towards your bank, switching to another account provider can bring a number of benefits that you might not have had before, along with instant benefits that might give your balance a small boost.
You can expect the following benefits when switching your current account:
- Cash reward – many current accounts tempt customers to switch by offering a cash incentive. This is essentially free money, so is a great short-term reward
- Cashback – some current accounts offer a limit period of cashback on purchases you make or even cashback in certain retail outlets
- Overdraft – switching current accounts might allow you to take advantage of a better overdraft facility, especially one that is interest-free for a certain period of time
- Access to savings accounts – becoming a customer of another account provider might also grant you access to other accounts for you to save money
Current account switching service
If you are tempted to make the switch to another current account, the good news is that it shouldn’t take more than 7 working days. The current account switching service (CASS) was set up in 2013 to make switching much easier than before, giving account holders a lot more flexibility.
Most major account providers are now signed up to CASS, meaning that if you were previously put off by the idea that your switch might take weeks, there’s no chance of that happening now.
The work of moving over your balance, direct debits, standing orders and even overdrafts (in some cases) is left to the new account provider, allowing you to sit back and wait for the magic to happen.
What you need to do before you switch
First off, you need to make sure you’re eligible to switch. CASS claims to cover 99% of current accounts in the UK, but it’s always worth checking that you’re eligible. You usually can’t switch under the following circumstances:
- if you have a joint account but don’t have the permission of the other person
- if you have a current account outside of the UK that is classed as non-sterling
- if you’re trying to switch a savings account or an ISA
You might also need to settle your overdraft prior to switching, depending on your old account provider. However, CASS can also switch your overdraft over if required.
Switching your current account: a summary
Are you still keen to switch your current account? Have a look at our current account tables to see if any catch your eye, or browse through switch incentives to see which one might be the best for you. Alternatively, learn everything you need to know about current accounts here.