I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found all that banking malarkey pretty stuffy and boring, that was until I found out about all the free money I could earn with my bank!
Before I did my homework and started to care about where my money was going, I just used to stick it all in a current account and that was that.
The thing is, no one ever really talks about what perks you can get from your bank, do they? I mean, the banks might try and tempt you in with a good deal but the T&Cs are always a bit baffling, aren’t they?
Plus, once you’re in they’re quick enough to end those deals in a flash!
Anyway, I’ve done the hard work for you. Here are some easy ways you can make free money with your bank.
Here we go…
1. Switch your bank account (and then again… and then again)
I don’t know why but it seems like there’s this big taboo about switching your bank account too much, but why would you not want all that free cash??
Plus, did you know it only takes 15 minutes to switch your account and start earning extra cash from welcome offers?
Here are the current best switching bank account deals, courtesy of Money Saving Expert:
|Bank Account||Switching Perk||Minimum Monthly Pay In||Bonus Paid|
|First Direct||£100||£1,000||28 days|
|M&S||£180 M&S gift card||£1,250||30 days £100+ £80 after a year and 1 month|
|Halifax||£135 + £2 per month|| None for £50,|
£1,500 for extra £85, £750 for £2
£50 paid before your switch completes, £85 after six months plus £2
(offers accurate at the time of posting)
2. Check bank account refer a friend schemes for free money
Bank account refer a friend schemes are very similar to getting rewards for switching, except you can KEEP getting rewards for every friend you refer.
You can earn up to a whopping £500 tax-free every year simply by recommending your friends and family to your bank. It’s so easy to do, too!
The most popular scheme is Nationwide, where you and your friend both get £100 when they switch following the unique link you share with them.
Check with your bank to see if they have a refer a friend scheme, you could be missing out on hundreds!
3. Look for bank accounts which offer cashback deals
Halifax and other banks have started to introduce cashback offers to help you earn that bit extra on regular spending.
If you’re with Halifax, you’ll have to manually go into your bank account and subscribe to each offer, but they have some good brands on there like:
- Caffe Nero
- and loads more!
You can get up to 15% off, just for purchasing things with your Halifax bank card!
4. Get free cashback on your direct debits & bills
Natwest and Santander both offer
So it’s not technically free money, but it’s still pretty good if you have a big household, so check out the basics of each offer.
Natwest ‘MyRewards’ Account:
- Costs £2 per month and you need to pay in £1,500 minimum
- Earns you 2% cash on household bills you pay with direct debit
- Also earns you 1% on their partner retailers, including Caffe Nero, Feel Unique and more
- Average earnings per year is £83 (based on monthly bills of £345 a month)
- You can choose to receive your rewards directly back into your account, pay off your credit card balance or as a gift card at selected retailers
Santander 1,2,3 Current Account:
- Costs £5 per month and you need to pay in at least £500 and have two direct debits
- Get 1% cashback on water and council tax bills and the first £1,000 paid to your mortgage
- Earn 2% cashback on gas and electricity bills and home insurance
- 3% cashback on mobile and home phone bills, broadband and TV packages
- Earn additional cashback of up to 15% on a range of major retailers with your debit card
If you live with someone else, you can sign up for a joint account with your other half to maximise cashback potential, but just remember, linking yourself to someone else will affect your credit score.
5. Earn cashback from your credit card(s)
There are quite a few cashback credit cards that help you earn extra pennies when you shop.
I say pennies because this isn’t a get rich scheme and if you’re fine without a credit card or you’ve got a bit of debt already, it’s worth saying that this probably isn’t the best option for you.
That being said, every bit of free money helps so if you’re still interested, the best ones around at the moment that have no annual fee include:
- American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card – 5% cashback for 3 months then up to 1% (22.9% APR)
- Natwest Reward Credit Card – up to 1% on all purchases (best to set up an account first because existing customers don’t pay an annual fee, 23.7% APR)
- Asda Money Cashback Credit Card – up to 1% on all purchases (19.9% APR)
- Costco Wholesale UK TrueEarnings Credit Card – up to 3% on purchases (19.9% APR)
- TSB Platinum Purchase Card – 1% on purchases (18.9% APR)
- Royal Bank of Scotland Reward Credit Card – up to 1% on all purchases (again, best to get an account first to avoid annual fees, 23.7% APR)
- Aqua Reward Credit Card – 0.5% on purchases (34.9% APR)
If you’re in a good financial position and decide go for one of these, make sure you’re completing all transactions on this credit card to maximise your cashback.
What else is important?
Set up a direct debit to make sure you pay your credit card off so you’re not getting stung at the end of the month.
6. Get cash rewards on your mortgage as a first-time buyer
Some banks offer a nice little incentive to first-time buyers to sweeten the deal and get you to sign on the dotted line.
When we signed up with Halifax, they were offering £450 cashback, amazing right?
UNTIL we saw an advert with them advertising £1,000 cashback for first-time buyers while we were completing.
We gave the bank a call and said how disappointed we were and they actually honoured it and gave us the full £1,000! That is a free money win right there if I ever saw one!
This basically paid for our stamp duty (before the days of free stamp duty on certain properties for first time buyers, sigh) and helped cover our legal fees, too.
It’s always worth asking and remember, you’re giving them your business and it’s one of, if not the most important purchase you’ll ever make so if you find a better deal, don’t feel obliged to stick with what you’ve got just to be polite.
7. Where to find cashback deals on insurance policies with your bank
It’s not uncommon for your bank to offer various insurance products these days (you’ve probably been asked about them a ridiculous amount of times when you visit your local branch or call your bank?!)
You could earn some big-time cash from these offers, even if you’re already an existing customer.
Banks also offer their own cashback deals on their website sometimes too, to reward your loyalty for coming to them directly, or you can also earn cashback by going via comparison sites like USwitch.
Whatever route you choose to go down, I will say this, make sure you’re not blinded by the cashback offer and choose the best offer for you long-term.
If your new car insurance is £700 and you’re getting £40 cashback, great! That brings the price down to £660, what a bargain.
However, did you notice the cheaper car insurance a couple of rows down that is only £500? Your deal doesn’t look so good now, does it?
I’ve been guilty of this many a time before, so make sure you don’t get sucked in too and always look at all your options before diving in.
Top tip: compare deals on all comparison sites and on bank websites, as sometimes they’re running better deals but one might get a slightly higher amount of cashback for you.
So there are my top tips to help you get more out of your bank. Have I convinced you to try any of these?
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This post contains affiliate links. All information was correct at the time of posting.