Santander brings back £185 bank switch bonus

Santander has jumped into the pool of banks offering a cash bonus for those who move their banking services to them. After almost a year, it has returned with a £185 incentive to draw in new customers

A branch of Santander on the high street
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Santander, one of the largest banks in the UK, has brought back its switching incentive with a £185 bonus if you move your current account over.

It joins a trail of other large banks that have also recently introduced bank switching offers to entice new customers, with attractive savings accounts attached. Most recently, HSBC launched a £220 offer, NatWest has put £200 on the table, and Lloyds will pay you £175 to jump ship.

The last time Santander offered a switch deal was back in January 2023, giving away £200 to eligible switchers. 

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Even though its latest offer doesn’t match the previous £200 bonus and it is not the highest cash incentive available, anyone looking to move accounts should only be doing it if an account meets their needs and not because of the 'free' cash.

In Santander's case, you may be tempted to switch to take advantage of its Edge account, which comes with some attractive perks, such as 1% cashback on spending and 7% easy-access saver

Here's how you can bag the £185 and how it compares to the other incentives on the market. 

How to switch to Santander and get £185

Santander is offering £185 to new and existing customers when you switch to one of its four current accounts. These include the Santander Everyday current account, Santander Edge current account (£3 monthly fee), Santander Edge Up current account (£5 monthly fee) or its Private current account (£5 monthly fee).

If you’re an existing Santander current account holder, you can still benefit from the cash bonus by switching to one of the above accounts that you don’t hold. 

To do this you will need to visit a Santander branch- the provider advises you to book an appointment. 

To be eligible for the £185, you must complete the following: 

  • Request to switch your existing account to a qualifying Santander current account via the Current Account Switch Service. 
  • Within 60 days of your switch request, set up at least two direct debits to fund your new Santander account. 
  • Pay in £1,500 within 60 days 

Once you have completed your part, Santander will check that you have met its criteria and pay you the £185 bonus within 90 days of requesting the switch. 

If you have received a switching bonus from Santander previously, you are not eligible for this offer. 

How does the Santander incentive compare to other high-street banks? 

Santander is joining other high-street giants in offering a cash bonus when you switch to its current account, but how does it rank? 

HSBC wins, offering up to £220- but there are a couple of loopholes to get the full amount. Firstly there’s a criteria to get £100, and then a separate to-do list for an additional £120. 

If you’re looking for a packaged bank account, NatWest is giving a £200 cash bonus when you switch to one of its accounts- starting from a £3 monthly fee. 

Similarly, Lloyds is offering £175 when you switch to one of its Club Lloyds accounts- starting from £3 a month. 

Whilst Santander beats the Lloyds offer with £185 free cash, it's a matter of £10.

So, if you are on the hunt for a packaged bank account, it’s worth looking at all four providers that are offering a cash bonus and weighing up which one suits your needs best. 

Plus, they all pretty much have the same ballpark, starting at £3 a month for their most basic packaged account, creeping up to £21 a month. 

Some aspects to look out for are what savings accounts are attached to these current accounts, whether you want an arranged overdraft, annual travel insurance cover, and even cashback. 

For example, the Santander Edge account is favoured for its 1% cashback on spending (up to £10 per month), and Lloyds offers up to 15% cashback at certain retailers. 

If you want to hold a free current account, Santander offers its Everyday current account which holds no monthly fee. 

Vaishali Varu
Staff Writer

Vaishali has a background in personal finance and a passion for helping people manage their finances. As a staff writer for MoneyWeek, Vaishali covers the latest news, trends and insights on property, savings and ISAs.

She also has bylines for the U.S. personal finance site and Ideal Home, GoodTo, inews, The Week and the Leicester Mercury

Before joining MoneyWeek, Vaishali worked in marketing and copywriting for small businesses. Away from her desk, Vaishali likes to travel, socialise and cook homely favourites