Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert explains how M&S Bank customers can now get £125 ahead of account closures

MARTIN Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert website has explained how M&S Bank customers are now eligible for a £125 switch bonus ahead of their current accounts closing.

The lender confirmed it is shutting all of its current accounts and 29 physical banks this summer.

M&S' current account has already closed to new customers, but its existing three million customers will lose their accounts in August 2021.

Its bank branches will close on July 2, with all services moving to online, mobile and telephone channels until its accounts fully shut.

The changes mean customers have been advised to move their money to a new account by summer.

But until now, M&S customers haven’t been able to benefit from switch bonuses being offered by First Direct and HSBC.

This is because both First Direct and M&S Bank are owned by HSBC.

Why should I switch bank accounts?

NOT sure what switching could do for you? Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Switching is easy. Under the switching service, swapping banks should take seven working days. That includes all your payments, direct debits and standing orders being moved too. Just open your new account and then ask your new provider to close your old account using the switch service.
  2. Use the Current Account Switch Service. In order to qualify for switch gifts, it's likely you'll need to use the Current Account Switch Service. This is free to do and does most of the work for you, including closing your old bank account.
  3. Make sure you are eligible. Most accounts have certain requirements, such as paying in a minimum amount of cash each month.
  4. Watch your overdraft. Check your new bank will offer you the same limit — and does not have higher costs for using it.
  5. Keep an eye on fees. Does your new bank charge a monthly fee for using it? Or is it more expensive than your current lender when it comes to using an unarranged overdraft?

In their weekly email published this week, the MoneySavingExpert team advised M&S Bank customers that this rule has now changed.

It means M&S Bank customers may now qualify for £125 from HSBC or £100 from HSBC for switching.

If you already moved from M&S to HSBC or First Direct, you'll also be rewarded the bonus too, if you're eligible and moved after March 4.

MSE said: “Anyone who'd opened an M&S current account since 2018 couldn't grab bribes to switch to sister brands First Direct and HSBC.

“But that restriction's been lifted, subject to normal eligibility criteria."

Of course, you’ll still need to meet certain eligibility criteria to get the £125 or £100 switch bonus.

For example, with HSBC you need to pay in have two direct debits or standing orders across and pay in £1,750 per month.

With First Direct you’ll need to pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening your account.

You should always make sure your switching accounts to the right bank for you – don’t be swayed by the switch bribe alone.

With both HSBC and First Direct, you’ll get a linked 1% regular savings account where you can save up to £250 each month.

Go into your unarranged overdraft, and each bank will charge 39.9% EAR variable, capped at £20.

In more Martin Lewis news, the money-savings guru is urging married couples to claim tax break refund before April 5.

Martin Lewis has also revealed ways to get an up to £2,000 boost by cashing in on government rewards.

Plus, he has warned workers to check their tax codes are correct – or you could miss out on thousands of pounds.

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