First Direct ups joining reward to £125
First Direct is upping its hugely popular joining incentive for all new 1st Account customers from £100 to £125 from 12 August until 20 October.
All new customers can snap up the deal as long as they are able to pay in a minimum of £1,000 each month.
They must also transfer a minimum of two standing orders and/or direct debits using the online bank's 'Easyswitch' team.
First Direct's 'Satisfaction Guarantee' will continue to apply during the promotional period, meaning if new customers aren't happy with the account or the Easyswitch service they receive and close their account within the first 12 months, the bank will pay them £100 – as long as the minimum deposit is met for at least six months.
The satisfaction guarantee payment of £100 will go into the 1st Account before the account is closed and any accounts the customer has with First Direct at that time must be transferred to another bank or building society.
First Direct was highly commended in this year's Most Trusted Current Account provider category at the Moneywise Customer Service Awards. It also won the Most Trusted Mortgage Provider and Credit Card provider awards.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
This is a mutual organisation owned by its members and not by shareholders. These societies offer a range of financial services but have historically concentrated on taking deposits from savers and lending the money to borrowers as mortgages, hence the name. In the mid-1990s many societies “demutualised” and became banks. One academic study (Heffernan, 2003) found demutualised societies’ pricing on deposits and mortgages was more favourable to shareholders than to customers, with the remaining mutual building societies offering consistently better rates. In 1900, there were 2,286 building societies in the UK; in 2011, there are just 51.