Halifax offers £125 to account switchers
Halifax is trying to tempt in new current account customers with a new £125 sign-up offer.
People switching to its Reward Account via the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) will receive £125 when opening an account before 18 October, and will also get £5 each month their balance stays in credit, providing they also pay in £750 a month and have two direct debits in place.
There's a £1 daily charge if you go into an agreed overdraft, rising to £2 each day you are more than £2,000 overdrawn and £3 for overdrafts greater than £3,000. Unplanned overdrafts are charged at £5 per day.
The same introductory offer is available on the Halifax Ultimate Reward Account, which has a £10 monthly fee in exchange for annual travel and breakdown cover.
Halifax says 400,000 people have signed up to its current accounts since the introduction of CASS in September 2013.
The Halifax introductory offer is compelling but the best deal currently available to current account switchers is First Direct's 1st account, which pays out £150 for people signing up via MoneySupermarket.com. Join elsewhere and you'll get £100. There's no cashback with this account, but it does come with a regular savings account that pays 6% AER.
Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank will also pay £150 to people signing up via CASS. They both pay 2% interest on balances up to £3,000. Authorised overdrafts are reasonably priced at 9.9% EAR but there's a £6 charge plus £6 a day if you go over your agreed limit.
The Co-operative Bank will pay you £100 if you switch to its account, plus another £25 to one of seven charities you select. Pay in £800 a month and you can get a £200 overdraft, charged at 18.9% EAR. There's a linked savings account but it only pays 0.5% interest so it's hardly a dealmaker.
An overdraft is an agreement with your bank that authorises you to withdraw more funds from your account than you have deposited in it. Many banks charge for this privilege either as a fixed fee or charge interest on the money overdrawn at a special high rate. Some banks charge a fee and interest. And other banks offer a free overdraft but impose very high charges for exceeding the agreed limit of your overdraft.
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.
Where APR is the rate charged for money borrowed, Annual equivalent rate is how interest is calculated on money saved. The AER takes into account the frequency the product pays interest and how that interest compounds. So, if two savings products pay the same rate of interest but one pays interest more frequently, that account compounds the interest more frequently and will have a higher AER.