Rory McGrellis Staff Photo

Rory McGrellis

Content Writer
Published: 13/05/2024
first direct logo in a book

Customers can receive a welcome bonus for switching to first direct from 7 May 2024.


Retail bank, first direct, has once again launched its £175 switching incentive for those using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) to move to its 1st Account.

The offer was last launched in late March and proved popular following a significant take-up of the deal.

“We want to reward customers for choosing to bank with us, which is why we are bringing back our popular £175 incentive,” explained Chris Pitt, CEO of first direct.

“The offer will only be around for a limited time only, so we’d encourage people to make the most of it while it’s available,” he continued.

Switching criteria

Those wishing to receive the bonus must use the CASS to switch their account over from a participating provider.

This includes moving over at least two direct debits or standing orders and depositing a minimum of £1,000 within 30 days of opening the account.

Additionally, within this timeframe, you must register and log onto first direct’s online banking service.

Furthermore, keep in mind this latest relaunch has the extra requirement of having to use your debit card at least five times within the same 30-day window.

Note, this offer is only open to new customers, so you won’t be eligible if you’ve held any account with first direct or a current account with its parent company, HSBC, on or after 1 January 2018.


Compare current accounts

You can find out more about any accounts mentioned and compare the whole of the market here on our current account charts.

Account features

On top of the conditional £175 incentive, first direct’s 1st Account comes with several benefits.

“The fuss-free 1st Account may be suitable for those who use their overdraft from time to time, thanks to its £250 interest-free buffer,” explained Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at  

“Not only this, but those looking to kick-start the savings habit will have access to its regular savings account which pays a competitive 7%,” Springall added.

The current account also allows you to use your debit card abroad without facing any fees, which may appeal to those who travel frequently or are planning an upcoming holiday.


How does it compare?

Recent weeks have seen a decline in competition for current account switching deals, with Virgin Money offering the only other incentive on the market. Instead of cash, this deal pays switchers a bonus interest rate on their in-credit balances.

Those switching to a M, M Plus or Club M Account can receive additional interest of 10% gross on balances up to £1,000 for a year, so long as they transfer across two direct debits by 24 June 2024.

In the case of the M Plus and Club M accounts, this bonus is on top of a 2.00% gross rate that’s again paid on amounts up to £1,000.

Assuming you maintain the maximum balance over the year, this combined interest rate of 12% (12.49% AER) would earn you around £125.

This move must also be completed through the CASS, with the bonus rate being paid from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025.

Keep in mind it’s important to weigh up not just the incentives, but the requirements and features of each account to ensure you’re getting the top deal for your needs.

To work out what current account is best for you, be sure to visit our charts.


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