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I see lots of current accounts have switching bonuses - is there generally any limit to how soon after opening a new account you can switch and get these? More specifically: say I opened a current account like this FirstDirect one with a free £100 for using the Current Account Switch Service within 3 months, is there anything to stop me opening another account from another bank first (e.g. a basic current account with no credit checks), paying some money in then 'switching' within the 3 month period? I can't see anything against it in the T&C's, but I could have easily missed it.

Context: I'm a UK student on placement year looking to open an account for my housemates and I to pay our rent and bills from, in my name only. £100 would be a sweet deal for us but I don't really want to get in trouble for it. I already have a student current account that I want to keep separate so would not be interested in closing it. Assume I'll pass credit checks etc.

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No, to follow up on your example First Direct won't care (and I suspect won't even know) how long you held the account you are switching to them so if you don't want to switch your main current account to them you can just open a new one and switch that.

To get the bonus you just need to make sure you meet the requirements imposed which in First Direct's case seem to simply be:

  1. have not held a First Direct account before

  2. pay in at least £1000 within 3 months of opening the account

Once the First Direct bonus is paid, which they say should be within 28 days of you meeting the criteria, it is yours to keep. You are then free to close the First Direct account or transfer it on to another bank (and potentially claim another switching bonus).

  • I'd no idea that I could switch multiple times to get other bonuses, I'll look into that! Thank you. – user14840 Aug 17 '16 at 10:17
  • Yep, if you're organised you sweep up a tidy little sum over a few months tarting around the bonuses. Mostly it's a matter of being careful to study the T's & C's and being clear on exactly what you need to do in each case to qualify for the payout - First Direct is one of the easier ones; for most of the others you're looking at some combination of moving a few Direct Debits and hitting minimum deposit targets for a few months. – Nigel Harper Aug 17 '16 at 14:20
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In the US banks typically require that you maintain some minimum account balance or account activity for at least 90 days. Some banks will only issue the bonus once in a lifetime, some once every 24 months etc. This will vary on the bank.

  • Thanks, but I'm in the UK so it be useful to know if there's similar policies here. – user14840 Aug 16 '16 at 8:11

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