Cash in on cashback: shop around for the best deals – The Guardian

With many finances so tight, this is a good time to look at your spending and see whether you can make your money work harder. If you need to buy a particular item or switch to a new service, one way to do this is to look for a purchase or deal that comes with cashback.

From current accounts and mobile phones to investments and electrical appliances, there are dozens of products and services where you can get “free” cash. However, the general rule is: do not buy something or move to a new provider just to get the money.

These offers work when it is something you were going to buy or do anyway, such as quitting your bank because you are unhappy with the service or upgrading your phone contract.

It is vital to shop around because you may find you can save more money by going with one company than you would get in cashback from another.

Bank accounts

This week, Lloyds became the latest high street bank to launch a current account switching offer. You can get £125 if you switch from another bank to its Club Lloyds account. You need to pay at least £1,500 a month into the account, otherwise there is a £3 monthly fee. Lloyds says the £125 will be paid directly into your account approximately three working days after the switch takes place. This offer is due to end on 27 June.

A couple of other banks are offering bigger cash incentives. HSBC will give you £170 if you switch from a rival to its Advance account. You will need to pay in at least £1,500 within the first 60 days, among other criteria. This account has no monthly fee but to be eligible you will need to qualify for an arranged overdraft of at least £1,000.

The bank says: “Once you meet all our eligibility criteria, we’ll pay £170 into your account within 30 days.”

Lloyds Banking Group logo on the screen of a smartphone.
Lloyds has launched a current account switching offer. Photograph: Sheldon Cooper/Sopa Images/Rex/Shutterstock

First Direct, a subsidiary of HSBC that is often rated the best bank for service, is offering a £150 payment when you switch to its 1st Account. You need to pay in at least £1,000 and will get the £150 within 28 days of all the terms and conditions being met.

Meanwhile, Nationwide will give you £125 if you are already a member of the building society, or £100 if you are not, when you switch to one of its current accounts (FlexPlus, FlexDirect or FlexAccount).

With all of the previous accounts will need to use the banking industry’s switching service to arrange your transfer.

Phone and internet

Some mobile phone and broadband providers are offering payments when you sign up to a new contract. However, this is an area where you really need to do your homework to check you are getting the best deal rather than being dazzled by the headline incentive.

The mobile network Three is offering up to £250 cashback if you switch to it between now and 7 July. The offer applies to some of the latest handsets, including the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13, as well as sim-only deals. For example, there is an unlimited data 24-month sim plan costing £11 a month for the first six months (then £22 a month) and comes with £100 cashback. Those who switch will receive the money via a prepaid Mastercard delivered after 45 days, provided they pay their first month’s bill on time.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, with the S-Pen
Some mobile phone providers are offering payments when you sign up to a new contract. Photograph: Haven Daley/AP

Meanwhile, Zen Internet – which claims to be “the only Which?-recommended” broadband provider – this week announced a scheme whereby customers can receive an £80 giftcard (redeemable at retailers including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer) for every friend they refer, with the friend receiving a £20 gift card.

Investments

There are a number of cashback offers from investment firms at the moment. However, in the current economic climate, many people may want to prioritise having cash in an easily accessible savings account rather than locking money away.

This month, the investment platform Interactive Investor launched two offers, giving qualifying customers cashback when they transfer an Isa or Sipp (self-invested personal pension) to it by 30 June. For example, Interactive Investor is offering new customers £100 cashback if they transfer an Isa with a value of more than £10,000.

Meanwhile, at the time of writing, the investment site Moneyfarm has a cashback offer whereby it will give you a £200 investment boost when you invest at least £5,000 in one of its stocks and shares Isas. This money will be paid into the “available cash” section of a customer’s account and can then be invested or withdrawn.

NatWest is running an investment Isa transfer cashback offer for customers that only has a few more days to run – it ends on 27 May. The offer is open to those who have existing cash Isas with any provider, including NatWest, or stocks and shares Isas with an external company. To get cashback ranging from £25 up to £1,000, you have to transfer your Isa(s) to NatWest Invest. You need to be a NatWest customer with online banking to apply.

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