FINANCIAL wizz Alex Welford has already bagged himself £1,000 in free cash from banks this year.
Alongside his day job as a software engineer, the 24-year-old has his own TikTok account @mrcashsmart where he shares money tips with over 19,000 followers.
He's also detailing his journey towards having £1million invested in stocks, shares and pension pots.
And in one recent video, he revealed how he earned himself £775 in free money from March, just from making bank switches.
Since the video went out he's earned a further £200.
Banks and building societies regularly offer switching incentives to ensnare new customers and they're a quick way of making extra cash.
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Bear in mind though there's usually criteria involved in receiving the free cash and not everyone can get it.
For example, you might have to stay with a bank for a certain period after switching in order to receive the cash incentive.
Alex switched from his Starling account to RBS in March, earning himself £200, then from RBS to First Direct that same month, bagging £175.
In April, he switched from a separate account with Chase to Halifax and received £200.
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Two months later, he moved across from that bank to NatWest and received a £200 switching bonus.
In July, he switched from NatWest to HSBC and earned £200.
He's also waiting on £200 after starting a switch from First Direct to Ulster Bank and can still take up TSB's £200 offer and Co-op's £125 referral offer – worth over £500 in total.
The switches took Alex just minutes and the extra cash has allowed him to head to Glastonbury and Rome this summer without having to dip into his investments.
He told The Sun: "For me to say that I've spent half an hour for £200 is a £400 hourly rate.
"There aren't hundreds of millions of switching offers, but for the time you are putting in and the rewards it feels like a no-brainer."
Alex's top tips
While Alex is on the way to earning himself £1,000 from making bank switches, he admitted there are some drawbacks.
Switching banks on a regular basis can hit your credit score meaning you're less likely to be approved for a loan or credit.
Alex was willing to take the hit as he is young and isn't looking to buy a home any time soon.
But he warned to think carefully about making regular switches if you are planning on stepping onto the property ladder.
He said: "Your credit score may be affected, so don't close down any old bank accounts with longstanding credit history.
He added: "It's important to note credit score also isn't everything when applying for a mortgage too.
"Lenders also will check your credit file so although your score may not really drop (from switching), your file may be affected and therefore a mortgage application too."
Alex said leaving a month between bank switches appeared to be keeping his credit score at a healthy level though.
How do I switch my current account?
You can switch current accounts in just a few steps via the Current Account Switching Service (CASS).
You just have to contact the new bank to apply for one of its accounts.
If you are accepted, they will offer to make the switch for you automatically and ask you to choose a date to do it.
Your old bank should then talk to your old one and everything will be switched across, including your balance, direct debits and salary.
After this, you will receive your new cards, log-in details and any PINS.
Which other banks are offering switching bonuses
A number of banks are handing out free cash for switching – some up to £225.
Halifax recently launched a new switching incentive and customers have until August 31 to snap it up – you can receive up to £225 in total.
Customers signing up to the bank's New Reward or Ultimate Reward current account will receive £150 free.
Plus, you can earn £25 in cashback if you spend £750 or more on one of the cards each month.
If you do this for three months you'll get £75 – working out as £225 in total.
However, you have to pay monthly fees to maintain both of the accounts – £3 a month for the New Reward and £17 for the Ultimate Reward Current Account.
You won't have to pay the £3 fee on the New Reward card if you pay in £1,500 or more in each month.
Meanwhile, TSB is offering £200 to any customers who start a switch by September 30.
You will receive the £125 after setting up at least two direct debits, using your debit card at least once and logging into internet banking.
The remaining £75 is paid into your account by March 31, 2024, but you have to pay at least £500 into the account each month as well as have five debit card and two direct debit payments each month.
NatWest and RBS also have £200 incentives on offer.
Customers switching to the NatWest Reward or RBS Reward current account can get £200 in cash.
You must switch from a different bank, deposit £1,250 into the account and log in to the mobile banking app within 60 days though.
You'll get the £200 after seven days. The account charges a £2 a month fee.
Meanwhile, First Direct has a £175 switching offer in place.
You have to switch your everyday banking using the CASS service and pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening the account.
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Given you have done this you should receive the £175 within 28 days.
Anyone who has opened an HSBC current account on or after January 1, 2020, won't be able to get the switching bonus though.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].
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