08:51 15 May 2013
Halifax is offering a tempting £100 payment to anyone who switches to one of its current accounts by July 7.
The deal applies to all three of Halifax's current accounts, so here, we take a look at what each ones offer and help you decide whether it is worth making the move.
What's the deal?
Halifax's current account range includes its straightforward 'no frills' current account, the Reward account and the Ultimate Reward account. If you switch your existing current account to any of these, you will qualify for the £100 thank you payment.
The basic current account offers everything you need for day-to-day banking, such as a debit card, access to online banking and an overdraft, but there aren't any other perks and you won't earn any interest on your money when you are in credit.
If you go into the red, you'll be charged £1 a day on agreed overdrafts up to £2,000, £2 a day on overdrafts between £2,000 up to £3,000 and £3 a day on overdrafts of £3,000 and above. There is a daily fee of £5 if you go overdrawn without agreeing it in advance with the bank.
The Reward account, meanwhile, pays customers £5 a month rather than paying them interest - but to qualify you must pay in a minimum of £750 a month, pay out two direct debits each month and stay in credit.
If you go overdrawn there is an overdraft buffer of £50, but if you exceed this amount, you will be charged daily fees of £1 for arranged credit of up to £2,000, £2 for arranged credit up to £3,000 and £3 for agreed overdrafts of £3,000 and above. You will be charged £5 a day if you use an unplanned overdraft.
Finally, the Ultimate Reward account offers a range of benefits in return for a monthly fee of £15 a month if you pay in less than £750 a month, or a reduced fee of £10 if you pay in this amount or more, and have a minimum of two different direct debits paid from the account. You must also keep your account in credit to pay the lower monthly account fee.
In return for this, you get AA Breakdown Cover, including Home Start, mobile phone insurance, home emergency, card protection and annual family multi-trip travel insurance.
The first £300 of any planned overdraft is fee-free with the Ultimate Reward account. For overdrafts over £300, you'll be charged a daily fee of £1 for arranged credit of up to £2,500, £2 above that amount and £5 a day if you use an unplanned overdraft.
Who is it good for?
If you are typically in the black with your current account, but unhappy with your current bank - the Halifax switching offer is definitely worth a look.
If you are an existing Halifax or Bank of Scotland current account holder, or if you have closed a Halifax current account in the last six months, you won't be eligible for the £100 switching payment.
Bear in mind that the switching process can take up to a month, although Halifax will arrange a fee-free planned overdraft on your account to cover your outgoings during the switch.
While Halifax's current accounts are competitive, think carefully before moving if you tend to spend most of your time in the red, as the daily overdraft charges can quickly mount up.
What's the verdict?
The £100 thank you incentive for moving is a great offer, particularly if you go for the Reward account with its £5 monthly payments, as it means over a year you'll end up with a total of £160 in your pocket.
However, never switch to any account that doesn't suit your individual requirements and remember that if you are often overdrawn, Halifax's current accounts may not be right for you.
If you have regular payments made into your current account, such as your salary or a pension, Halifax has a credit redirection letter that can be downloaded from its website. You can send this to any organisations you need to so that they can arrange for payments can be made into your new account.
When it comes to companies that you make payments to, the bank's switching service will move all your bills and standing orders and direct debits across on your behalf, so you don't have to worry about contacting them.
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