So on Friday I changed bank accounts. I took some time during my lunch break, fired up the old interwebs and arrived at Yorkshire Bank’s homepage. About ten minutes later, I was all done, I had my new account number and sort code, and had agreed to switch from my current current account, with Tesco, using the CASS or Current Account Switching Service. And because of that, Yorkshire Bank are going to pay me £150.

I switched earlier in the year to the Tesco current account because they were giving away 10,000 clubcard points, which is the equivalent of £100. I will probably switch next year to the Co-Op, because they are giving away £125 to swap. I don’t see why people stick with their current accounts, and I would recommend that you look at what the options are.

Halifax as well gave me £100 a couple of years ago, and I stayed with them a while, because they gave me £5 every month for staying in credit. They didn’t pay any interest though, but I currently don’t get more than that in interest on my Tesco current account. I also liked the Halifax internet banking site, so I may go back to them eventually. I wouldn’t expect to get another £100 out of them, but the chance is there and even if I don’t, a monthly £5 always helps.

I probably won’t stay with the Yorkshire Bank for more than three months because I’ve had a look at their internet banking site and it feels dreadful. It’s like some stuffy grey-haired pinstripe wearing half-moon spectacles designed it. “What? What’s the issue? It displays the facts and figures…?” Unfortunately in today’s internet age, it doesn’t strike me as being modern, and that will drive me away.

I was with the Co-Op for a while, a few years ago, and while they were ultra-modern in some ways, i.e. they sent me a little PIN generator so that my account was secure, the banking site was atrocious. So I changed, and that might have been when I went to the Halifax.

I’ve banked with First Direct before, they were good, and if you go with them they pay £150. Unfortunately because I am a previous customer, I don’t qualify for that. I left them because they stopped paying interest on their current account, but at the moment if you pay into their regular savings account they are paying 6% interest – which is a fair whack in these zero-inflation times.

Most banks these days will give you a contactless card and they are pretty much all members of the Faster Payments scheme, so looking at the situation objectively, there is not much different between them. Hence my recommendation that you look around and see what the offers are. I’ve bagged a notional £250 so far this year (as long as this payment from the Yorkshire comes through) and that will mostly, probably, go towards a nice Christmas present for TW. Not a new tablet off of eBay. Oh no.

But once I’ve exhausted the offers, I shall be looking for a bank that pays acceptable interest, either on their current account or a linked savings account, and has a welcoming banking web site. Just because it’s about cold hard filthy lucre, doesn’t mean that design is not required. I want a website that I can appreciate, and feel at home on. I know that’s an odd thing to say, but I’m not sure how to express it otherwise.

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