Switching bank account could help you save up to £200 off energy bills - here’s how
Santander is now offering households cashback on their energy bills and extra money if they switch accounts.
The bank is giving out free cash to anyone who opens a 123, 123 Lite, Select or Private current accounts.
Customers will get 4% cashback, which has doubled from 2%, on their gas and electricity bills paid by direct debit in September and October.
It comes as experts predict that energy bills could rise to £3,358 from October and £3,616 from January.
What is Santander offering?
The bank has also raised the monthly cap, the maximum cashback amount you can get, from £5 to £10 per month for the two month period.
It is the only UK bank to offer customers with 123 current accounts ongoing cashback on household bills.
This includes 1% on Council Tax bills, mobile phone, broadband and any Santander mortgage and 3% on water bills - both are capped at £5.
Santander is also offering a switching bonus of £160 for new and existing customers of the bank who open one of the accounts.
Hetal Parmar, head of banking and savings at Santander, said the offers are an "added boost, putting more money in customer’s pockets".
How much money could I earn from these offers?
Customers could earn £40 cashback over winter, for the six months from September to February - that’s £10 for September and October and £20 in total with the larger cashback.
You would also still get up to £5 every month, so worth £20 over the following four months.
But it’s important to remember that this is the maximum cash you could receive.
The actual figure will be based on your household energy bill.
Alongside the £160 switching bonus, households could get a cash boost of £200.
There is a £4 monthly fee to maintain the account, which is paid automatically each month.
This is something that you should consider before deciding to take out an account.
Can I switch to Santander to get the cash?
There are certain conditions you will have to meet to qualify for the energy bill cashback.
Anyone who has benefited from a previous Santander switch offer will not be eligible.
To be eligible for cashback, customers must be over 18 and pay in at least £500 per month.
You also must have at least two active direct debits.
Other terms can apply so make sure to check these first so you get the cash.
To get the switching bonus, you’ll need to pay in at least £1,000 a month and have two direct debits set up - plus use the Current Account Switch Service.
How to switch banks
The Current Account Switch Service can help you to switch your current account.
All you need to do is apply for the new account you want and the new bank will let your existing provider know you’re moving.
Make sure you double check all the terms and conditions attached to the account first.
If you have an overdraft, you should find out whether your new bank will take it on before switching.
While the switching service makes things easier, you will still have to manually update some important things.
While your salary should get redirected to your new account, it’s worth letting your employer know your new payment details just in case.
You should make sure to download a copy of your statements and transaction history when switching, as this information will be wiped when your old account is closed.
You can choose a switch date to suit you - just make sure you allow seven working days for the switch to take place.
Also make sure that your chosen date isn’t a Saturday, Sunday or on a Bank Holiday.
Once you’ve fulfilled the terms and conditions of the new bank, you could switch again to earn even more money.
Although, some accounts require you to be a customer for a set period to get the free cash.
What other help is there to save money on energy bills?
Help is available through various schemes and funds.
British Gas has a hardship fund which may mean you could loan up to £1,500 free cash towards your bills.
If you have a pre-payment meter, you could receive a one off fuel voucher.
You’ll need to contact your supplier directly to see what’s being offered and whether you could be eligible.
The Household Support Fund will also help support families during the cost of living crisis.
It provides you with cash to pay your bills or food costs.
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed earlier this year that every household would receive a £400 discount towards their energy bills.
Pensioners are also able to receive an extra £300 in November or December.
If you’re struggling with your bills these organisations are here to help:
National Debtline - 0808 808 4000
Step Change - 0800 138 1111
Citizens Advice - 0808 800 9060