First Direct 1st Account Review – Forbes Advisor UK
Time to open a new checking account? Among the many benefits of First Direct’s 1st account are a £175 cash conversion bonus, £250 interest-free overdraft and proven excellent customer service.
The representative APR example gives you an estimate of how much it might cost if you borrowed a certain amount of money. This helps you compare products and provides a guide to the cost of carrying a sale. Your personal offer may vary from the representative APR example.
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you will be charged the equivalent annual rate of 0% on the first £250, then 39.9% (variable). Representative APR 30.5% (variable).
- £175 welcome bonus for a full switch or £20 to open an account
- Linked regular saver account paying 3.50% AER
- Arranged overdraft of £250 interest free
- Cash welcome bonus only for new customers*
- Overdraft without interest under conditions
- No cashback, perks or discounts
- £175 cash back when you transfer your account to First Direct
- OR £20 if you open an account without making the full switch
- Access to linked regular savings account paying 3.50% AER
- Interest free overdraft of £250 (subject to status) then arranged overdrafts are charged at 39.9%.
Will I be eligible?
To qualify for a First Direct 1st account, you must be over 18, a UK resident and not have been declared bankrupt or registered for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) in the last six years . You will need a contact phone number and email address.
To qualify for the £175 cash offer you must open a 1st account, transfer your everyday banking to First Direct using the everyday account switching service and pay at least £1,000 within three months of account opening. The £175 in cash will be paid within 28 days.
The £175 switch offer is limited to one payment per customer or joint account.
To qualify for the £20 cash offer, you must open a first account and log into the First Direct app/online banking within three months of opening the account. The money will then be paid out within four months of opening the account.
*In either case, to get the money you must not have held a First Direct account before, and you cannot have opened an HSBC current account since January 1, 2019.
What more do I need to know?
If you have a First Direct 1st Account, you can also open a First Direct Regular Saver paying 3.50% AER.
You can save between £25 and £300 for a fixed term of 12 months on this account. If you save £300 per month for 12 months, you will earn around £68.25 in interest.
Interest-free £250 overdraft makes 1st Account a cheaper overdraft option than other banks. After that, arranged overdrafts are charged at 39.9%, giving a representative rate of 30.5% variable APR (assuming an arranged overdraft of £1,200).
First Direct’s switch offers are subject to status and may be withdrawn at any time.
The internet bank, part of HSBC, is renowned for its excellent customer service.
Is the 1st First Direct account for me?
The combination of the £175 to upgrade to First Direct and the best customer service makes the First Direct First Account a good bet for a checking account.
You can get £20 for just opening an account without having to switch your old account.
There is no monthly fee to run the 1st Account either.
What are my alternatives?
Bank customers can choose between tempting incentives for change at the moment.
Santander’s 1|2|3 checking account also pays out £175 to shoppers, plus up to 3% cash back on household bills and 1% interest on credit balances. The account costs £4 per month.
A cheaper option is the Santander 1 | 2 | 3 Lite which costs £2 per month. This offers the same £175 cash back and incentive rates as the 1|2|3 account, but pays no interest income. You are also required to have paperless statements.
Nationwide is offering Switchers £100 or £125. Its FlexDirect current account pays 1.5% credit interest on balances up to £1,500.
Alternatively, Virgin Money’s M Plus account offers 25% cashback for two months on supermarket and fuel spending (up to £160).