I’m always on the hunt for a deal or a way to save a few quid. So I’m pleased to say that in 2021, I’ve managed to make myself over £350 richer by sticking with my frugal ways.
So with the year drawing to a close, I thought I’d share my two biggest money-saving tricks with you.
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Trick 1: how I pocketed £260 by switching bank accounts
The UK’s current account market is fiercely competitive, with banks fighting with each other to attract new customers. One of the most common tactics to grab new customers is to pay cold hard cash to those switching from other providers.
Thankfully, it’s easy to take advantage of this generosity by switching accounts for the sole purpose of bagging free cash. I’ve done this regularly over the past few years, and by my calculations, I’ve managed to pocket close to £1,000 in total.
As I’ve done it on so many occasions, I’m not always eligible for every new offer. However, I did manage to bag two biggies this year. In September I pocketed £125 for switching to Nationwide, and a month later, I switched the same account to Santander, grabbing another £130!
That’s a total of £255 for doing very little, other than ensuring I moved across two direct debits, and, for the Santander offer, paying £1,000 into the account.
While the Santander offer has since ended, Nationwide’s switch offer is still available. See our article that fully explains the ins and outs of the offer, including a tip on how to get the bigger £125 bonus, rather than the £100 available to non-Nationwide customers!
What other bank switch offers are currently available?
Aside from Nationwide, there are two other hot bank switch offers available right now.
First Direct currently pays switchers £100 when opening its 1st Account. To get it, you must be a new customer and pay in at least £1,000 within 90 days of opening the account.
Virgin Money is another bank that pays a juicy bonus. While it doesn’t offer cash, it rewards switchers to its ‘M’ Account with a £150 Virgin Experience Day gift card, or 12 bottles of wine. To qualify, you must switch to the account, pay in at least £1,000, and move over two direct debits. You must do this within 45 days of opening the account.
What do you need to know before switching bank account?
Bank switching is easy thanks to the seven-day switch guarantee, which ensures all of your payments, including any standing orders and direct debits, are moved over as part of the process. This is all done within a week and you aren’t liable for any mistakes made by your bank.
It’s also worth knowing that you don’t always have to switch your main bank account. I only ever switch an account that I don’t use day to day – never my ‘main’ bank account.
For more need-to-knows, see our article that explains how to switch bank account.
Trick 2: how I saved £110 using free music streaming trials
Everyone loves listening to the latest tunes, but not everyone likes paying for a monthly streaming subscription. Thankfully, I’ve been able to enjoy a year’s free music streaming in 2021 thanks to multiple free trials.
Last Christmas, I treated myself to a new phone and wanted a music streaming service to go with it. Similar to the bank switching market, music streaming is a very competitive industry. There are several providers eager to attract new customers, so many will offer generous free trials to get you on board.
So in January, I pounced on a deal from the ‘Tidal’ streaming service, offering five free months (£9.99 thereafter). Upon signing up, I immediately cancelled my subscription, safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t be charged when my trial ended at the end of May. I was then able to enjoy five months of music streaming for free.
At the end of the trial, I was on the lookout for another free music streaming trial. Step forward Spotify with its three-month trial for new customers. This was simply too good a deal to turn down, so I signed up. This gave me add-free music streaming without the £9.99 monthly cost, setting me up for the summer.
Once my Spotify trial ended, I repeated the same process with Amazon Music, scoring another three months of streaming for nowt. In total, I’ve bagged 11 months of music streaming in 2021 at no cost.
What do you need to know about free music trials?
Most free streaming trials are typically reserved for new customers. This means I won’t be able to repeat the same trick next year. It’s also worth knowing that offers change frequently, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get the same trials I had.
Here’s to another money-saving year in 2022!