Martin Lewis shares how to get £125 ‘free’ money in time for Christmas season

Martin Lewis has revealed how Brits can get £125 free cash handed in time for the Christmas season.

The 48-year-old revealed how almost anyone can take advantage of the new bank "bribes" that are being handed out.

Writing in his weekly MoneySavingExpert newsletter, he said: "Four banks currently pay, and two of them pay quickly enough for you to get it in plenty of time to boost your Christmas coffers."

The "free" money is on offer to new customers moving to specific bank accounts.

He also said there's less to worry about when moving banks nowadays with new rules guaranteeing it happens in a few days.

Martin added: "It only takes seven working days and the banks do it all – switching your direct debit and standing orders over, closing your old account, and making sure any payments are forwarded."

According to Martin, the top payers at the moment are:

  • £125 – NatWest Reward: Min pay-in £1,250 a month
  • £125 – HSBC Advance: Min pay-in £1,750 a month
  • £100 – Club Lloyds: Min pay-in £1,500 a month

Martin also has advice to meet the minimum payment thresholds too.

He wrote: "First remember if you've a joint account it's the combined pay-in that matters. If not, there's usually a way to cheat it.

"Say the pay-in is £1,250, but you only have £850 coming in, then pay in the £850, withdraw £400 to an account at another bank (or in cash) and then pay it back in, and BINGO – you'd qualify."

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So if you're struggling to pick between which bank, Martin has given a quick rundown.

He explained: "Want the biggest upfront cash in time for Christmas? HSBC is your winner (though you'll need to switch 2+ direct debits or standing orders to get it).

"Plus, you won't be eligible if you've had an HSBC account or opened a First Direct or M&S Bank account since Jan 2017."

But if you're prepared to wait some time, there's more money available elsewhere.

He continued: "For the max total cash, if time isn't key, NatWest Reward gives the same £125 upfront cash.

"Then it has cashback on top – bizarrely, it charges a £2 a month fee but pays £4 a month cashback if you've 2+ direct debits going out, and £1 each month you log in to mobile banking.

"So qualify it all and that's £5 a month minus the £2 a month, or an extra £36 a year."

Martin added you can also get the £125 up front payment by switching to the fee-free NatWest Select account – but there's no monthly cashback.

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