Martin Lewis shares simple hack to get free £175 before Christmas

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The Money Saving Expert has shared a simple method to receive £175 for free ahead of the festive period.

With less than 100 days to go until Christmas, many families will be starting to think about saving some cash to help pay for gifts, cards, and of course the turkey and all the trimmings.

In the lead up to the big day, three banks are currently giving out free cash to new customers who switch to their accounts.

First Direct – a division of HSBC UK – pays new customers £175 within 28 days of transferring. Martin Lewis explained you have to pay in more than £1,000 to get that bonus cash, but it can be withdrawn again straight away.

He told his money saving podcast on BBC Radio 5: ‘As switching takes seven working days, do it today and you should have the money in your account towards the end of October at the latest.

‘Plenty of time to get it in before Christmas.’

To qualify for switch bonuses, you have to close your previous account using the Current Account Switch Service – which is done through the new bank you’re moving to.

Martin Lewis shared the tip on his podcast (Picture: ITV)

The service moves all payments, direct debits and standing orders to the new account – but Martin says it’s worth downloading a couple of years’ statements from your old bank, just in case you need them in future.

In his newsletter, Martin explains there are two other banks offering free cash for new customers at the moment.

TSB Spend and Save: If you switch to this account you’ll get £150, as well as £10 cashback for every month you spend more than 20 times using its debit card for the first six months. That cashback drops to £5 a month after six months.

Co-op Bank: If you refer someone, or someone else refers you, you’ll both get £125. There was a similar switch offer earlier this year, but now ‘you’ve got to jump through a few more hoops’. Check out the bank’s refer a friend webpage for full details.

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Martin reckons more banks will start offering free cash for switching in the coming months.

He said: ‘I do think we will see other bank accounts launch free money for switching in coming months.

‘I know of one that’s due to launch soon but it’s not a fee-free account.

‘Others may come, but this one is in the bag and you can get it in time.

‘That would be an easy start, if you don’t love your bank account then why not go and get one that pays you and have that money to spend at Christmas?’

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