- First Direct has axed £100 free cash switching incentive
- Bank replaces it with a choice of gifts for new customers to choose
- Includes £150 Expedia voucher and top of the range bluetooth headphones
First Direct has today revealed its new current account switching perks to replace its £100 offer of free money to join.
Last week, This is Money revealed how the online and telephone-only bank was scrapping its cash incentive for the first time in a decade.
It has chosen to replace it with a raft of switching gift options, including a £150 Expedia e-voucher, Bose on-ear wireless headphones, Amazon Echo, Fitbit, or even an online self-development course.
First Direct has axed its £100 switching incentive – and customers can now instead pick a gift
First Direct says that its research shows the public put a far higher premium on new experiences than they do on cash – and that is why it has revamped its offering.
It says customers can use the Expedia voucher for flights, car hire, trains or accommodation – and has split payment functionality, so customers can use it for a part-payment for anything they book.
The online courses are described by First Direct as something that could help customers with business ventures, to improve their life skills, or develop a hobby.
For example, there is a course in ultimate graphic design or marketing with Google and YouTube.
It also includes some lifestyle type courses, such as travel photography or bartending and drink mixologist masterclasses.
Online courses will be provided by established worldwide course provider – Blue Mountain Training Solutions.
The gifts are all available to purchase at prices equal to or greater than the previous £100 switching incentive, the bank says.
Joe Gordon, head of First Direct, said: ‘We believe the time is right to shake up the switcher market; just like we did all those years ago when we were the first to introduce cash as a joining incentive.
‘Typically, First Direct’s customers are digitally-savvy and entrepreneurially-minded, choosing to bank with us for our pioneering tech and award-winning customer service.
‘These new incentives will start our relationship off on a more personal level, offering something that can be enjoyed over a longer period of time.’
As well as the online courses and travel voucher, there will be a choice of gadgets customers can choose.
These are a Bose Soundlink Bluetooth speaker, Amazon Echo Spot and Fitbit Charge 2 Special Edition.
A quick search online shows that the headphones are worth around £160, speaker £150, Amazon Echo Spot £120 and Fitbit £140.
Customers have to use the current account switching service and deposit £1,000. They can expect their gift within 14 days after qualifying.
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