Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert explains how you can get £150 FREE from your bank

MARTIN Lewis' MoneySavingExpert has explained how consumers can get up to £150 cash for free by switching bank accounts.

HSBC and First Direct are offering one-off payments worth more than £100 to attract new customers.

HSBC Advance is offering a free £150 payment to switchers, which is the biggest cash amount available at the moment, according to the latest MoneySavingExpert newsletter.

To claim the freebie you need to open an HSBC Advance account and start your switch within 30 days.

You'll need to pay in at least £1,500 within 60 days and switch over two of your Direct Debits or standing orders to receive the money.

Meanwhile, First Direct has increased its pay out to £130, up from £100.

Customers need to deposit at least £1,000 within the first three months to get the cash.

Other banks are also advertising offers for consumers looking to open a new bank account.

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Nationwide's FlexDirect pays up to £125 to new customers.

Meanwhile, Virgin Money is tempting users with 12 bottles of wine or a £150 experience voucher.

You should check all the eligibility criteria before signing up as you might be required to pay in a certain amount.

Switchers can compare bank accounts using MoneySavingExpert's guide, or another comparison website such as Compare The Market.

How can I switch banks?

It's simple to open a new bank account using the Current Account Switch Service.

It does most of the legwork for you, so you don't have to remember to move direct debits over when you move.

All you need to do is apply for the new account you want and the new bank will let your existing provider know you're moving.

Make sure you double check all the terms and conditions attached to the account first.

If you have an overdraft you should find out whether your new bank will take it on before switching.

While the switching service makes things easier, you'll still have to manually update some important things such as providing your employer with your new details.

To get ready you should go through your payments as it's a good time to cancel standing orders that you no longer need.

You should also download a copy of your statements and transaction history, as this information will be wiped when your old account is closed.

You can choose a switch date to suit you – just make sure you allow seven working days for the switch to take place and that your chosen date isn't a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday.

Once you've fulfilled the terms and conditions of the new bank, there's nothing to stop you switching again to earn even more money.

We spoke to one serial switcher who has moved bank three times this year alone, pocketing rewards of almost £400.

But remember that each time you switch banks there will be a credit check, which will show up on your record.

It shouldn't make a difference to your score as a one off, but multiple checks could ring alarm bells for future credit providers.

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