Switching bank incentives for people with poor credit history?

Just tried to apply for the Nationwide £200 switching fee but I'm not eligible.  They've offered me the FlexBasic but obviously doesn't offer an incentive so there's no point.  It seems a bit unfair that for those of us who need the extra cash more can't access it?  Following years of domestic abuse (financial) and a recent diagnosis with ADHD meaning my finances have always been a tangled mess, I have a support worker who is helping put things in order and she suggested switching for the bonuses but the one she suggested wouldn't accept me.  Rather than waste hours of rabbit holing has anyone got experience of this that they are willing to share please?

Thanks in advance!
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  • WillPS
    WillPS Posts: 3,063
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    edited 20 October 2023 at 2:45PM
    Just tried to apply for the Nationwide £200 switching fee but I'm not eligible.  They've offered me the FlexBasic but obviously doesn't offer an incentive so there's no point.  It seems a bit unfair that for those of us who need the extra cash more can't access it?  Following years of domestic abuse (financial) and a recent diagnosis with ADHD meaning my finances have always been a tangled mess, I have a support worker who is helping put things in order and she suggested switching for the bonuses but the one she suggested wouldn't accept me.  Rather than waste hours of rabbit holing has anyone got experience of this that they are willing to share please?

    Thanks in advance!

    Basic bank accounts are normally, but not always, excluded unfortunately. Worth bearing in mind that banks (and Nationwide) are businesses and their motivation with switching offers isn't kindness, so try not to take rejection personally.
    Keep an eye out when new offers pop up, there have certainly been some in the past which didn't exclude basic accounts, and focus on rebuilding your credit history.
    Also, don't assume that just because one lender won't give you a non-basic account no others will either.
  • PRAISETHESUN
    PRAISETHESUN Posts: 3,643
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    Unfortunately as you've found out it's hard with thin/poor credit to open new accounts. I was very interested in the switching game when I first moved to the UK but it took a little while before banks would offer me non-basic accounts that could be used to take advantage of the switching offers. 

    It's ultimately a business decision on the bank's side - they offer incentives to try and gain new customers which they hope they can make money off of, but basic accounts are pretty much always a loss for them since they can't charge fees and they require admin work. Not much you can do realistically if they won't offer you one, so personally I'd just leave it alone until your situation has gotten a bit better.


  • Rob5342
    Rob5342 Posts: 1,363
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    I've never understood why they have specific basic bank accounts rather than just letting your you open one of their standard current bank accounts but without an overdraft. I have a number of defaults on my credit report and Starling and Monzo let me current open accounts without overdraft facilities, I can't see how those accounts are different to a specific basic account. It also seems a bit unfair that Nationwide splash basic account across the debit card so everyone can see you've had to financial problems.

    I'd imagine it will be different for everyone with the bank looking at your specific circumstances, but with three defaults I've got accounts and bonuses from TSB and NatWest (not.to be confused with Nationwide)
  • FredTrump
    FredTrump Posts: 328
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    You might be able to upgrade your FlexBasic to a FlexAccount/FlexDirect (without an overdraft) in a few months time and then switch in an old basic account post-upgrade - the various offers don't differentiate between the type of current account switched in. 
  • Don't give up. My credit file is less than poor, depending on which provider I'm looking at, poor at best or just laughing at me.

    I've always looked admiringly at those that can do these switches and that little bit of extra cash thrown in just for swapping banks. So when the tsb switch came out, I think September one, I thought I'd give it a go and was shocked to be accepted. So I tried the Lloyds and then moved that to nationwide. 

    Maybe try again in 6 months, if there are any available or when they come up, if still no wait a bit and then try again. 
  • I would check all three of your credit reports (Experian, Equifax, Transunion) so you can possibly try to understand the data held which led to Nationwide offering you just a 'Basic Bank Account'.

    The three reports can be obtained FOR FREE so please do not pay for them. They can either be obtained by way of 'Statutory Credit Report' request (no charge) or by signing up to individual Credit Reporting Brokers as below;

    Credit Karma - Transunion
    Clearscore - Equifax
    MSE Credit Club - Experian

    As mentioned above, it is incredibly frustrating that banks penalise those who struggle financially by effectively excluding them from such incentives but unfortunately it is a game of risk and they are a business after all. The old saying of 'money goes to money' couldn't be any closer to the truth.
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  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,961
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    Rob5342 said:
    I've never understood why they have specific basic bank accounts rather than just letting your you open one of their standard current bank accounts but without an overdraft. I have a number of defaults on my credit report and Starling and Monzo let me current open accounts without overdraft facilities, I can't see how those accounts are different to a specific basic account.
    My understanding is that this is largely historical and relates to the ability to prevent accounts going overdrawn via offline versus online debit cards - most debit cards can be used offline, i.e. where there isn't the ability to seek real-time authorisation, such as on aircraft, which therefore allows the accounts to go overdrawn.  Online-only cards were introduced which can only be used where real-time authorisation is available, and so these can be used to exert greater control and effectively avoid overdrafts, hence being used with basic accounts.

    Rob5342 said:
    It also seems a bit unfair that Nationwide splash basic account across the debit card so everyone can see you've had to financial problems.
    How many people do you actually show your card to?!
  • Rob5342
    Rob5342 Posts: 1,363
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    edited 22 October 2023 at 10:25PM
    eskbanker said:
    Rob5342 said:
    It also seems a bit unfair that Nationwide splash basic account across the debit card so everyone can see you've had to financial problems.
    How many people do you actually show your card to?!
    Nobody personally as I always pay by phone, but I've seen plenty of other peoples when they've paid in pubs etc. I know who everyone in my family banks with for that reason.

  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,961
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    Rob5342 said:
    eskbanker said:
    Rob5342 said:
    It also seems a bit unfair that Nationwide splash basic account across the debit card so everyone can see you've had to financial problems.
    How many people do you actually show your card to?!
    Nobody personally as I always pay by phone, but I've seen plenty of other peoples when they've paid in pubs etc. I know who everyone in my family banks with for that reason.
    So you accept that anyone who feels that this is an issue can easily work around it?
  • Rob5342
    Rob5342 Posts: 1,363
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    edited 23 October 2023 at 6:46AM
    eskbanker said:
    Rob5342 said:
    eskbanker said:
    Rob5342 said:
    It also seems a bit unfair that Nationwide splash basic account across the debit card so everyone can see you've had to financial problems.
    How many people do you actually show your card to?!
    Nobody personally as I always pay by phone, but I've seen plenty of other peoples when they've paid in pubs etc. I know who everyone in my family banks with for that reason.
    So you accept that anyone who feels that this is an issue can easily work around it?

    Yes you can work around it, but it's a shame Nationwide can't be more thoughtful about it. Stepchange make their envelopes discreet even though people could work around it if they didn't

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