Something for nothing – from a bank? From teaching you computer skills to giving shopping vouchers, banks and other financial firms are bidding to win your business. w&h money expert Niki Chesworth picks the best offers…
Free travel insurance
While you do have to be a customer, the FlexAccount has no fee so these perks are effectively free with rewards including 100 different discounts on shopping, travel, holidays and restaurants – all tailored to the way you spend. The best benefit is free Europe travel insurance for those aged up to 75. But make sure you qualify by switching direct debits and standing orders to your FlexAccount or paying in at least £750 a month for three consecutive months and by holding a Visa debit card.
Free tech, skills and help
Free WiFi in branches and free digital skills training. Drop into a tea and teach event or sign your kids up for the Code Playground, where they learn Scratch programming, a free online tool to create your own interactive stories, games and animations. There are free tutorials in things like internet shopping and using Skype.
For your smartphone there’s the free Digital Driving Licence app so you can get tech savvy…and you don’t even have to be a customer for any of the above. But if you are, as an online banking customer you can grab a free 12-month Kaspersky Internet Security antivirus subscription (RRP £50). It comes very highly rated and you can renew it free after the first year.
Free wills, local manicures and more
For this offer, you have to be a customer, but the current account has no fee, so offers are free – and local to you. Current deals include free wills for you and another (you have to pay for storing the will at the solicitor’s). Take your dog into a branch and they have water bowls and pet treats and, if you rehome a dog or cat from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, they’ll refund up to £65 for cats and £105 for dogs. Other local deals include a free fast finish manicure (Milton Keynes) and a free small coffee when you buy a cake at Brownie Box (Earl’s Court). See metrobankonline.co.uk
Free life cover
Legal & General
£10,000 of free life cover for 12 moth for new parents up to 45 (or £20,000 if you both take up the offer), and you don’t have to be a customer or make a purchase.
Free anti-virus software
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You have to be a cardholder, but as there’s no free or interest (0% rates last for 16 months on purchases and 33 months on balance transfers), this perk is not going to cost. Sign up for Online Card Services and get a year’s free access to McAfee’s Online Banking Suite, which includes its antivirus, spyware and adware programmes, and more. It’s worth £59.98 and if you don’t cancel before the free year’s up, you can get the second year half price for £29.99.
Online banking customers benefit from a similar offer with 12 months’ McAfee Virus Scan Plus, worth £39.99, which automatically blocks, cleans and removes viruses from your PC. Download when you log on to online banking.