Martin Lewis MSE shares how to get free £205 put straight into your bank

With the cost of living crisis still gripping the nation, every penny counts.

And Martin Lewis' website shared how you can no only gain pennies, but hundreds of pounds in an instant. Yes, that's right, Brits can get £205 for free – and you don't even have to change your bank account!

But how is this possible? Well HSBC wants you to get one of its new multi-currency accounts, and it's willing to give you at least £125 to do so (and then £80 later on). According to MSE, the account itself isn't a top pick, but the free money is very handy as you can get the dosh in time for Christmas.

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The £125 is for new HSBC customers who open the fee-free HSBC Advance* account, which also gives access to a linked 5% regular saver you can put up to £250/mth in. To get the free money you don't need to switch from another bank, you just need to open the Advance account.

As well as opening the account, there's also a few steps you need to follow. The first of these is spending on the debit card five times. However, there's no minimum so you could buy five small items at one time, just as five bananas.

You will also need to pay £1,500+ in once, however you can immediately withdraw it again if you don't want to keep the cash in the account. You'll also need to log in once to the mobile app and crucially you'll need to open the app-only HSBC Global Money multi-currency account and order the associated multi-currency debit card.

Writing on the site, MSE says: "None of that should take up much time, so the £125 you get is pretty decent for the work you do. The money will then be paid into the Global Money account within 20 days."

To qualify, you can't have held an HSBC current account, or opened a First Direct current account, since October 1, 2018. Existing First Direct customers can apply, so long as you opened your account before October 2018.

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Those who want the extra £80 on top will have to use their Global Money debit card five times before April 2024. You'll then get £80 paid in to the Global Money account in early May 2024, so you need to keep it open until then.

It's also worth noting you can only get the £80 if you've already received the £125. Those who do this will also be entered into a prize draw to win one of 24 £3,000 cash prizes, but you can opt out.

Sharing whether the account is any good or not, MSE describes HSBS Advance as a 'bog-standard current account' which 'lets you make payments and spend from it, but has few perks'. Meanwhile it says the HSBC Global Money Account is 'useful for those who like to hold cash in different currencies, as it means you can choose to move money when you think there's a good exchange rate, rather than getting the rate on the day you use the card'.

Answering whether opening the accounts to get the cash will affect credit scores, it adds: "Getting the HSBC Advance current account puts a search and new product on your credit report. That has a minor impact, and shouldn't make a huge difference. Though just for belt 'n' braces safety, if you're imminently about to apply for a mortgage or important, needed debt, it's probably best to prioritise that."

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