THE cost of Christmas racks up fast – but play it smart and you could earn up to £125 in free money just by making your festive purchases.
A number of banks and building societies offer cashback when you pay for your bills or travel.
But you can also get money back for shopping at your favourite retailer.
With the average person in the UK expected to spend £835 on Christmas shopping this year, according to Statista, you'll want to do everything you can to cut back on costs.
Luckily, there are six top current accounts offering cashback, and they could see you earn up to £125 back this festive period.
Remember, cashback comes in different forms – sometimes you receive a percentage back on what you've spent and other times a flat amount at the end of every month.
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Some current accounts only offer cashback when you buy from certain retailers too, and some charge you monthly fees to keep them open.
Make sure you factor all this in when choosing the right account for you.
The Santander Edge card offers you 1% back on any number of bills including council tax, broadband and energy.
But you can also get the same percentage back when using the card for supermarket shopping, up to £10 a month.
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You will need to pay in £500 into the account each month to qualify for the cashback and have two active direct debits though.
Meanwhile, you have to pay a monthly fee of £3 to maintain the account.
Santander also has its Edge Up account, which offers up to £15 a month cashback on supermarket spending.
However, the fee to maintain the account is £5 instead of £3 – £2 more expensive.
Either way, if you opted for the Edge Up, you could earn £30 back on any Christmas spending before the end of 2023.
The UK's largest digital bank Monzo just last week announced a new cashback feature for its customers.
Bankers can get between 2-10% back instantly on purchases from a number of retailers including Asda, Boots, Deliveroo and H&M.
Any customers looking to sign up just have to activate the feature on the Monzo app and then start swiping their card.
The full list of retailers where you can earn cashback is:
- Foot Locker
- Franco Manca
- Honest Burger
- Krispy Kreme
- Yo! Sushi
If you spent the average of £835 on Christmas shopping and received the maximum 10%, that's £83 in cashback.
But bear in mind you won't get 10% cashback on every purchase.
The Chase current account offers customers 1% cashback on the vast majority of debit card spending, up to £15 a month.
That means you would have to spend £1,500 a month to get the maximum amount, but could earn £30 before the end of 2023.
Just note that you won't get cashback if using the card to pay for items in antique shops or for gambling or betting.
One major perk of the account is that for the first 12 months you don't have to pay a minimum amount in each month to trigger the cashback feature.
After that, you will have to pay in a minimum of £500.
Another perk is that you can also get cashback when using the card abroad.
TSB is offering anyone signing up to its Spend and Save current account £5 cashback each month.
But you have to make a minimum of 20 payments on the account each calendar month.
Customers who took up the bank's recently closed switching offer can get £10 in cashback each month for the first six months.
That means you could earn £20 before the end of the year, which could make a dent in the cost of any Christmas shopping.
NatWest customers signing up for the bank's Reward account can earn 1% cashback when buying from a number of retailers.
You can find out the list of qualifying retailers in the app.
But you can only earn up to a maximum of £5 cashback each month, or £500 worth of qualifying purchases.
You can also earn £4 a month cashback by having two or more direct debits worth at least £2 coming out of your account, then a further £1 a month by logging into the mobile app at least once.
One downside is that there is a £2 monthly fee to maintain the account.
But you could counteract that someway by claiming the £5 cashback each month, worth £10 before the end of the year.
Any Barclays customers with a Blue Rewards card can earn cashback when spending on their debit card at selected retailers.
Some of the retailers you can shop at include Ted Baker, Wowcher, Bensons for Beds, Karen Millen and Oasis.
You can earn up to 15% depending on the retailer although this won't be the case with all of them.
Also, you won't get money back on any gambling purchases or cash withdrawals, and there's a £5 monthly fee to maintain the account.
Plus, you have to pay in at least £800 in each month, register for online banking and the offer is also only running until December 27.
But, if you spent the average of £835 on Christmas shopping at all of Barclays' participating retailers, you could earn £125 in cashback.
How to find the best current account
Many people feel hesitant swaying from the original bank account they set up when they were young, but it can pay to be disloyal.
Sticking with your current account can mean missing out on more competitive interest rates or a better overdraft.
Not only that, but you might be able to sign up to an account with reward features such as cashback.
There's new current account deals coming on to the market all the time so it's well worth keeping your eyes peeled.
You can find and compare them on price comparison sites such as Uswitch, MoneySuperMarket and MoneySavingExpert.com.
Meanwhile, banks and building societies often pay cash bonuses to customers switching to one of their current accounts.
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Nationwide, First Direct, Barclays and Lloyds all currently have offers running worth up to £200.
In most cases you'll be able to make the switch within a matter of minutes by using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).
You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.
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