WITH Bank of England interest rates at 0.5 per cent for more than three years and inflation at 2.5 per cent, things are tougher than ever for savers. But not all savings accounts are the same and it is still worth shopping around. Here, Sue Hannums from savingschampion.co.uk recommends ten of the best deals.
1 First Direct
First Direct offers a whopping 8 per cent on its Regular Saver account, available to all First Direct 1st current account customers. The rate is fixed for 12 months provided 12 consecutive payments are made. Savers can deposit between £25 and £300 a month with access on closure only. This is a great savings account for anyone looking to build up a lump sum, but only if you’re eligible
Nationwide also offers its current account customers a great regular savings account, its Flexculsive Regular Saver, paying a lower rate of 6.00 per cent gross/AER. This account, however, is available to any new and existing current account customers who deposit between £25 up to £250 per month. It’s fixed until 31 October, 2013 after which the rate reverts to the Flexclusive Saver.
3 State Bank of India
State Bank of India pays some of the highest fixed rate bond rates currently available, including its Hi Return Fixed Deposit 5 & 4 year. These terms pay 4.50 per cent gross/AER for five years and 4.20 per cent for four years on a minimum of £1,000. Many of the top-paying accounts come with a catch and these bonds are no exception. All savers must open up a SBI current account or savings account (minimum £500 opening balance) at the same time as opening the bond.
4 Shawbrook Bank
Shawbrook Bank offers two of the best notice accounts currently available, its 120 Day Notice & 95 Day Notice Personal Savings Account – issue 2 paying 3.30 per cent gross/AER & 3.20 per cent gross/AER respectively on a minimum of £1,000. Withdrawals are available on a 120 days’ notice or 95 days’ notice only (no earlier access) via the post or online.
5 Coventry Building Society
Coventry Building Society currently offers the best paying variable rate Cash ISA on the market. Its 60-Day Notice ISA pays 3.25 per cent AER on a minimum of just £1, which includes a 0.50 per cent bonus for the first 12 months. All withdrawals are on 60 days’ notice or loss, however transfers in from previous years subscriptions are not permitted. Available via the branch, post, telephone and online.
M&S simple Cash ISA Fixed Rate Savings accounts pay competitive rates of 3.10 per cent AER fixed for 1 year and 3.25 per cent AER fixed for two years on a minimum opening balance of £500. Both accounts do exactly what they say, paying a fixed rate for a set term on a relatively low minimum. Available via the post, telephone or online so shouldn’t restrict anyone.
M&S has one rare simple competitive savings account currently available with its Advantage Cash ISA. The account pays 3.00 per cent AER on a minimum of £100 with unrestricted access via the telephone and online. Better still, transfers in are permitted and it doesn’t come with any short-term bonus that is all too common nowadays. A firm favourite at savingschampoion.co.uk
8 Investec Bank
Investec Bank’s High 5 issue 2 is an interest proposition as the account take the average of the top five best buy rates in the market, each week, so savers can be assured they’re always getting a competitive return. The current rate is 3.16 per cent gross/AER on a minimum of £25,000 with all withdrawals available on 180 days notice only (no earlier access) via online. The maximum is £100,000.
9 Allied Irish Bank
Allied Irish Bank offers one of the best easy access accounts currently available. Its Easy Access Reward Account issue 2 pays 2.80 per cent gross/AER on a minimum of £1. The rate includes a 1.30 per cent bonus each year for the first five years with withdrawals restricted to 4 per year within the 5 year bonus period. Telephone & postal account.
The AA has one of the best internet only easy access accounts, its Internet Extra Issue 4, which also pays 2.80 per cent gross/AER on a minimum of £1. The rate includes 2.30 per cent bonus for the first 12 months so savers will need to diarise when the bonus is due to expire in order to move their money to the next best rate.
The free service offered by savingschampion.co.uk can keep track of your accounts and monitor them to let you know if there is any change to your variable rate, including when bonuses are due to expire; remind you when your fixed rate products and due to mature and let you know the best alternative rates at that time.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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