Santander offers £100 bonus and 5% interestBut is it enough to compensate for poor service?

11 January 2011

Credit union savings accounts

Build up your savings by regularly putting money into a credit union account

With savings rates from many providers still shockingly low, a Santander current account could offer a healthy interest rate of 5% on balances up to £2,500 in the first year. Watch out for poor customer service though.

The Santander Preferred In-credit Current Account pays interest at 5% on balances up to £2,500 in the first year, after which the rate drops to 1%. Balances over £2,500 earn no interest.

However, Santander's Which? customer satisfaction score of 47% is one of the worst in the UK, second only to Bank of Scotland's paltry 45%. You'll also need to pay £1,000 per month into the account.

Excellent interest vs excellent service

Which? Principal Research Martyn Saville commented: 'Consumers are faced with a difficult choice between cash and service. It's unfortunate that Santander has such poor customer service as this deal really is market-leading.

'If you're happy to risk receiving poor service from Santander and are willing to switch again when the rate drops after a year, the interest rate on balances up to £2,500 is excellent. However, if you're looking for outstanding customer service, look elsewhere. Which? Recommended Provider First Direct, for example, pays no credit interest, but comes with a customer satisfaction score of 88% and a £100 bonus when you switch.'

Which? Savings Rate Booster

If you have savings above £2,500, don't want to switch current accounts or simply don't like the sound of Santander's awful track record on customer satisfaction, you can still earn more interest by switching to a Which? Best Rate savings account.

Last November, Which? revealed that British savers are missing out on £12 billion a year because banks kept us in the dark about poor interest rates. To help savers and give them a quick and easy way to find out what interest their account is paying, Which? has created a free Savings Rate Booster. This is the only place where savers can quickly and easily find out what interest their account is paying, compare it with the best on the market and start moving their money.

To find out how much extra interest you could be earning on your savings, try out the Which? Savings Rate Booster now.

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