Hot money deals, 1 June 2011Which? Money experts help you maximise your cash

01 June 2011

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Which? Money experts help your cash work harder with our weekly Hot Money Deals

Each week, our Which? Money experts round up the best money deals on the market and bring you the top new personal finance offers. This week it's savings, current accounts, loans, credit cards and mortgages under the spotlight.

Get the best 1-year savings bond

FirstSave's Fixed Rate Bond pays the top rate at 3.50% from balances of £1,000 with the option of having interest paid monthly or yearly.

Get the best 5-year savings bond

Birmingham Midshires currently tops our Best Rate table with their five-year fixed internet and postal accounts paying 5.05%. The minimum investment is £1 and interest is paid monthly or yearly.

Read Which? savings account reviews for a full range of savings options, including instant-access, notice and fixed-term accounts.

The best credit cards for using abroad

For the over-50s, the Saga Platinum Visa charges no foreign loading fees for use abroad and charges a reasonable 11.9% APR on new purchases. The card also includes 55 days interest free on cash withdrawals, but charges 2% (min £2) for each withdrawal. 

For all other customers the Halifax Clarity MasterCard offers great value for use abroad charging no foreign loading fee. The card comes with a reasonable 12.9% APR on purchases and cash withdrawals, with no additional charge for withdrawing cash. 

For a credit card that matches your needs, read our guide How to find the best credit card. Check out all the best deals with our Best Rate credit card reviews.

The best current account if you're always in credit

Santander's Preferred Current Account currently offers the best deal paying 5% on credit balances up to £2,500 for the first 12-months. However, after 12-months the rate drops to just 1%. 

We've also compiled details of Best Rate current accounts for overdrafts. Read our current account review for more details.

Unsecured personal loans

If you're looking for a cheap personal loan - whether for a car, home improvements, or debt consolidation - the best deals are often available from high street retailers rather than banks. 

For a £5,000 loan repaid over 3 years, Sainsbury's Standard Nectar Cardholder Loan currently provides the best rate at 8.2% APR. Customers can alternatively opt for the still very competitive rate of 8.5% for the benefit of 2 years doubled Nectar points and a £40 gift card.

For a £10,000 loan repaid over 5 years, M&S Money offers the leading rate of 6.9% APR. 

See our best rate tables for details on other leading loans.

This week's 2-year moving fixed-rate mortgages

The best mortgage deal for you will depend on your own circumstances. Our unique mortgage finder tool takes account of all fees and charges to help you find a mortgage tailored to your needs.

Every week, Which? experts compare thousands of deals to identify a selection of the cheapest home loans for our mortgage tables.

If you're moving house and are looking for a good 2-year deal with a fixed-rate:

For a high loan-to-value deal, National Counties BS provides a guarantor mortgage with a fixed rate of 4.99%. It has a completion fee of £495 and is available to borrowers in England and Wales. You can overpay by 10% a year.

For a low loan-to-value deal, ING Direct currently offers a rate of 3.35%. There are no arrangement fees and you can overpay by up to 10% a year. You need a deposit of at least 40% and must buy directly from the lender.

For more details and also to see our full selection of fixed, discount and tracker deals, go to our Best Mortgage Rates tables. 

And finally... this week's money-saving tip

If you're shopping on a budget, it can be difficult to time your purchases to take advantage of sales and other price reductions. Which is where price alert sites come in.

Once you've set a price that you're willing to pay for a particular item, you'll be sent an email to alert you when the price has fallen below that level at the retailers monitored by the price alert site. You may have to be patient, but you'll get a cheaper deal.

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