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Hot money deals, 7 June 2011

Which? Money experts help you maximise your cash
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Which? Money experts help you find your way to the best savings accounts, Isas, credit cards, loans and mortgages

Each week, our Which? Money experts round up the best money deals on the market and bring you the top new personal finance offers.

Savings accounts

  • Instant access: krbs and Santander offer the best deals at 3%. Both accounts include a 2.5% bonus payable for a year. However, if you are willing to give 45 days notice, consider Manchester Building Society’s Premier Notice Account as it pays an impressive 3.35% on balances from £1,000.
  • One-year fixed rate: Aldermore’s fixed rate bond pays the top rate at 3.55% from balances of £1,000. The account can be operated via the  internet, by post or telephone.
  • Three-year fixed rate: krbs’s branch or postal account offers the best rate at 4.25% from balances of £500. Interest is paid monthly or yearly.
  • Five-year fixed rate: Birmingham Midshires currently top our table with their five-year fixed internet or 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.

Cash Isas

  • Instant access: AA’s Internet Access Isa offers the best deal paying 3.35%. However, this account does not allow transfers-in from other providers. If you wish to transfer previous years’ funds, then krbs’s Easy Access Cash Isa is the best option paying 3.01% (includes a 2.5% bonus payable for a year).
  • One-year fixed rate: Aldermore’s fixed rate Isa pays the top rate at 3.33% from balances of £1,000. The account can be operated via the  internet, by post or telephone.
  • Three-year fixed rate: krbs, Nottingham BS and Saga are the best at 4%. The Saga account is available to over 50s only.
  • Five-year fixed rate: Birmingham Midshires currently top our table with their five-year postal accounts paying 5%. The minimum investment is £500 and interest is paid monthly or yearly.

Read Which? cash Isa reviews for a full range of cash Isa options.

Credit cards for cashback

The American Express Platinum Cashback Card (19.9% typical APR) offers introductory cashback of 5% for the first three months, up to a maximum £100. Afterwards you earn 0.5% on spending up to £3,500, 1% if you spend between £3,501 and £7,500 and 1.25% on spending over £7,501. There is a minimum threshold of £3,000 that must be spent on the card within the year to earn any cashback. American Express has recently become a Which? Recommended Provider for credit cards. 

Alternatively, the MBNA American Express Credit Card (18.9% typical APR) offers an excellent cashback rate of 1.5% on purchases made at major supermarkets and petrol stations and 0.75% on all other purchases. There is also a Visa card option but this offers reduced rates of 1.25% and 0.5% respectively.

Check out all the best deals with our Best Rate credit card reviews.

Current accounts

  • 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%.
  • For running a large overdraft: First Direct’s 1st Account is cheapest for running a £500 authorised overdraft for two weeks each month. Over a year it would cost £17. This account comes with a £250 interest-free overdraft.

Read our current account reviews for more details.

Unsecured personal loans

Nationwide currently offers the cheapest personal loan on the market, but it’s only available to Flex-Account customers and you’ll have to apply by 5 July to get it. Existing Nationwide customers shopping for a loan of between £7,500 and £14,999 for up to 5 years can qualify for a loan at 6.7% APR.

If you’re looking for a cheap personal loan, the best deals are often available from high street retailers. Sainsbury’s currently provides top rates of 8.2% APR for a £5,000 loan repaid over 3 years, and 6.8% APR for a £10,000 loan repaid over 5 years.

Mortgages: 5-year moving fixed-rate

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.

If you’re moving house and are looking for a good 5-year deal with a fixed-rate though:

  • For a high loan-to-value deal, Nottingham BS offers a rate of 5.69%. It has an arrangement fee of £195 and allows you to overpay by up to 10% a year. It is only available to borrowers in England and Wales, directly from the lender.
  • For a low loan-to-value deal, Yorkshire BS offers a rate of 4.39%. This has arrangement fees of £495 and has flexible repayment features. Like the Nottingham deal above, it is only available to borrowers in England and Wales.

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

And finally… this week’s money-saving tip

In an ideal world, we’d all be chatting to our neighbours over the garden fence, borrowing anything from a spade to a cup of sugar when we need to. But busy lives mean we may not know our neighbours as well as we’d like. Lending website StreetBank.com is a nifty idea designed to help you to share and borrow things from people who live nearby. It aims to save you cash and make your community a nicer place to live by bringing it closer together. It’s free to sign up and you can lend anything from old gardening equipment to back issues of magazines.

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

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