Hot money deals, 18 April 2012Which? experts round up the best money deals

18 April 2012

Online supermarkets

Checking prices online before you shop should help you save

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We'll also help you to save money on food.

Best savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Derbyshire BS NetSaver Issue 3 account tops the best instant-access savings table at 3.06%. The rate includes a 2.06% bonus payable to 30 June 2013.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: Aldermore offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings account at 3.55%.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Halifax and Saga offer the best three-year fixed-rate savings deals at 4%. The Saga account is available only to people aged over 50.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: AA currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.6% on initial balances of at least £1.

The market's best cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: AA and Cheshire BS offer the best instant-access cash Isa deals, paying 3.5%. However, these accounts do not accept transfers in from other providers. The top account that does accept transfers in is Santander's Direct Isa, paying 3.30%.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Saga offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.6%. This account is available to over 50s only.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Halifax currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.25% on initial balances of at least £500.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Halifax's Fixed Rate Isa Saver account currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.5%.

The best credit cards for use abroad

Nationwide's new Select Visa comes with a 12.9% representative APR, charges 0% commission for transactions made abroad and offers 0.5% cashback on sterling transactions. The card is only available to Nationwide FlexAccount holders and offers better value than its debit card that charges 2% for each overseas transaction.   

For the over-50s, Saga's Platinum Visa has 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 customers of all ages, the Halifax Clarity MasterCard is good value for use abroad as it also doesn't charge foreign loading fees or cash withdrawal fees. The card comes with a 12.9% APR on purchases and cash withdrawals. However, there is no interest-free period on cash withdrawals, so you'll pay interest from the moment you take out the cash.

If you are happy to pay an annual fee the Sainsbury's Finance Gold MasterCard is worth considering. This card has some good perks, including family travel insurance, but comes with a £5 monthly fee. The APR on purchases is 9.94%. No interest is charged on purchases and cash withdrawals so long as you pay off your balance in full and on time each month. 

For a credit card that matches your needs, read our guide to finding the best credit card and check out the best credit card deals currently available by visiting our Best Rate credit card reviews.

The cheapest unsecured personal loans

In our best rate personal loan tables we show the lowest rates available for loans that aren't exclusive to specific account holders or existing customers of banks or other institutions. 

  • For those borrowing £5,000 over three years: Sainsbury's offers a representative rate of 7.7% APR for a £5,000 loan. Alternatively, at 8.6% – still highly competitive – borrowers can opt for two years of double Nectar points and a £25 gift card.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: M&S Money offers a market-leading rate of 6% APR.

And finally... this week's hot money tip

Use the website to compare the price of a basket of goods at the UK's 'big four' supermarkets - Asda, Sainsbury's, Ocado and Tesco - instantly showing you what you could save by shopping around. If you've selected your items via one retailer and discover another is cheaper, this nifty site will transfer all your choices for you. For more ways to save money, check out our '10 ways to save on food'.

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