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 your childcare..
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: Tesco Bank offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings account at 3.5%. Access via the internet or over the telephone.
- Three-year fixed-rate savings: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank offer the best three-year fixed-rate savings deals at 3.9%, with a minimum deposit of £2,000.
- Five-year fixed-rate savings: Secure Trust Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.52% on balances of at least £1,000.
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%.
Best credit cards for borrowing
A card with a low typical APR can come in useful if you only want to hold one card and not switch too often. Whether it’s to spread the cost of a big purchase, enjoy Section 75 cover or simply for use in case of emergencies, our Best Rate everyday credit card deals offer great value:
- Sainsbury’s Finance Low Rate MasterCard. This card offers the lowest representative APR on the market of 6.9%. You will need to be a Nectar card holder to be eligible.
- Barclaycard Simplicity Visa comes with a 7.9% representative APR. The card offers access to the Freedom rewards scheme that allows you to earn cashback on purchases with participating retailers. To apply you need to be 21 or above and earn a minimum salary of £20,000.
- Capital One Click MasterCard – 9.9% typical APR. This card also offers discounts at a range of retail groups for online purchases. For the first six months, you can get 30% off Zavvi.com, 25% off Travelpack.com, 20% off and free delivery with Tedbaker.com, and 50% off Viagogo.co.uk. To apply you need to be 21 or above and earn a minimum salary of £20,000.
- Co-operative Bank Platinum Fixed-Rate Visa – 9.9% typical APR (fixed for five years before reverting to a representative APR of 12.9%). To apply you need to be aged 25 or above and earn a minimum salary of £25,000.
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 7.6% APR for a £5,000 loan. Alternatively, at 8.5% – 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, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank offer a market-leading rate of 6% APR.
And finally… this week’s hot money tip
If you’re paying for a nanny to look after your children, the costs can soon add up. However, it may be possible to find a nanny-share with a like-minded family. This could halve your outgoings and make a new friend for your child. For nine other suggestions to cut your household costs, check out our guide 10 ways to save by swapping and sharing.