Hot savings deals, 10 May 2012Which? experts round up the best savings deals

10 May 2012

Piggy bank

Check out our Best Rate tables for up-to-date savings rates

Which? Money provides its fortnightly look at the best savings deals out there to help you invest your cash in the right account. 

The market's best cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: Cheshire BS offers the best instant-access cash Isa deal, paying 3.50%. However, this account does not accept transfers in from other providers. The top account that does accept transfers in is Santander's Direct Isa, paying 3.30%. Marks & Spencer Money's Advantage Isa and Virgin Money's Easy Access Isa/E-Isa are worth noting as they allow transfers in and the headline rates (3.0% and 2.85% respectively) don't include a bonus, so you won't have to worry about the rate dropping off after 12 months.
  • Notice cash Isa: Notice cash Isa accounts used to pay a higher rate for locking up your money, but don't tend to anymore. The Coventry BS 60 day Notice Isa does pay an attractive rate of 3.25%, but you'll need to give 60 days notice to get at your cash. 
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Saga offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.60% but this account does not allow transfers in from other providers. Santander's one-year fixed-rate cash Isa  pays 3.50% and does allow transfers in. The one-year fixed-rate Isas from Aldermore also pays a competitive rate at 3.30%
  • Two-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Santander's Two-year Fixed Rate Major Isa offers 4.00% and has a minimum deposit of just £1. The two-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal from Halifax (3.70%) is also an attractive product if you're happy to tie your money up for two years. Both of these Isas allow transfers in.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: The Halifax Fixed Rate Isa Saver account currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table paying 4.25% on initial balances of at least £500. The Cheltenham & Gloucester Three-year Fixed Rate account is second best at 3.90%.
  • Four-year fixed-rate cash Isa: The Halifax Fixed Rate Isa Saver pays 4.35% and is the only four-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal that qualifies to feature in our tables at the moment.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Once again, Halifax leads the way with its five-year fixed rate Isa with a rate of 4.50%, a minimum deposit of £500 and allowing transfers in. BM Savings and Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank Fixed-Rate Isa accounts are currently paying 4.30% and 4.25% respectively. These Isas all allow transfers in from other providers.

The 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. Skipton BS's Online Bonus Saver follows closely behind at 3.05% from initial balances of £1,000..
  • Notice savings: Traditionally, notice savings accounts paid higher rates than instant access accounts in return for tying your money up but this is no longer always the case. Manchester BS's Platinum Notice Issue 1 accounts leads our table at 3.16% which includes a bonus of 1.15% payable for a year.
  • One-year fixed rate savings: Tesco Bank offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings account at 3.50% which can be operated via the internet or over the telephone. Allied Irish Bank's one-year fixed-rate savings account pays 3.40% from balances of £1,000.
  • Two-year fixed rate savings: Scottish BS's Scot Bond offers the top-paying two-year fixed-rate savings account at 3.85% from £1,000 and is operated at a branch or by post. Governor Money's Progressive BS Fixed Rate deal pays a competitive rate at 3.75% from balances of £100.
  • Three-year fixed rate savings: Close Brothers Savings offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deal at 4.00%, with a minimum deposit of £10,000. Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank also offer attractive rates at 3.90%.
  • Four-year fixed rate savings: Governor Money and Halifax currently tops our four-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.05% on initial balances of £100 and £500 respectively.
  • Five-year fixed rate savings: Secure Trust Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying an impressive 4.52% on initial balances of at least £1,000 The AA and BN Savings are next best at 4.4% from balances of just £1.

And finally... boost your savings

 To find out if your savings account is paying a competitive interest rate, check out the Which? Savings Rate Booster tool and switch your account to a better paying deal if necessary.