Hot savings deals, 24 May 2012Which? experts round up the best savings deals

24 May 2012

Piggy bank with stack of money

If you're able to lock your cash away in a fixed-rate bond, you could get a higher rate

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 3.35%. 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 (3.00% 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. Aldermore's 90 day Notice Isa does pay an attractive rate of 3.15%, but you'll need to give 90 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 4.00% on initial balances of at least £500. Governor Money and Marks & Spencer Money's Three-year Fixed Rate account are second best at 3.75%.
  • Four-year fixed-rate cash Isa: The Halifax Fixed Rate Isa Saver pays 4.15% 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: BM Savings and Halifax lead the way with their five-year fixed rate Isa paying 4.25%. Both require a minimum deposit of £500 and allow transfers in. Julian Hodge Bank's Fixed-Rate Isa account is currently paying 4.00%.

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. The best non-internet account comes from Aldermore at 2.75% and is operated by post or phone.
  • 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. United National Bank's 90 Day Online Notice account leads our table at 3.12% from balances of £2,000.
  • 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. Close Brothers Savings and United National Bank are next with accounts paying 3.45%.
  • Two-year fixed rate savings: Close Brothers Savings Select Gold offers the top-paying two-year fixed-rate savings account at 3.75% from £10,000 and is operated by post. Allied Irish Bank's Fixed Rate deal pays a competitive rate at 3.70% from balances of £1,000.
  • 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: Halifax currently tops our four-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.05% on initial balances of £500. BM Savings and Governor Money offer competitive rates on their accounts of 4.00%.
  • Five-year fixed rate savings: The AA and BM Savings currently lead our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying an impressive 4.40% on initial balances of just £1. Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank are next best at 4.25% from balances of £2,000.

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.