Hot savings deals, 31 May 2012Which? experts round up the best savings deals

31 May 2012

Piggy bank with padlock

If you are able to tie your money up, it's worth saving in a fixed term account.

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. Coventry BS's 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. This account does not allow transfers in from other providers.
  • 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 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 Lloyds TSB at 3.75% from £10,000 (3.40% below £10,000) 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. Lloyds TSB's Fixed Rate Isa is next at 3.85% from £10,000 (3.55% below £10,000).
  • 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. Cheltenham & Gloucester, Julian Hodge Bank and KRBS's Fixed-Rate Isa accounts are currently paying 4.00%.

The best savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Post Office's Online Saver Issue 5 account tops the best instant-access savings table at 3.17%. The rate includes a 1.52% bonus payable for a year. Derbyshire BS's NetSaver Issue 3 account follows closely behind at 3.06%. The best non-internet account comes from Aldermore and Leeds BS paying 2.75%.
  • 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: Close Brothers and United National Bank offer the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings accounts at 3.45%. Allied Irish Bank is next with an accounts paying 3.40% from initial balances of £1,000..
  • 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 Bank, Secure Trust Bank and Yorkshire Bank also offer attractive rates at 3.90%.
  • Four-year fixed rate savings: Secure Trust Bank currently tops our four-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.10% on initial balances of £1,000. Halifax are next with a competitive rate of 4.05% from £500.
  • Five-year fixed rate savings: Secure Trust Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying an impressive 4.45% on initial balances of £1,000. The AA and BM Savings are next best at 4.40% 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.