Hot money deals, 27 June 2012Which? experts round up the best money deals

27 June 2012

Old car broken down

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We also help you find the best car insurance policy with our new Which? Recommended Providers.

Best savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: KRBS's Direct Savings and Santander's eSaver Issue 5 accounts top the Best instant-access savings table at 3.20%.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: Governor Money's Clydesdale Bank Fixed Rate offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings account at 3.50% on minimum deposits of £1,000.  
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: BM Savings and Close Brothers Savings offer the best three-year fixed-rate savings deals at 4.00%. You can open the BM Savings account with just £1.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.25% on balances of at least £2,000.

The market's Best Rate cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: Cheshire BS offers the Best instant-access cash Isa deal, paying 3.35%. However, this account 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: Santander offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.50%. This account can be operated at a branch, by post or over the phone.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Halifax currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.00% on initial balances of at least £500.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Halifax currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.25% on balances of £500 and above.

The best credit cards for use abroad

  • For customers of all ages, the Halifax Clarity MasterCard offers the best 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.
  • 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.
  • The Metro Bank Personal Credit Card MasterCard, which is tied to a current account charges no foreign loading fees and does not charge for cash withdrawals, with 13% representative APR on all transactions. You can only apply for a Metro Bank current account and credit card in branch, which are currently only located in London.
  • Nationwide 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.  
  • 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 and Santander offer a representative rate of 7.6% APR for a £5,000 loan.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: M&S Money, Sainsbury's, Tesco Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank all offer 6% APR.

And finally... this week's tip

Price is a key consideration for car insurance but we also think that the quality of  cover and what customers think of the service they receive are equally valuable. We've updated our Car Insurance Which? Recommended Providers, which reflect these two factors. If you're comparing car insurance quotes, you should cross check what you're being offered with the insurer's total score in our table. If a price offering from a low scoring insurer only marginally beats an insurer with a good score, the difference could prove to be money well spent. 

Volvo, Volkswagen and Toyota feature for the first time amongst our insurance WRPs. Despite being aimed primarily at drivers of specific makes of car, all will offer cover generally and rate well in our assessment - so should be considered alongside the big name insurance brands.

Other brands who have maintained their standing in our tables are NFU Mutual, LV=, Nationwide, The Co-operative, Marks & Spencer and Saga

For full results of 34 insurers, see our online table.

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