Hot money deals, 05 July 2012Which? experts round up the best money deals

05 July 2012

home insurance with keys

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 home 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: The Co-operative Bank and Governor Money offer the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings accounts at 3.50% on minimum deposits of £1,000.  
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Secure Trust Bank offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deal at 4.01%. The Co-operative Bank and Saga are next at 4.00%.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks currently lead 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: Santander offers the Best instant-access cash Isa deal, paying 3.30% (including a 2.80% bonus payable for a year) from initial balances of £2,500.
  • 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 4.15% on balances of £500 and above.

Best credit cards for 0% balance transfers

If you owe money on your credit card and need some breathing space to pay it off, these providers offer the longest 0% balance transfer deals: 

  • The Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer Visa has one of the longest 0% deals on the market, at 22 months. The card comes with a representative APR of 17.9% and a 2.9% (min £7.25) balance transfer fee if you transfer a balance within 60 days of taking out the card.
  • The NatWest/RBS Platinum MasterCard also comes with a 22 months 0% balance transfer deal with a higher 3.2% (min £5) transfer fee and a representative APR of 17.9%. 
  • Halifax offers a 22-month 0% deal on the 22 Month Balance Transfer MasterCard. The card comes with a high balance transfer fee of 3.5% (min £3.50) and a representative APR of 17.9%. There is also a shorter 20-month 0% deal on the 20 Month Balance Transfer MasterCard, which has a lower transfer fee of 3%. For both cards you must be earning more than £20,000 to apply.
  • Which? Recommended Provider First Direct has a 20-month 0% deal with 2.9% (min £5) transfer fee and 16.9% representative APR on the Gold Card Visa. However, to be eligible for the deal you will need to be a 1st Account (current account) holder.

With the exception of First Direct, none of the cards listed above score very well for customer service in our recent member survey. If the deal length is less important to you and you want a cheaper deal than those listed above, the Barclaycard Platinum Low BT Fee Visa is currently offering a 17-month 0% deal with a reduced 2% (min £7.25) handling fee and a 18.9% representative APR.

Take a look at our 0% balance transfer table for a roundup of the best deals on the market each day.

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 7.5% APR for a £5,000 loan.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: Sainsbury's offers a representative rate of 5.9% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally... this week's tip

If you are looking to renew you home insurance policy why not check out our latest batch of Which? Recommended home insurance Providers. To be awarded top marks a provider must have both excellent customer service and excellent-quality policies for both content and building insurance.  

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