Hot money deals, 19 July 2012Which? experts round up the best money deals

19 July 2012

Calculator and bills

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We also provide an essential guide to income protection, which provides essential cover if you are unable to work due to accident or sickness.  

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 offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings account 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: BM Savings currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.20% on balances of at least £1.

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: Marks & Spencer Money currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.75% 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 borrowing

A card with a low typical APR can come in useful if you only want to hold one card and not switch too often. Whether it's to spread the cost of a big purchase, enjoy Section 75 cover or simply for use in case of emergencies, our Best Rate everyday credit card deals offer great value:

  • Sainsbury's Finance Low Rate MasterCard. This card offers the lowest representative APR on the market of 6.9%. You will need to be a Nectar card holder to be eligible.
  • Barclaycard Simplicity Visa comes with a 7.9% representative APR. The card offers access to the Freedom rewards scheme that allows you to earn cashback on purchases with participating retailers, this reward scheme is soon to be replaced by two new programmes with unused Reward Money paid back as credit in September if it is not spent by the end of July. To apply you need to be 21 or above and earn a minimum salary of £20,000.
  • Capital OneRate MasterCard - 9.9% typical APR. To apply you need to be 21 or above and earn a minimum salary of £20,000.
  • Co-operative Bank Platinum Fixed-Rate Visa - 9.9% typical APR (fixed for five years before reverting to a representative APR of 12.9%). To apply you need to be aged 18 or above and earn a minimum salary of £10,000.

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, Derbyshire Building Society, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank offer a representative rate of 5.9% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally... this week's tip

It may be a sobering thought but if you were unable to work due to accident or illness would you have enough money to live, and pay your bills or mortgage? 

Income Protection provides cover for these possibilities. Alongside life insurance, income protection is a must-have insurance for working adults with dependents, but it's one few of us currently have. 

Our Income Protection guide explains how to choose a policy, how much you can expect to pay and the pitfalls to avoid.

More on this…