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Hot savings deals, 10 July 2012

Which? experts round up the best savings deals
Piggy bank

Which? Money provides its fortnightly look at the best savings deals currently available to help you deposit your cash in the right account. 

The best cash Isas on the market

  • Instant access cash Isa: Santander offers the best instant-access cash Isa deal, paying 3.30% on initial balances of at least £2,500. This account includes a bonus of 2% payable for a year. Marks & Spencer Money’s Advantage Isa and Virgin Money’s Easy Access Isa/E-Isa are also worth considering as 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: Santander offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.50% and allows transfers in from other providers. The Isas from Julian Hodge Bank, Marks & Spencer Money and Metro Bank also pay a competitive rate of 3.25%.
  • 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 the Post Office at 3.60% is also an attractive product if you’re happy to tie your money up for two years.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Marks & Spencer Money’s account currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table paying 3.75% on initial balances of at least £500. Bank of Cyprus UK, Post Office and Saga also offer a decent rate at 3.70%.
  • Four-year fixed-rate cash Isa: The Halifax Fixed Rate Isa Saver pays 4.10% and is the only four-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal that qualifies for inclusion in our tables at the moment.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: The Halifax leads the way again with its five-year fixed rate Isa paying 4.15% and requiring a minimum deposit of £500. BM Savings and Governor Money’s Clydesdale Bank Fixed Rate Isa accounts are currently paying 4.05%. All allow transfers in.

The 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%. The rate on the Santander account reverts to 0.50% after a year, so you will need to switch to a more competitive account.
  • 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. Manchester BS’s Platinum Notice 60 Day account leads our table at 3.36% from balances of £1,000. This is closely followed by Krbs’s internet and postal/telephone accounts at 3.35% and 3.25% respectively.
  • One-year fixed rate savings: Barnsley, Chelsea and Yorkshire BS’s Fixed Rate accounts offer the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings deals at 3.55%. The Co-operative Bank and Governor  Money are next at 3.50%.
  • Two-year fixed rate savings: Secure Trust Bank offers the top-paying two-year fixed-rate savings account at 3.76%. The Co-operative Bank and Halifax follow closely behind with deals paying 3.75%.
  • 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 also offer attractive rates at 4.00%.
  • Four-year fixed rate savings: Secure Trust Bank currently tops our four-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.21% on initial balances of £1,000. BM Savings are next with a competitive rate of 4.00% from £1.
  • Five-year fixed rate savings: BM Savings currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying an impressive 4.20% on initial balances of £1. Vanguis Bank are next best at 4.06% from balances of just £1,000.

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 for a better deal if necessary.

More on this…

  • Non-internet savings accounts – for the best rate non-internet accounts
  • Are my savings safe? – the Which? guide to savings protection
  • Stocks and shares Isas – find out about tax-efficient investments in equities and bonds
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