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Hot money deals, 27 September 2012

Which? experts round up the best money deals

Train station

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 our essential Which? guide to cheap train tickets helping you get the best deal.

Best Rate savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Principality BS’s e-Saver Issue 6 account tops the instant-access savings table at 2.85% (including a 1.20% bonus payable for a year) on balances from just £1.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: The Post Office offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings rate at 3.25% from initial balances of £500. This account can be operated via the internet, by post or over the phone.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: The Co-operative Bank offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deal at 3.62% from initial balances of £1,000.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: Julian Hodge Bank and Principality BS currently lead our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 3.75%.

Best Rate cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: Manchester Building Society leads our table for instant-access cash Isa deals, paying 3.06% (including a 1.05% bonus payable for a year). This account can be operated at branch or by post.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Marks & Spencer Money and Post Office offer the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.10%. Both accounts requires an initial minimum deposit of £500. Post Office’s One-year fixed rate cash ISA is only available to apply in branch until the end of 27 09 2012.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: The Halifax currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.75% from initial balances of £500.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: The Halifax currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.00% from initial balances of £500.

Best credit cards for cashback

There are currently several good cashback credit card deals on the market from American Express, Capital One and Santander:

  • The Platinum Cashback Card from Which? Recommended Credit Card Provider American Express pays 5% cashback for the first three months (max £100), followed by a standard cashback rate of 1.25% on everything you spend. The card comes with an annual fee of £25 a year, so is only suitable for big-spenders. If you spend in excess of £10,001 within a year, you’re eligible for 2.5% cashback during the anniversary month the following year. The card comes with a 14% purchase APR.
  • The Aspire World MasterCard from Which? Recommended Credit Card Provider Capital One offers 5% cashback for the first three months (max £100). You then earn 0.5% on an annual spend of up to £5,999, 1% on amounts between £6,000 and £9,999 and 1.25% on amounts above £10,000. The card comes with a relatively high APR of 19.9%, but charges no annual fee.
  • Which? Recommended Credit Card Provider Capital One also offers the Aspire Elite MasterCard for customers who have an income of more than £50,000 p.a. and own a home. This card offers the highest introductory rate on the market of 5% cashback for the first three months capped at £200. You then earn 1% on annual spend up to £15,000, 2% on amounts between £15,000 and £50,000 and then 1.35% for annual spend of £50,000 and above. The card charges an annual fee of £120 with a purchase APR of 17.69%. The card also comes with some additional benefits that include concierge service, extended warranty and best price protection.  
  • The Santander 123 Cashback MasterCard offers 1% cashback on shopping at selected supermarkets, 2% cashback at selected department stores and 3% cashback at selected major petrol stations. Santander charges an annual £24 fee on the card, so it’s only suitable if you use it a lot.
  • The new Cashback MasterCard from Sainsbury’s Finance offers 5% on all Sainsbury’s shopping for the first three months capped at £50 a month. On top of this the card also offers a standard cashback rate of £5 each month if you spend at least £250 on Sainsbury’s shopping and £250 elsewhere. The card comes with a 17.9% typical APR and no annual fee.

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 Bank offers the leading rate of 7.1% APR for a £5,000 loan.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: M&S Money and Sainsbury’s Bank offer a representative rate of 5.8% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally… this week’s money tip

If you are a regular train user our Which? guide to cheap train tickets should be your first stop to help you save money on your train travel. 

Our guide provide our top five tips that will help you get the best deal for peak and off-peak rail journeys, detailed advice about how to cut the cost of train tickets, how to get the best value train deals in your area and how to get affordable first class, sleeper and overseas travel. 

More on this…

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  • Which? Money Helpline – we can help you with your money queries
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