Hot money deals, 08 November 2012Which? experts round up the best money deals

08 November 2012

Peer to peer lending protection

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 guide to peer to peer lending.

Best Rate savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Bath BS, Derbyshire BS and Saffron BS top the instant-access savings table at 2.50%. The account from Derbyshire BS includes a variable rate bonus, so you will need to switch to a more competitive account once the bonus period has ended.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: FirstSave and Shawbrook Bank offer the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings rate at 3.00% from initial balances of £1,000 and £5,000 respectively.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: The AA offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deal at 3.30% from initial balances of £1,000.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: Vanquis Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 3.71%.This account can be operated via the internet only.

Best Rate cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: The Post Office leads our table for instant-access cash Isa deals, paying 3.01% (including a 1.26% bonus payable for 18-months). M&S Bank's Advantage Isa pays 3.00% and doesn't include a bonus.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Saga offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.00%. This postal account is only available to people aged over 50 and requires an initial minimum deposit of just £1.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Saga currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.30%. This account can be operated by post only.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: United Trust Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.35% from initial balances of £5,000.

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. 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 Bank offers the leading rate of 7.1% APR for a £5,000 loan.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: M&S Bank offers a market leading rate of 5.50% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally... this week's money tip

Peer to peer lending (or social lending) sites allow you to lend to other consumers and get a higher rate of interest than you'd get from your bank. But they also come with greater risk and lower protection.

Whether you're looking for a loan or a better rate on your savings, read our guide to peer to peer lending and our reviews of Zopa, Funding Circle, ThinCats, Yes Secure, RateSetter and Quakle.

More on this…