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Hot money deals, 05 October 2011

Which? experts round up the best money deals

Online shopping 1

Online auction site eBay is just one of many sites that allows you to advertise your unwanted items for sale

This week, we track down all the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card, loan and mortgage deals. We also help you make money online.

Best savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Derbyshire BS offers the best instant-access deal at 3.25% (including a 2.25% bonus payable to 30 November 2012).
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: Cheshire BS, Derbyshire BS and Dunfermline BS offer the top-paying 1-year fixed rate accounts at 3.55% on balances of at least £100.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Post Office’s Online Bond offers the best 3-year fixed rate at 4.21% on balances of at least £500. Interest is paid monthly or yearly.
  • Five-year fixed rate savings: Saga offers the top-paying 5-year fixed rate accounts paying 4.65%. Only available to those aged 50 and over.

The market’s best cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: AA’s Internet Access Isa Issue 2 offers the best instant-access deal paying 3.05%. However, this account does not allow transfers-in from other providers. If you want to transfer in previous years’ funds, then Northern Rock and Principality’s e-Isa accounts are the best options paying 2.80%.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Clydesdale Bank, Northern Rock and Yorkshire Bank offer the top 1-year fixed rate accounts at 3.3%.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Nottingham BS and Post Office offer the best 3-year fixed rate accounts paying 4%. Both accounts are operated at a branch or by post.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank currently lead our 5-year fixed rate table with their accounts paying 4.5%. The minimum investment is £2,000.

0%-on-purchases credit cards

You might not want to think about Christmas shopping just yet but if you want to spread the cost of your festive spending interest-free over the coming year, it’s worth applying for a new credit card now so it arrives in time.

The best credit cards for 0%-on-purchases from Tesco and Marks & Spencer currently offer 15 months interest-free. Both cards also come with reward schemes. Barclaycard is not far behind, offering 14 months interest-free, together with membership of its own Freedom reward scheme.

The cheapest unsecured personal loans

In our Best Rate 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 7.9% APR for a £5,000 loan. Alternatively, at 8.6% – still highly competitive – borrowers can instead opt for two years of doubled Nectar points and a £25 gift card
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: The Marks & Spencer Personal Loan offers the leading representative rate of 6.4% APR.

Today’s top mortgage deals

The best mortgage deal for you will depend on your own circumstances. Our unique mortgage finder tool takes account of all fees and charges to help you find a mortgage tailored to your needs.

If you’re remortgaging and looking for a tracker deal that lasts for the rest of the mortgage term, our best rate this week is:

  • Low loan-to-value: HSBC offers a deal of 2.49%. There are no arrangement, legal valuation or valuation admin fees to pay with this deal.

For more details and also to see our full selection of fixed, discount and tracker deals, check out our mortgage Best Rate tables. 

And finally… this week’s money-saving tip

If you’re looking to make a bit of money by selling unwanted items around the home, our new guide 10 ways to make extra cash online could be just what you need.

You’ve probably heard of eBay, but there are others like eBid.co.uk out there as well. Alternatively, sites like RentNotBuy.co.uk will let you advertise your stuff to hire out, rather than to sell it.

If you don’t like the risk of entering your items on an auction site then the traditional route of advertising at a fixed price may be a better option. Gumtree and Preloved are two of the biggest sites where you can advertise items you want to sell. For novels and CDs, try specialist retailers Greenmetropolis and Musicmagpie.

  • Read our full guide to making money online for lots more cash-raising tips.
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