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Hot money deals, 26 October 2011

Which? experts round up the best money deals

home insurance

Cashback websites can offer some good cashback deals on insurance, see our pick of the best below.

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas (including fixed-term deals), as well as the leading credit card, loan and mortgage deals. We also help you save money with our pick of the best cashback deals for home, car and pet insurance. 

Best savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Derbyshire Building Society’s NetSaver Issue 2 account offers the best instant-access deal at 3.16%. Interest is paid yearly.
  • 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: BM Savings and Saga offer the top-paying 5-year fixed rate accounts paying 4.65%. The Saga account is 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: Barnsley BS, Chelsea BS and Northern Rock offer the top 1-year fixed rate accounts at 3.3%.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Post Office offers the best 3-year fixed rate account paying 4%. This account is 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.

Best credit cards for 0% balance transfers

If you owe money on your credit card and need some breathing space to pay it off, these providers offer the longest 0% balance transfer deals: 

  • The Barclaycard Platinum with Extended Balance Transfer Visa has the joint-longest 0% deal on the market at 22-months. The card comes with a representative APR of 17.5% and a 3.2% balance transfer fee, although this is reduced to 2.9% if you make a transfer within the first 60 days of taking out the deal.
  • Halifax offers a 22-month 0% deal on the Balance Transfer MasterCard but this is only available for for transferring balances up to £3,000. The card comes with a high balance transfer fee of 3.5% and a representative APR of 17.9%. There is also a shorter 20-months 0% deal on the 20 Month Balance Transfer MasterCard which has a lower transfer fee of 3%.
  • Which? Recommended Provider First Direct has a 20-month 0% deal with 2.9% transfer fee. However, to be eligible for the deal you will need to be a 1st Account (current account) holder.
  • Virgin Money currently offers one of the best deals on the market on its Credit Card MasterCard. The card has a 20-month 0% balance transfer period, a 16.8% APR on new purchases and balance transfer fees of 2.99%.

With the exception of First Direct none of the cards listed above score very well for customer service in our recent member survey. If the deal length is less important to you and you want a deal that is cheaper than these listed above Barclaycard are currently offering a 16-months 0% deal with a 2.1% (min £7.25) handling fee on the Platinum Low BT Fee Visa.

Take a look at our 0% balance transfer table for a round up of the best deals on the market each day. 

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: Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s (for it’s Standard product) and Tesco all offer the leading 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 term of the mortgage, our best rate this week is:

  • Low loan-to-value: HSBC offers a deal of 2.49%. No arrangement, legal, valuation or valuation admin fees are charged.

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

This week we have compared the best deals from 9 Cashback websites for a selection of good scoring insurance policies on the market. 

  • www.cashbackkings.com: Earn £45.45 or £35.35 cashback if you take out a either a home or car insurance policy from Which? Recommended Provider Marks & Spencer. Additionally if you are looking for Pet insurance you can also get £30.30 cashback on the M&S Premier Pet insurance policy which has policy scores of 95% for cats and 81% for dogs in our online pet insurance tables. 
  • www.mutualpoints.com: Earn 9000 points (worth £60 cashback) if you take out a home insurance policy from Which? Recommended Provider Hiscox which has a total score of 81%.
  • www.quidco.com: Earn £26 cashback if you take out Argos pet insurance through the cashback website. Argos Platinum pet insurance scores 95% for cats and 87% for dogs in our online pet insurance tables. If you are looking for car insurance you can also receive £20 cashback if you purchase a car insurance policy from LV= though the website. LV= is a Which? Recommended Provider for car insurance with a total score of 75%.
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