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Hot money deals, 11 April 2012

Which? experts round up the best money deals

Baby playing

You could save bundles by nanny-sharing

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We’ll also help you save money with our top tips on swapping and sharing online.

Best savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Derbyshire BS NetSaver Issue 3 account tops the best instant-access savings table at 3.06%. The rate includes a 2.06% bonus payable to 30 June 2013.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: Aldermore and United Trust Bank offer the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings accounts at 3.55%.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Halifax and Saga offer the best three-year fixed-rate savings deals at 4%. The Saga account is available only to people aged over 50.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: AA currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.6% on initial balances of at least £1.

The market’s best cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: AA and Cheshire BS offer the best instant-access cash Isa deals, paying 3.5%. However, these accounts do not accept transfers in from other providers. The top account that does accept transfers in is Santander’s Direct Isa, paying 3.30%.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Saga offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.6%. This account is available to over 50s only.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Halifax currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.25% on initial balances of at least £500.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Halifax’s Fixed Rate Isa Saver account currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.5%.

0%-on-purchases credit cards

This type of deal provides an introductory period ranging from three months to currently 18 months interest free. Make sure you repay any debt by the end of the introductory period as the card will then revert to its headline rate.  

The best credit card for 0%-on-purchases is currently being offered by Which? Recommended Provider Nationwide with 0% for 18 months on the Select Visa with a representative APR of 12.9%. This card is only available to Nationwide FlexAccount current account holders and comes with some great additional features that include 0.5% unlimited cashback on all sterling transactions, as well as unlimited commission-free purchases abroad.   

Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Halifax currently offer the next best deals with 15 months interest-free, followed by representative APRs of 15.9%, 16.9% and 17.9% respectively thereafter. Cards from both Tesco and Marks & Spencer also come with reward schemes. Barclaycard is not far behind, offering 14 months interest-free with a higher 18.9% standard APR, together with membership of its own Freedom reward scheme.

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 offers a representative rate of 7.7% APR for a £5,000 loan. Alternatively, at 8.6% – still highly competitive – borrowers can opt for two years of double Nectar points and a £25 gift card.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: M&S Money offers a market-leading rate of 6% APR.

And finally… this week’s hot money tip

Check out our top money saving tips, which could help you save bundles through swapping and sharing. 

Which? reveals 10 great swapping and sharing tips, from car to nanny sharing or find out how to swap books, clothes and gig tickets. If this isn’t enough we also show you how you can save on gardening gear, or swapping clothes and checking out community freebie sites that aim to keep a whole range of items out of land fills.

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