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Hot money deals, 23 May 2012

Which? experts round up the best money deals

a man asleep at the airport

Know your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled. 

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We also tell you what you are entitled to if your flight is delayed, cancelled or re-routed and how you can make a compliant.

Best savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Derbyshire BS’s 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: Tesco Bank offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings account at 3.5%. Access via the internet or over the telephone.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Close Brothers Savings offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deals at 4%.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: AA and BM Savings currently lead our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.4% on balances of at least £1.

The market’s best cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: Cheshire BS offers the best instant-access cash Isa deal, paying 3.35%. 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 and does not accept transfers in from other providers.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Halifax currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4% on initial balances of at least £500.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: BM Savings and Halifax currently lead our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.25% on balances of £500 and above.

The best credit cards for use abroad

  • For the over-50s, Saga’s Platinum Visa has no foreign loading fees for use abroad and charges a reasonable 11.9% APR on new purchases. The card also includes 55 days interest-free on cash withdrawals, but charges 2% (min £2) for each withdrawal.
  • For customers of all ages, the Halifax Clarity MasterCard is good value for use abroad as it also doesn’t charge foreign loading fees or cash withdrawal fees. The card comes with a 12.9% APR on purchases and cash withdrawals. However, there is no interest-free period on cash withdrawals, so you’ll pay interest from the moment you take out the cash.
  • Nationwide’s new Select Visa comes with a 12.9% representative APR, charges 0% commission for transactions made abroad and offers 0.5% cashback on sterling transactions. The card is only available to Nationwide FlexAccount holders and offers better value than its debit card that charges 2% for each overseas transaction.  
  • If you are happy to pay an annual fee the Sainsbury’s Finance Gold MasterCard is worth considering. This card has some good perks, including family travel insurance, but comes with a £5 monthly fee. The APR on purchases is 9.94%. No interest is charged on purchases and cash withdrawals so long as you pay off your balance in full and on time each month. 

For a credit card that matches your needs, read our guide to finding the best credit card and check out the best credit card deals currently available by visiting our Best Rate credit card reviews.

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 7.6% APR for a £5,000 loan. Alternatively, at 8.5% – 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, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank offer a market-leading rate of 6% APR.

And finally… this week’s hot money tip

We provide essential information in our for holiday makers flying abroad this Summer. We tell you what you’re entitled to if your flight is delayed, cancelled or re-routed. Advice on what to do if the airline says your flight is overbooked and how you can make a complaint under the Denied Boarding Regulation

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