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Hot money deals, 23 August 2012

Which? experts round up the best money deals

Brick house

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We also help you find ways of making money from your house.

Best Rate savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: The Derbyshire Building Society’s NetSaver account tops the instant-access savings table at 3.06% from initial balances of £1,000.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: United Bank UK offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings rate at 3.45%. This account can be operated at a branch, online or by post.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: The AA offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deal at 4.00% from just £1.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: Vanquis Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.06% on balances of at least £1,000.

Best Rate cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: Manchester Building Society leads our table for instant-access cash Isa deals, paying 3.06% (including a 1.05% bonus payable for a year). This account can be operated at branch or by post.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Julian Hodge Bank offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.35% from balances of at least £5,100. This account can be operated by post only.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Saga currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.70%. This account is available to people aged over 50 only.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: BM Savings currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.05% from initial balances of £500.

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. The card offers access to the Freedom rewards scheme that allows you to earn cashback on purchases with participating retailers, this reward scheme is soon to be replaced by two new programmes with unused Reward Money paid back as credit in September if it is not spent by the end of July. 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 a the leading rate of 7.10% APR for a £5,000 loan.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: Derbyshire Building Society offers a representative rate of 5.8% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally… this week’s tip

If there’s a lot of spare room in your home that you feel is going to waste, you might consider the option of making it earn you some money. According to the government’s ‘Rent-a-Room’ scheme, having a lodger could net you up to £4,250 per year, tax free – a tidy sum.

For more on this, and ten tips on making money from your home, see our online guide.

More on this…

  • Bills & Budgeting – top tips and money saving guides on how to make your money go further
  • Which? Campaigns – find out how Which? is campaigning on your behalf
  • Which? Money Helpline – we can help you with your money queries
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