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Hot money deals, 13 September 2012

Which? experts round up the best money deals


This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We also look at the best regular savers accounts on the market.

Best Rate savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Saga’s Telephone Saver Issue 5 account tops the instant-access savings table at 3.00% on balances from £10,000 (2.60% on balances below £10,000).
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: Close Brothers Savings offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings rate at 3.30% from initial balances of £10,000. This account can be operated by post or over the phone.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Tesco Bank offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deal at 3.70% from initial balances of £2,000.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: Julian Hodge Bank’s Postal account currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 4.00% 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: Metro Bank offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.25% from balances of just £1. This account can be operated at a branch, by post or over the phone.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: The Halifax currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.75% from initial balances of £500.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: BM Savings currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 4.05%. This is a postal account only.

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 Balance Transfer Visa has one of the longest 0% deals on the market, at 23 months. The card comes with a representative APR of 17.9% and a reduced balance transfer fee of 2.8% (min £7.25) if you transfer a balance within 60 days of taking out the card.
  • New from Tesco Bank the Clubcard MasterCard for balance transfers is offering a 22 months 0% balance transfer with a 2.9% handling fee and comes with a representative APR of 16.9%.
  • The NatWest/RBS Platinum MasterCard also comes with a 22 months 0% balance transfer deal with a higher 3.2% (min £5) transfer fee and a representative APR of 17.9%. 
  • Halifax offers a 22-month 0% deal on the 22 Month Balance Transfer MasterCard. The card comes with a high balance transfer fee of 3.5% (min £3.50) and a representative APR of 17.9%. There is also a shorter 20-month 0% deal on the 20 Month Balance Transfer MasterCard, which has a lower transfer fee of 3%. For both cards you must be earning more than £20,000 to apply.
  • Which? Recommended Provider First Direct has a 20-month 0% deal with 2.9% (min £5) transfer fee and 16.9% representative APR on the Gold Card Visa. However, to be eligible for the deal you will need to be a 1st Account (current account) holder.

With the exception of First Direct, none of the cards listed above score very well for customer service in our recent member survey. 

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 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: Tesco Bank loan offers a representative rate of 5.7% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally… this week’s tip

Regular savings accounts are a useful way for customers to save a regular sum each month. These accounts suit savers who are just starting out, or who wish to drip feed cash into their account in a disciplined way each month.

We have just added a new set of tables featuring the best regular savings accounts for standard and tied accounts on the market. It’s important to note these accounts have certain restrictions and do not benefit all types of saver. To check what type of saving account is best suited for you see our guide on different types of savings accounts.

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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