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Hot money deals, 01 November 2012

Which? experts round up the best money deals

Consumer rights

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We also show you how to have to hand all the consumer rights information you’ll need.

Best Rate savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: NatWest tops the instant-access savings table at 2.85% from initial balances of just £1. This account includes a variable rate bonus, so you will need to switch to a more competitive account once the bonus period has ended.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: FirstSave offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings rate at 3.00% from initial balances of £5,000. This account can be operated via the internet only.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Vanquis Bank offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deal at 3.36% from initial balances of £1,000.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: Vanquis Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 3.71%.This account can be operated via the internet only.

Best Rate cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: The Post Office leads our table for instant-access cash Isa deals, paying 3.01% (including a 1.26% bonus payable for 18-months). M&S Bank’s Advantage Isa pays 3.00% and doesn’t include a bonus.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Saga offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.00%. This postal account is only available to people aged over 50 and requires an initial minimum deposit of just £1.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Saga currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.30%. This account can be operated by post only.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: BM Savings currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.50% from initial balances of £500.

Best credit cards to use abroad

If you want to avoid the foreign exchange fees charged by most credit card providers, our Best Rate credit cards are great for using abroad on your holidays.

  • Saga Platinum Visa. This Which? Recommended Provider offers the lowest representative APR, in our table, of 11.9%. 
  • The Nationwide Select Visa comes with a 12.9% representative APR if you own a Nationwide Flex Account. 
  • The Halifax Clarity Mastercard has a 12.9% typical APR. No loading or annual card fees. The provider only gets a middling customer score of 54%, however.

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 the leading rate of 7.1% APR for a £5,000 loan.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: The Derbyshire Building Society offers a representative rate of 5.60% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally… this week’s money tip

It’s difficult sometimes to know where you stand with a provider of a product that turns out to be faulty, or is not what you expected. In our Consumer Rights guide, we set out precisely what your legal rights are, including sample letters that you can use to press your case when claiming a refund or replacement item. We also provide a free downloadable iPhone app giving you all the consumer rights information you’ll need wherever you are. 

Visit our consumer rights home page for this and much more.   

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