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Hot money deals, 6 December 2012

Which? experts round up the best money deals

Car crash

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. If you’re looking to renew your car insurance policy check out our new Which? Recommended car insurance providers along with their dedicated brand pages to compare the best policies in detail.

Best Rate savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: M&S Bank and the Post Office top the instant-access savings table at 2.35% but both accounts include 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: United Bank UK offers the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings rate at 2.55% from initial balances of £2,000.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Close Brothers Savings offers the best three-year fixed-rate savings deal, paying 3.30% from initial balances of £10,000.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: Vanquis Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 3.17%. This account can be operated via the internet only.

Best Rate cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: M&S Bank leads our table for instant-access cash Isa deals, paying 3.00% and allows transfers-in. The Isa from Cheshire BS also pays 3.00% but transfers-in from other providers are not permitted.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: M&S Bank offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 2.80%. This postal or telephone account requires a minimum initial deposit of £500.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: M&S Bank currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.00%.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: BM Savings and United Trust Bank currently lead our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.00%.

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%. 
  • Nationwide Select Visa: Comes with a 12.9% representative APR if you own a Nationwide Flex Account. 
  • Halifax Clarity MasterCard: Has a 12.9% typical APR. No loading, annual card fees or cash withdrawal fees an all-round winner. 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: Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank offer the leading rate of 7.00% APR for a £5,000 loan.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: Derbyshire Building Society offers a market leading rate of 5.40% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally… this week’s money tip

If you are looking to renew your car insurance your timing is impeccable! Not only do we have our latest batch of Which? Recommended car insurance providers but we also now include dedicated brand pages for each Recommended Provider.   

Our brand pages for companies like NFU Mutual, Volvo insurance, LV= and Nationwide BS includes a summary of the best features offered buy each companies standard car insurance policy as well as a comprehensive breakdown of each level of cover we have assessed to generate the overall score.  

More on this…

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