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How to get the best rate on your savings

Beating Britannia's 'market-leading' 1.65% rate

Britannia, part of the Co-operative Bank, introduced a highly-competitive instant access savings rate of 1.65% last week, but it is possible for some savers to beat this deal.

The 1.65% rate, available on the bank’s Britannia Select Access Saver 5 account, is currently the best deal available to the majority of the general public, provided they make less than four withdrawals a year. 

Those who require more regular access to their money should avoid the Select Access Saver 5 account and go for one of the options listed in our Best Rate instant access savings account table. 

However, it may be possible for savers who meet certain criteria to get an even better rate. Here, we explore which instant access savings account is the best option for you.

What are the best instant access savings accounts available?

Harpenden Building Society currently offers 2.25% AER on its 21 Club instant access savings account, but this account is only available to those aged between 18 and 21. 

Loughborough Building Society offers 1.75% AER on savings up to £50,000 for locals and existing members aged between 16 and 25. Both of these accounts place limits on the amount of withdrawals you can make in a calendar year.

Older savers can get a decent deal too, if they already have financial products with certain providers. Existing members of Newbury Building Society can get 2.10% AER on savings of up to £25,000 with no limits on withdrawals.

Those who have been a member of Nationwide Building Society for at least 15 years can apply for the Loyalty Saver Issue 4 account, which offers 1.70% AER on savings of up to £50,000. 

You can get even better rates than these if you’re willing to commit to making consistent monthly deposits in a regular savings account. 

Go further: Regular savings accounts – the best deals for those willing to make regular deposits.

Make the most of tax-free savings with a cash ISA

The overall cash Isa limit for this tax year (2014/15) is £5,940. However, this will be increased to a new annual limit of £15,000 on 1 July 2014.

Currently, the best instant-access cash Isas on the market offer 1.50% AER completely tax-free. It’s also worth considering that some current accounts now pay interest of up to 5% on balances that are in credit.

Go further: Best current accounts if you stay in credit – our table shows which accounts pay the most interest.

Should I be worried about the Co-operative Group? 

The new 1.65% rate on the Britannia Select Access Saver 5 account may attract more savers to deposit their money with the Co-operative Bank, despite the Group’s recent problems.

Under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), your savings are protected up to a maximum of £85,000 per financial institution.   

So, if you are worried about the Co-operative Group collapsing, don’t deposit more than £85,000 in accounts owned by this institution (The Co-operative Bank, Britannia, Smile).

Go further: Are my savings safe? – find out how much of your cash would be safe if your bank collapsed.

More on this…

  • Best Rate savings accounts – getting the very best rate on your savings
  • Best Rate cash Isas – we’ve scoured the market for the best tax-free savings deals 
  • Call the Which? Money Helpline – our experts can provide a personalised answer to your savings query

Please note that the information in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. Please refer to the particular terms & conditions of a provider before committing to any financial products.

Categories: Money, Savings & Isas

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