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Savings deals of the week 21 August 2015

Which? experts round up the best alternatives to Isas

Piggy bank with glasses

Which? Money provides our weekly round-up of the best savings deals currently on the market.

Have you used your cash Isa allowance for 2015/2016?

Each tax year, savers are given an annual tax-free savings allowance which they can deposit into a cash or stocks and shares Isa, or both. The overall limit for the 2015/16 tax year, for both cash and stocks and shares, is £15,240.  

Which? publishes a weekly round-up of the best cash Isas on the market, so it’s easy to find the highest available rates. If you’re looking for the best stocks and shares Isa, you can watch our short video which explains what to look for – but what if you’ve already used up your annual Isa allowance for this year?

Here, we highlight some of the best places outside of Isas to consider putting your cash savings.

If you’re keen to find out more about any of the deals, we’ve also included links to Which? Money Compare, where you’ll find more details about each savings account. 

Best rate savings accounts 

We have excluded savings accounts with certain qualifying conditions, restrictions on withdrawals or bonus rates which drop after a certain period. 

BM Savings logo

Instant-access savings account 

Top of the table for instant-access savings accounts is BM Savings offering 1.6% AER on deposits above £1,000. The headline rate includes a 1.10% fixed bonus which is paid if the balance of the savings account remains above £1,000 over the year. Interest is paid annually. 

Click here for more information on this account.

ICICI Bank offers the next best rate in our table, paying 1.55% AER with its HighSave SuperSaver. Interest is paid monthly and you only need £1 to open an account.   

Chartered Bank logo

Notice savings account

Notice savings accounts once paid a higher rate for locking up your money than instant-access accounts, but at the moment there aren’t any paying more than the top instant-access savings rate.

Charter Savings Bank’s 30 Day Notice Issue 1 account offers the highest rate in our table, paying 1.4% AER on deposits between £1,000 and £250,000. Interest is paid monthly. 

Aldermore offers the next best rate in our table, paying 1.3% AER. 

Chartered Bank logo

One-year fixed-rate savings account

Currently topping the one-year fixed-rate savings tables is Charter Savings Bank, paying 2.06% AER. You’ll need a deposit of at least £1,000 to qualify for the account. 

Click here for more information about this savings account.  

Kent Reliance’s 1 Year Fixed Rate Bond offers the next best interest rate in our table of 2.02% AER for deposits of £1,000 or more. 

Secure Trust Bank

Two-year fixed-rate savings account

Secure Trust Bank tops this table, paying 2.38% AER. A minimum of £1,000 is needed to invest in this account. 

Click here for more information. 

Aldermore offers the next best rate in our table of 2.35% AER.

Chartered Bank logo

Three-year fixed-rate savings account

Charter Savings Bank offers the best rate in our table in this category, paying 2.65% AER. 

Click here to find out more about this savings account. 

Al Rayan Bank offers the next best rate in our table, paying 2.6% AER from initial deposits of £1,000. However, the rate from Al Rayan Bank is an ‘expected profit rate’ from its Sharia-compliant investments, so returns are not guaranteed.

Chartered Bank logo

Four-year fixed-rate savings account

Charter Savings Bank’s four-year fixed rate bond tops this table, paying 2.75% AER. 

Click here to find out more about this account.

Bank of Baroda offers the next best rate in our table, paying 2.65% AER on initial deposits of £500. This account can only be operated online and interest is paid on maturity.

Secure Trust Bank

Five-year fixed-rate savings account

Secure Trust Bank tops our five-year fixed-rate table, offering a rate of 3.08% AER. You need a minimum deposit of £1,000 and interest is paid annually. 

More information can be found here.

Charter Savings Bank offers the next best rate in our table, paying 3.05% AER from initial deposits of £1,000.

Which? Money Compare table: Fixed-term savings accounts – compare hundreds of deals

Current accounts are a great option for savers with small balances

Some current accounts are offering in-credit interest rates, which can’t be matched by cash Isas or taxable savings accounts, although the maximum balance you can earn interest on is much lower and there are more conditions to meet in order for interest to be paid out. 

Savers with between £3,000 and £20,000 can earn 3% AER in Santander’s 123 account. Nationwide’s FlexDirect account pays 5% AER on balances up to £2,500 in the first year, dropping to 1% AER thereafter. The Classic Plus Account from TSB pays 5% AER on balances up to £2,000.

Find out more: Best bank accounts if you always stay in credit – see our current account tables

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