Al Rayan Bank has boosted rates on five of its savings accounts, launching it to the top of the Which? Money Compare tables.
The Sharia-compliant bank offers products compatible with Islamic principles, meaning it advertises an ‘expected profit rate’ instead of an interest rate. The bank is currently topping the Which? Money Compare tables for one-year, two-year and three-year fixed-rate savings accounts, as well as one-year and two-year fixed-rate cash Isas.
Here, we explain what a Sharia-complaint savings account is, and weigh up these products against the competition.
Which? Money Compare tables: savings accounts and Isas – hundreds of accounts compared
What is a Sharia-compliant savings account?
Al Rayan Bank is a lender that adheres to Islamic principles – known as a ‘Sharia-compliant’ bank.
Under these principles, a person cannot benefit from lending someone else money, so Al Rayan accounts do not technically offer interest. Instead, the provider invests savings in ethical trading activities and aims to pay the advertised rate as an ‘expected profit rate’.
Unlike traditional savings product, this rate is not guaranteed. Historically, Al Rayan Bank has always achieved at least the profit rate quoted to customers, and in some cases, slightly more.
What rates are on offer by Al Rayan?
We’ve included links to the Which? Money Compare tables, where you can learn more about each account.
Al Rayan Bank is offering a rate of 2.2% AER on its 24-month fixed-term deposit account, ahead of the 2.11% offered by the nearest competitor, Secure Trust Bank’s 2 year fixed rate bond. If you’re willing to lock up your savings for longer, the expected profit rate on Al Rayan’s 36-month fixed-term deposit account is 2.3% AER, compared to Secure Trust Bank’s 3 year fixed rate bond with 2.26%.
The bank is also offering table-topping cash Isas. Its 12-month fixed-rate cash Isa pays an expected profit rate of 1.35% AER, while its 24-month fixed-rate cash Isa pays 1.7% AER – both higher than the next best-rated Isa, Charter Savings Bank 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash Isa, which pays 1.31%.
The minimum balance on all these accounts is £1,000.
How to get a better savings rate
Typically, the longer you’re willing to lock up your savings, the better rates you’ll be able to access.
Secure Trust Bank currently tops the Which? Money Compare four-year and five-year fixed-rate savings tables, offering respective rates of 2.31% AER and 2.51% AER on balances from £1,000.
If you only have a small balance, consider storing your savings in a interest-paying current account, as many of these offer superior rates to traditional savings accounts.
If you’re willing to take a bit more risk with your money, see our advice guide on investing your cash savings.
Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited