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Gimmicky savings accounts: could bonus offers beat low rates?

Which? rounds up some of the UK's most bizarre savings gimmicks

Gimmicky savings accounts: could bonus offers beat low rates?

As interest rates remain at uninspiring lows, a number of providers have launched eye-catching gimmicks to tempt savers into using their products.

Which? rounds up some of the UK’s most bizarre savings gimmicks – including predicting FA Cup winners and guessing Brexit interest rates – and looks at your chances of landing a bonus.

We’ve included links to the Which? Money Compare tables, where you can learn more about these accounts.

Which? Money Compare table: savings and Isas – hundreds of accounts compared

Man Utd 1 Year Fixed Rate Double Champions Isa

Consider yourself a devoted Man Utd fan? This one-year fixed-rate Isa pays a rate of 1.2% AER – but this jumps to 3.2% AER if Manchester United win the Premier League and FA Cup double during the 2017-18 season.

The best rate in the Which? Money Compare one-year fixed-rate tables is 1.35% AER. The bookmakers are currently offering odds of 11/4 for Manchester United to win the league and 7/1 to win the FA Cup*.

Click the link to visit Which? Money Compare tables to learn more about this Virgin Money Isa.

Brexit Bond

Family Building Society’s Brexit Bond pays a rate of 1% AER until the account matures in May 2019. But there’s also an opportunity to earn a 2% bonus on your initial deposit if you correctly guess whether the pound will be stronger or weaker against the Euro on 29 March 2019 – the day the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU – compared to the exchange rate on 28 March 2017, when it was worth €1.1535.

In theory, you could increase your chances of gaining the bonus interest by waiting until the last possible minute to subscribe – although you’d be foregoing interest in the mean time. But the bonds are only available while stocks last, so in practice you may miss out altogether by waiting too long.

Which? Money Compare table: fixed-rate savings accounts – see how this account compares

Savings prize draws

Halifax and Bank of Scotland enter savers into a monthly prize draw, where they can potentially win impressive sums of money.

There are typically three £100,000 jackpots given away each month, although in October’s superdraw there will be two £500,000 prizes up for grabs.

Savers must have at least £5,000 in a Halifax or Bank of Scotland account to qualify for the prize draw – though your odds of winning are low, given the large pool of customers eligible.

Savings apps

Savings apps, like Chip and Plum, encourage people to save by automatically withdrawing money from customers’ current accounts, based on an algorithm which calculates how much you can afford to save.

Furthermore, you can instruct these apps to save more or less by sending text messages to an AI bot on your phone.

Chip pays 1% AER annually to new customers, but rewards you for spreading the message to your friends – the AER is boosted by 1% for every person you refer to the app, up to a maximum of 5% AER.

Instead of paying interest, Plum puts money aside into a savings account you’ve already opened. It has also linked up with peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter to offer users the chance to grow their money at a rate of around 3%.

But peer-to-peer lending isn’t risk-free. It involves lending to other borrowers, meaning you could lose money if they fail to repay.

Find out more: would you let a robot control your savings? – learn more about these apps

*Odds correct on 20 September 2017

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.

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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