Barclays has launched a three-year fixed-rate bond with a twist - you'll earn income for the full period, but can access some of your investment each month.
The account combines the security of a fixed-rate bond with the flexibility to withdraw your money. However, the interest rate isn't market-leading and you are only able to unlock a small proportion of your investment.
Which? takes a closer look at how the account works, and how it compares against other products in the market.
The Barclays Flexible Bond pays 1.8% AER fixed for three years on balances from £1 up to £1m. You're also able to make one withdrawal a month without penalty.
However, the maximum value of the withdrawal is set at 3% of your initial deposit. So if you put in £10,000, you will only be able to take out £300 a month.
Interest is paid monthly on your balance into a nominated account, but bear in mind taking money out of the bond will reduce the amount of interest you earn. You won't be able to make additional deposits into the bond during the period.
There are no restrictions on taking out more than one bond, but Barclays says the deal is a limited issue product so it could be pulled at any time.
Barclays says the deal is aimed at savers nearing retirement - but anyone over the age of 18 can open an account.
This product may appeal to anyone who wants to generate a monthly income at a fixed-rate, but also have access to some additional cash for unexpected costs.
For example, if you deposited £85,000 into the account, you could earn £127.50 a month in interest, and you could unlock up to £2,550 if you needed it.
However, making this withdrawal would mean you would have £82,450 left in the account, which means the monthly income you earn will fall to £123.68.
The rate offered also isn't market-leading, meaning you may be able to earn higher returns by keeping your money in a different account.
If you're prepared to leave your money untouched for three full years, you could earn more interest with other products.
*Only available to savers in certain locations and professions
Most instant-access accounts pay well-below the Barclays rate of 1.8%, though you would have access to your cash at any time.
It's important to make sure your savings are earning a rate that matches or beats inflation to ensure your pot doesn't lose value in real terms - andinflation is currently at 2.7%.
If you want to earn income while retaining some flexibility, you could instead consider splitting up your savings - keeping some in an easy access account for emergencies and the rest where it could be earning a better rate.
Below, we've picked out the best savings accounts across a range of easy access and fixed-rate bonds that pay monthly interest which could help you achieve this.
|Account||Type of account||Interest rate (AER)||Min/max deposit||Interest paid|
|Easy access savings account||1.37%||£1,000 / £1m||Monthly|
|One-year fixed-rate bond||2.02%||£1,000 / n/a||Monthly|
|Two-year fixed-rate bond||2.24%||£1,000 / £250,000||Monthly|
|Three-year fixed-rate bond||2.41%||£1,000 / £250,000||Monthly|
|Four-year fixed-rate bond||2.52%||£1,000 / £250,000||Monthly|
|Five-year fixed-rate bond||2.70%||£1,000 / £250,000||Monthly|
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 the savings account provider before committing to any financial products.
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.