Households that stick to strict budgets on grocery shopping, eating out, fuel and even Christmas presents could boost their spending power using a new app called HyperJar.
The budgeting app allows you to split your money into virtual jam jars linked to specific retailers such as Lidl, Shell, Cafe Rouge and Notonthehighstreet and will pay a reward rate of 4.8% on these spending pots.
Which? explains how HyperJar's 'pay now, buy later' approach works, how much money it could really save you and the risks to watch out for.
HyperJar allows you to commit money you know you will spend with a certain retailer into virtual jam jars managed via an app.
You can download the app for free and once approved you will get a sort code and account number you can use to transfer money into your HyperJar account.
Once you've loaded money you can separate it into various virtual jars linked to goals, group-spending or specific retailers.
HyperJar has launched with 16 partner retailers including Lidl, Shell, Bella Italia, NotOnTheHighStreet, Eve, Bloom & Wild and FeelUnique.
When you open a retailer jar and commit money you can earn an annual growth rate of 4.8% for 12 months (calculated and applied daily). You'll also receive offers for their products and services.
You can spend the money you load into any of the jars by linking them to a HyperJar prepaid contactless Mastercard.
A 4.8% return seems attractive in the context of poor savings rates - the best instant-access savings account pays 1.45%.
But the retailer jars aren't designed for long-term savings so the returns you get might not be as big as they sound unless you plan to set aside money for spending 12 months in advance.
For example, if you know you typically spend £300 a month at Lidl you can load up a Lidl HyperJar.
The AGR rate is paid daily so after the first day you could have accrued an extra 4p to spend with Lidl. If you leave the cash for 30 days you would earn £1.19 and after a year you'd have £14.40.
Below we show how much loading varying amounts in a Lidl HyperJar could earn you.
|Lidl HyperJar balance||Reward after 30 days||Reward after 12 months|
The AGR is not too dissimilar to the interest you would earn on savings but the difference is you can't take the money you earn out as cash.
Money committed to a jar must be spent with that retailer, but there's no time limit so, in theory, you could use HyperJar to plan for big events like Christmas if you can afford to budget that far in advance.
Instead, the money you load into HyperJar is held in segregated accounts with major UK banks. This means if HyperJar goes bust your money is protected by e-money regulations.
HyperJar also uses 256-bit encryption as well as fingerprint and facial identification to make sure the money you hold on the app is secure.
If you lose your card you can freeze it using the app.
HyperJar offers an easy way to get rewards for money you know you will spend with certain retailers.
However, while 4.8% seems like an impressive rate, the money you put in is likely to be spent in days rather than 12 months, so the returns might not be as good as they sound.
That said it's a no-brainer for households that know they will spend £200 at retailers like Lidl or Shell every month.
If your budget isn't this predictable and you need flexibility, there are alternatives to consider.