Savings rates rise but few deals beat inflation
Data firm Moneyfacts recorded 115 rate rises and just 44 rate cuts last month compared to 18 rises and 156 cuts in May 2016.
The short-term bond space has seen a notable improvement lately, with rates reaching a two-year high.
Atom Bank currently pays a market-leading 2.05% on its one-year bond, after it hiked its rates in retaliation to Gatehouse Bank launching the first 2% one-year rate since August 2017.
But neither of these headline-grabbing rates beat or even match inflation which stood steady at 2.4% in May. In fact just 17 fixed rate bonds currently beat or match inflation, according to Moneyfacts, meaning the majority of savers are still losing money in real terms.
To earn enough interest so that the value of the money you have in the bank isn’t eroded by inflation, you’ll need to tie your cash up for at least four years.
Vanquis Bank’s four-year bond pays 2.52% but you can earn as much as 2.79% from challenger bank United Bank UK’s five-year bond.
See table below for all 17 fixed rate bonds paying 2.4% or more
Another way to outpace inflation is to go for a high interest current account. Nationwide FlexDirect pays 5% on balances up to £2,500 and requires £1,000 minimum to be deposited a month.
Tesco Bank pays 3% on balances up to £3,000 and requires £750 to be paid into the account each month as well as three direct debits paid out.
Nationwide FlexPlus pays 3% on balances up to £2,500 and requires two direct debits.
Several regular saver accounts also offer rates above 2.4%. Saffron Building Society’s 12 Month Fixed Rate Regular Saver pays 3.5% and has a minimum deposit requirement of £10 a month and a maximum of £200.
Kent Reliance’s 1 Year Regular Savings account pays 3% with a £1 minimum and £500 maximum monthly deposit.
There are also a number of linked regular savings accounts paying above-inflation interest rates but these require you to have a current account with the provider. First Direct, M&S Bank, Nationwide, Santander and HSBC all offer 5%.