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The best savings and ISA accounts this week

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

This week saw NS&I swoop in to offer best buy one-year bonds – an unusual move from the state-backed savings provider which normally sits mid-table.

Elsewhere, the average rate for an easy access ISA hit 3% gross – the highest this rate has been since December 2008, according to Moneyfacts’ data.

Although this figure is the average, not highest, rate on offer, it’s an indication of how rates are increasing across the market.

Here are this week’s best savings and ISA accounts, according to Moneyfacts’ analysis.

The best cash savings accounts

Furness Building Society’s Triple Access Saver (issue 1) retains the top spot on the easy access charts, paying 5% AER. However, savers can only make three withdrawals a year from the account before the rate falls.

Not far behind is Oxbury Bank’s Personal Easy Access Account (issue 1) which pays 4.94% with a minimum deposit of £1,000.

Shawbrook Bank pays 4.93%, while Cahoot’s Simple Saver pays 4.90%.

The best fixed rate bonds

In a surprise move, NS&I now offers the highest rate on one-year fixed rate bonds.

New issues of NS&I’s one-year fixed rate Guaranteed Growth Bonds and Guaranteed Income Bonds pay 6.20% gross/AER and 6.03% gross/6.20% AER respectively.

These are both the highest ever interest rates for both bonds which first went on sale in 2008, and the most competitive one-year fixed rate savings accounts on the market.

Other providers offering more than 6% on one-year money include Habib Bank Zurich which pays 6.03%, and SmartSave which pays 6.01%.

The best rates on two-year fixed rate bonds are lower than NS&I’s one-year offering, with Close Brothers, Ford Money, and Ikano Bank all paying 6.05%.

When it comes to notice savings accounts, the highest paying is the Oxbury Bank Personal 180 Day Notice Account (Issue 15) paying 5.59% on a minimum of £1,000.

The shortest-notice period comes from the RCI Bank E-Volve Savings 14 Day Notice Account which pays 4.50% and requires £1,000 to open.

The best instant-access cash ISAs

The top spot for easy-access ISAs this week is still the Newcastle BS Newcastle Double Access ISA (Issue 1). It pays 4.50% interest on a minimum deposit of £1.

However, despite the account paying the highest rate of interest, there is a catch when it comes to withdrawals. If more than two withdrawals are made within a year, the interest rate will drop to 2.90%. The account can be opened online or in a branch, and also managed by post or phone.

Shawbrook Bank’s Easy Access Cash ISA – Issue 25 is the next best cash ISA paying 4.43% on a minimum of £1,000; this account can be opened online and managed on the phone.

Four providers – Cynergy Bank, the Post Office, Skipton Building Society and Tesco Bank – pay 4.4% on their easy access cash ISAs. All accept transfers in.

The best fixed-rate cash ISAs

Shawbrook Bank takes top position from UBL UK in Moneyfacts’ one-year fixed ISA chart this week after increasing the rate paid by its 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Bond Issue 80. Now with a rate of 5.78% AER, this market-leading account pays interest on anniversary after opening online with a £1,000 deposit.

In Moneyfacts’ two-year fixed ISA chart, Charter Savings Bank offers the same rate of 5.78% AER with its 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA. This account requires a larger deposit of £5,000 to open and manage online, after which interest can either be received monthly or on anniversary. You’ll have 30 days from opening to make any further additions to this opening amount. As for earlier access, this will incur a 180-day loss of interest penalty.

For another consecutive week, Zopa provides the best rate for both a three-year and a five-year fixed ISA. However, as its Smart ISA – 3 and 5 Year pots pay 5.56% AER and 5.26% AER respectively, keep in mind it’s possible to secure a higher rate with a shorter bond.

Nevertheless, should you wish to open either of these accounts, you’ll need to already have or be prepared to open a Smart Saver via the Smart Savings Hub on the Zopa app.

The best notice cash ISAs

For yet another week, Aldermore provides the best rate for an ISA needing up to 30 days’ notice, with its 30 Day Notice Cash ISA Issue 12 paying 4.25% AER.

Interest can either be received monthly or on anniversary after opening online with an initial deposit of £1,000. While further additions to this opening amount are allowed without restriction, 30 days’ notice is needed before making a withdrawal. If you need to withdraw funds sooner than this, earlier access can be gained subject to 30 days’ loss of interest.

A higher rate of 4.50% AER can be secured with Stafford Railway Building Society, but this account requires 60 days’ notice of withdrawals. Its Cash ISA 60 Day Notice Account can be opened online, in branch or by post with a minimum deposit of £100.