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This week’s best savings rates

This week’s best savings rates
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

SmartSave, iFAST Global Bank and Allied Irish Bank are the lenders freshening up the market this week, after a glut of providers removed or reduced their savings rates.

Despite fixed-rate bonds numbers and rates plunging by the biggest monthly levels for well over a decade, appealing investments for savers are still plentiful.

As January draws to a close, the average fixed-rate bond dropped from 5.13% to 4.87%,  the first time it dipped below 5% since last summer.

To help you get the most generous returns from your funds, here are the best rates to consider, according to data from Moneyfacts.

Easy access accounts

Ulster Bank’s Loyalty Saver has kept its 5.20% AER offer for balances over £5,000 (any less and the rate goes down to 2.25% AER). There is no minimum deposit required and savers will need a current account to take advantage of the deal, while there are no penalties to access your funds.

In second place is Earl Shilton Building Society’s Bonus One Account, but only if you have a sizeable investment ready to go. This account pays 5.15% AER yearly and just one withdrawal is permitted per year, with any more leading to a reduced 2.10% AER price. It can also only be opened and managed in a branch or by post.

For savers who prefer to manage their savings online, an Easy Access – Issue 48 from Kent Reliance might be the account to use. Much like the rest of the easy access market, a substantial deposit of £5,000 is needed to open the account, priced at 5.13% AER. The account is flexible in that withdrawals come with no penalties and extra additions are accepted with a nominated account.

Fixed-bond rates

SmartSave takes the top spot for one-year fixed bonds. Its 1 Year Fixed Rate Saver pays 5.16% AER on maturity and compounds interest yearly. It may have the market-leading price, but this account requires a hefty £10,000 deposit, but further additions are permitted within the first two weeks of the account opening. Early access is also not accepted.

The 5.10% rate on the iFAST Global Bank’s Fixed Term Deposit is the best price around and the account also needs no minimum deposit to get going. As is typical with fixed bonds, there is no early access accepted and on this deal, no further additions can be made. Interest is paid on maturity and the bond can only be opened online or using the provider’s app.

For three-year fixes, Close Brothers Savings’ 3-Year Fixed Rate Bond is priced at 4.60% AER and interest is paid yearly. Much like many of the leading rates this week, savers need a decent-sized pot (£10,000) to get started. Additions are also accepted within 10 days of that deposit being put in the account.

As is often the case, a Sharia-compliant lender offers a top rate, in this case, it is Raisin UK’s – 5 Year Fixed Term Deposit which pays 4.50% AER yearly. This account is online only and needs a minimum deposit worth £1,000. This doesn’t accept early additions and you can’t access the funds early.

Notice accounts

The market that sees the least movement stays true to form, as FirstSave continues to offer the leading rates thanks to both its 30 Day Notice Account (Oct 23) and 90 Day Notice Account (Oct 23). Each account has interest paid on anniversary –  priced at 5.00% and 5.40% respectively. Savers need a deposit of £100 to open the account and deposits are free with no restrictions, while accessing your funds comes with 30 and 90 days’ loss of interest.

In the 60-day notice market, West Brom Building Society has the most generous returns if you can wait around a couple of months to access the funds. The 60 Day Notice Account is online only, needs just a £1 deposit, and pays 5.25% AER each month or year.