Humbug to Christmas Savings

13th December 2011

Christmas is supposed to be a time of cheer and goodwill but it can also be a time of stress and an ever increasing debt mountain.  That’s why it’s always sensible to plan ahead and save before you buy so you’re not paying the price in the new year. 

Providers have long since cottoned on to this with Banks and Building Societies launching new Christmas savings accounts each year which in essence are just bog standard regular savings accounts with a festive name.  So we’ve put them to the test to check out if they are as good as their namesake – do they offer seasonal cheer or seasonal fear for next Christmas.

Christmas Savings Accounts

Provider / Account

Gross/AER pa

Minimum / Max

Notes

Principality BS - Christmas Regular Saver

5.00%

£20 / £300 pm

Branch only.  No withdrawals. 12 consecutive payments must be made.

Yorkshire BS - Christmas Saver

3.50%

£10 / £1,200 pa

Fixed until 30 Nov 2012.  Withdrawals on 90 days loss.

Chelsea BS - Christmas Saver

3.50%

£10 / £1,200 pa

Fixed until 30 Nov 2012.  Withdrawals on 90 days loss.

Barnsley BS - Christmas Saver

3.50%

£10 / £1,200 pa

Fixed until 30 Nov 2012.  Withdrawals on 90 days loss.

Skipton BS - My Christmas Saver

2.50%

£1 / £1m total balance

Easy Access

 

Standard Regular Savings Accounts

Provider

Gross/AER pa

Minimum / Max

Notes

First Direct - Regular Saver Account

8.00%

£25 / £300 pm

Must be a First Direct 1st account customer.  Fixed for 1 year.

HSBC - Regular Saver (preferential rate)

8.00%

£25 / £250 pm

Selected HSBC current accounts holders only. 1 year fixed rate.

West Brom BS - Fixed Rate Regular Saver

4.10%

£10 / £250 pm

Rate drops to 0.50% if 2 payments missed. 1 year fixed rate. Branch only.

Norwich & Peterborough - Regular Saver

4.00%

£1 / £250 pm

1 withdrawal pa. 12 consecutive payments must be made. 1 year fixed rate.

Saffron BS - 12 Month Fixed Rate Regular Saver Issue 2

4.00%

£10 / £200 pm

Access without penalty.  Fixed rate.

 

Preparing by putting some money away for those expensive annual events such as Christmas is a fantastic way to help beat the January debt blues.  But Christmas savings, like any savings account, should be carefully considered to ensure you’re getting the most for your money. 

With a large array of savings accounts to choose from, customers shouldn’t be bamboozled into opting for an account just because of its name.  With interest rates remaining at such low levels it’s vital to ensure they’re getting the best rates available from the whole of the market.

Although in some cases rates on standard regular savings may be better, with flat terms generally of 12 months, it’s unlikely that savers will now be able to access their money in time for Christmas next year.  However they must ask themselves, are the Christmas named savings accounts all they’re nut crackered up to be, or should they simply be looking at all the rates available. The simple answer is yes; always search the whole of the market.  It may be too late to access the money in time for Christmas 2012, but building a lump sum now would make a great present when the credit card statement arrives afterwards.

Use our Best Buy tables, drawn from the whole of the savings market, to help you find the best savings product for you.  And then don't forget to track your new savings product, using our free Rate Tracker service, to make sure you always stay on the best rates.

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