As we move forward into a new year, many of us will be thinking of ways to make improvements or to get around to things that we haven’t found time for yet. Of course, there are many types of New Year’s resolutions, but there will be plenty of us that are determined to improve our savings situation in the coming 12 months, so we thought it would be a great time to share our ten top tips for savers in 2017.
1) Switch now to a higher paying account
We had already seen rate cuts to thousands of accounts before the reduction in the base rate in August last year and providers needed no encouragement to make more cuts following the announcement. With some interest rates as low as 0.01%, switching to a best buy account can make a significant difference to your return. If you are unsure of what rate you are currently receiving on your savings accounts, sign up to our Free Rate Tracker Service. Not only will we keep track of your current interest rates and let you know if they are changing, we'll also give you alternatives, so you can switch to a higher paying account.
2) Take the hassle out of searching and applying for accounts
For those with larger sums to invest, researching the market for the best returns and then applying for multiple accounts can be a time-consuming exercise. For those with over £100,000 in cash savings, our Concierge Service takes the hassle out of this process. For more information, contact us on 0800 321 3581.
3) Take advantage of high interest current accounts
Current accounts paying high interest rates on credit balances have given savers a real boost over the last few years, offering rates head and shoulders above the best on offer on standard savings accounts. Even taking into account recent rate cuts from the likes of Santander, TSB Bank and Lloyds Bank, the rates on offer are still market leading, albeit on smaller balances. However, it is worth noting that these accounts are more complicated than standard savings accounts with a number of hoops to jump through and rules to stick to. For more information, take a look at our High Interest Current Account Best Buy Table.
4) Use your cash ISA allowance
With many savers enjoying tax free interest as a result of the introduction of the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) in April last year, some may be questioning the value of cash ISAs. However, the PSA is limited by the amount of interest you earn, whereas cash ISA interest remains tax free regardless of the amount held in the accounts and the interest you receive. This tip should be of particular note for Higher Rate Taxpayers, who have a lower PSA of £500 and Additional Rate Taxpayers, who receive no PSA at all. For the top-paying cash ISAs at the moment, please refer to our Variable Rate ISA and Fixed Rate ISA Best Buy Tables.
5) Take a balanced approach to savings
Many savers tend to stick to variable rate accounts in the hope that interest rates will rise in the future and whilst there are merits in this approach, they could be missing out on crucial interest in the meantime. A mix of High Interest Current Accounts and Fixed Rate Accounts, to take advantage of the best rates on offer at the moment, alongside Easy Access and Notice Accounts to take advantage of improving rates, could be an alternative strategy to consider.
6) Get into the savings habit
If you need to build up your savings, for a specific purpose or a rainy day, Regular Savings Accounts are a great way of getting into the savings habit. These accounts are designed for regular monthly deposits and sometimes even penalise you for missing payments, which could be an incentive to save in itself. The accounts encourage saving by offering competitive rates of interest and although many of the best rates are restricted to those with current accounts with the provider, often savers can combine the two for even higher returns, as is the case with the 5% AER on offer from Nationwide on both its FlexDirect Current Account and Flexclusive Regular Saver.
7) Stay up to date with new accounts
If you are looking for a new home for your savings or want to switch accounts, our Free Rate Alerts and Weekly Best Buy Delivery Service keep you up to date on the latest savings news. Sign up to receive regular information and updates to make sure you are always up to date.
8) Keep an eye on changes throughout the year
Last year was an eventful one to say the least and there are a number of significant changes coming up in 2017 that we already know about. For more detail on what to look out for in 2017, take a look at our recent article. We will, of course, keep you up to date with developments as soon as we hear about them throughout the year.
9) Don’t stick to the high street names
Some of the best returns of the market can be found outside of the high street, but with the same rules and regulations and the same level of Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection, these alternative providers may be worth considering. It may be time to try a new name, click here for more information.
10) Get in touch!
Whatever your savings needs, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch for help and advice or if you have any comments or suggestions. Call us on 0800 321 3581 or email [email protected].