Rates rundown: Half term results in a lack of activity, until a late flurry of best buys…

17th February 2018

As is the case with most school holidays, activity has been generally slower this half term week, but there was a late flurry of new best buys to make up for it.

The start of the week saw United Bank UK move to the summit of the fixed rate cash ISA best buys, with a duo of market-leading rates. Elsewhere in the tables, we saw Aldermore improve its one year offering and Nationwide bring out a brand-new five year fixed rate ISA.

Amongst fixed rate bonds, PCF Bank, winner of Best New Provider in our 2018 awards, grabbed the early headlines with a whole host of best buy rates. Then taking the limelight at the end of the week was Vanquis Bank, with a set of improvements that now dominate our longer term tables. We also saw improved offerings from Ikano Bank, Paragon Bank, Investec and Close Brothers Savings.

Finally, for those looking for more access to their money, Leeds Building Society launched a new version of its easy access cash ISA, joining Virgin Money at the top of the table.

Of course, the main advantage of a quieter week is that fewer accounts have disappeared and there are plenty of options on our Best Buy Tables to consider. So, now is the ideal time to take action and switch from that low-interest account you’ve been holding on to.

Take a few minutes to review your existing accounts and see what the current rates are, using our free Rate Tracker service.

Then sign up to our Rate Alert emails - if you haven’t done so already - to keep up with any new and interesting accounts throughout the week – just the thing to help you make the switch!

 

Fixed Rate Cash ISAs

Perhaps the biggest news earlier in the week came from United Bank UK, improving the rates on its three and five year fixed rate cash ISAs and taking pole position in the respective tables as a result.

The three year ISA is now paying 1.87% tax free/AER and the five year ISA is 2.21% tax free/AER. Accounts can be opened in branch or by post, with a minimum of £2,000. Transfers in from previous cash ISAs are accepted.

Also making an improvement this week was Aldermore, now paying 1.45% tax free/AER on its one year fixed rate cash ISA, joining a bevy of providers at the top of the table.

Accounts can be opened online, with a minimum of £1,000 and transfers in from previous cash ISAs are allowed.

Finally, Nationwide brought out a brand-new five year fixed rate cash ISA, paying a competitive rate of 2.00% tax free/AER, which is unusual for a high street name and gives the other big providers food for thought.

Accounts can be opened in branch or online/mobile if you're an existing customer, with a minimum of £1. Transfers in from previous cash ISAs are allowed.

For more information on these accounts and for the full list of alternatives, click here for our Fixed Rate Cash ISA Best Buy Tables.

 

Fixed Rate Bonds

Making a splash in the fixed rate bond best buy tables earlier this week was PCF Bank, the recent winner of our coveted award for Best New Provider.

The provider improved rates across its whole fixed rate range and appears in our one year (1.84% gross/AER), two year (2.05% gross/AER), three year (2.20% gross/AER), four year (2.25% gross/AER) and five year (2.40% gross/AER) tables.

Accounts can not only be opened online, but also by post, with a minimum of £1,000.

On Friday, Vanquis Bank launched new versions of its longer term bonds, taking top spot in each of the respective tables. The three year bond pays 2.25% gross/AER*, the four year bond is 2.42% gross/AER* and the five year bond pays 2.51% gross/AER*.

Accounts can be opened online, with a minimum of £1,000.

Elsewhere, Ikano Bank rose up the rankings with improved three year (2.21% gross/AER), four year (2.31% gross/AER) and five year (2.47% gross/AER) bonds, each now taking second place in the relevant tables.

Each of the accounts can be opened online, with a minimum of £1,000.

Paragon Bank improved its two year offering, now paying 2.06% gross/AER and moving into joint second place in our table as a result. Accounts can be opened online, with a minimum of £1,000.

Meanwhile, Investec moved into second place in our one year table, paying 1.90% gross/AER. Accounts can be opened online, with a minimum of £25,000.

Finally, Close Brothers Savings moved up the five year table, increasing its rate on offer to 2.45% gross/AER. Accounts can be opened by post, with a minimum of £10,000.

For further information and the full range of options for each term, take a look at our Fixed Rate Bond Best Buy Tables or contact us for more information.

 

Easy Access Accounts

For those looking for more access to their money, there’s not much change to report in the easy access market this week, with the same duo holding strong at the top of our table - the consistent RCI Bank and Tesco Bank.

Best Easy Access Provider in our 2018 Awards, RCI Bank* has been a fixture in our best buy table throughout the last year and is currently paying 1.30% gross/AER.

Alongside RCI Bank at the top of the table is Tesco Bank, but it is important to note that the 1.30% gross/AER rate on the account includes an introductory bonus for the first 12 months, so will need reviewing after a year.

For those looking for an easy access cash ISA, Virgin Money’s position at the top of the pile has been challenged by Leeds Building Society*, with a new account out this week.

Its Limited Issue Online Access ISA (Issue 5) pays 1.21% tax free/AER, matching the rate on offer from Virgin Money. However, unlike its counterpart, this account has a set maturity date of 30 April 2019, after which your money is transferred to a lower-paying account, so you may well need to take action at that point.

For more information on the current top-paying accounts, please take a look at our Easy Access and Variable Rate Cash ISA Best Buy Tables.

 

For more detail on any of the accounts above or for further options, get in touch with our Bath-based Savings Experts on 0800 011 9705. We’d love to hear from you

 

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