The new football season is just days away, and millions of fans will be making sure that they're match-ready with the latest season's kit. But, as well as sporting team colours, many loyal fans can choose to show their support by using their club's savings or credit card – but is it really worth it? Unfortunately, analysis from Moneyfacts shows that these options may not offer the best deal for either fans or their club.
Football savings accounts are often thought as a way for fans to show their loyalty, as by saving with them, they're supporting their club financially. Not only that, but the majority of football accounts offer fans additional perks, ranging from season tickets to an autographed football, which serves to further sweeten the deal and enhance these accounts' overall appeal.
But, as Moneyfacts' Charlotte Nelson points out, that's where the benefits end: "Unfortunately, the interest rates paid on these accounts can be disappointingly low compared with standard savings accounts. The best easy access account currently pays 1.65% yearly, which dwarfs the 1.05% paid by the best football account."
Don't think that your loyalty will pay dividends for your club, either. Many devoted fans may be happy to forego a competitive return on their savings in exchange for a contribution being made to their football club, but bear in mind that the average contribution made through these accounts is just 0.90%, so your good intentions can often be wasted.
Instead, you – and your club – may be better off considering the alternatives. "Anyone considering a football savings account needs to keep in mind that the donation made to the club will be based on their average balance," said Charlotte.
"If a saver is unlikely to withdraw funds throughout the year, a far better solution would be to set up a standard savings account that pays a decent return, and then pay a proportion of the interest earned directly to the club. That way, the saver will benefit from a competitive rate, and the club will profit from a much larger contribution."
But what about football credit cards? Again, you may think that this could be a great way to show your support – and you could again be tempted by the perks and prizes on offer – but it's often the case that far more cost-effective deals can be found.
"Customers need to be aware that they will be sacrificing a better deal elsewhere for entrance into a lottery," said Charlotte. "The most enticing features of these cards are the reward scheme and money-can't-buy offers.
"But, borrowers who stand the chance of benefiting the most are those who can easily pay off their balance each month and use the cards as their main credit card, and they'd have to spend a significant sum of money on the card to rack up enough reward points to get the most benefits. With this in mind, customers may be better off considering a cashback card to earn cold hard cash to spend on the football items they want."
So, to all you die-hard football fans out there: try not to be tempted by the savings or credit card deals offered by your club, because chances are, it could work out far better if you stuck to traditional options.
Compare savings accounts to find the best deal
Check out the top cashback credit cards
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