Today, if you search the best buys for a top paying easy access account, the likelihood is that your rate will include a large introductory bonus as a significant part of the rate. In the last two years the proportion of accounts including a bonus has increased from 12.7pc to 19.8%, with the average bonus size more than doubling from 0.61pc to 1.26pc.
The increase in the size of bonus, coupled with the falls in savings rates, means that in many instances it now makes up the biggest proportion of the rate on offer. Two years ago no more than 18pc of the rate on any easy access account was a bonus: today that figure has jumped to a staggering 85pc. Bonuses give hard-hit savers a short term boost to their rate, but if they neglect to move their money when the bonus ends, their rate will plummet.
If you do want to take advantage of the top rates on offer then you need to act fast. Research from Investec Private Bank shows that in the period between 7 January 2009 and 3 November 2009, 36pc of accounts lasted just one week in the best buys and 72pc of accounts no more than five weeks.
Barnsley launches market leading bond
Barnsley Building Society has once again launched another market leading fixed rate bond. Its Online Bond, which matures on 30th April 2013, pays 4.80pc and also has a monthly interest option available for savers looking for a regular income. Between £100 and £2m can be invested in the bond, but once opened, further additions and earlier access are not permitted.
Save for a rainy day with Chelsea
The latest issue of the Chelsea Building Society Rainy Day Savings account is paying one of the highest rates on the market at 3.25pc, including a 1.50pc bonus for 12 months. The account is operated in branch or by post and savers can invest between £10,000 and £500,000. They can get instant access to their money, with fee free withdrawals available up to £5,000 in the first year. However, if the balance falls below £10,000 then 0.50pc is payable, all withdrawals become fee free and no bonus is payable.
New bonds from Barclays
Barclays Bank has recently launched new issues of its Fixed Rate Savings Bonds paying from 2.00pc on its one year bond up to 5.00pc on its five year bond. Savers can invest between £500 and £1m into the branch operated bonds, all of which have a monthly interest option for savers after a regular income. Once opened, further additions and earlier access are not permitted during the term.
Notice top rates
If savers are looking to achieve top rates without part of the rate being made up of a bonus they could consider the 60 Day Notice Account from Turkish Bank (UK) which has just increased its rate to 3.12pc. Savers can invest up from £1,000 into the account, which is operated in branch or by post. To make a withdrawal, savers must either give 60 days' notice or forgo 60 days' interest for earlier access. Turkish Bank (UK) is fully registered with the FSA and has the same compensation protection as all other UK banks.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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