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The start of March will mark the end of the old £10 note, as it will no longer be considered legal tender. This means that next Thursday will be your last chance to pay with an old bill. Some shops have already said they'll stop accepting old notes from the end of February, giving you even less time to get rid of any Charles Darwin notes you still have lying around.
The Bank of England has warned that there are still around 211 million paper £10 notes in circulation. While they will continue to accept and exchange any old notes sent in after the deadline, this could be a lot of hassle for you. Instead, why not check all your old wallets, empty your secret money stashes out, and get those old £10 notes over to the bank?
Rather than letting that £10 go towards some extra treats, however, you could use it to open a savings account. Savers will be able to get better rates this year compared to a year ago, even with just £1 to set aside, so why not take advantage?
Our finance expert Rachel Springall has found that the best rate savers with just £1 could find a year ago was 1.01% for an easy access account, whereas today the highest rate is 1.26%, offered by both Tesco Bank (with a bonus) and Virgin Money (without bonus). The highest ISA counterpart today pays 1.21%, up considerably from the 1.05% that topped the charts this time last year.
If you'd rather get your interest on a monthly basis, the highest paying monthly interest account that can be opened with as little as £1 currently comes from Virgin Money, with a rate of 1.25%, up from 1.01% last year. Rachel points out that monthly savers "can prove to be an ideal choice if you want to earn interest on top of the balance every month, because the interest is likely compounded. This means that you earn interest on your original balance as well as on previously earned interest."
One potential downside of these top-paying accounts is that most can only be opened online; providers save a lot of money by not having branches, which is why they can offer the best rates. This means that you'd need to put your £10 note into your current account before using it to open a new savings account. There's one exception to this, however.
All of the current best notice accounts available to those with just £1 can be opened in branch. So, if you don't mind giving your provider a little notice before withdrawing funds, you'll be happy to know that the current top rate of 1.00% is much better than last year's 0.70%.
Of course, if you do add your old notes to your account, there are even better rates that can be found with just a little larger investment. For instance, you can apply for RCI Bank's top-paying easy access account without a bonus with just £100, and you'd earn 1.30% interest in return.
Whatever you decide, Rachel warns: "Savers need to be sure that they choose a competitive account." So, why not head over to our Best Buy charts to see how many £10 notes you'd need to open a top account?
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