Move quickly to get the top savings rates
Savers need to be quick if they want to snap up top rate fixed rate bonds which are often withdrawn just days after their launch.
Tesco Bank's top one-year deal at 1.85% (1.48% after tax) was on sale for just a week before being closed to new savers and replaced with a similar deal at a lower 1.75% (1.4%).
The Yorkshire BS bond at 2.5% (2%) for three years was also only on sale for a short time.
The best one year deal is now 1.8% (1.44%) from Investec or 1.75% (1.4%) from BM Savings, Tesco Bank and Kent Reliance.
For two years you can earn 2.2% (1.76%) from Investec or 2.1% (1.68%) with Kent Reliance or Saga, where the deposit taker is Halifax.
On easy access accounts top deals include 1.4% (1.12%) from AA Internet Extra, Post Office Online Saver and Tesco Bank Internet Saver. All come with a bonus for the first 12 months.
The best deal where the rate is not boosted by a bonus is 1.3% (1.04%) with Virgin Money. Kent Reliance pays a higher 1.5% (1.2%), but the account is only on offer through its limited branch network.
On tax-free cash Isas the top easy-access rate for new savers is 1.55% from BM Savings Extra Isa and Post Office Premier Isa, including a short-term bonus, after which the rate drops to as little as 0.5%.
Good deals without a bonus include 1.5% from West Bromwich Building Society or 1.45% from Sainsbury's Bank. Coventry pays a higher 2% through its Branch Isa, but you cannot transfer your existing cash Isas into this account.
On fixed rate cash Isas Post Office pays 1.7% fixed for one year, while AA Savings, Barclays and Skipton pay 2% for two years.
This article was written for our sister website Money Observer
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.
This is a mutual organisation owned by its members and not by shareholders. These societies offer a range of financial services but have historically concentrated on taking deposits from savers and lending the money to borrowers as mortgages, hence the name. In the mid-1990s many societies “demutualised” and became banks. One academic study (Heffernan, 2003) found demutualised societies’ pricing on deposits and mortgages was more favourable to shareholders than to customers, with the remaining mutual building societies offering consistently better rates. In 1900, there were 2,286 building societies in the UK; in 2011, there are just 51.