Virgin and Halifax offer top rates for savers

Halifax has raised the rate on its one-year fixed rate cash Isa for new savers to a tax-free 1.6%.

The move puts it among the top rates on the high street, just behind Virgin Money's 1.71% and Nationwide at 1.65%. If you are willing to run your account over the internet, then Shawbrook Bank pays a higher 1.75%.

For two years Coventry Building Society pays 2.05% fixed until 30 November 2017, while Halifax, Shawbrook and Virgin Money along with Skipton Building Society all pay 2%.

On easy-access cash Isas, National Savings & Investment Direct Isa pays a top 1.5%. But you cannot transfer your existing cash Isas into this account.

The best deals for transfers include Nationwide Instant Isa Saver issue 3 at 1.4%. Virgin Money pays a higher 1.51% on its Defined Access Isa, but you are limited to making three withdrawals a year from your capital.

Find the best cash Isa or savings account for you

Fixed-rate bonds and easy-access accounts

On taxable fixed-rate bonds, top deals include Charter Savings Bank at 2.06% (1.65% after tax) and Kent Reliance at 2.02% (1.62%), both for 12 months. For two years you can earn 2.38% (1.9%) with Secure Trust Bank or 2.35% (1.88%) with Aldermore Bank.

On easy access accounts French bank RCI, part of the Renault group, pays 1.65% (1.32%) on its Freedom Account. With this account you are protected by the European deposit scheme, not the UK equivalent. The European scheme gives you €100,000 (around £73,485) cover if the bank goes bust.

BM Savings, part of Halifax, pays 1.6% (1.28%) on its Online Extra issue 18, but this comes with a bonus for the first year, after which the rate drops to 0.5% (0.4%). Kent Reliance High Balance Easy Access account issue 2 pays 1.55% (1.24%) on a minimum £20,000.

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer


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these 'offerings' from 'banks' are pretty p*** poor stuff as 'top rates' when you can get twice that from a current account. When is the world going to wake up and smell the coffee. When they charge what they do on loans and credit cards I think they need to wake up and start offering proper rates, say 5.5-6.5%