Santander matches Halifax's 4% Help to Buy Isa
First-time buyers can now get 4% interest from Santander’s Help to Buy Isa as the bank has today matched Halifax’s market leading best-buy rate.
People who already have a Santander Help to Buy Isa will automatically be upgraded to the new rates.
The account also allows transfers in, meaning Help to Buy Isa savers with other providers can switch to the Santander account, providing they transfer their savings in full.
As with all Help to Buy Isas, the account is only available to people who have never owned a property. Savers can deposit £1,000 when they open an account, and then up to £200 per month. After saving £1,600 or more, customers are eligible for a 25% savings bonus from the government when they complete their property purchase, with the bonus cash capped at £3,000.
For more on this, see Help to Buy Isas: How they work.
Helen Bierton, head of savings at Santander says: “Our new Help to Buy ISA offers the opportunity to build a tax-free savings pot and then benefit from a boost to those savings with the government bonus.”
The Santander Help to Buy Isa is available in branch or by phone, with further information available on Santander’s website.
Help to Buy Isas are probably the best tool for anyone looking to save a deposit for their first property.
This Santander account is the joint best on the market, alongside Halifax. The next best is Virgin Money at 3%.
See Help to Buy Isas: which account should I get? for a roundup of what’s on offer.
As the government’s 25% savings bonus is paid on interest as well as money that’s been deposited, these accounts will help savers sooner reach the £12,000 target to get the maximum £3,000 bonus.
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.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.