With savings accounts offering such disheartening rates at the moment, a surprising way to get a decent return might be through your current account. Some banks are offering rates that beat inflation to their existing current account customers in the form of regular saver accounts.
These typically offer better rates, but you have to commit to paying a minimum amount each month and you can only invest relatively small amounts. For example, First Direct's Regular Saver offers a massive 6%, but is only available to those with the bank's 1st Account. You are limited to depositing a maximum of £300 a month or £3,600 a year. The 1st account comes with no fee if you pay at least £1,000 a month into the account, but if you can't there is a £10 monthly fee.
M&S Bank's Monthly Saver also offers a rate of 6%, and allows you to save between £25 and £250 a month, and no more than £3,000 a year. However, to get the savings account you need the M&S Premium Current Account, which comes with a £10 a month fee.
Anna Bowes, director at Savings Champion, warns consumers to ensure they know the charges before getting the accounts. "Many of these regular savings accounts pay headline-grabbing rates. However, as they normally have a low maximum monthly deposit, the overall amount of interest earned may actually be smaller than you think - and the benefit could be negated by any monthly fees applicable on the current account."
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Bowes recommends: "It's always important to take out a savings account that meets your needs, rather than making your needs fit your savings. However, if you're willing to switch your current account you may be able to access some of the best savings rates on the market."