Product Spotlight: Five-year fixed rate bonds
If you’re willing to lock your money away for five years in return for a better rate, you can benefit from the top returns available in the cash savings market. Here are the best five-year bonds currently available.
First up is UBL UK, with its 5 Year Fixed Term Deposit paying a market-leading rate of 1.66% AER on its anniversary, which rises to 1.72% if interest is taken on maturity, or 1.65% if taken on a monthly basis. A minimum investment of £2,000 is required, after which no further additions are allowed, though withdrawals are possible, albeit at the bank’s discretion and subject to a 365-day loss of interest penalty. The account can be opened online, in branch, by post or by mobile app, after which it can be managed by phone as well.
In second place is JN Bank, with its Fixed Term Savings Account paying 1.61% AER from a minimum investment of £1,000. The account permits four additional deposits of at least £1,000 after initial funding within 14 days of account opening, after which no access to funds will be possible before the end of the term. It’s a purely internet-operated account that pays interest on its anniversary; find out more or apply by going straight to the provider’s site.
Gatehouse Bank is next, with its five-year Fixed Term Green Saver paying an expected profit rate of 1.60% AER on its anniversary. This internet-operated and Sharia-compliant account requires a minimum investment of £1,000, after which further additions won’t be possible and there is no access to funds prior to maturity. Vanquis Bank Savings pays the same rate of 1.60% AER on its anniversary (or 1.59% monthly) from a minimum of £1,000, with further additions and withdrawals again not permitted.
You can find more of the best five-year fixed rate bonds on our chart.
Product spotlight: Two-year remortgages
Thanks to rising competition in the sector, the best two-year remortgage rates have fallen below 1%, making now a great time to consider your options. Here are the top deals currently available.
Leading the way is TSB, with a joint market-leading rate of 0.94% (3.2% APRC) that’s fixed to 31 August 2023 before reverting to 3.59% variable for term. Exclusively available to remortgage customers with equity of at least 40% (60% LTV), it comes with a fee of £995 and incentives of free valuation and legal fees, and it permits overpayments and payment holidays too. HSBC offers the same initial rate of 0.94% (3.2% APRC) fixed to 31 August 2023, after which it reverts to 3.54% variable. It’s available at up to 60% LTV with a fee of £999 and incentives of free valuation and legal fees, and overpayments are permitted. Find out more about either of these top-rated deals by speaking to a broker.
Next up is Platform with a rate of 0.95% (3.9% APRC) that’s fixed to 30 September 2023, before reverting to 4.34% variable. It’s available at up to 60% LTV and has incentives of free valuation and legal fees as well as £250 cashback, which could go some way to offsetting the £1,499 fee. This deal is exclusively available via intermediaries.
Completing this overview is Santander’s 70% LTV deal, which comes with a slightly higher initial rate than its predecessors but a lower APRC: the rate of 1.00% (3.0% APRC) is fixed to 2 October 2023 and reverts to 3.35% variable thereafter, with a fee of £999 and incentives of free valuation (or £95 towards valuation in Scotland) as well as £250 cashback or free legal fees. Speak to a broker to find out more.
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Are the new Green Savings Bonds worth waiting for?
Further details about the new Green Savings Bond from National Savings and Investments (NS&I) were revealed last week, with these fixed rate accounts set to have a term of three years, with interest paid on maturity. They’ll be available to those aged 16+ who are looking to deposit between £100 and £100,000, and they must be opened and operated online. However, there’s still no word on when the bonds will launch, nor what interest rate they’ll pay, so here, we consider whether it’s worth waiting for the accounts, or if you should invest your money elsewhere.
How to pay off your mortgage when you retire
In an ideal world everyone would enter retirement mortgage-free, but with the average age of first-time buyers increasing – along with rising house prices and longer mortgage terms – many will be entering their post-work years with outstanding mortgages. To prevent that from happening, here we take a look at ways borrowers can pay off their mortgage before they retire, such as increasing their mortgage payments, while for those who can’t avoid entering retirement with a mortgage, other options – such as using pension funds or taking out equity release – could be considered. Either way, speaking to a broker is always recommended.
What to consider when comparing 0% credit cards
When comparing 0% balance transfer credit cards, many borrowers focus on the number of interest-free months being offered. This introductory term is important, as it shows how long borrowers have to repay the debt before interest is added to the outstanding balance, so it makes sense to choose a card with a long interest-free term in order to make repayments more manageable. Saying this, if borrowers purely focus on this aspect they could find that transferring their debt becomes more expensive than it needs to be, and instead, they should consider the total cost of borrowing. Indeed, they may find that cards with a shorter interest-free term and lower fee, such as NatWest’s Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard that offers an interest-free period of 18 months with no balance transfer fee, could actually be a cheaper option.
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