Bargain Basement

SAGA, THE travel and insurance group for the over 55s has launched an instant-access postal savings account which guarantees interest equal to or greater than the average of 10 leading banks and building societies until the year 2000. The minimum deposit is pounds 5,000 and minimum additions and withdrawals are pounds 250. Rates will change as soon as the guarantee is triggered, reducing the need for savers to keep a constant watch on the savings market.

ALLIANCE & LEICESTER is launching a new fixed-rate savings bond paying 7.5 per cent gross on a minimum of pounds 1,000. Monthly interest is available at 7.25 per cent. A&L is introducing new postal accounts Access Direct and 60 Direct and a new branch-based Notice 60 account this month.

MORTGAGE MARQUE has launched a unique 10-year fixed rate mortgage at 6.99 per cent with the option to convert to a variable rate after five years. A completion fee of pounds 295 is charged. Call 01256-798568 for details.

GENERAL ACCIDENT Direct is offering over the phone quotes on accident, sickness and redundancy protection policies from as low as pounds 3.50 per pounds 100 on monthly mortgage repayments.

YORKSHIRE BUILDING Society is offering fixed rate mortgages at 6.59 per cent on up to 75 per cent loans to value and 6.79 per cent up to 95 per cent LTV. Fees are pounds 295 but there are no compulsory insurances. Redemption penalties are 4.5 per cent of the the amounts redeemed in years one to three and 2.5 per cent in the last two years.

CSMA, THE UK's largest home, leisure and motoring club has launched its new fee-free Visa and Mastercard with holder's photo and the signature etched on by laser.

JOHN CHARCOL claims to have the only five-year fixed rate mortgage without penalties for early redemption in full or in part. It charges 6.99 per cent until October 2003 for up to 95 per cent loan to value and offers six months free redundancy cover. An arrangement fee of pounds 300 is charged.

BANK OF SCOTLAND is offering students mortgages to buy accomodation if parents or other close relatives agree to guarantee 20 per cent of the loan. Call 0645-812812 for details.

FINANCIAL ADVISER David Aaron Partnership is offering readers this month a free A Simple Guide to Investing for Income for the Private Investor. Write to Shelton House, High Street, Woburn Sands with a pounds 1 cheque to cover p&p.

THE AMERICAN Express "blue" card which offers a 1 per cent cash discount on purchases is offering a 10 per cent discount on car insurance from Bell Direct bought with a card. Call 0800-140180 for a quote.

HELP THE Aged has produced a new free leaflet on Residential Care, sponsored by Norwich Union. It is available from local branches or by sending an sae to The Information Department (Res Care) st, James' Walk, London EC1. SeniorLine, Help the Aged's advice and information centre, can be called on 0800 269626.

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