loose change - Money - The Independent

loose change

what's new in the world of investments

Co-op promises base rate for life on Visa card

Which is the most widely held gold credit card in the UK, indeed in Europe? No, not them, or them either. Give up? It is the Co-Operative Bank's, issued in 1991 and now used by 300,000 people. Customers split into 70 per cent who pay off outstanding balances every month and 30 per cent who borrow.

The bank is now planning to target them separately. Those who pay off balances regularly will stick with the existing card, which has no annual fee but charges 21.7 per cent on unpaid balances. Those who want to borrow can apply for a Base Rate for Life card. It levies an annual fee of pounds 120 but guarantees to charge no more than base rate on outstanding balances each month.

Even with the fee it works out at an APR of just 11.4 per cent on an average balance of pounds 2,000, less than many personal loans and roughly half the charge on typical credit cards. To qualify individuals need to earn at least pounds 20,000 a year and pass a credit test.

Bank of Scotland is launching its own Gold Visa card charging an annual fee of pounds 35 and interest at 14.5 per cent until next June, rising to17.9 per cent APR. Applicants must earn pounds 20,000 a year but anyone spending more than pounds 4,000 a year with the card pays no fee.

Users also get a free second year of extended warranty on most household electric appliances bought with the card, savings on five-year warranties,and access to emergency medical and legal services.

Premium rate company rings up cheap telephone calls

B roadsystem, the company that brought you premium-rate telephone calls that encourage you to dial specialised services from sexy chatlines to football fanclub information lines, is now promising to save telephone subscribers up to 20 per cent off UK national and regional (but not local) calls, and up to 30 per cent off international calls. "We pioneered expensive phone calls so now we are helping subscribers to save money", says chief executive Stephen Kirk.

For a one-off joining fee of pounds 1, members can channel their calls through Broadsystem by dialling 1602 before the number they want. Broadsystem buys the telephone time in bulk from BT and Mercury and bills its subscribers monthly in the middle of the following month.

The service is not yet universally available but call 0345 160200 to sign up.

Mortgage deals from GA, Barclays and Chelsea

General Accident Direct has cut the premiums on its standard mortgage protection policies by 10 per cent to an average of pounds 4.50 a month for every pounds 100 of mortgage interest payments covered. Premiums vary according to the borrower's age, sex and occupation, but the majority are within 20-30 per cent either side of the average.

Payments start 60 days after policy-holders lose their jobs through illness, accident or redundancy, and continue for 12 months. GA Direct has also introduced five new options with different starting times, from immediate to 60 days' and up to 18 months' cover.

General Accident Life has extended its Flexi-Mortgage offering six options from a 5 per cent cashback up to pounds 12,500 and no discount to a 5 per cent discount on the interest rate until end November next year and no cashback. Redemption charges apply until November 2000. A new fixed rate of 4.49 per cent is available until October 1997, with up to 95 per cent loan to value. The reservation fee of pounds 250 is refundable if the application is refused. A six-month redemption penalty applies to redemptions within the first five years.

Barclays Bank is offering new capped and fixed-rate mortgages at 3.99 per cent for a year or 5.99 per cent until the end of January 1998. Redemption charges are applied for redemptions before end January 2000.

Chelsea Building Society has launched two new fixed-rate mortgages, 4.74 per cent for up to 80 per cent loan to value and 5.09 per cent up to 90 per cent loan to value, both fixed until February 1998.

Both feature free redundancy insurance until the end of next year (this is not available to the self-employed). A 5 per cent redemption fee is charged within the first five years, and an arrangement fee of pounds 195 is payable, of which pounds 50 is upfront

Investment news at Hambros, Redland, and NatWest

Redland has launched a corporate bond personal equity plan invested in a new loan stock issued by the company for the purpose. It will initially offer a tax-free yield of 7 per cent.

Hambros Global Investment Fund is launching a new open-ended investment company . It will be listed in Dublin and invest in Asia, with the emphasis on South Korea.

The minimum subscription is $2,000 with a 5 per cent charge and an annual fee of 1.25 per cent.

NatWest has launched a guaranteed growth plus bond, guaranteeing standard rate taxpayers a 25 per cent return on their investment over 5 1/2 years. The maximum return is 75 per cent if the FT-SE 100 share index performs well.

Save & Prosper has launched a similar bond with a minimum pounds 2,500 investment.

Cheltenham & Gloucester has unveiled a new 90-day notice account paying 5.75 per cent gross on amounts from the minimum pounds 10,000 up to pounds 25,000, rising to 6.5 per cent and then 6.75 per cent gross on amounts over pounds 100,000.

Free advice for the asking at Commerical Union

Commercial Union has produced a guide "Investing for Income" that is available free to readers. Call 0800 100155.

Hill Samuel is offering small investors a free 12-page guide to investing abroad. Call Freephone 0800 336600

Help The Aged has launched a new free advice leaflet, "Thinking About Money" with practical tips and information on where to go for advice.

Send a sae to Information Department (money) Help The Aged, St James Walk, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0BE or from all the society's shops.

Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Tim Wiese
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Finacial products from our partners
Property search

Leaving money to charity in your will could help reduce the tax bill for your loved ones

Next week has been designated "remember a charity in your will week", to put the focus squarely on the subject

Two million first-time buyers are locked out

The drought in lending to people with low deposits has created legions of frustrated buyers, writes Emma Lunn
Money is slipping through our fingers: the UK is falling behind other countries in the amount we put away

How to save money: UK is crashing down the European league table for putting money away

The UK has slipped to 11th in the latest European league table of savers. Rob Griffin checks out the best options

Energy firms found guilty of bad practice could have licences revoked under Labour government

Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, says a Labour government would create a new energy regulator

A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university

Fresh from A-level delight, the moment does not have to be soured by students resigning themselves to thousands of pounds worth of debt in three years' time. Rob Griffin sees how to pass the university challenge

'Dismal' eurozone data sparks concerns

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is under pressure to launch promised stimulus before the EU slides further
Love but not marriage: property is one area where cohabiting couples are in danger of losing out

How couples can protect their financial interests when cohabiting

People who simply live together cannot assume they have the same rights to each other's assets as spouses or civil partners. Michelle McGagh sees how they can protect their financial interests

India could be jewel in the crown for investors

With a new government and an ambitious prime minister, the country offers the prospect of strong returns. But there may be hiccups ahead, warns Simon Read
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Sales Executive

    £20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

    Payroll & Accounts Assistant

    £20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

    £280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week