Money Insider: Spring clean for savings is a new fixed-rate bond

Now that the worst of the long cold winter is seemingly behind us, hopefully we can start to look forward to some brighter and better spring weather.

It's pretty much a similar situation for savers, for whom it's been a story of doom and gloom as far as interest rates go, with little or nothing to smile about. However in the past few weeks there have been some early signs that this situation is slowly starting to improve, with some promising new shoots popping their heads up in the fixed rate bond market.

The new one-year bond from AA savings at 3.4 per cent AER is a cracking deal, some 0.15 per cent ahead of its nearest rival and the best one-year rate I've seen since February 2010. The bond can be opened online and after the initial application can be managed by post, but this shouldn't present any problems. The account can be opened from just £1, however with such an exceptional rate, I don't expect it will be around for very long.

It's not just the one-year term where I've seen an uplift in interest rates: on Wednesday, Close Savings, part of Close Brothers plc, launched two new fixed-term deposits as part of its Premium Gold' series. Again, the rates are extremely impressive with the 18-month option paying 4 per cent AER and a three-year bond at a staggering 5 per cent.

The latter is actually higher than you can get on a five-year bond at the moment and is 0.85 per cent higher than the next best three-year offering of 4.15 per cent from Coventry Building Society.

The Close Savings bonds have a minimum balance requirement of £10,000 and are a limited issue, so again you'll need to be quick out of the blocks to secure a best buy rate.

Further details can be found by visiting www.closesavings.co.ukor calling 020 7392 1772.

So if the first week of March is your trigger to start a bit of spring cleaning in the home or garden, this year it looks as if it's also the perfect time to blow the dust off of your old savings accounts and give your interest income a kick start too.Andrew Hagger is an analyst at Moneynet.co.uk

Protect your interest in ISA switch

it's a tough call for consumers looking for a best-buy ISA whether to opt for a variable rate or a fixed-rate account this year. The best one-year fixed rate ISA from Barnsley Building Society pays 3.2 per cent, compared with the 3.15 per cent variable deal from Santander, although the latter doesn't permit you to transfer in previous ISA funds.

Halifax is paying 3 per cent and allows transfers in, so with many experts predicting an increase in base rate over the next 12 months, the variable rate may turn out to be the more rewarding option this year. If you prefer a fixed-rate ISA and perhaps longer than one year, you may be interested in the three- year fix from Aldermore at 4.01 per cent or a four-year option from Principality BS at 4.3 per cent.

It's also vital to check the rate you're receiving on tax-free savings accumulated from previous years. Halifax, Lloyds TSB and Nationwide BS have all pledged that customers wishing to transfer an ISA to them from another bank or building society will receive interest from the day they submit their signed application form.

Hopefully this will encourage more people to switch savings in search of a better rate – it's just a shame other banks and building societies haven't followed this lead.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: HR Benefits Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower