The Bank of England may have kept base rate on hold at 0.5 per cent again this month, but savings rates continue to rise.
Newcastle Building Society kept the fixed rate market bubbling with the launch of its new Postal Bond this week. It offers a market-leading rate of up to 4.5 per cent fixed until 3 August 2011. The rate is only available if you choose to receive interest annually, otherwise there is a monthly interest option with the slightly lower rate of 4.25 per cent.
There are higher rates available, but only on accounts with longer fixed terms. But anyone locking money away for a longer period of time runs the risk of being stuck on a rate that becomes uncompetitive when interest rates start to rise.
The minimum investment is £5,000 and the Postal Bond is available for deposits up to £500,000.
As the name suggests, this account is operated by post only, so there is no online or branch access and withdrawals are not permitted during the fixed term.