Uncertainty about what will happen to interest rates is deterring savers from committing themselves to a fixed-rate account for longer than a year. There seems little point in tying yourself into a deal that is going to look uncompetitive in a year's time should the Bank of England base rate have risen several times.
Yorkshire building society hopes its new Guaranteed Savings Tracker, which it is launching on 1 June, will rectify this. It guarantees to pay the higher of 5.25 per cent or the base rate (currently 4.25 per cent) over two years.
The minimum investment is £100 and savers can continue to make deposits into the account while the issue remains available.
However, you can't access the account during the term, so make sure you don't tie up cash that you may need in a hurry. The only way to get your hands on it is to close the account, which is subject to 180 days' loss of interest.
Contacts: local branch or call 0845 120 0100.
Barclaycard's big launch
Barclaycard has announced details of its new, long-awaited credit card, offering an annual percentage rate (APR) of 0 on balance transfers and new purchases until 1 August 2005. This makes it the longest introductory offer available, sending it to the top of "best buy" tables.
The typical standard APR is 13.9, which Barclays says most customers will receive, although they could face an APR of 17.9 or even 24.9, depending on their credit rating. Customers could get a better typical standard rate elsewhere: Halifax One Visa's is 9.9 per cent, while Mint's is 10.9 per cent.
New Barclaycard customers will benefit from a free two-year extended warranty on electrical items bought on the card costing more than £500. And a price promise refunds the difference if you make a purchase costing more than £50 with your Barclaycard and then find a cheaper deal elsewhere.
Existing Barclaycard customers may feel a bit peeved, however, as they won't receive the 0 per cent deal. Instead, they will pay 2.9 per cent on balance transfers, which is guaranteed until the balance is cleared. However, they have to pay an upfront fee of 2 per cent to qualify for this deal.
The new Barclaycard is available only at Barclays branches from 2 June, and by telephone and online from 14 June.
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