If your savings are shuffling along like a zombie at a deathly low rate, here are four things you can do to bring them back to life – with no incantations, spells or sacrifices necessary.
1. Bonus expiring? Exorcise your account!
A number of competitively-priced easy access accounts are propped up by a temporary bonus – and when they vanish, usually after 12 months, the rate flatlines.
So it’s important to keep an eye on your savings and when your bonus expires you should move your money to something more competitive.
The good news for savers is that since the Base Rate has risen to 0.75%, savings rates are also starting to edge upwards.
The Marcus easy access account from Goldman Sachs, for example, pays 1.50% AER (variable). However, again, it includes a fixed bonus of 0.15% gross for 12 months, so you’ll need to move your money again after this.
You'll need £1 to open the account and you can withdraw your cash whenever you need it.
2. Reawaken long-lost accounts
Some savings accounts may not be dead at all – but old and forgotten. If you’ve ever changed your address or name, or you had an account as a child, you may still have cash in lost accounts.
Mylostaccount.org.uk uses the tracing systems of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), National Savings & Investments (NS&I) and the Building Societies Association (BSA), and can you help track down old bank, building society and NS&I accounts.
Fill in a few forms using as much information as possible about your old names and addresses and you could reclaim any lost cash.
3. Shield your savings from the vampiric taxman
As of April 6, 2016, basic-rate taxpayers can earn £1,000 of savings interest without the taxman taking a slice. Higher-rate taxpayers can earn £500. Consider it the garlic to a vampiric taxman.
This personal savings allowance applies to savings accounts, current accounts, credit union accounts and peer-to-peer lending.
However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't still take advantage of your annual ISA allowance as this won't count towards your personal savings allowance. You have until April 5, 2019 to save up to £20,000 in a cash ISA and all your returns will be shielded from tax.
Aldermore, for example, offers a one-year fixed rate cash ISA paying 1.60% AER fixed for one year. You can open the account with £1,000 and transfer existing ISA funds in, but you won’t be able to access your savings for 12 months.
Alternatively, Bank of Cyprus offers a two-year fixed rate cash ISA paying 1.82% AER fixed for two years, and you can open the account with £500, as well as transfer existing ISA funds in.
If you’re prepared to tie up your money for longer, Bank of Cyprus pays 1.91% AER fixed for three years on its three-year ISA bond. You can open the account with £500 and it allows transfers in.
4. Better the devil you know
It sounds stranger than fiction, but some current accounts out-perform savings accounts, meaning you’d be better off keeping your cash there.
The Nationwide FlexDirect current account, for example, pays 5.00% AER fixed for 12 months on balances of up to £2,500. After 12 months the rate falls to 1.00% AER (variable). You will need to pay in £1,000 or more per month to qualify.
Alternatively, the TSB Classic Plus current account pays 5.00% AER (variable) on balances up to £1,500. You must pay in £500 or more every month and register for internet banking, paperless statements and paperless correspondence. You’ll also need to log in at least once every 12 months.
If you keep a larger balance in your account, the Santander 123 Current Account pays a monthly interest rate of 1.50% AER (variable) on your entire balance up to £20,000.
You'll need to pay in £500 or more a month, have two active direct debits on the account and pay a £5 monthly fee. The account also allows you to earn cashback of between 1.00% and 3.00% on some of your household bills.
Rest in Peace
There you have it - follow our tips and in no time you’ll be laughing maniacally and yelling “IT’S ALIVE!” as your savings rise from the grave.
Don’t have nightmares…
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct