Focus on: Fix your savings at 2.03% with Britannia

Savings rates have been dwindling for some time, and finding an attractive home for your money is a challenge, to say the least.

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But the good news is some providers are starting to buck the trend by pushing up their savings rates.

One of these is Britannia which has increased the annual equivalent rate (AER) on its one-year bond from 1.65% to 2.03%.

The account isn't available on any other comparison site except MoneySuperMarket, so let’s take a look to see if the Britannia bond is the best option for you.

What's the deal?

Britannia's one-year bond now pays a fixed rate of 2.03% for 12 months, providing you have at least £1,000 to invest. Savers will need to leave their funds untouched for the duration of the 12-month term.

The account takes second place in the best buy tables in this camp, sitting just behind the Kent Reliance Building Society one-year bond, which pays a market leading rate of 2.05% AER. Both accounts can be opened online, in branch or by post.

Who's it good for?

Britannia's one-year bond is a great option for anyone seeking the guarantee that their interest rate won't fall during the next 12 months. It's a good choice for those with a lump sum to invest and those who would prefer not to lock their money away for more than a year. 

Any catches?

The main catch with Britannia's one-year bond is that it is not market leading. However, the Kent Reliance Building Society one-year bond, which also asks for a deposit of £1,000 or more, only beats it slightly with its rate of 2.05%. On a balance of £10,000, after one year, you'd earn just £2 more in interest with the Kent Reliance bond as a basic rate taxpayer (£164 compared to £162).

Another catch with the Britannia bond is that, as with most fixed rate bonds, you can't make withdrawals during the term of the account. You also won't be able to add to your savings during that time, so it's only suitable for those with a lump sum to invest.

When the bond matures after 12 months, your money will be transferred to an easy access account with Britannia, but you'll need to check the rate of interest on this account to ensure it's competitive. If it's not, you'll need to move your money to a better home.

What's the verdict?

Overall, if you're happy to lock away your funds for a year in return for a fixed rate of interest, the Britannia one-year bond is a competitive choice.

However, if you'd prefer to tie up your money for longer than 12 months, you'll have access to higher interest rates. Britannia has, for example, also upped the rate on its two-year bond from 1.90% to 2.21% AER. Again, you'll need a deposit of £1,000.

But you can get a higher rate of 2.36% with the Kent Reliance two-year bond, and the Islamic Bank of Britain also pays 2.32% on its two-year offering. Both Aldermore and ICICI also offer two-year deals at 2.30%. All of these accounts require a deposit of at least £1,000.

You can read about these accounts and further options in my article.

Meanwhile, if you'd prefer to be able to access your money, you can compare a wide range of easy access accounts here

Top tip!

If you haven't used up your cash ISA allowance yet this year, now's the time to do so. Cash ISAs allow you to earn interest tax-free and you can invest up to £5,760 in the current tax year.

You can choose between easy access cash ISAs and fixed rate cash ISAs. NS&I currently offers an easy access cash ISA paying 2.25% AER, while Britannia has a one-year cash ISA bond paying 2.35% and a two-year cash ISA bond paying 2.60%. All of these accounts can be opened with £1.

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.

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