Finding the right savings account can be difficult, especially in a market when the base rate continues to be at a record low and wage increases seem to be non-existent. However, researching and finding an account to suit your needs can make a huge difference in making your rainy day fund work for you and your family.
Shopping around is the first step to finding a suitable savings account. This might seem obvious to say but recent research from Confused.com suggests that over half of us will stick to products with our current banking provider as opposed to having a look around at the market.
When shopping for savings account consider whether you’ll be saving for the long or short term, if you will be making regular payments and if you can afford to live without the money should you need it for an emergency.
All of these elements are important as they are going to distinguish the type of account you should look to sign up for. It is possible to sign up to short term accounts or bonds for as little as six months to a year, but longer term accounts, say for five years or more, are going to pay a higher rate of interest. Generally longer accounts will not allow any withdrawals.
Introductory rates are a great way to make the most of an account; generally these are seen on ISAs and easy access savings accounts. Long term bonds will normally pay a set rate of interest annually.
The great thing about introductory rates is the fact that they will normally put the savings rate about the average of a savings account. This being said after introductory rates run out the savings rate can be below 1 per cent.
An easy access account with an introductory offer, or a no penalty account, will allow you to make withdrawals as you please, so when the introductory rate runs out you can look to apply for a savings account elsewhere and make the most of the savings.
Don’t be loyal
Being loyal will not pay off, whether this is switching your bank or leaving a savings account that’s not paying the amount of interest you’re after, make sure you’re always getting the return on your cash that suits you.
A bank or building society offer value for money as long as it is working in your favour after this point you should look elsewhere, remember these are huge institutions and using their offers to your advantage is going to do wonders for savings account.
Keith Hodges is a financial journalist writing news, advice and features for CashCompass.co.uk