Savers need to act quickly to bag the top fixed-rate bonds — and make sure they get their money in on time.
Top rates can be on sale for just a few days. And how long you have to put in your money after applying differs.
With some providers, you must deposit it in one go, while others will let you add it in dribs and drabs.
Act fast: Top rates on fixed-rate bonds can be on sale for just a few days. And how long you have to put in your money after applying differs
Some ask for the full amount along with your application form. Others give you a specific window in which to make your deposit.
But even in this period you can’t add any more money if the bond closes to new savers.
You won’t get advance warning of the bond being withdrawn from sale. Family BS’s top one-year cash Isa was on sale for only 16 days.
Secure Trust’s top-paying fixed-rate bonds disappeared after ten days as savers rushed in. They had been expected to remain on sale for a month.
Atom Bank changed the rates on its one-year fixed-rate bond between 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent three times in as many weeks, while Yorkshire BS fixed-rate Isas at 1.1 per cent for one year, and 1.25 per cent for two, were on sale for 21 days.
Charter Savings Bank offers the top one-year fixed-rate bond at 1.55 per cent. You have 14 days from applying to put your money in — but you can’t add to it if the bank closes it to new savers in this time.
United Trust Bank and OakNorth, often among the best payers, also give you 14 days.
Atom gives just seven days once your account is open, while with Paragon Bank you have 30 days after applying. Others, such as Principality BS and Yorkshire BS, let you add to the account while it’s open to new savers.
Cambridge BS asks for the deposit at the same time as your application.
The ‘cooling-off’ period — the amount of time you have to change your mind once the account has been opened — also varies.
Some providers will give you 14 days, but others, including Atom, don’t offer a cooling-off period. The bank says this allows it to give the best rate it can.
You could find that if your application is held up, you won’t get the bond at all. Most providers give you the rate for which you applied, but there is no guarantee.
Some will even give you the higher rate if they launch a better deal while your application is going through.
With Yorkshire BS, you could end up with a better rate. If it launches a higher similar bond within 14 days of you opening an account, you can move to the new one if the rate is at least 0.2 percentage points more.
The top one-year online deal comes from Charter Savings Bank at 1.55 per cent.
In the High Street, the best rates are 1.45 per cent from Kent Reliance, then 1.4 per cent from Cambridge BS, or slightly less at 1.1 per cent from Principality and Yorkshire building societies.
You earn little more for tying up your money for two years. OakNorth Bank pays 1.71 per cent, Kent Reliance 1.65 per cent, Cambridge BS 1.58 per cent, while Yorkshire BS pays 1.25 per cent.
The top-paying one-year fixed-rate cash Isa is 1.05 per cent from Ford Money. In the High Street, Leeds BS pays 1.01 per cent while you can earn 1 per cent from Newcastle, Yorkshire and Skipton building societies.