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The best fixed rate savings accounts

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Last updated on

04 July 2014

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22 Comments

If you want to earn more interest by locking up your savings, take a look at these top fixed rate accounts.

When it comes to savings accounts, many of us prefer the option of an easy access account so we don’t have to worry should we need to get our hands on our cash in an emergency.

However, you’ll generally get a better rate of interest if you’re prepared to lock away your money for a year or more in a fixed rate bond. A fixed term bond is just like an ordinary savings account, except you can't touch your money for a set period of time.

Interest rates on shorter-term bonds are slowly increasing and easily beat the top easy access accounts.

And with the Bank of England indicating that interest rates are likely to stay low for the foreseeable future, if you don't like the riskier options then there's definitely an argument for locking your money away in a fixed-rate account, at least for the short term.

All of the bonds listed below are with providers who participate in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which guarantees the first £85,000 of your savings should the provider go bust.

One-year and 18-month bonds 

If you’re interested in investing in a fixed-rate bond but don’t want to tie up your money for too long, a one-year to 18-month fixed-rate bond might be right up your street. Rates on these shorter-term bonds are back on the rise.

Account 

Interest rate (AER) 

Minimum deposit 

Access 

Bank of London and the Middle East 18-Month Premier Deposit Account

2.25%*^

£50,000

Online

Islamic Bank of Britain Sharia-Compliant 18-Month Fixed Term Deposit

2.02%*^

£1,000

Online, phone, post, branch

Islamic Bank of Britain Sharia-Compliant 12-Month Fixed Term Deposit

1.90%*

£1,000

Online, phone, post, branch

First Save One-Year Fixed Rate bond

1.88%

£1,000

Online

*Anticipated profit rate

^Lower interest rates available for smaller deposits

You'll notice some of the accounts offer an anticipated profit rate. This is because they are run according to Sharia law, which forbids the payment of interest.

Two-year bonds 

You can get better rates by locking your cash up for longer in a two-year bond.

Account 

Interest rate (AER) 

Minimum deposit 

Access 

Bank of London and the Middle East Two-Year Premier Deposit Account

2.50%*^

£50,000

Online

Islamic Bank of Britain Sharia Compliant Fixed-Rate Deposit

2.30%*

£1,000

Online, branch, post, phone

FirstSave Fixed Rate Bond

2.30%

£5,000

Online

Axis Bank UK Fixed Deposit Account

2.30%^

£50,000

Branch, post

Investec Two-Year Fixed Term Deposit

2.20%

£25,000

Online, post

Kent Reliance BS Fixed Rate Bond

2.16%

£1,000

Online, branch, post

*Anticipated profit rate

^Lower interest rates available for smaller deposits

Three-year bonds 

Now let’s now take a look at how the three-year bonds are shaping up.

Account

Interest rate (AER) 

Minimum deposit

Account access

Bank of London and the Middle East Premier Deposit Account

3.00%*^

£50,000

Online

Aldermore Bank Fixed Rate Account

2.70%

£1,000

Online, post, phone

ICICI Bank HiSAVE Fixed Rate Account

2.70%

£1,000

Online, phone

Axis Bank UK Fixed Deposit Account

2.65%

£10,000

Post, branch

Shawbrook Bank Fixed Rate Bond

2.55%

£5,000

Online, post

*Anticipated Profit Rate

^Lower interest rates available for smaller deposits

Four- and five-year bonds

These longer term bonds are more risky. As the term of the account is at least four years, there’s a bigger chance that market interest rates could move against you. In other words a five-year account paying 3.10% may look attractive now, but you might be a bit fed up if rates went up and the top instant access accounts were paying 4% in 2016.

With that warning out of the way, here are t?he top-paying bonds over four and five years.

Account

AER

Term

Minimum deposit

Account access

Bank of London and the Middle East Fixed Term Deposit

3.50%

Five years

£50,000*^

Online

Bank of London and the Middle East Fixed Term Deposit

3.25%

Four years

£50,000*^

Online

Vanquis Bank High Yield

3.25%

Five years

£1,000

Online

Aldermore Bank Fixed Rate Account

3.10%

Five years

£1,000

Online, post, phone

Shawbrook Bank Fixed Rate Bond

3.10%

Five years

£5,000

Online, post, phone

FirstSave Fixed Rate Bond

3.08%

Five years

£1,000

Online

Vanquis Bank High Yield

2.91%

Four years

£1,000

Online

Aldermore Bank Fixed Rate Account

2.90%

Four years

£1,000

Online, post, phone

Shawbrook Bank Fixed Rate Bond

2.85%

Four years

£5,000

Online, post

*Anticipated Profit Rate

^Lower interest rates available for smaller deposits

Longer-term bonds

If you want even greater returns, you could lock your money away for seven years. Secure Trust Bank is paying 3.52% on deposits of £1,000 and FirstSave is paying 3.50% also on minimum deposits of £1,000. While you might end up on an uncompetitive rate in the next few years, at least you'll have had some money coming in over the short term.

Decisions, decisions

Ultimately, deciding how long to tie up your funds is up to you. As we mentioned at the top, you need to weigh up whether the rate of interest you’ll be earning is worth locking away your funds for several years.

You should also bear in mind that in the majority of cases, you won’t be able to make additional deposits once you’ve opened your fixed-rate bond – so again, this may put you off tying up your funds for too long. As always, make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.

Finally, don’t forget about tax-free savings. You can also lock away your money in a fixed rate Cash ISA (or opt for an easy access Cash ISA if you prefer) and you won’t have to pay tax on any interest you earn.

You could earn much more by lending your money via peer-to-peer websites, which cut out the middlemen – the banks and building societies.

And if you don't have too much money to save, several current accounts offer a better rate of interest than even the top-paying fixed rate bonds. For a full round-up of the best rates on a host of cash savings options, take a look at Where to earn most interest on your cash.

Compare savings accounts

Compare Cash ISAs

This article is regularly updated to reflect the latest rates

More on savings:

The best instant access savings accounts

Where to earn most interest on your cash

 

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