December’s savings round-up & news

The latest news to help you get the most from your savings account.

Here’s my monthly update sharing changes at leading UK savings accounts, as well as some of the articles you might have missed on the blog.

December’s savings update video

December’s savings news

“Easy access” hits 0.75%

Another nudge upwards on interest rates, with Aldermore offering a double access account paying 0.75%, and Cynergy Bank offering 0.7% on a full easy-access account.

This upward movement is welcomed, though still well below the latest inflation rate of 4.2%.

These are market-leading rates, so if you’re looking to move your money, don’t go for less than this. But bear in mind that each 0.05% interest on each £1,000 saved is worth 50p a year.

So moving £500 from 0.6% to 0.7% will be worth 25p. Hardly worth it. And moving £10,000 will net you an extra £5.

Chip axes 1.25% account

From 8 December 2021 Chip will stop paying bonuses on its Chip+1 account. Though this closed to new customers back in the summer, existing customers have continued to earn 1.25% – much better than rates available elsewhere.

Free users on the ChipLite tier will be able to move £10,000 to the 0.7% paying account on Chip. This was changed last week from the previously published £2,000, no doubt in response to other accounts increasing rates to the same or higher levels.

Others will be able to transfer more, but they’ll have to pay the £1.50 fee every 4 weeks. So the other easy-access accounts mentioned above will be far better places to stash your cash.

I’ve written a full article about the account closures, so make sure you read this if you have a Chip+1 account.

New 2% regular saver

Nationwide has launched a new 2% regular saver for account holders. This is double what you’ll get a most other places – but you’re limited to just £200 a month.

That’s not a massive monthly deposit (though it beats the £125 offered last month in TSB’s new account).

If you do pay in the max you’ll earn £25.92 in interest, versus £8.11 in a 1% account.

I don’t think it’s worth opening a Nationwide current account just to get this account, but if you already have one then there’s no harm stashing cash here on a monthly basis.

Tally’s 2% account comes with fee

An app that keeps your money in gold has launched a 2% savings account. Though at first that sounds good, there are some major catches.

The account from Tally is a one year fix, and you can save between £1,000 and £20,000 in the account.

Though the rate beats other fixed accounts at the moment, that’s only before you factor in the joining fee – it costs £20 to open Tally.

So if you’re saving £2,000, you’ll earn £40, but only make £20 profit. The real rate is just 1%. In fact to beat the highest paying one-year fix elsewhere (1.37% at the moment), you’d need to save £3,250 in Tally.

Your money isn’t protected either. Tally says if it went bust you’d get it returned minus a 1% fee, though there’s no guarantee.

You’ll also be put on a waitlist at the start, so it could be a while before you get to open the account.

NS&I rates increase

If you’ve any money in an NS&I Income Bond (not Premium Bond) then you might have seen that rates have increased from 0.01% to 0.15%. This is still poor, so move your money to one of the best buy accounts!

Premium Bond prizes unclaimed

Speaking of Premium Bonds, MSE revealed there are two million prizes worth more than £74 million that haven’t been claimed. Check to see if you’re one of the winners! Here’s more on Premium Bonds.

Where to put your savings in December 2021

Make sure you check for updates in my regularly updated savings best buy article, and of course you might have existing accounts closed to new customers with better rates.

Of course you can fix your money for better rates, or if you’re happy to have your money in lots of different places you can mix and match the options. But if you’re looking for relative simplicity right now I’d look at the following easy access accounts:

Best places to save up to £3,000

The best option for the first £3k is with the Claro app, but this is just for Apple devices. If you’re on Android then skip to the next section with the Virgin Money and Club Lloyds accounts.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
£1,000 to £3,000Claro app2%Only via Claro app (iOS only)

Best places to save £3,001 to £9,000

This combination gets you the highest interest rates and some extra freebies.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
£1,000Virgin Money M Plus current account2.02%Can only earn interest on the first £1,000 saved (multiple accounts are allowed)
£3,000Claro app2%Only via Claro app
Up to £5,000Club Lloyds current account0.6% to 1.5%Two direct debits are required to get the interest on balances up to £5,000

You’ll also get a choice of free cinema tickets or movie rentals.

If you don’t fancy the freebies, then just go for the best easy access at 0.7%

Best place to save £10,000

As long as you can lock the money away for at least six months then the bonus from Raisin is worth grabbing.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
£10,000Aldermore via Raisin 32-day notice0.8%If you’re new to Raisin and put in £10,000 for at least six months you’ll get a £50 bonus on top

Best places to save between £10,001 and £19,000

For larger sums, I’d put £10k in Aldermore for six months to get the Raisin bonus then get those better paying easy access accounts.

For the next £5,000 beyond this you can look at that Club Lloyds account again.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
£10,000Aldermore via Raisin 32 days notice0.8%If you’re new to Raisin and put in £10,000 for at least six months you’ll get a £50 bonus on top
Up to £3,000Claro app2%Only via Claro app
£1,000Virgin Money M Plus current account2.02%Can only earn interest on the first £1,000 saved
Up to £5,000Club Lloyds current account0.6% to 1.5%Two direct debits are required to get the interest on balances up to £5,000

You’ll also get a choice of free cinema tickets or movie rentals.

If you don’t fancy the freebies, then just go for the best easy access at 0.7%

Best places to save more than £19,000

Finally for up to £64,000 in savings I’d swap the Club Lloyds account for Premium Bonds.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
£10,000Investec via Raisin 32 days notice0.8%If you’re new to Raisin and put in £10,000 for at least six months you’ll get a £50 bonus on top
Up to £3,000Claro app2%Only via Claro app
£1,000Virgin Money M Plus current account2.02%Can only earn interest on the first £1,000 saved
Between £5,000 and £50,000Premium bonds1%*Once you have £5,000 in Premium Bonds it should win more than the best easy-access account (currently 0.75%)

Once you’ve got at least £10,000 in Premium Bonds your average win rate will probably be better than the Club Lloyds account (average 0.78% on £5k + freebies)
* prize rate, not interest rate

Andy’s podcast

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2 thoughts on “December’s savings round-up & news

  1. Annoyingly I had a bonus from Chip+1 due on the 12th December, so that will probably be lost in the ether. Now that they’re allowing interest on up to £10,000 on the Chip Lite plan, isn’t the deal pretty similar? The 1.25% bonus minus the £1.50 4-weekly charge (£19.50/year) versus 0.7% and no charge give a similar figure, and the new deal is easy access. On the old Chip+1 deal I wasn’t sure whether I could remove the money or not – it felt more locked away, like a savings account.

    1. They’ve said you’ll get the Chip+1 bonus paid, but just for the valid days.

      They’ve also changed the account again! There’s now up to £85k in the account and it’ll be free to all from mid-Jan 2022. I’ll share full details soon.

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