February 22’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.

February’s savings update video

February’s savings news

Inflation up again but interest rates aren’t following

The latest figures (for December) show inflation has hit 5.4%, up from 5.1% the month before. This is huge – the highest level in 30 years. And it means savings are losing even more money in real terms.

There have been a handful of increases of the back of the Bank of England base rate increase – but not on the best buys.

In fact, the top 1-year fixes have been dropping in the last few weeks, and the best easy-access accounts hover around 0.67 to 0.71 rather than go up.

Virgin Money offers 5.02% rate for switchers

Regular readers will know that Virgin Money’s M Plus Current Account has been leading the pack for the last year and a bit with 2.02% on balances up to £1,000. You could even have more than one account to boost your return.

Now, new Virgin Money customers who switch into a current account from another bank will get an extra 3% bonus on top for one year. So if you save £1,000 in there for 12 months you’ll get a rate of 5.02% and earn £50.20.

This rate will only apply to the first current account you open. If you do open more your money will receive 2.02%.

However, to qualify for the bonus you need to also keep £1,000 in the linked savings account (paying just 0.35%) for roughly a month.

The switching offer also provides a £100 Virgin Experiences voucher. I’ve written more here about this offer and how it stacks up.

Nationwide boosts regular saver to 2.5%

Nationwide’s regular saver which only launched in December, will increase from 2% to 2.5% on 1 February 2022 for new and existing account holders. It was already double what you’ll get a most other places – but you’re limited to just £200 a month.

I don’t think it’s worth opening a Nationwide current account just to get this account, but combined with the up to £125 bank switch offer it’s well worth a look.

Chip lifts limit on Allica account but reduces rate

Back in December I reported that ChipLite users could only save up to £10,000 in the 0.7% paying account on Chip. This limit was subsequenly raised to £85,000, while the auto-savings feature was also made free to all users. Good news!

Sadly at the end of January the rate dropped to 0.61%, so it’s now sites fourth or fifth on the best buy easy access account table (the top is currently 0.71%). However a £20 welcome offer can make up for that difference if you’ve not used it before. Here’s how to get the bonus.

Where to put your savings in February 2022

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% (5.02% if switch to Virgin)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 0.71%)

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

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One thought on “February 22’s savings round-up & news

  1. Thanks Andy. Re ‘Nationwide boosts regular saver to 2.5%’ what does this mean for existing reg savers? I opened my account in December, will I also start earning 2.5% or am I stuck with 2% for another 10 months?

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