Written by Karen Bryan
The Notttingham Building Society eSaver Plus Issue 4 is currently (3 July 2012) paying 3.1%, made up of a 2.1% bonus and 1% underlying rate. The minimum deposit is £500 and your savings of up to £85,000 are covered by the FSCS. It’s great that the bonus is payable until 30 September 2013, as most account bonuses only last for 12 months. The downside is that both the bonus and the underlying rates are variable, so you’ve no guarantees.
What I really don’t like about the Birmingham eSaver account is that you lose the bonus if you close your account before 30 September 2013. If the Nottingham BS reduce the rate and you want to shift your money, you’ll lose the bonus interest and will only receive a paltry 1% on your savings. For that reason, I’d give the Nottingham eSaver a wide berth. It’s the worst of both worlds: a variable rate which ties you in. Most variable rate instant access accounts don’t have this sort of catch. Another example for the many tripwires of UK banking.
Variable interest rates are the norm on most of the best paying instant access online accounts. The Halifax Online Saver offers 2.8%, a 2.7% fixed rate 12 month bonus plus an 0.1% underlying rate. However, I have our emergency fund in the Santander eSaver Issue 5, to get the higher interest rate of 3.2%, a 2.7% twelve month bonus plus 0.5% underlying rate. I also opened a Halifax Online Saver as a back up option, if interest rates do start to fall.