Is Nationwide Upping Their Game?

Written by Karen Bryan

nationwide logo blue cardA few years ago I was a big fan of Nationwide. We were earnng a competitive rate of interest on our fixed rate Cash ISAs and I could use the debit card from my Nationwide Flex current account overseas without any charges or fees.

When our  Nationwide Cash ISAs matured, we could find higher rates of interest with other UK financial institutions. Then Nationwide started to charge for overseas debit card use, so I got a Halifax Clarity Card which has no charges for overseas transactions, although you do pay interest on cash withdrawals.

It seems to me that lately Nationwide’s offerings have become more competitive again. I’ve upgraded my dormant current account to a Nationwide Flex Direct, in order to earn a fixed rate of 5% on balances of up to £2,500 for the first twelve months, as long as I pay in £1,000 a month.

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I’ve opened a Nationwide Regular Savings Account paying 2.5% variable rate of interest if the overall balance increases between £500 – £1,000 per month. Although I’m earning a fixed rate of 3.0% on my Norwich and Peterborough E-Regular Savings Account, the maximum monthly payment into that account is only £250. Obviously, I’d be much happer if the Nationwide Regular Savings Account had a fixed rate of interest, but as it’s an instant access account, I can withdraw the money if the interest rate drops.

I’ve also opened a Nationwide Loyalty Saver. As I’ve been a member for fifteen years, I’m eligible to receive the top rate of 1.7% variable. This is one of the highest rates available on an unlimited access instant access savings account. The Santander 123 Current Account pays 3% variable but only on balances between £3,00o-£20,000. The maximum investment in a Nationwide Loyalty Saver is £50,000.

Nationwide Flex current account customers who haven’t used this year’s Cash ISA allowance and don’t want to tie up their cash, should look into a Nationwide Flexexclusive Cash ISA currently paying 2.25%.

Interest rates correct on 23 August 2014.