3 March 2024 10:05 PM
Keep watch: Check your savings rate against the best in the market at least once a week to make sure you are getting the best rate

news: I’ve tracked rates for decades… This is the one thing all savers should do every week, says SYLVIA MORRIS, our new Savings Guru who will help boost your nest egg

When it comes to drinks parties, especially at this time of year, I’m never short of friends at my elbow with a money question on the tip of their tongue. Wonderful, I think, bring them on.

I’ve been writing about money and savings for 30 years and feel strongly that you can so easily miss out on making the most of your cash.

I spend hours every week tracking what banks and building societies are doing with our money.

Slash a rate on your account to try to get away with paying a pittance? I’ll catch banks at it and will report a new haven for your hard-earned savings.

All savings accounts come with reams of terms and conditions, some with as many as 50 pages of small print.

Keep watch: Check your savings rate against the best in the market at least once a week to make sure you are getting the best rate

It’s just a question of sorting the wheat from the chaff — which I love to do on your behalf.

My elbows were sharpened in the City before I moved on to write about savings in the boom years — when top rates hit highs in double figures, until the financial crash in 2008 led to plummeting rates.

Yet friends tell me they still get measly rates from their banks — even though interest rates are at their highest now since 2008.

That’s why my best piece of advice to watch the pennies pile up is to keep alert and to move your money regularly between providers to get the best account.

One of my non-negotiables is that you absolutely must check your savings rate against the best in the market at least once a week to make sure you are getting the best rate.

You simply cannot afford not to check these days. It’s what I tell my friends. Hardly a day goes by without a new savings account popping up, often with a tempting top rate.

But hang on a minute. Often, you can only earn that rate if you jump through numerous hoops. Put a foot wrong and you lose the rate which attracted you in the first place.

My second key piece of advice is to check Ts and Cs carefully before you move any money. Unless you check your own account regularly, you might discover your bank or building society has stealthily chipped away (half a percentage point at a time) at your rate, so your once-stellar account is now nothing of the sort.

Which brings me to my new Money Mail column launching today. Each week on this page, I’ll be revealing tips and tricks to boost and protect your nest egg – all of it gleaned from digging into the details of savings accounts and speaking to industry insiders.

So let me know if you spot anything untoward from banks, see deals you think readers would want to hear about or just have a subject you’d like me to tackle.

***

What to make of reports this week that the Bank of England may need to keep interest rates at 5.25 per cent until 2025?

Fixed-rate bonds are priced on what traders in the money markets think will happen to rates in the longer term. So will banks, which have recently been axing their top deals, respond by generously leaving best buys on the table?

The short answer is don’t bank on it. Rates aren’t going higher — so if you’re eyeing up a fix, act now.

Beware cuts looming on NS&I deals  

78341213 12800517 image a 11 1701201768023 - NEWS: I've tracked rates for decades... This is the one thing all savers should do every week, says SYLVIA MORRIS, our new Savings Guru who will help boost your nest egg

The Premium Bond prize rate is currently at 4.65% – its highest level for nearly 25 years

This has been a bumper year for savers with National Savings & Investments.

The Premium Bond prize rate is currently at 4.65 per cent — its highest level for nearly 25 years. 

And around 225,000 savers signed up to its table-topping one-year fixed rate bond at 6.2 per cent, before it closed after just five weeks on October 5.

But it is because NS&I has been so competitive this year that I predict grim news on the horizon. 

Sorry, but NS&I savers are in the line of fire for rate cuts, including the 21 million of you with Premium Bonds.

Why? The latest figures show savers have pumped a huge £9.8 billion into the Government-backed savings provider in just six months.

This huge inflow between April and September is very close to the maximum target of £10.5 billion that the Government has asked NS&I to pull in from savers for the whole of its financial year — which doesn’t end until March 31, 2024. It now has just £700 million to go before it busts its target.

Unfortunately, unless savers move their money from NS&I, it will have to cut rates to stem the inflow.

Sy.morris@dailymail.co.uk

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/saving/article-12800517/Ive-tracked-rates-decades-one-thing-savers-week.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *