The latest sweetners in the savings market

Anthony Devlin / PA

We should know by now that banks don't offer something for nothing, so it's little surprise that among the latest round of sweet savings deals, some accounts aren't quite as good as they seem.

So how do the new offerings stand up?

Several banks and building societies have sweetened their savings offers recently to entice new customers, but some come with catches.

The Nationwide-owned Derbyshire Building Society pushed up the rate on the bonus of its popular NetSaver (Issue 1) instant- access account. The bonus, which is paid until November 2012, rises by 0.07 of a percentage point to 2.18% taking the full pay rate to 3.18%. The account can be operated only online.

"The rate tweak by Derbyshire puts the account on the best-buy radar," says Louise Holmes, savings expert at data company Moneyfacts. "But the new rate at 3.18% has been achieved by way of an increase to the bonus and savers need to be aware the underlying rate is unchanged."

Tesco Bank has increased the rate on its one-year fixed-rate bond by 0.15 of a point to 3.40% and offers monthly interest option at 3.35%, all with minimum investment of £5,000.

It may look attractive, but there's better buys on the market including from United National Bank, the Islamic bank, which is paying 3.51% over one year on balances of £5,000 or more, and Leeds Building Society also trumps Tesco on its one-year bond at 3.46%

Online savings specialist Governor Money has launched three fixed-rate tax-free cash ISAs. The two-year Isa pays 3.75% the three-year is 4% while the four-year deal pays 4.5%. It also has a one-year rate at 3.1%.
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