Back in March I wrote a post reviewing the rates on offer for regular savings accounts. It has been one of our more popular posts so I decided I’d better go back and check that all the information is still correct.
Not surprisingly a lot has changed over the past few months. Pretty much all of the rates have disimproved. Bank of Ireland had topped the table with a return of 7.0%, but the best they’re offering today is 4%. First Active has since been taken over by Ulster Bank so they’re not opening up new savings accounts.
To recap, here are some things I’m looking for:
- I want to save probably not more than €500 in any month, so am looking for the best rates for smaller more regular savings.
- I want flexibility in the amount I put aside. I might set up a direct debit, but will probably see how I’m fixed each month before deciding how much to put aside.
- I may want instant access to the savings, but am happy to live with a limit on this per year. Some institutions will give me instant access but only if I limit the number of withdrawals in a year.
- I don’t want any minimum terms on the savings. I think that’s covered by the previous point, but just to be clear; I’m not sticking this away for 5 years as I suspect there may be a few rainy days within the next few years…
So, in reverse order of sounding like a good deal here’s what’s on offer:
10. Rabodirect.ie “Savings On-Demand” earns 2.0% AER
No limit on the amounts saved and provides instant access to your money without any penalties. They admit that it “might not be the highest rate around” but they’re leaning heavily on the fact that they are the only triple A rated bank in Ireland.
9. An Post “30 Day Notice Account” earns 3.0% CAR
This is a compound annual rate which is calculated daily and credited at the end of the year. No fees or charges. Don’t think I could wait the 30 days to withdraw, so that’s probably not an option for me anyways.
8. AIB “Regular Savings Account” earns 3.5% AER
Allows you to save anywhere between €10 and €500 per month. You can withdraw anytime you want without penalties. It guarantees to give the ECB +2.50%, but for the first 12 months only.
7. Halifax “Flexi Saver” earns 3.75% AER variable
No monthly lodgement restrictions, but you need to keep the balance to less than €10,000 in the first year to get this introductory rate. Instant access to the funds and no penalties. Anything over €10,000 and everything after the first year earns 2.0% AER.
6. Bank of Ireland “DualSaver Account” earns 4.0% EAR
Allows you save up to €500 per month, and €5,000 per annum at this rate. Anything greater than €5,000 and the EAR reduces to 1%. You can also lodge lump sums up to €20,000 per annum, but once again anything over €5,000 only earns 1%. Seven days notice is required to withdraw.
5. Ulster Bank “Regular Savings” earns 4.0% AER
Interest paid quarterly. You can save up to €500 per month (a little restrictive) and withdraw your money whenever you need it. Maximum allowed in the account is €100,000 – no worries there.
4. Permanent TSB “21 Day Notice Regular Savings” earns 4.0% AER
I could probably live with the 21 day notice period to withdraw my money if the rate was a bit better. Maximum monthly deposit is €1,000 and the maximum balance is €50,000.
3. Irish Nationwide “Regular Saver Deposit Account” earns 4.35% AER
You can lodge anywhere from €100 to €1,000 per month, or upto €2,00o if you open a joint savings account. The current rate which is made up of ECB + 3.35% is only guaranteed till December 31st this year and from then on it reverts to ECB +1.0%. You can make two withdrawals in a 12-month period.
2. EBS “Family Savings Account” earns 4.5% AER
This savings account allows you to put in between €100 and €1,000 per month for a fixed rate of 4.5%. This is the only account that guarantees a fixed rate for the entire first year. You can withdraw once during the year for those rainy days. Interestingly, there’s no stipulation that you need to be a “family” to apply.
1. Anglo Irish Bank “Regular Annual Saver Account” earns 5.0% AER
There’s no minimum, but the maximum monthly contribution is €1,000. You cannot withdraw in the first 6 months, but after that there is no limit on the number of withdrawals. Anglo Irish Bank are hungry for business hence they currently have the best deal on the market.
Note that terms and conditions will apply to the figures and notes above and you should read all these carefully before making any decisions. I’ve compared like for like as best I can. The AER/EAR/CAR figures I believe are all comparable. Oh, and I’m not a financial advisor.
Don’t forget that the Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) went up in April from 23% to 25%. This means that you’ll have to pay 25% of any interest you earn to the government.