If you find it hard to get down to your bank but still want to talk to someone about your savings, an account you can manage over the phone might just be the next best thing. Here’s a rundown of how to get the best.
Internet banking might be the next big thing, but sometimes it’s quicker and easier to manage your money by picking up the phone and making a call.
If you want to shop around and compare telephone savings accounts but are unsure where to start, here are the key points that you’ll need to think about.
What are the benefits of telephone access savings accounts?
The main advantage of opening and managing your savings account over the phone is that it’s more convenient if you’re always on the go and can’t access the internet very often.
If you’re not that used to using a computer for online banking or just feel happier talking to someone about your money, then phone access accounts can offer the peace of mind you need.
Many phone accounts can in fact be managed in various ways – including by post and online – providing you with complete control over your cash.
Compare telephone savings accounts
When you get around to making a telephone savings accounts comparison, or any savings account for that matter, you should think about:
When comparing the best telephone savings accounts the first thing you’ll see are the interest rates advertised. There’s not much point having such an account if it’s not going to offer a decent return on your investment.
While the account with the highest rate might seem like the best, it’s not quite that simple.
You must check the small print to make sure your savings are eligible for the headline rate – e.g. matching the minimum opening deposit or having restricted access during the account’s term (you need to be happy to lock your money away).
Likewise it’s important that you consider whether you want a fixed or variable rate. If you choose fixed then the amount of interest earned will stay consistent, while variable rates can rise or fall meaning you might make a handsome profit – or hardly any.
Fixed interest accounts
Generally the longer you choose to leave your money in a fixed savings account, the higher the rate of interest you’ll be offered. The minimum is a one year account, the maximum is usually five years. The question you have to ask yourself is, will you need your money sooner or later?
If you saved funds specifically to deposit in a telephone savings account UK and want to earn as much interest as possible, you might be happy to leave it alone for up to five years.
On the other hand, if you want to make a profit but are unsure about how long you can afford to be without your cash, then a shorter term option might be a better option.
Fixed accounts may still allow you to withdraw money and close the account early, in an emergency, although they’ll usually knock off some of your interest earned for that year as a penalty.
Types of telephone savings account
Other kinds of telephone savings account might allow different levels of access.
For example cash ISAs allow you to save tax free which means you get ALL of the interest your money earns. These are also split into fixed and easier-to-access variable interest accounts.
Remember that if you want to close a fixed term ISA early, you won’t be able to deposit into a second ISA until the next tax year (you can put it back into the first if you’d still be within your ISA limit).
If fixing isn’t for you, you’ll need to compare phone savings accounts that allow access to your money to greater or lesser degrees; including ISAs.
Instant access savers provide the most leeway in terms of how much you can deposit and how often you can get your cash out; the downside is interest rates are not only lower than they are for ISAs but are likely to be variable too.
Other access accounts – known as notice accounts – allow you free withdrawals but may impose a 30 day or 60 day delay before they’ll release it to you.
Lastly, regular savings accounts offer high interest and can provide a good return on your investment, but come with strict conditions that you must check carefully to ensure you maintain the rate throughout.
Most have limits on how much (and how little) you can deposit while if they include a bonus the best rates may only last 12 months – before dropping significantly. Once they fall you’ll need to compare telephone savings accounts again and move your cash to get a better rate elsewhere and avoid earning a pittance.
Make sure that the account terms and rates match your needs when you compare telephone accounts, so your money is working hard for you. For more on how you can find the best telephone savings accounts ask a question in our Q&A section or check our guide Your savings – where to start.