• Saving & banking

    Barclays doubles its Blue Rewards for new current account customers for a year - but is it worth switching to?

    Barclays is offering new customers double Blue Rewards for a year if they switch their current account to the bank.The add-on feature available on its Bank Account and Premier Accounts costs £3 per month and offers cash loyalty rewards, including a £14 per month boost for having two active direct debits.The bank says the double-up perk could be worth £384 to customers. But there is one big catch: to earn this you would have to have a mortgage, personal loan and home insurance policy with the bank too.That said, with first-year earnings of £132 (after fees) for just holding the ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Leeds Building Society launches new tracker cash Isa linked to Bank of England base rate - is it any good?

    Leeds Building Society has launched a new cash Isa that guarantees to increase interest paid to savers should the Bank of England base rate rise from 0.5 per cent.Rates are tipped to rise in May but only marginally - and it won't necessarily happen. Savers with a variable rate account are also not guaranteed to feel the benefit if it does materialise.The Leeds account currently pays a rate of 0.96 per cent, but the 12 month Limited Issue Tracker Isa promises to always pay 0.46 percentage points above the base rate. On the up? Leeds BS's new deal promises to ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Fixed rate savings get a boost as Wyelands Bank launches new table-topping deals paying up to 2.15%

    Wyelands Bank has launched two new fixed-rate savings bonds this week, pushing its way through the rest pack to take pole position at the top of This is Money’s best buy savings tables.The challenger bank's two-year account leapfrogs rivals, with a new best-buy rate of 2.15 per cent that beats the likes of Tandem, Ikano Bank and Secure Trust, all paying 2.1 per cent.It has also added a new one-year deal that pays a top rate of 1.85 per cent which sits  alongside Al Rayan Bank and Ikano Bank at 1.85 per cent. Pack leader: Wyelands Bank now offers the top rates on ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Could you improve your credit rating by saving every month? Loqbox claims it can help to save not spend, but watch the catches

    Having a good credit score is vital when it comes to being accepted for mortgage, credit card or even mobile phone contract - and getting the best rate.But until now, improving your credit score has required you to take on debt and then demonstrate you can repay it responsibly, which for most means taking out a credit card and paying it off each month.However TSB and start-up, Loqbox, are now claiming to offer a tool to improve your credit history by saving instead of spending.We take a look at how it works and whether it really could be the answer ...

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  • Saving & banking

    What do you do with your coppers: save, spend or… throw them away? As the Treasury hints at getting rid of 1p and 2p coins, should we care asks LEE BOYCE

    Who knew that those unloved copper coins that rattle around in our pockets, piggy banks and collection tins could create such a stir?Yesterday, along with the Spring Statement, there was a document titled: cash and digital payments in the new economy - call for evidence.In this 29 page document was a thinly-veiled hint that the future of 1p and 2p coins is at risk, thanks to dwindling use. 2p or not 2p: The future of coppers could be at risk - would you be sad to see them go? It would spell the end of low denomination arcade machinesAccording to ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Could this start-up drive up savings rates in the UK - and help you tap into Europe's best deals? It has already raked in €5bn in just four years

    A start-up savings platform has raked in deposits of €5billlion in just four years largely from interest-starved savers on the continent – and it is now turning its attention to attracting more British customers.Raisin, based in Berlin, gives savers access to the pick of the savings rates across Europe. It means savers could beat the rates they can get at home.Since launching in 2013 it has tempted in 100,000 customers, mostly in its native Germany.Now, it could help drive more competition in the British savings market, as it looks to build a portfolio of savers this side of the Channel. ...

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  • Saving & banking

    With just 36 hours left to spend or exchange old tenners: What you can do with obsolete £10 and £5 notes and £1 coins

    There are just 36 hours left to spend or exchange those old-style £10 notes before they are finally phased out.Two weeks ago, estimates from the Bank of England showed there was still £2.2billion worth of the paper tenners featuring Charles Darwin in circulation - or more than a quarter of the total number of notes issued.From 1 March 2018, retailers and banks no longer have to accept them as legal tender. New tenner: The polymer £10 note with Jane Austen has replaced the paper style ones featuring Charles DarwinHowever, those who find the old paper £10 notes in the future ...

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  • Saving & banking

    'I lost two job offers because of a mark on my file I didn't even know about': How a marker after a failed mortgage application left one jobseeker with 'DO NOT EMPLOY' on his file

    A This is Money reader had two job offers snatched away from him because he had a fraud marker on his file that he didn't even know about, which caused him financial strain and stress.The black mark had been put on his records following a failed mortgage application a year earlier. It only came to light after the reader failed background checks for two jobs, leaving him unemployed and in the dark about what was being held against him.The case raises real questions about what information is held about Britons without their knowledge, and their ability to contest it.  The reader, ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Cash Isa rates continue to climb as Virgin Money adds best-buy easy access account paying 1.21%

    Cash Isa rates have dragged behind standard accounts for some time but in the lead up to Isa season rates have begun to tick up.Virgin Money has pushed its Easy Access Isa rate to 1.21 per cent with - a market-beating offering, leapfrogging previous best-buy deals from the AA, Paragon and Leeds BS paying 1.16 per cent.  While a 0.05 percentage point lead might not be earth shattering, even a small nudge such as this in the current environment can be enough for banks to be flooded with applications and therefore accounts withdrawn within a matter of days. So if you want to ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Customers flee NatWest, Co-op and Barclays bank accounts - with Nationwide, TSB and Tesco winning the switching battle

    NatWest, Co-op and Barclays had the biggest losses of current account customers from high street banks, according to the latest statistics.Despite attracting new banking customers between April and June last year, NatWest still lost almost 14,000 accounts overall, according to data from the Current Account Switch Service, while Co-op lost nearly 13,000 and Barclays just over 10,000.The most popular banks to switch to during the period, with the biggest outright gains, meanwhile, were Nationwide, HSBC and TSB. They attracted 46,503, 34,750 and 30,317 new current account customers respectively. Walking on by: NatWest had the biggest net losses of current account customers from ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Metro Bank now lets you open its accounts with no European spending fees online as it tempts customers who don't live near a branch

    Metro Bank will now allow customers to open its current accounts online rather than having to go into branch, the challenger revealed this morning.People can apply for an account with a 'selfie' and says it can all be done within 10 minutes, including setting up internet banking.This will be welcome news for frequent travellers to Europe, with its current account still offering fee-free cash machine withdrawals and purchases on the Continent. Selfie banking: Metro says customers can open accounts online within 10 minutes - and it means you don't need to go into branchOnline start-up Monzo has recently downgraded its ...

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  • Saving & banking

    NatWest offers £125 to switch to its bank accounts - its first perk to join in nearly a decade but is it worth taking up?

    NatWest is offering current account switchers a £125 cash incentive to switch to one of its bank accounts - its first sweetener since 2009. The offer is available for both new and existing customers until February 16 moving their main account to a Select, Reward, Reward Silver, Reward Platinum or Reward Black accounts.  The bank’s Reward Account already earns account holders an average of £83 in cashback on their household bills so with the new sign-up offer, new customers could pocket £208 (£184 excluding the £24 annual fee) in the first year. Money for nothing: Natwest has launched a new £125 cash ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Now you can save money through Facebook: Tech firm Oval Money makes saving social

    Are you addicted to posting on Facebook? Fed up of people telling you it's a waste of time?Now, as well as staying in touch with friends and racking up likes and comments, you can start saving money every time you post on Facebook. It's a new feature of the Oval Money app, which helps you track your money. It allows you to set automatic savings triggers to remove money from your current account into a digital wallet. From there, you can then transfer cash into a savings account. You can start saving money every time you post on Facebook with the ...

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  • Saving & banking

    I got an unusual 50p coin in my change featuring two motorbike racers dated 1997 – is it rare and what's it worth?

    Recently, I received an unusual 50p coin in my change, which I had never seen before. It shows two motorcyclists racing with a wreath-style pattern on either side.The coin is dated 1997 on the back, with the usual effigy of the Queen and says Isle of Man on it.I have tried to research it to see if it is rare but cannot find much about it. I'm hoping that I have struck gold. Racy: Is my Isle of Man 50p coin rare - and how much could I sell it for?Lee Boyce, consumer affairs editor at This is Money, replies: In ...

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  • Saving & banking

    Savings rates fail to bounce back over two months after the Bank of England base rate rise - and high street banks still offer the stingiest deals

    Savings rates are still failing to return to levels seen before interest rates were cut last year - despite the base rate bouncing back up again in November. Rates have risen slightly following November's base rate rise from 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent, but they are still languishing behind those seen in July last year.Some banks and building societies continue to offer pitiful rates, which do not reflect the rise in the underlying base rate. Fixed rates have risen most this year with the average five-year bond hitting 2.03 per cent, the data from Moneyfacts shows.   Short-term bonds rates ...

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