What’s the best place for my savings?

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Q. Where’s the best place to put savings these days? I see some banks are offering 4% but there must be a catch.

I have around €20,000 in my current account which I need to withdraw again in November when the tax man calls.

Laura, Cork

A. Hi Laura,

Savings rates are incredibly low at the moment if you want to take your money out at short notice and in bank time, six months is short notice.

That said, the banks are desperate to get hold of your cash to help them build up their own capital reserves and wean them off ECB funding.

The best promotional deal by far of recent times was one offered by Bank of  Ireland which was offering a gross of 6% but you had to leave your money on deposit for two years.

This is the problem with high interest earning accounts – you generally can’t touch your money for at least a year to make it worth the bank’s while.

Normal savings accounts that allow you withdraw money at any stage bear much lower interst. AIB , for instance , is offering just 0.26% gross interest on deposits up to €63,399.

The best thing to do is to go to a “compare and contrast money site” and then make a few phone calls to check whether the offers are still available and what the restrictions are.

The National Consumer Agency runs an up-to-date website which compares all the savings rates of the main banks in Ireland.  It’s called www.itsyourmoney.ie and here’s a direct link to the savings section.

Ulster Bank and EBS rates of 4% will immediately jump out at you. But there are catches.

With EBS the rate only applies if you keep the money on deposit for a year.  But we spoke to them and they say a lump sum deposit of €20,000 or more left on account for six months (which would suit you) attract a rate of 3.5% which is one of the best around.

With Ulster Bank you can make unlimited withdrawals but the maximum you can lodge is €15,000. They will only pay 1.5% on the remainder of any balance.

Bonkers.ie also offers a good compare and contrast service and shows that most instant access accounts offer around 1% interest.  With the DIRT tax on top of that you won’t earn much at all.  Some banks are offering rates  in the region of 2.5% but the total deposit you are allowed is comparatively small .

Rabo Direct, which has become very popular for savers,  says none of its high interest bearing accounts would suit. Its best rate is 2.25% for an on demand account.

RTE Money

One Response to What’s the best place for my savings?

  1. whistle blower says:

    ICS (part of Bank of Ireland Group) AGM….tomorrow (27-05-11) @ 11am….The Clarion Hotel ….be there !!

    Whats behind the the posted profit for the society? Are the numbers real? Why does ICS make a profit when nobody else can?

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