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If you want a reasonable rate of interest on your savings account (5% at time of writing), and you have a P.C., which you obviously do, then I would recommend ING Direct.
I wanted a savings account so that I could save a regular amount, however small, each week. I went into the high street bank where I hold my current account and was told that to open a savings account with then I would have to deposit a lump sum of £250 and then a minimum of £50 per month. Well, I don’t know about others out there, but sometimes I don’t have a lot of spare cash to play around with, so tying me down to a fixed amount on a monthly basis meant that I basically told them to sod off. This seemed to be the case with most high street branches, although the minimum that you had to save varied with each bank.
I was told by a friend that ING Direct were a good option, as it was easy to set up and offered an interest rate that was higher than most other places. Signing up only took a few minutes, and was pretty painless to be fair. You have to give fairly obvious information, such as name and address, and your bank details. Then you are sent an info pack containing your customer No and other relevant details. All you have to do is send back a cheque for a minimum of a pound to confirm that you do hold a valid bank account. The cheque is then credited to your ING account and it is activated.
Your account itself is easy to manage. Once you have typed in your customer No, there are still two more security passwords, created by you, before you can access the account. Your account detail shows everything you should need to know about your account. Money coming in, as well as going out. Interest is paid to your account on a monthly basis, so you can see clearly how much interest you earned on your savings at any point throughout the year.
A feature that I particularly like is the ability to have up to ten separate accounts with ING Direct, which means that you can have separate savings “pots” for different things such as holidays, or a new car.
Moving your money around from your current account to your savings account, or vice versa is a doddle. Your various account details appear in drop boxes, so all you have to do is select the account you wish to transfer from and to, select the amount and then from which date and for how long. It shouldn’t take more than 60 seconds.
I love the simplicity of the site and its functions. It’s really easy to navigate, and to do all the necessary transfers that you would need to do. The greatest part for me is the ability to change the amount that I wish to save on a whim. If I can’t afford to save £20 this week then I can simply lower the amount to something more affordable, or simply cancel the regular saver feature until such time as I can afford it. Honestly, it more flexible than a contortionist.
If you don’t have a savings account then try this site and see what you think, I know you will be pleasantly surprised.