Savings: how can you make them grow?

Giving your cash savings a growth boost by bagging a decent rate of interest is a dim and distant memory right now. With inflation now running at 0.7%; you’ll need to beat this in order to have any chance of making your savings grow.

The ‘average’ instant access savings account pays a super stingy 0.5% a year in interest, and even if you stick your money away in a ‘fixed rate’ account for two years; you’d be be hard pushed to top 1% in interest.

Cash savings booster

While it’s possible to get higher rates on cash savings, these can come with strings attached. So for example, you can earn 2% with Nationwide’s FlexDirect current account and 3% with Natwest’s Regular Saver, which sounds pretty good right now, but both have restrictions.

Nationwide’s 2% rate only holds for the first year and only on balances up to £1,500. You’ll also need to pay in £1,000 a month. And the Natwest deal is only for existing customers and the maximum you can pay in each month is £50.

So is it time to take a punt on prize draw savings? Some banks and building societies are offering savers free monthly draws with big cash prizes. Won’t cost you a penny to enter and you may still get a dash of interest too.

Prize Draw Savings

Here’s some of the names splashing the cash along with top monthly prize.

Halifax – £100,000

This offers the biggest prizes with a monthly prize bag worth £550,000 and three top prizes of £100,000. But you’ll need at least £5,000 in one of its savings accounts to be in with a chance to win. Most accounts qualify; apart from kids’ ones, but worth checking before opening a new one.

Got a mortgage with Halifax? You can enter its free monthly draw where each month one winner gets their mortgage paid off up to £300,000.

Post Office – £10,000

You’ll need to open a Post Office savings account and stick in at least £1,000 before 30th April to get your foot in the door for this one. And you’ll need to ‘opt in’ as entry isn’t automatic. Top prize is £10,000 with four prizes of £2,500 and 200 shopping gift cards of £100.

Natwest – £1,000

If you’re a current account customer, open its Digital Regular Saver account and pay in between £1 – £50 in April, May and June, you could be in with a chance to win one of ten £1,000 prizes in the July draw. Plus you’ll get 3% on the first £1,000 saved.

Nationwide – £100

Top prize is £100 with Nationwide with its Start To Save account To be in with a chance to win, you need to pay in between £50 and £100 a month for three months before qualifying for the draw. Pays 1% interest; which is, (sadly), not a bad rate right now.

Existing savers only……

I’ve left this till last as while there’s a monthly prize pot of nearly £100,000 up for grabs, the Windfall Bond savings account from the Family Building Society is no longer open to new savers.

If you’ve already got the account; which needs a minimum of £10,000 to qualify, they’ll keep dishing out the monthly prizes which includes a top one of £50,000 with smaller ones all the way down to £1,000. But only pays 0.1% in interest.

Premium Bonds – £1,000,000

You can stash up to £50,000 in Premium Bonds for a chance to win a million every month. You won’t earn any interest; but if you’re happy to sacrifice the smidge of interest you might get sticking your money in a savings account; then it’s worth a punt and winnings are tax free.

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