New savings provider Ford Money, owned by the US car manufacturer, is turning its focus to regular savings, offering two market-leading accounts paying a fixed 4% AER interest for a year.
The accounts - a standard regular saver and a regular saver cash ISA - will launch next Monday (22 May), and both let you save between £25 and £250 each month for the length of the 12-month term. If you save the maximum £3,000, you could earn almost £65 in interest over the year.
Ford Money launched in April 2017, and is a new savings provider from Ford Motor's financial arm. Ford isn't the first car company to break out into savings - Renault-owned RCI Bank launched back in 2015 and has also featured in our best-buys.
How the new Ford Money savings accounts compare
Here's how the two accounts stack up:
- The regular saver will pay the top rate that's open-to-all. It's possible to earn a higher 5% interest with First Direct, M&S Bank, Nationwide, Santander or HSBC, but these are all 'linked' accounts, requiring you to also hold a current account with the bank.
The next best non-linked account, after Ford Money, is from Saffron Building Society. Its regular saver pays 3.5%, though this can only be opened in branch.
- Comparing the regular saver ISA is trickier. There aren't any best-buy regular saver ISAs currently on the market, so the easiest comparison is with the top easy access ISA, which is with the Post Office and pays 1.01% AER. If you saved £3,000 with the Post Office for a year, you'd earn just over £30, less than half of the £65 you could earn with Ford's regular saver ISA.
How the accounts work
Both the regular saver and regular saver ISA let you change the amount you pay in each month, and there are no penalties if you miss a month - though you won't be able to carry over the allowance to future months.
You can't close the regular saver early. You can withdraw cash from the regular saver ISA before the end of the term, but this will come with a 90 days' interest penalty.
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It's also worth noting Ford's ISAs are 'split ISAs', meaning you can split your cash ISA allowance (£20,000 for 2017/18) between multiple ISAs with the provider, bypassing the usual rule that you can only pay into one cash ISA each tax year. Ford Money's easy-access ISA currently pays 0.9% AER, just behind the top rate of 1.01% AER from the Post Office.
Cash saved with Ford Money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so any money you save with it is protected up to £85,000.