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Beware the easy access savings bonus, warns MoneySupermarket

The average rate on the top-ten easy access savings accounts has increased by 0.35% compared with the same time last year, according to moneysupermarket.com.

The comparison site found that the average AER has seen an 11% increase over the last year, with the current average at 3.06%.

However, the average bonus rate has fallen from 1.76% to 1.5%, meaning the average bonus rates now account for 49% of the total AER compared with 65% last year.

The majority of top-ten easy access savings accounts include a bonus, typically for 12 months, allowing savers to take advantage of headline grabbing rates.

However, Kevin Mountford, head of banking at moneysupermarket.com, has issued a warning to potential savers.

“A 0.35% increase in average easy access saving rates is great news for savers, particularly against a backdrop of a static base rate,” he said.

“Many of the top paying accounts are paying interest of at least six times that of the base rate, unheard of before the recession.

“Providers use attractive headline bonus rates to lure in customers, and in some cases, the bonus can mean double the amount of interest gained for a year, which for those wanting more from their money seems like a no brainer.

“However, the benefits can soon be wiped out if customers forget to switch once the promotional period has expired.

“Bonuses are good news for consumers but once they expire it is time to switch, in order to make sure their savings are working as hard as possible for them.”

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