Click and Win on the Web

Money scandals are dominating the news with French alleged rogue trader Jerome Kerviel hitting banking giant Societe General for £3.6 billion. As the old saying goes "A billion here and a billion there and it soon adds up to serious money."

Financial scandals hit confidence in saving and with the stock market soaring and then plummeting savers have plenty of excuses for being worried about their cash.

Many of us are wary of plunging cash into savings firms which are only available online. They don’t have branches and there’s nobody you can go and stand in front of to complain.

But savvy savers are clicking and winning on the web. MoneyExpert.com is here to help you sort out your ICICI and IceSave’s while earning more for your money…

A better option

Provided that you’re relatively computer literate, and logging on doesn’t fill you with dread, an online saving account can be by far the best option if you’re looking to save for a rainy day.

With far lower operating costs, internet only accounts can afford to pay higher rates of interest and so will give you a much better return. The average rate on internet savings accounts is around 1.5% higher than on those operating on the high street.

Some of the best deals available include those from the supermarket banks such as the Instant Access Account from ASDA, paying a rate of 6.25%, and the Internet Saver from Sainsbury’s Bank paying 6%.

Not for dipping into

While internet accounts do tend to offer better rates it can cost you if you want to get at your money. So if you’re likely to need to dip in at any point it’s definitely worth checking the terms and conditions before choosing an account.

The online eSaver account from Alliance & Leicester pays an excellent 6.5% but if you make a withdrawal you’ll loose one month’s interest on your cash. It’s a similar story with Halifax. Its Websaver Extra account pays a very good 6.25 per cent on deposits all the way from £1 to £100,000 but savers are allowed only one foray into their cash a year. Any more and you’ll loose the equivalent of 30 days interest on the sum withdrawn.

The ASDA internet saver has no penalties for withdrawing your money.

Safe and secure

While internet banking has many advantages over the high street there is sometimes more of a security risk. However, as long as you follow the recommendations of your provider you should be safe.

Tips to consider include:

  • Protect your computer with a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software.
  • Never reply to any emails supposedly from your bank asking for your details. It won’t be the bank!
  • Always type in the bank’s web address rather than getting there via an email link. The page brought up is likely to be false.
  • Always report any suspicious emails directly to your bank.

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