Check out out the savings accounts on offer from M & S Bank
M & S is yet to release a seductive advert for its savings accounts. Perhaps declaring “this isn’t just a savings account, this is an M & S savings account”.
Well this might be because it’s not. While the supermarket chain launched its financial services arm over 30 years ago, its been jointly run with HSBC since 2004.
These days M & S Bank offers a wide range of savings accounts and ISAs. So whether you’re looking for short term or long term savers, M & S could have something for you.
Different types of savings accounts
- Everyday Savings
- Fixed Rate
- Cash ISA
- Monthly Saver
Savings accounts explained
Everyday savings account
- No penalties for early withdrawals and top up whenever you like.
- Open an account with as little as £1.
- Interest rates are pretty poor in comparison to other accounts. But easy access, so flexible.
- If you have an M & S current account, though, then you get a better interest rate.
Fixed rate savings account
- Put your money away for a fixed amount of time: either 1, 2, or 3 years.
- The longer you put your money in for, the higher your interest rate. Interest paid annually.
- The amount you can deposit ranges from £500 to £1 million.
- If your deposit is under £50,000 then you can withdraw your money early. However you will be charged for doing this.
- Depending on your term length, the charge will either be £50, £75, £100.
What is a cash ISA?
A cash ISA is a savings account where you don’t pay tax on the interest you earn. There’s a limit on the amount you can deposit into ISAs each year, which is set by the government.
- Put your money away for a fixed amount of time: 1, 2, or 3 years.
- The longer you deposit money for, the higher the interest rate.
- Start saving from as little as £500.
- With the M & S Advantage Cash ISA option, you can take out or put in money – without any penalty.
- Easy transfers from a different provider. Fill out the transfer form, send it to M & S bank, and it’ll do the rest.
- You put in money each month, from £25 to £250. Payments are made by standing order from your M & S current account.
- A very competitive, market leading interest rate.
- The catch? You have to have switched your current account to M & S bank using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS). You must also have two active Direct Debits.
- Plus, this account only lasts 12 months. So, you might look to switch account or bank to make the most of better rates elsewhere.
- Carry over your savings allowance. If you put in less than £250 in any given month, you can carry over any unused allowance to the following months.
- Partial withdrawals are not allowed. If you do take your money out early it means closing your account.
- You will be penalised for early withdrawals by being knocked down to its much weaker Everyday Savings account rate.
How do I decide which account is for me?
Firstly, you need to work out what you want out of your savings account. You need to decide if you can afford to put your money away for a year. You might feel you can’t and that you probably are going to withdraw money from the account.
Once you’ve worked out what type of savings account you need then you can weight up the different savings accounts available. Useful aspects to consider are:
- Interest rates
- Fees (if there are any)
- Access to cash (if you need quick access, for instance)
- Rewards and loyalty schemes (if you’re into add-ons or switching bonuses)
What are the pros and cons of banking with M & S?
- Online banking. Apply for its savings accounts online. Plus you can manage your Everyday Savings Account online and look at your ISA balance too.
- Physical presence. There are around 30 M & S bank branches across the UK.
- Market leading interest rate. The monthly saver account offers one of the best interest rates on the market.
- Clunky, outdated security. All current account customers need an ‘M & S PASS’. Without this small authentication gadget you won’t be able to login. Nor make payments and transactions.
- Basic app. Only lets you see transactions on any of your savings accounts. You can’t manage your money through a mobile app.
- Inconsistent monthly saver. The very competitive interest rate drops off after 12 months. Plus, you only get the good rates when you transfer you current account to M & S.