Chase Bank has today raised the bar for savings providers by offering an easy-access rate that blows the competition out of the water.
The savings account, linked to the Chase current account – which is digital only – offers savers a rate of 1.5 per cent.
Savers can deposit up to £250,000 (although, only £85,000 is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme) in total at any time and can access their savings as often as they like, with no fees, charges or loss of interest.
The only way is up: Chase Bank’s new savings account leapfrog’s the next best deal by 0.5 per cent. Experts thing that some providers will up rates in response.
The app based bank, part of US giant JP Morgan, launched in Britain last September.
Its savings account offers customers the chance to secure 0.5 per cent more than any other savings provider.
The next highest deal is offered by Virgin Money. Its linked savings accounts for its current account customers pays 1 per cent on balances up to £25,000, and 0.5 per cent an anything above that level.
After that, Aldermore Bank’s Double Access Saver pays 0.95 per cent on balances up to £1million – albeit limiting savers to only two withdrawals per year, while Atom Bank’s Instant Access deal pays 0.9 per cent on balances up to £100,000.
All of these are part of the FSCS.
One obstacle is the fact savers need to set up a Chase current account in order to benefit – although, it can be run as a secondary account.
Is it worth the effort?
It’s worth noting that you won’t have to switch your existing current account.
So savers could simply set up a Chase account as a secondary bank account.
It is entirely app based, meaning all documentation is verified via the app.
The current account comes with some good features, namely its 1 per cent cashback on spending for the first 12 months, although there are some exceptions.
It offers a fee-free debit card abroad so you won’t be charged any fees by Chase when using their card when traveling, including for cash withdrawals at ATMs.
Account management: Customers can open sub-accounts with its own sort-code and account number – and can then pick which account the debit card is linked to at any given moment.
There is also no minimum income requirement to open the Chase current account, however you’ll need a smartphone to run the account.
The bank also doesn’t currently offer joint accounts, so it won’t necessarily work for everyone.
James Blower, founder of The Savings Guru says: ‘It’s an excellent rate, in the current market, and particularly given there are no restrictions on the account and savers can put away up to £250,000 in it.
‘The snag is obviously you have to open a Chase account to access the rate.
‘However, this rate is certainly attractive enough to make it worth savers considering opening a Chase account – particularly given there is no requirement to switch your existing current account.’
As a newcomer to the UK banking market some may be reluctant to open a current account with Chase.
Chase serves 56million digital customers in the US and its parent company JPMorgan manages trillions of pounds of assets.
Numberless: The Chase debit card doesn’t have a number. This means a smaller risk if the physical card is lost and a new card number can be generated straightaway, meaning a customer can continue to use the card digitally.
Andrew Hagger, founder of Moneycomms, believes the deal is just too good for rate starved savers to ignore. His only worry is that it won’t last for long.
‘There’s no doubt that this is a stunning rate for an easy access savings account,’ says Hagger, ‘it is head and shoulders above the stand alone easy access best buys paying between 0.9 per cent and 0.95 per cent.
‘This is clearly a carrot from the digital bank to try and drive new current account openings and in the current market l expect it will be swamped with applications.
‘Let’s just hope that the rate is more than a short term incentive that then gets cut just a few months down the line.’
What will this mean for the savings market?
Last week, we were asking how long it would be until an easy-access savings account surpassed the 1 per cent mark? We expected it to be a matter of weeks, not days.
With the bar having been raised by such a margin, it will likely encourage other challenger banks and building societies to follow suit.
Chase also possesses deep enough pockets to afford paying savers this rate meaning we aren’t likely to see it withdrawn quickly.
‘Chase and JP Morgan are big enough to sustain the rate for some time, so I don’t expect it to be a short lived rate,’ adds Blower.
‘Also, as easy access rates are already soaring, I expect the market will eventually catch them up so they won’t need to adjust anyway.
‘The requirement to have a Chase account will limit the impact on the savings market, but I still think it is a big statement and I can’t imagine it will be long until we see Marcus respond to it with a rate increase of their own.’
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