Fixed rate bonds

Fixed rate bonds up to 3.20% AER at Raisin UK

  • Fixed rate bonds usually offer the most competitive rates of all account types

  • You’ll have peace of mind that the rate won’t change throughout your term

  • Perfect for long-term saving goals on our no-fees marketplace

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The rundown
  • Competitive interest: Fixed rate bonds are a type of savings account that features competitive interest rates
  • Set term: Fixed rate bonds lock your money in at a fixed rate of interest for a set term
  • Deposit protection: The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects deposits of up to £85,000 per person, per regulated UK banking group

What are fixed rate bonds?

A fixed rate bond is a type of savings account that pays the same interest rate over a specified term and is ideal if you want to earn a guaranteed interest rate for a set term. You may also see it referred to as a fixed term deposit account or lump sum savings account.

A fixed rate bond locks your money in at a fixed rate of interest for a specified amount of time, typically one year, two years, three years, five years or six months. The term you choose will typically depend on your savings goals. Whichever term you choose, a fixed term deposit is a secure way to take advantage of competitive interest rates without putting your savings at risk.

The rate of interest you’ll earn usually differs depending on the length of your term, with longer terms commonly featuring higher rates of interest.

August fixed rate bonds update: what’s new?

Lenders are expecting mortgage applications and other credit applications to get tougher as the summer goes on. This is because default rates on loans are set to soar and mortgage availability also looks like it will go down at the end of summer. As house prices have risen sharply and the cost of living has spiked, this also means that first-time buyers may have less savings to make an attractive down payment. 

If you’re in the position to save, fixed rate bonds may be a good option right now, as you can lock in competitive rates and let your savings grow while you wait for the market to stabilise. Choose from fixed rate bonds that span from six months to five years and start thinking about how to make the future more attainable.

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How do fixed rate bonds work?

You open a fixed rate bond by depositing an amount of money that you set when you apply. Once you’ve transferred the amount you want to open your account with and your application is approved, all you need to do is sit back and watch your savings grow. You can’t make deposits into a fixed rate bond after your initial deposit, nor is it usually possible to close a fixed rate bond before it matures.

Fixed rate bonds have minimum and maximum deposit amounts, usually between £500 and £1,000 for a minimum deposit and as much as £2,000,000 for a maximum deposit. At Raisin UK we want to keep your savings safe, so the maximum amount you can deposit is £85,000 per person, per banking group, so that the FSCS or applicable deposit protection scheme protects your money. Please remember that you are only covered up to £85,000, per banking group, including any direct funds you may already hold with a bank that is also featured on the Raisin UK marketplace. A similar scheme covers deposits held in European banks up to €100,000 (or the equivalent amount in a European country’s local currency).

Find out more about deposit protection.

How is the interest on fixed rate bonds calculated?

The interest you’ll earn from a fixed rate bond is advertised as an annual equivalent rate (AER), which makes it easier to compare savings account rates from accounts with different terms. 

How much you earn from a fixed rate bond depends on the following:

  1. The term of your fixed rate account
  2. The amount you deposit
  3. How interest is earned according to the bank
  4. The interest rate (AER)

If you’re a UK taxpayer, the personal savings allowance (PSA) allows you to earn interest on savings up to certain amounts without paying tax on that interest. Basic rate (20%) taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 of interest per year, and higher rate (40%) taxpayers up to £500 of interest per year. Additional rate (45%) taxpayers don’t receive a PSA, meaning you’ll need to pay tax on any interest earned.

Can I withdraw money before the end of my fixed rate term?

In most cases, you won’t be able to withdraw any money from a fixed rate bond. Some savings accounts may allow you to withdraw money early, but you’ll usually pay a substantial fee for doing so and this could wipe out any interest you’ve earned. You may also be penalised with a reduction to your original interest rate. The fee will differ depending on your institution, so it’s always best to check before signing up.

Who are fixed rate savings right for?

Fixed rate savings are ideal for those who have a lump sum that they can afford to lock away for a set period of time without needing access to it, as well as people who want to grow their savings without the usual risks that other investment options such as stocks and shares may offer. 

A fixed rate bond from our marketplace might also be right for you for the following reasons:

  • They’re are free to open
  • Your savings are protected
  • You’ll earn a fixed, competitive interest rate
  • Higher interest rates are available on accounts with longer terms
  • You’ll lock away your savings for a fixed term
  • You can easily manage your savings online

Types of fixed rate bonds

Interest rates were low following the financial fallout of the pandemic, which saw savers opt for many different types and terms of fixed rate bonds, due to uncertainty about whether or not the interest rate is going to rise or fall, and on what timescale. In 2022, we are starting to see interest rates rise again as inflation has increased.

The following are the most common forms of fixed rate bonds: 

6 Month Fixed Rate Bonds

6 month fixed rate bonds are the shortest term available, which often means they have lower interest rates than longer-term options. They can be a good choice if you want to grow your money as quickly as possible without taking any risks. 

1 Year Fixed Rate Bonds

1 year fixed rate bonds are short-term fixed rate savings that can offer competitive rates of interest. They allow you to grow your money and benefit from a bonus, providing you adhere to the terms of the bond.

2 Year Fixed Rate Bonds

2 year fixed rate bonds are one of the most common forms of fixed rate savings accounts, offering savers competitive rates of interest and the chance to grow your money on a relatively short yet manageable timescale. 

3 Year Fixed Rate Bonds

3 year fixed rate bonds typically offer savers slightly higher rates of interest than 1 and 2 year fixed bonds due to the longer timeframe that your money is locked away for. 

5 Year Fixed Rate Bonds

5 year fixed rate bonds offer a bigger return on your investment due to the compounding effect of interest that occurs each year, as well as a bonus when the bond matures.

Are fixed rate bonds a good investment?

Fixed rate bonds might be a great investment if you’re looking to deposit your money into a savings account, as they typically offer better interest rates than easy access or notice accounts. With fixed rate bonds you need to lock in your money until the end of your fixed term, so you should only open one if you have a lump sum that you won’t need to access in the medium to long term.

Can you lose money on fixed rate bonds? 

No, you can’t lose money on fixed rate bonds. After the fixed term, you’ll receive your original deposit and any interest you’ve earned. 

Plus, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects deposits up to £85,000 per person, per UK regulated banking group under British banking regulations, meaning that your money is safe.

Pros and cons of fixed rate bonds

Pros of fixed rate bonds Cons of fixed rate bonds
By investing in fixed rate bonds, you could enjoy:

Guaranteed savings growth
Peace of mind thanks to FSCS deposit protection, as long as you bank with a UK registered institution and your savings are less than £85,000 per person, per banking group
Very minimal risk
The ability to work out exactly how much you’ll earn
Even if interest rates drop, the interest rate on your fixed term bond will stay the same
The interest rate is fixed, meaning that if interest rates rise during your term, you’ll still be on the agreed rate for the duration of your term
You won’t have access to your money during the bond term
You’ll need to pay in a lump sum to open your account

What are the best fixed rate bonds?

Generally, the best fixed rate bonds are the ones that offer the most competitive rate of interest for the lowest deposit amount over the period of time that works for you. You can compare different fixed rate bonds in the table at the top of this page. 

How do I find the best fixed rate bond for me?

As we mentioned above, the best way to find the fixed rate bond that’s right for you is to compare the different fixed rate bonds available on the market. However, before you do this, it’s important that you assess your budget plan and financial circumstances to ensure that you can definitely afford to lock a lump sum of money away over a period of time. 

How can I get the best interest rate on a fixed rate bond?

There are some things you can look out for when you want to get the best interest rate on your fixed rate bond, including the following:

1. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate

While this isn’t always the case, you’ll often find that fixed rate bonds with longer terms earn higher rates of interest. Before committing, you must ensure that you can afford to lock your money away for a longer time period.  

2. Fixed rate bonds with compound interest are the ones to watch 

Compound interest can help grow your savings at a faster rate. This is because any interest you earn gets added to your overall balance, which is then the basis for earning future interest. 

3. A larger deposit could mean a better rate of interest 

Most financial institutions offer more competitive interest rates on larger deposits. You can see how this works for yourself by using an online comparison table.

How to compare fixed rate bonds

Once you’ve determined the amount you can afford to deposit and a timescale that works for you, you can compare different fixed rate savings bonds. It’s easy enough to do this online by using free comparison tables.

What should I consider when I compare fixed rate bonds?

The most important things to consider when comparing fixed rate bonds are: 

  • The length of the bond term
  • The required deposit amount
  • The rate of interest
  • Whether the bond offers compounds interest

Typically, you’ll earn more interest the longer you can lock your money away in a fixed rate bond for. However, this isn’t always the case, which is why you should compare fixed rate bonds carefully. Ultimately, the length of time you choose to lock your money away for will depend on your own timescale and whether you will need to access your money during this time.

Fixed term bond investment limits

Fixed term bonds typically have a minimum and maximum opening deposit amount, which differs depending on the account and the provider. It is worth keeping in mind that only £85,000 per person, per banking group is protected, so it’s a good idea to spread your money between different banking groups if you’re investing more than this.

Do you pay tax on a fixed rate savings?

If you’re a basic rate taxpayer, you can earn up to £1,000 in interest on savings each year without paying any tax, thanks to the personal savings allowance. However, additional rate taxpayers aren’t eligible for an allowance, meaning that any interest they earn is taxable.

Any interest you earn over the personal savings allowance is usually collected through the PAYE system, or completed by you via a self-assessment tax return.

What happens when the term of my fixed rate bond ends?

When the term of your fixed rate bond ends, the bond will have ‘matured’. You generally have three options when this happens, which are: 

  • Invest your money into another fixed rate bond
  • Withdraw your funds
  • Add to the funds and re-invest the entire amount 

Read our guide to renewing a fixed rate bond here.

How do I cash in my fixed rate bond when it has matured?

Your savings provider will usually write to you just before your bond matures so you have time to determine what you’d like to do with your funds. One of your options is to withdraw the amount to a nominated bank account, which is how you can cash them in. This is usually done by completing a form with your savings provider, who will then deposit your money into your nominated bank account or send you a cheque so you can deposit the money where you like. 

How long will it take until I get my money?

If you’ve chosen to cash in your fixed rate bond when it has matured, the entire process from you notifying your account provider to receiving your money usually takes around eight days. The fastest method of getting your money is usually to ask your savings provider to make the deposit straight into your nominated bank account.

Applying for a fixed rate bond

If you want to quickly and easily apply for fixed rate bonds with attractive rates from a range of partner banks, register for a Raisin UK Account today. Registration is completely free and only takes a few minutes. Once your application is approved, simply make your deposit and watch your savings grow.

You can find out how to apply by reading our guide to opening a fixed rate bond.

You can’t typically top up or add more money into a fixed rate bond, as most fixed rate bonds require you to make a full lump sum deposit when you open the account.

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Yes. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects deposits of up to £85,000 per person, per UK regulated banking group under British banking regulations, meaning that your money is safe up to that amount. If you have a deposit of more than £85,000, you might want to consider spreading it between fixed rate bonds from different banking groups. 

The European DGS protects deposits in European banks up to €100,000 (or the equivalent amount in a European country’s local currency).

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There are other options available if you want to invest your money for growth, however, they typically carry more risk than a fixed rate savings account. If you’re comfortable with risk, you may want to consider investing.

Find out more about investing in our investment guide for beginners.

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There is no restriction on how many fixed rate bonds you can open. There are, however, limitations on each bond that you’ll need to adhere to, such as access restrictions and investment criteria. You’ll also need to monitor your income so that it remains below your personal savings allowance, or make a note of how much it goes over by so that you can file it with HMRC.

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Some fixed rate bonds can be opened for as little as £1, however, most accounts require a £1,000 deposit minimum. To earn the most from your money, you’ll probably want to invest as much as you’re comfortably able to.

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You can typically only pay money into your fixed rate bond when you make the initial deposit. If you’re looking for an account that allows you to make monthly deposits, then a fixed rate bond may not be suitable for you.

Compare other types of savings accounts

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Fixed rate bonds can be a great investment if you’re looking to deposit your money into a savings account, as they typically offer more competitive interest rates than other types of savings accounts, such as easy access or notice accounts. With fixed term bonds, your money is locked in until your bond matures at the end of the term, so you may only want to consider opening one if you know you won’t need to access your money in the medium to long term.

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Longer term fixed rate bonds, such as 5 year fixed rate bonds, usually offer the highest interest rates, but this is not always the case. Other factors that affect the interest rates include your deposit amount and the state of the market as a whole.

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A fixed rate bond is a good option if you won’t need access to your money, but want to grow a lump sum. An ISA may be a better option for you if you think you’ll need access to your money or if you want to add to it on a gradual basis, rather than deposit a lump sum. 

That said, many ISAs offer less attractive rates than traditional savings accounts, so it’s worth comparing a range of products to find the best rate. This is particularly true if you don’t need the tax-free perks of an ISA (the personal savings allowance means most people won’t pay tax on their interest anyway). Read our guide to Fixed rate bonds vs ISAs for more information.

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