In a continuing climate of falling interest rates for savers the tedious business of shopping around for the best interest rates has become ever more important.
I never feel that savers are rewarded enough for trying up their money with notice periods so always have tended to go for instant access accounts.
At the time of looking last time round Sainsbury's Bank were at or near the top of the table for interest rates and, allied to a straightforward sign-up process, became the logical home for some savings.
The log-in process is reassuring with a number of varying security questions and the web interface, if not quite the best presented and most up-to-date in terms of graphics, etc., is easy and efficient to use.
I've noticed transfers out take a little bit longer than from some other sources, arriving in my nominated linked account at the start of the next calendar day, rather than within a couple of hours as transfers from other sources.
The interest rate has, in common with those of other savings providers, tended to drift downwards, but at least it was a straightforward interest rate without an initial headline bonus which disappeared after a year; easy to forget and no doubt omitting to remember or react is something banks will rely on to attract and, by default, retain, new custom to such accounts.
I think Sainsbury's also offer Nectar card points enhancements if you have more than one financial product with them, so if you also do grocery shopping and buy your petrol there, that might be a further incentive.
So would I recommend the account and the provider: yes, but it's all down to the current rate of interest compared to its rivals.
Opened an account in 2009 and as it turns out the rate of interest was only for 12 months. anyway after speaking with some rude staff I received a call from their customer relations team. The person who called was very nice and said he would look into it and call me back a few days later, think his name was Richard. Anyway he called me today and informed me that he had posted me a cheque for £1200 to cover my lost interest. I'm impressed, i really am.
Having made early enquiries with this bank in early August about investing a considerable sum and being assured there would be no problem, I have now waited six weeks without a satisfactory reply. Their anti money laundering questions seem totally unreasonable saying we cannot be checked 'electronicaly' when we have been in this house for over 40 years and been a customer with a Nectar card for almost as long. Perhaps it is because we have never owed a penny nor borrowed a penny, but we have now lost over a month's interest so WE ARE INVESTING ELSEWHERE !
Recently I realized that I had, during one of my spring cleaning sprees, stupidly destroyed all of my Sainsbury Bank details, including the paying in book, bank card, absolutely everything. My heart sank thinking I would now have to spend hours being passed from one automated multiple choice system to another, pressing in numbers as if I were doing the lottery, when all I wanted was a Customer Care department where I called talk to a human being, explain I had been an idiot and hopefully get a helpfull sympathetic ear. Sadly the days of talking to a fellow member of the human race are long gone and so I kept putting off the dreaded call. Eventually I picked up the phone and prepared to start punching in numbers, imagine my surprise when a voice came on the other end of the line, I explained my situation, we both laughed and I have to say I have never known a more helpful individual. True to their word within days I received a new bank card and paying in book, all in all the process took just a few minutes. I would recommend Sainsburys Bank for the standard of their customer care alone.
Sainsbury's bank supplies savings, credit cards, loans and insurance.
I took up a staff offer on a savings account to get bonus nectar points, I closed the account immediately afterwards because Tesco's was paying more at the time.
The current rate (07/03/09) is 3% which is the same as ING and Bradford and bingley and is top of the confused.com best buy table.
Opening an account is slow because it is done by post, sending forms takes about a week and you don't get your card until about a week after the account is confirmed as open.
You have to send in a cheque for an initial deposit and you have to pay postage.
I have had accounts with a lot of banks and ICICI is the only other I know that doesn't cover the stamp.
Sainsbury's pays interest annually and there is no minimum balance required to keep the account open.
The online service is fast and lets you move cash relatively easily; it does take a few minutes to register accounts other than the one your original deposit came from.
I had difficulty setting up online banking to begin with because it said my details didn't match their records.
I got the account registered by contacting online support; at first the automatic service kept asking me for the same details as when I tried to register but after a few incorrect guesses I was allowed to fill in an online form which took about ten seconds.
The next day I had an email saying the account had been registered for me and I was able to log in.
You have to phone up to close the account but this is easy and they keep you waiting a considerably shorter time than other banks.
I don?t want to sound old at twenty-five but I remember the days when a trip to the supermarket was to buy bread, milk, butter and eggs but now it seems that you can buy everything from clothes, televisions, computers and even financial services. If you?d ever told me ten years ago that I?d start banking with a supermarket I?d have laughed all the way to the fruit and veg aisle ? it just wouldn?t have happened. Yet roll on 2004 and I am the owner of an Instant Access Savings Account at Sainsbury?s Bank. The reason I signed up to this bank is that (as those of you who have read my other reviews might recall) I have had a few problems with banks of late and have been in the process of moving my accounts around. The Sainsbury?s account is one for my savings, for holidays and the like, just to keep it separate from my monthly outgoings and trips to the pub. Signing up for the account is easy. You can either log on to sainsburysbank.co.uk, phone 0500 405060 or pick up a leaflet from your local store. Online there is a downloadable application form, although you will need adobe acrobat to access this. I applied through downloading the application form and found it simple to complete. It?s no different any other bank application form and asks the usual questions you?d expect. Once complete you then need to send two forms of ID with the form and your deposit cheque. One of the great things about this account is that you only need to deposit £1, so it?s ideal for anyone. If you can?t supply a cheque the only other alternative is to set up a standing order to inject the deposit. The whole process was simple and easy and I was sent my card within two to three weeks. I had to call the customer service help line on a few occasions and they were always helpful and knowledgeable, instilling the confidence in me that I always like to feel when money is involved (well, my money anyway!). To be honest what first attracted me to the account was the
fact that I?d simply had enough of these high street banks and their lack of customer service, especially on a local level and so decided to try something a bit different that would totally be on an informal level as the Sainsbury bank has no bricks and mortar branches and everything is done over the phone. Although this sounds like a disadvantage, for me it was a breath of fresh air, as I looking for some consistency. As with my Abbey National account I felt that the local knowledge gained by my local branch workers was lost due to the fact that for most things I had to deal with national workers at the end of the phone line. What Sainsbury?s offers is the same without the local level service, which I?m hoping will result in a more consistent approach to the service I receive. The telephone service is in operation twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, and I?ve always been connected to an operator within two/three minutes - which going by my usual banks is very efficient. The service is very secure with the usual password and question entry system. Although I never really save enough to worry about interest I was pleased to note that there would be no loss of interest for withdrawals, unlike other accounts I have used. The gross per annum started at 2.45% for the first £2,500 but was in tiers so could rise to 3.30%. You also have the choice of receiving interest payments on a monthly or annually basis. Those who have banked with Sainsbury?s for a while will note the drastic fall in the interest rates that once were at the top of the league tables but the rate is still competitive and is better than rivals such as Egg. The ATM cash-card I received is basic with no debit facility. This would probably be a disadvantage for many but for me it meant less ways to get to the cash and gave it more chance of still being in the account when the time came for paying for my holiday. With this card you can withdraw £250 a day, this is slightly annoying as I
would possibly like it a bit higher especially as there are no branches to go into to get higher amounts. As you would expect with a basic savings account there are no charges incurred for withdrawals and the card can be used free of charge in Link cash machines, which I?ve never had a problem locating wherever I?ve been in England. The account provides instant access to your funds and cheques clear in four days. You receive detailed statements delivered to your house every three months. Paying in money can be done using cheques or standing orders (like the deposit) with the bank providing envelopes for this purpose. For me this was the exact sort of account I was looking for. It is basic yet has all services I need. Sainsbury?s have so far been professional and reliable and even though you can?t visit a branch to speak face to face with someone, the level of customer service via the phone is excellent. I?m sure this is due to an excellent database system as every call and conversation seems to be logged so that the representative can become familiar with your account very quickly. This type of banking won?t be for everyone but in this day and age works well. Personally the one thing it misses is an online banking site where your account can be viewed, as the current site is for information purposes only. The accounts are available to anyone although cannot be used for business purposes. Other savings accounts on offer through the bank are a direct savings account and an ISA, with the company also offering loans, insurance mortgages and credit cards in their financial product range. These are all available online where you will also find all the relevant contact details for the company.
I was recently looking to take out a loan to consolidate my finances. As I already had an existing loan with Sainsburys Bank I decided to request the settlement figure so I knew how much to borrow. Having received several quotes I decided to close my existing loan with Sainsburys Bank and take out a new agreement with them. One of the main advantages being that as an existing customer they had my details on record and were able to agree to the loan over the phone - in total they took about 20 minutes to ask the necessary questions and agree to the loan. Sainsburys loans are all arranged over the telephone, once agreed a courier calls within 24 hours and delivers either a cheque or an agreement which you activate by telephoning a number and confirming a few details, this takes about 2 minutes, the money is then transferred into your bank account with 3/4 days. Another advantage is that the first repayment is not due for 2 months and therefore provides an opportunity to put the money aside for a treat etc. One disadvantage is that you have to pay £30 for a courier to deliver your cheque and agreement - this is payable the month before the first repayment. If you are taking out insurance to cover the monthly repayments ask about the level of cover you require, otherwise you will be given the gold cover - the cost of which is considerably more than the bronze and silver cover which may well be better suited to your requirements. Also don't get caught out with the insurance they try to sell you for accidental damage caused by flood etc - if you have contents insurance you are probably covered anyway. They don't ask if you want the insurance they just tell you that your first payment will be X which covers the courier charges and an insurance to cover accidental damage etc - when I asked how much the insurance premium was I was suprised to learn that it was in excess of £100 - I rejected this and only paid
£30 for the courier - but feel that many will get caught out.
In September 1998, while I was shopping in my local branch of Sainsbury’s, I came across some promotional leaflets for a new banking service operated by the supermarket. One of the first things to catch my eye was the introductory offer for their new instant access savings account, which offered a massive 6.75% interest rate, far higher than I was getting on my money elsewhere. I picked up a copy of the leaflet and took it home. Shortly afterwards, I was talking to a good friend of mine, who happened to mention that she had opened one of these accounts with Sainsburys recently, and was really pleased with it (this was of course in pre-dooyoo days!) Armed with this recommendation, I decided to go forth and invest my money…. The instant access savings account is a telephone account – the fact that there are no branch overheads to pay mean that rates of interest will usually be more competitive than high street banks. Opening the account was very easy, all it involved was filling in and sending off a short form included with the leaflet that I had picked up in-store, and did not involve all the complicated questions and checks required for current accounts. I got a reply from Sainsbury’s Bank very quickly (within just a few days as I recall), informing me that my account was open, and my first payment cheque was being processed. My cashcard, PIN number and paying-in slips arrived not long after this. I have found this account to be very easy to operate, although it does seem a little strange at first if you have only ever had a branch-based account before. Money can be paid into your savings via cheque (with a paying-in slip, sent in one of the pre-paid envelopes provided); standing order (a regular payment from another account), or bank Giro credit (at a branch of most other banks, although some may charge you for this service). Withdrawals are made as in any other type of account, by using your cashcard and PIN at a
Link cash machine – up to £250 per day may be taken out, and you have instant access to your money (hence the name of the account; this isn’t rocket science!) You can also transfer up to £20,000 from Sainsbury’s Bank to another account by phone (chance would be a fine thing…). Sainsbury’s Bank operates a 24-hour telephone service, so you can access your account at any time. The first time you use the service, you will be asked to confirm some of your details, and then to choose a secret password – any subsequent calls need this password to gain access to your details. The phone service may be used to arrange money transfers, make general enquiries about your account, request new paying-in slips or freepost envelopes, report a lost cashcard, check your balance or change your address. Unfortunately, the days of 6.75% interest are long gone, and rates are falling across the board. :-( The current interest paid on this account (correct as of 19th May 2001) is: £1+ 4.10% £2,500+ 4.35% £10,000+ 4.50% £25,000+ 4.85% £100,000+ 4.85% Although this is much lower than the starting rate, compared to other savings accounts, I think that this is still competitive. Interest can be paid either monthly or annually (I like the fact I can choose!), and statements are sent out every three months. If interest rates do change, then customers are sent letters informing them of the new rates and when they are effective from. One of the most impressive points of Sainsbury’s Bank, though, is the fact they have an excellent service commitment (unlike some banks I could mention). It promises all customers a high level of service, and that if they make any errors on your account (such as getting your name or address wrong, charging incorrect amounts or not responding to a letter within 3 working days) then they will correct them immediately and give you 1000 reward points as compens
ation. In the three years I have been with them however, I have experience no mistakes or problems, which certainly makes a refreshing change! Overall then, I feel I can highly recommend Sainsbury’s Bank and the instant access savings account. In all the transactions I have carried out with them, I have never once had any difficulty or errors, the staff are well trained, helpful and polite, the phone line is free and interest rates are competitive. They really set an example to the more established high street banks who seem to take customers for granted and offer poor deals (judging by some of the ops I have read here, this is applicable to just about every bank, all over the country). For more details, pick up a leaflet in Sainsbury’s, phone 0500 555 888, or visit www.sainsburysbank.co.uk.
I have had my Sainsburys Bank account now for a couple of years and I have nothing but praise for them so far. Paying in is via post (pre paid envelopes are provided), direct debit or Bank Giro Credit from another account. The Sainsburys account does not provide a chequebook as it is primarily a savings account but if you have an ordinary chequebook account elsewhere this does not pose a problem. The money I have invested with Sainsburys is easily accessible at the Royal Bank of Scotland ATM machines. The rates of interest as at 21st May 2001 are as follows: - Up to £2,499 4.10% £2,500 to £9,999 4.35% £10,000 to £24,999 4.50% Over £25,000 4.85% You can choose to have the interest credited to your account monthly, at the end of each calendar month or annually on the last working day in February each year. The statements are produced every quarter, but balances are available at the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is where withdrawals are also made. Having looked at other banks and building societies these rates are very favourable when you take into consideration that this is an instant access account. I also have free telephone banking, which means I can ring at any time to get a balance and a list of current transactions. This is an automated service (although you can speak to someone if you need to) so it's quick and easy. You can also use this service to request paying in books, notify a change of address, and request money transfers, or report a lost or stolen cashcard. Sainsburys even offer 1,000 reward points, equivalent to £5, if they make any of the following mistakes on your account: Print the wrong name on your Sainsburys cashcard Print the wrong name on your paying in book Address the statements incorrectly Don’t reply to a letter from you within 3 working days Make a mistake with any charge
s on your account The only 'problem' which I have had so far is when I wanted to transfer a larger amount of money into my current bank account at First Direct, i.e. more than I could withdraw from the ATM machine. I needed to do the transfer overnight and I was charged for this service. If I could have given a couple of days notice it would have been free of charge. I realise that this is quite a short opinion in comparison to my usual ones but this is effectively an account which is simple to administer and which has good rates of interest – nuff said!
I have been with Sainsburys bank for over two years now and in those two years I have collect many good points about there banking services and not one bad point. They provide a telephone bank account with good interest rates and a cash card allowing £250 per day withdrawl. The best point about this account is you can payin at any bank or building society or by post and withdraw from any link without occuring any charges. They even sent me £20 of reward vouchers as the Link machines went down one day and no withdrawls could be made. To which I never even noticed. So for customer satisfaction they get five stars. They phone line has never been busy and the operators are polite and very helpful. If you want a hig interest hassel free savings account here is the place to bank with.