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Post Office Instant access savings question

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Savings & Investments
10 replies 1.2K views
monty77monty77 Forumite
59 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Savings & Investments
Hi all,

Just a quick one!

Opening one of these as it's super convenient to pay cash into it rather than monkey around with internet transfers etc .. and I don't intend to keep a massive balance in it .. just a small cash stash that's in an account rather than under the mattress :)

It says there's a min balance of £500 to open the account, but once open can you drop the balance below £500? e.g. If I had £2k in there that I suddenly needed all of, can I withdraw it without having to close the account? I realise that they dont pay interest on balances of <£500 - says so on the site.

Also, does anyone know if it pays interest monthly or annually?

Cheers!
Monty

Replies

  • Steve_xxSteve_xx Forumite
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    monty77 wrote: »
    Hi all,

    Just a quick one!

    Opening one of these as it's super convenient to pay cash into it rather than monkey around with internet transfers etc .. and I don't intend to keep a massive balance in it .. just a small cash stash that's in an account rather than under the mattress :)

    It says there's a min balance of £500 to open the account, but once open can you drop the balance below £500? e.g. If I had £2k in there that I suddenly needed all of, can I withdraw it without having to close the account? I realise that they dont pay interest on balances of <£500 - says so on the site.

    Also, does anyone know if it pays interest monthly or annually?

    Cheers!
    Monty

    Yes you can drop below £500 once it's opened. Interest is paid annually in March. You can withdraw upto 1k a day in cash. Make more than 6 withdrawals in a year and you then start to pay £1 per withdrawal thereafter.

    Possibly one of the worse accounts I've seen. Your mattress idea is, in this instance, marginally better than the account that you are proposing.
  • Steve_xx wrote: »
    Yes you can drop below £500 once it's opened. Interest is paid annually in March. You can withdraw upto 1k a day in cash. Make more than 6 withdrawals in a year and you then start to pay £1 per withdrawal thereafter.

    Possibly one of the worse accounts I've seen. Your mattress idea is, in this instance, marginally better than the account that you are proposing.

    Hi Steve,

    Appreciate the reply :)

    ..I realise it's not a great deal but is there an alternative which:

    - allows free withdrawals
    - pays a bit of interest, even if not an amazing amount - preferably monthly
    - has plenty of branches where I can deposit cash
    - provides online access and a cash card

    PO was the only one that seemed to fit the bill :(

    Cheers,
    Adam
  • Do you mean the Instant Saver?

    I have one, but the website is very unreliable and the staff (in my Post Office anyway) often miserable and unhelpful so I have reduced the balance to the £500 and will close it when the interest is paid and the 1% bonus ends.

    That said, it's an o.k. account if you need the facility to pay cash in at a branch. The interest rate, whilst not the best, is far from the worst either at 5.75% for the first year, despite the comments above. After the first year the rate drops to 4.75% which isn't anywhere near the market leaders. Saying you would be better off with the money under a mattress is misleading and not particularly helpful.

    It's quick and easy to open and you get a card for withdrawals at most cash machines.

    The £1 withdrawal charge after the first 6 will quickly eat into the interest for a small deposit so if you plan to use the account regularly it's not the right one. The account closure will be my 6th!

    All the details of the accounts available at present and their features can be found on MSE and other financial sites.
  • Steve_xxSteve_xx Forumite
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    monty77 wrote: »
    Hi Steve,

    Appreciate the reply :)

    ..I realise it's not a great deal but is there an alternative which:

    - allows free withdrawals
    - pays a bit of interest, even if not an amazing amount - preferably monthly
    - has plenty of branches where I can deposit cash
    - provides online access and a cash card

    PO was the only one that seemed to fit the bill :(

    Cheers,
    Adam

    I reckon one of the Alliance & Leicester accounts might suit you. Have a look here:

    http://www.alliance-leicester.co.uk/currentaccounts/index.asp?page=home&ct=primarymenu

    Also, at the moment you can get £20 for opening some A&L account if you go through Quidco.

    There will be other bank accounts that will suit you too, I'm sure.
  • Fill_7Fill_7 Forumite
    480 Posts
    as said, instant saver aint great for balances under £500.

    but for some ppl, an account isnt all about interest rates. alot of PO customers are of 'senior' years, and arent confident of operating an online account or have the means to travel into town to bank at high st banks.

    where the PO used to offer handy National Savings accounts, these nearly have become less use than the mattress, so the PO have introduced their own range of savings products. yes they arent market leading, but they are quite competitive and a viable option for some.
  • mikegahanmikegahan Forumite
    280 Posts
    Yes I agree that the Instant Saver account is not bad for some savers. I think it is ideal for people who want to save a reasonable amount of money and do not want to make a lot of withdrawals.
  • bristolleedsfanbristolleedsfan Forumite
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    IMO, worth opening one via a cashback site eg quidco or CBK get 15.50 cashback and then close the account if u wish.

    500.00 opening balance doesnt have to be maintained to get the cashback either.

    http://www.quidco.com/post-office/

    http://www.cashbackkings.com/post-office-instant-saver/bargains/m6528
  • SpeculatorSpeculator Forumite
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    My wife and I are still waiting for our application forms, 10 weeks since applying! At least quidco tracked instantly.:)
  • mikegahanmikegahan Forumite
    280 Posts
    Dear Friends
    I recently opened a Post office instant saver lured by the good rates and easy access. First impressions were good and on 6 June I went to my local Post office and deposited a cheque for transmission to them. The clerk scanned it in front of me and also gave me a printed receipt. The money was credited to my account. On Saturday I phoned up and requested transfer of a large amount to my linked account - no problem. Today as it had not arrived into my linked account I phoned up and they had no record of my call to take money out. Lame excuse was that they had several call centres. Worried, i then asked if the transfer could go through now. They replied "no the cheque was only scanned in on 16 June". But I had a PO receipt dated 6 June, plus my bank confirmed that the cheque had been CASHED by the Post office on 11 June! As i said i have never experienced anything like this ever, and I am now seriously worried and trying to close this account before my money disappears. This service is hosted by the bank of Ireland who had a good reputation. Avoid this one like the plague! i suspect that they are overwhelmed by applications after heavy advertising, but this is no excuse for shoddy service.

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  • DeepSporranDeepSporran Forumite
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    I've just noticed that Quidco have paid me the £15.50 for opening this account.

    Very satisfying, as I applied for it back on April 6th.

    Even more satisfying, the Post Office never got round to actually opening the account, and I've certainly not had to fund it at all.
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