An Isa offer to snap up now

Newcastle Building Society is offering 3.4% interest on its Balance Builder Isa - but it won't be around for long, says Ruth Jackson. Plus, a round-up of this week's personal finance news.

Beat the crowds and start using this year's individual savings account (Isa) allowance now instead of waiting until the last minute next April. Newcastle Building Society is offering a rate of 3.4% on its Balance Builder Isa. You just need to make nine monthly contributions of between £100 and £500 over the year. This account also allows you to transfer in any existing Isas. That's a market-beating rate for transfers, given that you can have instant access to your money. I'd snap up this Isa, because it probably won't hang about for long.

Overpay your mortgage without penalty. Coventry Building Society has launched two new fixed-rate mortgages that allow people to overpay without paying penalties. There is a two-year fixed mortgage with a rate of 3.99% available to people with a 35% deposit. The second option is a three-year 4.49% fixed deal for anyone with a 25% deposit.

There's a new best-buy credit card for balance transfers. Santander has finally knocked Virgin Money off its perch at the top of the credit card best-buy table. Santander's new card offers 0% on balance transfers for 15 months, whereas Virgin Money has reduced its deal to 14 months. But the transfer fee with Santander is 3% (it's 2.98% with Virgin).

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Nationwide is sending customers to the cash machine. From 7 June, Nationwide customers with cash cards who want to withdraw less than £100 from their account will have to use a cash machine. The move is to reduce queues in branches.

Get into Alton Towers for half price. If you are planning a trip to Alton Towers this spring then act now to cut the cost. have a voucher that allows adults entry to the park for £17 and children for £12. On the day, tickets cost £38 and £29 respectively, so that is a huge saving. Just register on the Raring2Go website and print off the voucher.

Buy The Daily Telegraph. Get a copy of either Saturday or Sunday's paper (17 or 18 April) to get a voucher for £10 off a £75 shop at Waitrose.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings accounts and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping, among many other titles both online and offline.