Deal of the week

If you are looking for a long term investment with a fixed rate return then the Bank of Ireland's new 3 Year Fixed Reward account is a good bet. Delivering a fixed rate of 9% over the full term, you can make a single lodgement ranging from €20,000 to €1 million (you wish!) and the account is flexible enough to give you access to 50% of the funds over the three years. A total return of 9% over the term is a good deal if you are thinking long term in a time when deposit interest rates are falling.

Tip of the week

The Irish banks fared relatively well in a survey detailing bank charges across the European Union released last week with the average consumer paying €82 per annum. That placed us mid-table compared to our European counterparts which is nothing to shout about but at least we can be grateful that we are not living in Italy were consumers pay an average of €254 annually. That said, there are still people paying over the odds – we are lagging behind the rest of the EU when it comes to switching to better value accounts – just 7% of Irish people have done it in the last two years compared to the EU average of 9%. Loyalty costs and nobody is thanking you for it.

Bad value of the week

Chorus NTL and Carphone Warehouse have teamed up to offer consumers the chance to buy a netbook for €1 once they sign up for the cable company's broadband service. On the face of it, that's a sweet deal. Further inspection, however, reveals it could be very expensive. To qualify you must sign up the Chorus NTL 20 Mb Ultra service which, on a standalone basis, costs a fairly hefty €576 annually or a package which will be equally costly. If you really want the netbook, buy it outright (it's available online for €179) and go for a cheaper broadband package (in fairness to Chorus their rates are very competitive for average speed broadband connections).

Recession Rates

Best buys on House Insurance (for different property values in different cities)

1) Property valued at €750k, rebuild cost €350k, contents €80k Dublin – €431 p.a.

2) Property valued at €350k, rebuild cost €225k, contents €50k Cork – €274 p.a.

3) Property valued at €200k, rebuild cost €155k, contents €30k Galway – €244 p.a.

Assumptions: Excess of €150 in any claim, 3 bed semi, standard house alarm, claims free in the last 6yrs.

Inclusive of accidental damage for buildings and contents.

*Special thanks to Graham in BHP Insurances