Savers could receive an impressive 5.5% with the first ever mini-bond from world-renowned rugby club Harlequins. 

The Harlequins FC Bond pays interest every six months during the five-year agreement. If that isn't enough, the deal holders get membership to the Quarters Club, which allows them access to exclusive events and offers, and they can also be joined by two people of their choice!  

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Deadline looming

If you're interested you'll need to act fast as applications close at 1pm on May 16. Members and season ticket holders have a ‘priority period’ until 3 May to apply before the bond is opened to the general public and other investors.

You'll have to deposit a minimum of £2,000, with investments made in multiples of £1,000 thereafter.

The Twickenham-based club is looking to raise £7.5 million, but says it may sell up to £15 million worth of the bonds to meet demand. Investors’ cash will go towards maintaining the club both on and off the pitch.

David Ellis, Chief Executive of Harlequin FC, said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the Harlequin FC Bond and to offer our supporters the opportunity to be part of the next chapter of Harlequins’ story.

"The proceeds will enable us to invest in the Club, take us to new levels and to continue to stay ahead of the game as it grows.”

Releasing bonds has become a popular way for sports clubs to raise money in recent years- and it seems to do the trick. Last year, rival rugby team Wasps released a 6.5% retail bond which was oversubscribed and the club made its £35 million fundraising target in days.

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What is a mini-bond?

Mini-bonds are issued by businesses and are typically two, three or five years long. The money that you invest in a mini-bond goes straight to the business, so they’re effectively IOUs which companies sell to investors.

Mini-bonds give you the chance to invest in a niche- say chocolate, beer or rugby- for higher returns than on normal savings bonds.

Companies like BrewDog, Leon and Ecotricity have released mini-bonds in the past in light of ailing rates on traditional savings accounts.

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Beware

Risks are always involved when it comes to investment, but mini-bonds carry more risk than your average fixed rate savings account.

First and foremost, they’re not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which will protect your first £75,000 investment. That means if the Harlequins go bust, you’ve lost your money.

These bonds are unsecured, non-convertible and untradeable so you won’t be guaranteed to get a return on your investment. And unlike retail bonds, they can’t be sold on the market so if you invest, you’re stuck for the term.

In short, cautious investors should look elsewhere.

Other ways to save

Said cautious investors might still be better off with a traditional savings bond, but it’s no secret that rates are pretty dire and have been for some time.

Take a look at the best fixed-rate savings accounts available right now:  

Account

Term

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Account access

FirstSave 7 Year Fixed Rate Bond 5th Issue

7 years

2.75%

£1,000

Online

State Bank of India Online Hi-return 5 Year Fixed Term Deposit

5 years

2.90%

£10,000

Online

Al Rayan Bank Fixed Term Deposit

3 years

2.78%*

£1,000

Online, in-branch, post, phone

Al Rayan Bank Fixed Term Deposit

2 years

2.42%*

£1,000

Online, in-branch, post, phone

Al Rayan Bank Fixed Term Deposit

18 months

2.17%*

£1,000

Online, in-branch, post, phone

Al Rayan Bank Fixed Term Deposit

1 year

1.90*

£1,000

Online, in-branch, post, phone

*Expected profit rate

For smaller pots, current accounts still reign supreme. The Nationwide FlexDirect Account gives 5% interest on balances up to £2,500 for the first 12 months while the TSB Classic Plus Account gives you the same 5% on balances up to £2,000- and it’s not a teaser rate.

Bigger balances will do well in the Santander 123 Current Account which gives you an impressive 3% on balances between £3,000 and £20,000. You also get up to 3% cashback on everyday purchases like petrol and household bills. 

Compare high-interest current accounts