For the ninth successive year, Coventry Building Society has launched a Poppy Bond for savers, which makes a donation to the Royal British Legion based on how much you deposit in the account.

The 2017 issue will pay a return of 2%, fixed over three years until 11 November 2020, with deposits starting from just £1 and the building society is promising to pay 0.15% based on the total you deposit before 31 January 2018 as a donation to the charity.

So, if you were to put in £2,000, Coventry would donate £3 on your behalf. Since 2008 the building society says it has raised £14.7 million for the Royal British Legion.

The Poppy Bond is always a popular account and tends to close within weeks of launching. So, is it worth going for this year?

How it compares

The first thing we noticed about this year's issue is how much more generous it was compared to 2016, when it paid just 1.25%.

So, at first glance, you'd think you're on to a guaranteed winner here. However, the overall savings market has improved in the last year as well, meaning that savers can beat the 2% rate while still donating to charity.

Here’s how the Poppy Bond compares to other three-year fixed rate bonds on the market right now across a range of minimum deposit sizes.

Account

Interest

Minimum deposit

Ikano Bank Fixed Saver

2.21%

£1,000

Atom Bank Fixed Saver

2.15%

£50

Virgin Money Fixed Rate Bond Issue 327

1.65%

£1

When comparing savings accounts that allow smaller deposits the Coventry Building Society Bond is a market-leader, with the next best account allowing a £1 deposit paying 0.35% less.As you can see, the 2% rate on offer from Coventry Building Society can be topped by Ikano Bank, which pays 0.21% more over the same term. So you could donate the same amount as Coventry's bond (0.15%) and still come out (slightly) ahead.

You could, however, earn up to 5% with a £1 deposit using a current account, but we'll get to that later.

It's a good deed, but you could do better

Whenever we write our annual review of this account we come in for criticism from some quarters for not raving about it.

Investing in the Poppy Bond certainly counts as a good deed, but that not to say it's always the best option for you (or the charity of your choice).

Savers need to work hard to chase the very best returns to protect their cash from inflation, which is currently at a five-and-a-half-year high of 3%.

What’s more, with the Base Rate predicted to rise for the first time in 10 years next month, locking into a long-term deal might not be the best move for savers right now, as rates are expected to get a boost. 

[Read more: What a Base Rate might mean for your finances]

While we're on the topic, spare a thought for the well-meaning savers who locked into that 2016 Poppy Bond we mentioned earlier, who are now stuck earning a rate that's less than half that of inflation and still two years left to run. 

In the next section, we'll look at the best-paying savings and current accounts on the market at present to help you decide the best home for your cash.

If the Poppy Bond ticks all the boxes for you then that's great.

If, however, you can find an account that allows you to earn a better rate while still donating at least as much to charity, then we think that's certainly worth flagging up.

One final thought on the Poppy Bond (I promise): it's certainly handy to have the money automatically donated to charity rather than having to do so yourself if you choose a better-paying account. 

It all comes down to personal choice.

Best accounts on the market

So without further ado, here are the market leading rates across easy access and fixed-rate savings accounts.

Account

Type of account

Interest

Minimum deposit

RCI Bank Freedom Savings Account*

Easy access

1.30%

£100

Al Rayan Bank Fixed Term Deposit**

One-year bond

1.86%

£1,000

Atom Bank Fixed Saver

Two-year bond

2.05%

£50

Ikano Bank Fixed Saver

Three-year bond

2.21%

£1,000

Ikano Bank Fixed Saver

Four-year bond

2.36%

£1,000

Ikano Bank Fixed Saver

Five-year bond

2.46%

£1,000

*Customers are protected up to €100,000 (or GBP equivalent) through the French Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

** Anticipated profit rate

Alternatively, if you want easy access to your cash you can get a better return from some high-interest current accounts.

For smaller balances, there’s the Nationwide FlexDirect which offers 5% on up to £2,500 for 12 months, while TSB’s Classic Plus offers 3% on balances up to £1,500.

For larger nest eggs the Santander 123 Current Account is the best one to go for. It offers 1.5% on balances up to £20,000.

Compare high-interest current accounts