Finances have been squeezed during the recession
UK savers had an increasing number of savings products to choose from in 2009 but interest rates were at record lows, figures from Moneyfacts have shown.
An extra 220 savings products are on the market compared with the start of the year, but the majority have seen rates drop by more than 0.5%.
The financial information service said that only those willing to lock money away in fixed-rate products benefited.
The year proved to be a mixed bag for mortgage borrowers, it said.
A conservative approach by financial institutions in the downturn has led to demand for savers' money over a long period.
As a result, the typical interest rate for a three-year bond has risen by 0.64% over the year to 4.1%. For a five-year bond, the average interest rate has risen by 1.3% to 4.63%.
However, typical rates for one-year bonds, Individual Savings Accounts (Isas), notice and easy access accounts have all fallen.
"Those that rely on the income from their savings to supplement their income, such as pensioners, have been the hardest hit, with many having to make changes to their lifestyles as a result," said Michelle Slade, of Moneyfacts.
The low-risk approach by lenders resulted in the interest charges on unsecured loans - such as credit cards and personal loans - rising by 0.4% over the year.
"Unlike on secured lending, lenders have no guarantee of getting their money back. As unemployment continues to rise, the risk of customers defaulting on payments increases and this increased risk is being reflected in higher rates," said Mrs Slade.
"Card companies are continuing to offer competitive introductory deals, but appear to be severely limiting who they will accept for such deals."
People who have a tracker mortgage or who are on their lender's standard variable rate have benefited from low interest rates on home loans.
Many have ploughed this money back into paying off the mortgage.
However, some of those looking for a new fixed-rate deal have seen the cost rise steadily over the year, Moneyfacts said.