Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

Regular Savings Accounts Earn up to 6% on your savings

A quick message from Martin

All the latest deals, guides and loopholes go in MoneySavingExpert's
free weekly email. Don't miss out!

Get Martin's Money Tips email now!

Don't believe the best buy tables - it's possible to earn 6% interest on savings. Regular Savings accounts are a hidden species that pay big as long as you feed them every month.

This step-by-step guide includes all best buy regular savers, plus tricks to help you maximise your interest.

What are regular savings accounts?

The clue's in the name. Regular savings Clock with pound signs accounts require you to put money away each month. They offer blockbuster interest rates, but tend to impose rigid terms and conditions, such as limiting the amount of withdrawals you can make, or forcing you to make a deposit every month.

How can they pay such huge interest rates?

Often these accounts only last a year, and there are strict limits on the amount you can save. Banks commonly use them as advertising tools, promising eye-catching interest rates, in order to grab your custom in the hope of flogging or forcing you to have their other products too.

Once it ends, your cash sweeps into a bog-standard account. Note the date, then ditch 'n' switch to a better deal immediately.

How does the interest work?

One point to note is that the interest received will be around half the interest rate of the account as the money is being saved monthly rather than in one lump sum. To maximise your overall interest, use the dripfeeding technique below.A man juggling money

When are they worth using?

While for pure interest rates, the top regular savers are unbeatable, they are taxed, meaning basic rate taxpayers lose 20% of any interest earned, higher rate 40%. This means, for many, the returns won't be as good as putting the cash in a tax-free Cash NISA; plus, if you don't use your £15,000 NISA allowance in a tax-year, you'll lose it.

Usually the right strategy is first fill your NISA each year, and once that's done, plump for the best regular savers (for more info, see the Where to Start Saving guide). Yet occasionally a regular savings account will pay so much, it can beat even the top untaxed NISA. The calculator below will help you compare.

Enter Cash NISA Rate To beat this, your Regular Saver must pay at least...
%
?

How safe are your savings?

Bank collapse was once easy to dismiss, then the credit crunch and global market turmoil hit. The UK soon found itself bailing out Northern Rock, and the US authorities followed for even bigger bank Bear Stearns. These days, every sensible saver should ask "is my money safe?"

The answer is simple. Provided your money is in a UK-regulated bank or building society account, it's protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Here's the golden rule.

The first £85,000 per person, per financial institution is guaranteed.

Sadly this is the simple face of savings safety. The exact rules are more complex, involving how different banks are registered and what counts as a financial institution. For full info, read the full Are My Savings Safe? guide.safe money

How to maximise safety

With regular savers, often there's no problem at all. Limits on the amount you can deposit usually mean the balance of the account gets nowhere near £85,000, so there's no problem.

Yet for regular savers which let you deposit more than that, or if you have savings in other accounts with the same bank, for total peace of mind don't put more than £85,000 in any one institution; spread it around.

For those with very large amounts of savings (for example, from a house sale) this could lead to lots of accounts. Even if you've too much to stick to the £85,000 limit for each one, the general rule of not having all your eggs in one basket still works. For more info, see the how to get 100% safety section of the Savings Safety guide.

This guide and best buys

It's impossible to pick "which bank is in trouble?". We've seen great names of world banking like Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch in trouble. Therefore the only solution for this site is that we'll report the top rates regardless, alongside explaining any protection oddities. So far, world governments have reacted to protect their banks and no savers have lost money, and it's likely (though not certain) that will continue.

Stay protected - keep updated on safety changesGet MoneySavingExpert's free, spam-free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

Top rate accounts (but need bank account)

The top-paying regular savers come with a big 'but' attached - you must also hold or switch to the same bank's current account. Happily, at the moment the best current account for new switchers also offers the highest regular saver rate.

6% for First Direct customers No withdrawals or missed payments, save up to £300/mth

First Direct
  • Promo Rate: 6% AER fixed for 12mths.
  • Monthly Deposit: £25 - £300
  • Make withdrawals? No
  • Can you miss a payment? No
  • Access: Online and by phone
  • Protection: Shared £85k FSCS (see Safe Savings)

If you have a First Direct 1st account current account (one of our top picks), you can get its Regular Saver, paying 6% AER fixed for a year. This allows deposits between £25 and £300 each month, via standing order from your First Direct bank account.

The 1st Account is a top pick bank account - new customers switching to it get a £100 bonus, though you must pay in at least £1,000 a month; plus it's the outstanding customer service bank, with 92% voting it great. See the Best Bank Accounts guide for full details.

The Regular Saver doesn't allow any missed monthly deposits or withdrawals, although you can reduce payments to the minimum in any month. If you miss a payment or make a withdrawal before a year is up, the account's closed and you get 0.5% interest instead.

The maximum balance allowed increases monthly by £300. If you deposit £100 in month one, you could deposit £500 in month two (as the max balance allowed will be £600). Technically, in the final month, you could deposit £3,600 minus the amounts you've already put in, though as the rate's paid daily, you'd miss all the benefits.


4% for Club Lloyds customersCan withdraw & miss payments, save up to £400/mth

Lloyds Monthly Saver
  • Promo Rate: 4% AER fixed for 12mths.
  • Monthly Deposit: £25 - £400
  • Make withdrawals? Yes
  • Can you miss a payment? Yes
  • Access: Online & Branch
  • Protection: Full £85k FSCS (see Safe Savings)

The Club Lloyds Monthly Saver pays 4% AER if you have the normal Club Lloyds Bank Account, one of our top pick bank accounts. It's free to hold, provided you pay in at least £1,500 a month. See the Best Bank Accounts guide for full details.

You can deposit £25 - £400 a month into the Monthly Saver, up to a maximum of £4,800 a year. You're allowed to miss deposits, though you can't make them up in subsequent months if you have missed any.

This account also allows you to make unlimited withdrawals, but if you do take cash out, you can't add money to the account to replace it.


4% for HSBC customersNo withdrawals or missed payments, save up to £250/mth

HSBC
  • Promo Rate: 4% AER fixed for 12mths.
  • Monthly Deposit: £25 - £250
  • Make withdrawals? No
  • Can you miss a payment? Yes
  • Access: Branch & Phone
  • Protection: Shared £85k FSCS (see Safe Savings)

The HSBC Regular Saver pays 4% AER if you have the normal Bank Account or Graduate Account. These are free to hold, though you must pay in at least £500 a month. You can deposit £25 - £250 a month into the Regular Saver, up to a maximum of £3,000 a year and you're allowed to miss deposits.

The maximum balance allowed increases monthly by £250. If you deposit £50 in month one, you could add £450 in month two (as the max balance allowed will be £500). Technically, in the final month, you could deposit £3,000 minus the amounts you've already put in, though as the rate's paid daily, you'd miss most of the benefits.

If you have one if its fee-paying accounts you'll be eligible for a 6% AER regular saver. Not one of our top picks, but it's a good option if you're already a happy customer.


Most flexible, incl unlimited withdrawalsSaffron BS 4% AER fixed for 12 months. Branch & post

Saffron BS
  • Promo Rate: 4% AER fixed for 12mths
  • Monthly Deposit: £10 - £200
  • Make withdrawals? Yes, unlimited
  • Can you miss a payment? Yes
  • Access: Branch & Post
  • Protection: Full £85,000 FSCS (see Safe Savings)

The Saffron BS 12 month fixed-rate regular saver (issue 2) pays 4% AER and lets you save between £10 and £200, but the real bonus here is that you can make unlimited withdrawals for no penalty.

This account is only available to existing Saffron customers, so you must have held £100 or more with them for a year, or have a Saffron mortgage.

The account can be opened and operated in branch or by post. The balance must remain above £10 or you'll get 0.05% AER, though once the balance goes back over £10 the rate will revert to 4%. You get the interest once the year-long fixed period is up.

The top open-to-all accounts

If you don't have the current accounts necessary to unlock the big-paying accounts above, check out the top open-to-all accounts that aren't linked to other products. There are no restrictions on how many regular savings accounts you can have and, as they all limit the amount of cash you can put away, you may want to use more than one.


Save up to £250/monthLeeds BS 3.05% AER, incl 1.8% bonus

Leeds BS
  • Promo rate: 3.05% AER (incl 1.8% bonus)
  • Monthly deposit: £50 - £250
  • Make withdrawals? Yes, one/year
  • Can you miss a payment? No
  • Access: Post or in branch
  • Protection: Full £85k FSCS (see Safe Savings)

The Leeds BS Regular Saver (issue 3) pays 3.05% AER. This includes a 1.8% bonus, providing you save £50 to £250 each month and make no more than one withdrawal in the bonus period (1 Nov to 31 Oct).

If your 12 months spans two bonus periods, you can make a withdrawal before the end of October and again after 1 November.

If you miss any payments or make more than one withdrawal in the bonus period, the rate drops to 1.25% AER. The account can be opened and accessed by post or in branch.


Save up to £3,000/monthMarket Harborough 2% AER, incl 0.5% bonus

Market Harborough
  • Promo rate: 2% AER (incl 0.5% bonus)
  • Monthly deposit: £10 - £3,000
  • Make withdrawals? Yes, one/year
  • Can you miss a payment? No
  • Access: Online, post or branch
  • Protection: Full £85k FSCS (see Safe Savings)

If you're looking for a regular saver that allows you to deposit more than a couple of hundred pounds a month then the Monthly Super Saver from Market Harborough is a good account paying 2% AER for a year. The rate includes a 0.5% bonus, so after a year you'll need to ditch and switch to a better paying account.

Although, the rate's lower than the Leeds Regular Saver account above, you can deposit between £10 - £3,000 a month in this account - meaning you could save up to a huge £36,000 in the year.

It's fairly strict in that you must pay something into the account every month, but you can vary the amount you pay in - so £10 will do if you find yourself short. But, this account's only worth it if you're looking to save over £400/month - any less and the Leeds account will give you more interest.

The account can be opened in branch or by post, but once opened you can access it online too. You can make one penalty free withdrawal from the account each calendar year - any more and you'll lose 30 days' interest on the amount you withdraw. Interest is paid annually on 31 December.

6% for childrenHalifax, great rate but max £100 monthly deposit

Halifax
  • Promo rate: 6% AER fixed for 12mths
  • Monthly deposit: £10 - £100
  • Make withdrawals? No
  • Can you miss a payment? Yes
  • Access: Branch
  • Protection: Shared £85k FSCS (see Safe Savings)

The Halifax Kids' Regular Saver pays 6% gross interest fixed for a year, however you can only deposit a maximum of £100 per month. No withdrawals are allowed, but you can miss monthly deposits.

Applications can only be made in Halifax branches - this account is not available via the Bank of Scotland.

The account must be opened by an adult in the child's name. If, as is usual, your child doesn't earn enough to pay tax, it's tax-free (a full explanation of children's account tax is in the Best Child Savings guide).

Local building societies

Local building societies often offer good rates too on branch-only accounts, so keep your eyes peeled if you're visiting or walking past. We've listed a few of the top accounts below, but they're only available if you live near a branch.

South and east England

If you live near one of the 19 Saffron Building Society branches or agencies, you could get its 12-month Fixed Rate Regular Saver. It pays 4% AER for 12 months, provided you deposit between £10 - £200 every month. You must open the account in a branch, and these are located in east London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk. You can check if you live near a branch here.

Kent Reliance's one-year Regular Saver pays 4% AER when you deposit between £25 - £500 every month. The account must be opened in one of its nine branches, which are all in Kent, West Sussex and Hampshire. Ipswich Building Society offers 3.5% AER to residents in selected postcodes near Ipswich.

Midlands

If you live near a branch in Birmingham, West Brom BS's Fixed Rate Regular Saver pays a decent 3.3% AER when you deposit between £10-£100 every month. Branches are in Birmingham and across the Black Country. Find your closest.

Nottingham BS's Regular Saver pays 3.1% AER. You need to deposit between £10 - £250 every month. Branches can be found in and around Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire and Northamptonshire. Find your closest branch.

North west England and north Wales

The Branch Regular Saver from Marsden BS pays 3.5% when you deposit between £10 - £200 a month for 12 months. The account can only be opened and managed in branches which are located around Blackpool, Blackburn and Lancaster.

Stay protected - keep updated on safety changesGet MoneySavingExpert's free, spam-free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

Don't believe the bad press

Sadly, regular saver accounts often receive negative publicity due to a flawed understanding. Many people say they've used regular savers, but only received around half the interest they thought they would. Yet that's because they expected the wrong amount, not because they were underpaid. Here's a wee example...

Mr Matt Mattics and his £3,000 savings

Matt has saved a total of £3,000 in a regular savings account paying 10% interest over a year, and is a non-taxpayer.

What Matt expects to earn? His simple sum works out that he's put £3,000 in at 10% therefore he should earn £300 in interest.

Why is this wrong? Matt only had £3,000 in there for the last month; it took a year to build up to that amount. You only earn interest on money in the account. So after the first month he was earning the 10% on just £250, half way through the year he was earning it on £1,500.

Mr Matt Matics How Matt should work it out? Over the year, his average balance was roughly half the £3,000, in other words £1,500... so Matt should expect to earn around 10% of £1,500 over the year, which is £150.

Dripfeeding: How to maximise the interest

The problem with regular savings accounts is it takes time to build up the amount of money you have in there. So while they promise high interest, this is often just on a small amount of money. Yet if you have a lump sum of cash, and you want to maximise its earnings, you can still take advantage.

  • Put the lump sum in the top normal savings account

    Put the lump sum you wish to save in a normal savings account paying as much interest as possible (see Top Savings Accounts).

  • A snail on a pile of coinsPay the money into the regular saver from the savings account

    Now make payments into the regular saver straight from your normal savings account each month, instead of from your current account. Not all savings accounts allow this, so check before you set the account up (you may have to move the cash to a current account first, then to the regular saver).

This technique is called 'drip-feeding', as you're slowly moving your cash across, month by month. This means every penny you want to save is earning the most it can possibly do at any one moment. Here's how it should work in practice. Let's take the same £3,000 savings as in the Mr Matt Mattics example above...

How to drip-feed £3,000 into regular savings
Month Top savings account Regular savings
0
£3,000
£0
1
£2,750
£250
2
£2,500
£500
3
£2,250
£750
4
£2,000
£1,000

To get the maximum gain, put as much in as possible in the early months, but always ensure you've enough left to keep up the minimum payments for the account's lifespan. Then you've got as much interest as possible, while meeting the account's terms and conditions.

The Regular Savings Calculator

Below is a special calculator designed to help you work out what you'll earn from Regular Savings. It has two options...

  1. Regular savings only. Choose this if you want to know how much you'll get from a Regular Saver alone.

  2. Drip feed calculator. If you want to save a lump sum, and are using the drip feed route above, this will tell you how much you get, and compare it with keeping the money in your normal savings account.

How much will you save each month? £
What’s the interest rate? (before tax) %
How long will you save for? years and months time.
How much tax do you pay? No Tax Basic Higher Additional

For the most accurate answer, use the AER (Annual Equivalent Rate) which should be listed on your statement. Remember, most normal savings accounts are variable rates, so the drip feed calculation will change if the rate does – but it's a good indicator of the returns.

Join in the Forum Discussion:
Regular Savings Accounts
If you haven't already

What the * means above

If a link has a * by it, that means it is an affiliated link and therefore it helps MoneySavingExpert stay free to use, as it is tracked to us. If you go through it, it can sometimes result in a payment to the site. It's worth noting this means the third party used may be named on any credit agreements.

You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.

Duplicate links of the * links above for the sake of transparency, but this version doesn't help MoneySavingExpert.com: First Direct Bank Account

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.