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Top Savings Accounts

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Martin

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In a world of rock-bottom interest rates, you need to make sure you put your money into the right type of savings account with the best possible rate. Yet there are several different types, and bizarrely, the best savings rates are now on current accounts.

This guide will take you through the maze to find the most profitable home for your cash – and keep it safe.

11 need-to-knows before you pick a savings account

A savings account is just a place to dunk cash to earn interest and save for the future. But don't just go for the headline screaming the highest rate without first examining how it works and what the alternatives are.

  • Savings interest is now paid tax free

    It used to be that for every £100 interest earned, basic-rate taxpayers lost £20 in tax, higher rate £40. Yet since 6 April 2016, the new personal savings allowance (PSA) has turned it on its head. Now:

    • All savings interest will be paid gross, ie, there'll be no tax taken off.
    • This works for ALL interest - not just savings accounts, but bank accounts, credit unions & peer-to-peer savings. However share dividends aren't included.
    • Basic 20% rate taxpayers can earn £1,000/yr interest tax-free.
    • Higher 40% rate taxpayers can earn £500/yr interest tax-free.
    • Top 45% rate taxpayers don't get a PSA, so all interest is taxable.
    • Cash ISAs, premium bonds and other tax-free savings interest DON'T count towards the £1,000 (or £500) PSA limit so you can get this interest too.
    • If you earn interest over the limit, you pay tax at your income tax rate, but only on the amount over the limit.

    If you do then owe tax, it'll be taken through your tax code. If you self-assess, you'll declare anything you need to pay there. HMRC estimates the PSA will take 95% of people out of paying savings interest tax altogether. For full info and what to do if you'll earn over the limit see our how the personal savings allowance works guide.

  • If you've costly debts, pay them off before saving

    If the interest cost of your debt is more than you'd earn on savings you're better off paying down the debt. If you've £1,000 on a credit card at 20% it costs £200 a year, assuming a constant balance. In savings at 2%, you'd earn £20 a year, so you'd be £180 a year better off repaying the card. Much more info in Should I Repay Debts With Savings?

    Quick questions

    What if I have a 0% card or a really low rate?

    Shouldn't I have an emergency fund?

  • If you've got a mortgage, check if you should overpay it before saving

    This is the same principle as above: if the mortgage rate is higher than the savings rate, and you can spare the cash, overpaying is a solid financial decision. However, there are possible complications, such as penalties for paying too much...

    Quick questions

    Will I always be allowed to overpay and is there a limit?

    If I overpay my mortgage can I access that extra cash again?

  • Have you used your 2016/17 ISA allowance? It allows you to save and never pay tax on interest

    A cash ISA is simply a savings account where you never pay tax on the interest. Anyone aged 16 or over can put up to £15,240 into their cash ISA during the current tax year.

    Traditionally this was the first place for taxpayers to put a lump sum, yet the new personal savings allowance has made them a less attractive option. Read Martin’s are ISAs worth it? blog for full analysis on whether or not you should open one.

    Quick questions

    Isn't my money locked away in an ISA? (That's a common myth – it's not)

  • Are you willing to switch bank account? You can boost savings rates

    Surprisingly, some banks’ current accounts pay a higher rate of interest than their savings accounts – these are currently the top rates available, other than specialised exceptions. You’ll often need to switch bank account to take advantage, and pass a credit check. For a selection, see our top pick bank account section below, or for a full range of accounts, see the Best Bank Accounts guide.

  • Can you put money aside each month? Consider a regular saver

    This is a specific product for putting £10-£500 in every month (maximum deposits vary by account). If you want to save more, combine a few. The main advantage is they tend to pay much higher rates of interest than standard deals. For more details and best buys, see the full Regular Savings Accounts guide.

  • Can you lock the cash away? Fixed savings give a (slightly) better return

    You may want to consider getting a fixed-rate savings account where the amount you earn is set in stone over a fixed time period. However, you can't usually access the cash during that time, and even if you can, the penalties can be large.

    Usually fixed rates are higher than easy access, so they can be good deals. However, if normal savings rates were to increase during that time, you'd be unable to ditch and switch to a better payer. See the full top fixed-rate savings section.

  • Up to £75,000 in savings per person is safe in UK-regulated accounts

    Ten years ago, we wouldn’t have had to stress this so clearly. No bank had collapsed in 100 years, but then the credit crunch and global market turmoil hit. After the calamities that hit Northern Rock, RBS, the Lloyds group, Bradford & Bingley, Icesave and Kaupthing, every sensible saver should ask: "Is my money safe?"

    Provided the money is in a UK-regulated bank or building society, it's protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for up to £75,000 per person. Read more in the Are My Savings Safe? guide.

    Quick questions

    What counts as UK-regulated?

  • Ditch and switch after introductory 'bonus' rates end

    These are temporary interest boosts to attract new customers. They're actually a good thing for many, as they effectively act as a minimum rate guarantee during the introductory period, promising you at least some interest.

    But it is vital to diarise the end date and switch as soon as the bonus ends, so you don't languish on a rubbish rate. Always know your account's exact name and the rate it pays as some try to flog you a similarly named deal at bonus-end.

  • In a couple? Put savings in the name of the partner who pays less tax

    If one of you pays a lower rate of tax than the other, it's financially worth considering whose name you save in (but ONLY if you trust them). Put it in the lower rate taxpayer's name and it'll fall under a higher personal savings allowance, so you can save more without paying tax. There's nothing stopping married couples or civil partners moving money between them.

    If you're not married, there's no tax on giving your partner a 'gift' – though once the money goes across, be aware it becomes their cash, not yours. The only extra issue here would be inheritance tax. If the person who gave the cash dies within seven years the surviving partner may be charged tax.

  • Got kids? Encourage them to start saving

    If you’ve got children aged under 18, then you could consider opening a specialist savings account for them. Though they tend to mirror adult accounts (in that you can get easy-access, fixed-rate, ISAs etc), some of the current rates actually beat their grown-up counterparts. Plus, it can be a great way to teach your kids the merits of saving early.

    You can gift enough savings per parent tax-free to earn £100 interest each year – though open a Junior ISA and all interest is tax-free regardless, though the cash is locked away. Other children’s savings options include Regular Savings, Easy-Access Savings and Fixed Savings.

Best BuysCurrent Account Savings

You used to need to avoid leaving cash languishing in a current account like the plague, such were the pitiful interest rates, but with some accounts, it's a different story. With savings rates so low, and current account providers desperate to seduce new customers, the top rates are in current accounts. But you often need to fully switch to get these rates, which means moving direct debits and standing orders.

Banks offer these as 'loss leaders', which means they throw money at you to get your current account business, after which they'll try to cross-sell you insurance and mortgages, where they make their big profits. But there's no obligation, just ignore the hard sell and max the current account interest.

Important info: Below are our top picks. But there are alternative bank accounts that pay decent interest, see our Best Bank Accounts guide for them.

Santander

Earn 3% on up to £20,000

£5/mth fee, but cashback more than covers it for most
SANTANDER 123*

If you can save £3,000-£20,000, the Santander 123* current account smashes virtually all other savings accounts out of the water. There’s also up to 3% cashback on household bills.

There are catches: you have to set up or switch direct debits and there’s a £5/mth fee. But used right you could make more than £530 a year in interest, even with the fee, and another £80 in cashback.

Need-to-knows
  • The fee has recently increased from £2/month. Read Martin's thoughts on whether Santander 123's still worth it.

  • You get 3% AER interest if you’ve £3,000 to £20,000, 2% if you’ve £2,000-£2,999 and 1% if you’ve £1,000-£1,999 (nothing below £1k). You get that rate on your entire balance.

  • You must pay in £500/mth within a month of your statement date to get interest and cashback.

  • You can earn 3% cashback on landline, mobile, internet & TV bills; 2% on energy; and 1% on water bills, council tax & Santander mortgages, provided you pay them by direct debit.

  • You need at least two active direct debits (so not old, closed ones) on the account to get interest and cashback.

  • You can open two accounts, allowing savings of £40,000 at 3%, but the second must be a joint account. The same pay-in and direct debit rules apply to that account.

  • You’ll need to pass a credit check to get this account.

  • There's a linked 5% regular saver account that you can open when you have this account.
  • Santander shares its £75,000 UK savings safety guarantee with Cahoot.
SUMMARY:

Rate (paid on full balance): 3% AER variable if you've £3k-£20k; 2% AER variable on £2k-£2,999.99; 1% AER variable if you've £1k-£1,999.99; 0% under £1k | Fee: £5/mth | Min deposit: £500/mth to get the interest (within a month of your statement date) | Max deposit: None, but interest only paid up to £20,000 | Access: Online, mobile, branch or phone | Interest paid: Monthly | Withdrawal restrictions: Unlimited

KEY QUESTIONS:

How much cashback could I really earn? You get 1% cashback on water, council tax bills and repayments of up to £1,000/mth on Santander mortgages, 2% on bills from major gas and electricity suppliers, and 3% on mobile, home phone, broadband and TV packages. Santander has a list of qualifying suppliers (though it's worth checking with them about your suppliers, even if they're not listed).

We crunched the numbers on how this stacks up for low, average and high bill payers. After the fee, we worked out low users would be up by £11 a year, average users £79 and high users £190, even before savings interest's taken into account.

The cashback works best for those who have a mortgage payment of around £1,000/mth with Santander – but even without the mortgage payment, anyone with high bills will be able to make money from this account, even considering the fee.

Our table details how the account works for low, medium and high bill payers.

What will Santander charge me if I go overdrawn? Well, we hope if you're using this for savings that this won't be an issue. But, Santander's overdraft charges are middling. You'll get an interest-free overdraft for four months when you switch to the account. After that, it charges £1/day for arranged overdrafts, and £6/day if you go over your overdraft limit. There's a maximum charge of £95 in any calendar month.

How does opening two accounts work? You can only open two accounts if one is a single and one is a joint account – think carefully before doing this, as if you join finances, your partner's credit record affects yours.

This is great if you have up to £40,000 in savings and/or you have a second home with separate bills.

You'll have to pay the £5/mth fee on both accounts but the interest gains could make this relatively insignificant. But you'll still need to satisfy the £500/month pay-in requirement (you need to pay in from outside Santander). You must also have at least two direct debits set up on each account.

TSB

5% interest if you have £2,000 or less

TSB Classic Plus*

The TSB Classic Plus* current account is top if you’ve £2,000 or less to save, as you can get a whopping 5% AER. Unusually for a current account with perks, you don’t have to switch your own account, or set up any direct debits, you can just open this account as an extra.

You also get 5% cashback on the first £100 spent each month on contactless transactions on your debit card, meaning you can earn up to £5 per month as well as the in-credit interest.

Need-to-knows
  • You need to pay in £500 per calendar month and opt for online banking with paperless statements to get the interest.

  • If you’ve more than £2,000, you don’t get interest on anything above, so find another savings account for the extra, or check other bank accounts, such as Santander above.

  • You can have two accounts, allowing savings of £4,000 at 5%, but your second account must be joint. You’ll still need to pay in £500 a month to the second account too (though you can fund one from the other).

  • You'll get 5% cashback on the first £100 spent each month on contactless transactions on your debit card up to 31 December 2016, as long as you're registered for internet banking.

  • You need to pass a credit check to get this account.

  • TSB has the full £75,000 UK savings safety guarantee.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 5% AER variable on up to £2,000 | Min deposit: £500 per calendar month to get the interest | Max deposit: None, interest only paid up to £2,000 | Access: Online, branch or by phone | Interest paid: Monthly | Withdrawal restrictions: None

KEY QUESTIONS:

How much will the overdraft cost me? Well, we hope as you're using this account for savings that you won't be using the overdraft. But, if you do, then TSB gives you a £25 buffer where you won't pay any fees or interest.

Go further into your overdraft, and it charges you 19.94% AER interest on your overdrawn balance, plus a £6 monthly usage fee for any month you use your overdraft. If you bust your overdraft limit by more than £10, you'll pay £5/day under £25 over limit and £10/day for £25+ over limit, to a maximum of £80 a month. There's also a £10 unpaid item fee (max 3/day) if you try to make more payments when you're over your limit.

Other top-interest paying current accounts

It's not just these two accounts that pay large. Seven bank accounts, including the two mentioned above, give you varying levels of decent interest (see below), and the one you pick should depend on how much cash you're likely to be able to keep in your account.

If you really want to max the interest, there's a way to cycle it around several accounts to get interest from all of them. Some who've used this technique get £60 or £70 in interest a month. See the 5% savings loophole guide for a full how to.

Do note there are bank accounts which will pay you up to £100 to switch, which beat some of the accounts below in the first year. See a full list of accounts that pay you to switch.

The top current account savings interest
For comparison, the top easy-access savings deal open to all pays just 1.45%.
In-credit interest (AER) Max
interest /yr (1)
Min monthly pay-in How many can you have?
Santander 123 3% if you've £3,000-£20,000 £532 (after fee) £500 2 (2nd must be joint)
Club Lloyds 4% if you've £4,000-£5,000 £196 £1,500 2 (2nd must be joint)
Bank of Scotland 3% if you've £3,000-£5,000 £148 £1,000 3
Nationwide FlexDirect 5% on up to £2,500 for 1yr (2) £124 (yr1) £1,000 2 (2nd must be joint)
TSB Classic Plus 5% on up to £2,000 £97 £500 2 (2nd must be joint)
Tesco Bank 3% on up to £3,000 £88 None 2
Halifax £5/mth (3) £60 £750 2 (2nd must be joint)
(1) Before any tax if you always held the max balance+. (2) 1% after. (3) Paid regardless of balance, as long as you stay in credit. The £5 is classed as after having paid basic rate tax. So higher taxpayers will lose some of the gain.

Best BuysEasy Access Savings

An easy access account does what it says on the tin. Usually. The main idea is you pay cash into them, they pay you interest while the money’s in the account and you can withdraw whenever you want.

But interest rates are usually lower than on notice and fixed savings accounts, because you pay for the flexibility to withdraw your cash at any point.

Quick questions (show allhide all)

When is an easy access account not easy access?

What's the difference between an account with a bonus rate and one without?

Can I get a savings account that lets me withdraw cash from ATMs?

My building society has a better rate than accounts here. Why isn't it featured?

How can I avoid paying penalties on withdrawals?


ISA Coventry Logo

Top rate allowing unlimited withdrawals, but it's an ISA

Coventry BS 1.4% AER

Now all savings interest is paid tax free, if you're looking for easy access, the top rate is currently in a cash ISA. Coventry BS pays 1.4% and any interest you earn from it won't count towards your personal savings allowance.

But, only get this if you're not going to use your ISA allowance for anything else. If you're getting a Help to Buy ISA, you can't get this too. If you're investing in stocks and shares ISA, just ensure you don't go over the £15,240 limit between the two.

1.4,1
Need-to-knows
  • You can make unlimited deposits, provided you stay within the £15,240 ISA limit.

  • You can make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals from the account.

  • Transfers of previous years' ISA cash are not allowed, though you can transfer ISA cash from the current tax year.

  • Coventry BS shares its £75,000 UK savings safety guarantee with Stroud & Swindon Building Society.

SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.4% AER variable | Min deposit: £1 | Access: Online/phone/post | Interest paid: Annually | Withdrawals allowed: Yes, penalty free | Allows previous ISA transfers: No

State Bank of India logo

High rate and allows unlimited withdrawals

Coventry BS – 1.3% AER

If you don't want to open its ISA, the Easy Access Saver from Coventry BS offers a slightly lower 1.3% - still one of the highest rates for easy-access savings. You can make unlimited withdrawals, and open it with just £1.

1.3,1
Need-to-knows
  • You can make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals from this account.

  • There is no bonus on the account, so the rate could drop at any time - keep an eye on it and switch if this happens.

  • The account is opened and managed online, by phone or in branch.

  • Coventry BS shares its £75,000 UK savings safety guarantee with Stroud & Swindon Building Society.

SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.3% AER | Min deposit: £1 | Max deposit: £250,000 | Access: Online/phone/post/branch | Interest paid: Annually or Monthly | Withdrawals: Unlimited

Shawbrook logo

Decent rate and allows unlimited withdrawals

NS&I – 1.26% AER

The Income Bond from NS&I offers a slightly lower rate than the account aboves, and the rate is dropping from 6 June, but it lets you make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals from it so could be a good short-term option.

1.26,500
Need-to-knows
  • The rate is dropping to 1% from 6 June 2016.

  • You can make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals from this account.

  • There is no bonus on the account, so the rate could drop at any time - keep an eye on it and switch if this happens.

  • The account is opened and managed online, by phone or by post.

  • 100% of your money saved with NS&I is secured by the Treasury.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.26% AER | Min deposit: £500 | Max deposit: £1 million | Access: Online | Interest paid: Annually or monthly | Withdrawals: Unlimited

State Bank of India logo

Next highest payer and allows unlimited withdrawals

State Bank of India – 1.25% AER

The Online Instant Access Savings Account from State Bank of India is another decent option for an easy-access account. It offers unlimited withdrawals, and you can open it with £500. We've put it in here as we know the NS&I rate is dropping - but, all easy access rates are variable, so this one could drop too - we just can't tell.

1.25,500
Need-to-knows
  • You can make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals from this account.

  • There is no bonus on the account, so the rate could drop at any time - keep an eye on it and switch if this happens.

  • The account is opened and managed online or in branch.

  • State Bank of India has the full £75,000 savings safety protection.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.25% AER | Min deposit: £500 | Max deposit: £1 million | Access: Online/branch | Interest paid: Monthly | Withdrawals: Unlimited

RCI Bank

Highest easy-access rate but your money isn't UK FSCS protected

RCI Bank* – 1.45% AER

RCI Bank's* Freedom Savings account pays the highest rate on savings, for those who need easy access to their cash.

But we've not listed this account at the top of our best buys. This is because you need to be aware that any money in this account is NOT covered by the UK’s FSCS protection scheme as the bank's owned by French car manufacturer Renault. Instead, it’s covered up to €100,000 by France's protection scheme - if anything did happen to the bank it may be harder to get your money back.

So, before you stash your savings in it, you need to think carefully as to whether you want to save with them.

1.45,100
Need-to-knows
  • The rate on the account is variable, so the provider could drop it at any time. If it does, transfer out to a better payer.

  • The account can only be opened and managed online.

  • You must link one current account to pay in and out of your RCI savings account.

  • You can make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals from the account.

  • RCI Bank protects your cash up to €100,000 using France's FGDR scheme, and not the UK's FSCS.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.45% AER | Min deposit: £100 | Max deposit: £1 million | Access: Online | Interest paid: Monthly or Annually | Withdrawals: Unlimited

Got £75,000+? How to spread cash for safety

Remember, cash in all the accounts above is protected up to £75,000 per person, per financial institution. If you’re lucky enough to have more than this, it’s best to spread savings across several different banks in case one gets into difficulty. We’ve picked a selection of the other top payers…

See list of other top paying accounts

Best BuysNotice savings accounts

You can often boost the interest rate from the easy access accounts above if you’re able to wait a little to get your hands on your savings. Generally, the more notice you can give, the better the rate you’ll get.

Quick question

Do I always have to give notice on these accounts?


Paragon Bank

Boost your interest rate, but only if you can wait 95 days for your cash

Charter Savings Bank – 1.55% AER

Charter Savings Bank’s 95-day notice account allows you to boost rates to beat easy access deals, but you need to wait more than three months for cash when you withdraw, so only get this if you'd never need the money in an emergency.

1.55,1000
Need-to-knows
  • You can apply and manage the account online.

  • You can make as many withdrawals as you like as long as you give 95 days' notice each time.

  • Charter Savings Bank has the full £75,000 UK FSCS savings safety protection.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.55% AER | Min deposit: £1,000 | Max deposit: £250,000 | Access: Online | Interest paid: Annually or monthly | Withdrawals: Must give 95 days' notice

Best BuysFixed savings

Most savings accounts are variable, so the rate can change both with the Bank of England's base rate or at the provider's whim – so to keep earning well you need to actively monitor accounts. Yet there is an alternative...

Fixed-rate savings give a guaranteed rate for a set period, and the best buy fixed-rate deals are usually higher than the best buy easy-access rates.

The big catch is you can't take your money out during that time, and you won't benefit if other rates rise in that period. Therefore, they're only suitable for those who are happy to lock cash away for the entire term.

Quick questions

Is now the right time to fix savings?

Why do you list the AER interest rate when not all of these accounts pay it?

I know these are fixed savings, but can I access my cash?

How do I get paid interest monthly?

The best UK-protected fixed-rate accounts

Here we've included the best UK-protected accounts that pay a fixed rate of interest, from one to five years. However, these rates can be beaten if you're willing to up the risk a tiny bit. Both sharia-compliant savings and EU-protected accounts can beat these rates. Check below to see the rates, and why they're ever so slightly more risky.

The best one-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) Interest paid Min/Max Deposit How to Open FSCS Protection
Bank of BarodaBank of Baroda 1.9% On maturity £500/£200,000 Online Full
Close BrothersCharter Savings 1.7% Annually £10,000/£2 million Post Full
State Bank of IndiaState Bank of India 1.7% On maturity £10,000/£5 million Post Full

Best ‘Big Brand’ Savings. While all the accounts above have the full £75,000 UK savings safety protection – you asked us to ensure there’s a ‘name you know’ too. The account below is the top payer of those (however, there are other products - albeit not by well-known names - as well as the ones above, that beat it on rate too).

Co-op Bank*Co-op Bank 1.5% Monthly or annually £1,000/£1 million Online/Phone/Branch Shared

The best two-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) When is interest paid? Min/Max Deposit How to Open FSCS Protection
State Bank of IndiaState Bank of India 2.2% Monthly, annually or on maturity £10,000/£5 million Post Full
Bank of BarodaBank of Baroda 2.1% On maturity £500/£200,000 Online Full
Axis BankAxis Bank 2% Monthly, quarterly, annually or on maturity £1,000/£200,000 Online Full

Best ‘Big Brand’ Savings. While all the accounts above have the full £75,000 UK savings safety protection – you asked us to ensure there’s a ‘name you know’ too. The account below is the top payer of those (however, there are other products - albeit not by well-known names - as well as the ones above, that beat it on rate too).

Co-op Bank*Co-op Bank 1.6% Monthly or annually £1,000/£1 million Online/Phone/Branch Shared

The best three-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) When is interest paid? Min/Max deposit How to open FSCS protection
State Bank of IndiaState Bank of India 2.35% Monthly, annually or on maturity £10,000/£5 million Post Full
Bank of BarodaBank of Baroda 2.3% On maturity £500/£200,000 Online Full
Axis BankAxis Bank 2.2% Monthly, quarterly, annually or on maturity £1,000/£200,000 Online Full

Best ‘Big Brand’ Savings. While all the accounts above have the full £75,000 UK savings safety protection – you asked us to ensure there’s a ‘name you know’ too. The account below is the top payer of those (however, there are other products - albeit not by well-known names - as well as the ones above, that beat it on rate too).

Tesco Bank*Tesco Bank 2% Monthly or annually £2,000/£5 million Online/Phone Full

The best four-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) When is interest paid? Min/Max deposit How to open FSCS protection
Bank of BarodaBank of Baroda 2.5% On maturity £500/£200,000 Online Full
State Bank of IndiaState Bank of India 2.35% Monthly, annually or on maturity £10,000/£5 million Post Full
Tesco Bank*Tesco Bank 2.25% Monthly or annually £2,000/£5 million Online/Phone Full

The best five-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) When is interest paid? Min/Max deposit How to open FSCS protection
State Bank of India*State Bank of India 2.9% Annually £10,000/£5 million Online Full
Bank of BarodaBank of Baroda 2.85% On maturity £500/£200,000 Online Full
Tesco Bank*Tesco Bank 2.5% Monthly or annually £2,000/£5 million Online/Phone Full

Higher-paying fixed savings with a but...

If you can buck convention you can earn more with fixed savings. All the accounts above are straightforward deals, yet a host of other accounts do pay more, but with a but. So we’ll only list accounts here that beat the normal best buys.

  • Sharia compliant accounts – fully UK protected, but rate not guaranteed.  The very top-paying two and three year accounts are from a Sharia-compliant Islamic bank.

    As Islam bars interest, instead of an interest rate they give an 'expected profit rate' - this has always been paid out by the two banks listed below, though by definition it can’t be certain.

    The top payer is the Al Rayan Bank which pays 2.17% for 18 months, 2.32% for two years and 2.52% for three years – smashing the best buys above. It has the full UK £75,000 per person savings safety protection.

  • Top fixed savings with EU rather than UK savings safety protection. All accounts above have the full UK £75,000 safe savings protection. Yet EU banks can opt to be covered by their home countries' €100,000 protection, and at the moment, these can be winners. 

    However you need to consider if the worst happened and an overseas bank went bust, would and could a foreign government bail you out? Iceland famously had issues, though when that happened the UK stepped in so no UK savers lost money. If you do go for this option, bigger, wealthier countries are likely a safer bet.

    The German-protected Fidor Bank pays a top rate for three years at 2.45% AER - if you want this you'll need to also set up a current account with the bank, though this doesn't require a credit check.

Best Buys Ethical savings

Ethical savings accounts – where providers claim to behave ethically in terms of the environment, human rights and more – have jumped in popularity. Our main focus is always telling you the top savings rates, but to match demand we've worked with Ethical Consumer to list the top-paying accounts that also rate highly on their ethics.

When giving a bank or building society an ethical rating, Ethical Consumer looks at its track record on various environmental, social and political issues. For banks and building societies, this not only looks at how the business is operated, but also who their investors are, and what they invest in.


Ethical easy access savings

These easy access accounts are just the same as the ones above, but here we list only accounts from ethical providers.

Ethical easy access top pick: 1.3% AER

All the accounts below have the full £75,000 UK guarantee.

Ethical Rating 13.5/20

1.3% AER – Unlimited withdrawals

The easy access account from Coventry BS pays a clean 1.3% AER rate and allows you to make unlimited withdrawals. You can open the account online, by phone or in branch with a minimum of £1.

Ethical fixed savings

Again, these operate the same way as normal fixed savings, there's nothing special about what you have to do, but we only list ethical providers here.

Earn up to 1.65% AER fixed in an ethical bank

All the accounts below have the full £75,000 UK guarantee

Ethical Rating 13.5/20

1.35% AER fixed for one year

The Kent Reliance one-year Fixed Rate Bond pays 1.35% AER on balances over £1,000. You can apply and manage the account online, by post or in branch.

Ethical Rating 13.5/20

1.65% AER fixed for two years

The two-year bond from Kent Reliance pays 1.65% AER on balances over £1,000. You can apply online, by post, or in branch.

The Savings Calculator

This multifunctional calculator allows you to calculate how much interest you’ll be paid, how long you’ll need to save for something, or tell you how much you need to save each month to meet a goal.

You might get one rate now, but unless you’ve fixed your rate, it’s likely you won’t get the same rate in a year – so you may need to redo the calculation then.

The calculator assumes you put money in at the beginning of each month, so if this isn't how you do it, the answers will be slightly out. If you don't make regular deposits but put lump sums in, figure out the monthly equivalent for a rough answer. Feel free to play with the results to see how it impacts your savings.

Savings Calculator

Pick your question...


How far ahead do you want to look? &
How much tax do you pay?

How much tax do you pay?

When do you need it by? &
How much tax do you pay?

Want to complain about your savings provider?

If your savings provider has given you the incorrect interest rate, or you haven't received your interest at all, then you don't have to suffer in silence. It's always worth trying to call your provider first to see if it can help, but if not...

Free tool if you’re having a problem

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It’s totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver, which we like so much we work with it to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, you can use Resolver to escalate it to the free Financial Ombudsman Service.

Q&A Savings

  • What’s the top account for joint savings?

  • Are there savings accounts designed for my business?

  • Haven’t you forgotten about inflation-linked savings?

  • How does inflation affect my savings?

  • What about when there's deflation?