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Savings app Chip shakes up its membership plans – what this means for you

Savings app Chip has simplified its membership plan structure, reducing it from three plans to two, and has also added its autosaving feature to its free 'Chip' plan. These changes – which came into effect on 14 January – apply to both new and existing customers.

The changes mean all of the features from two of its previous plans have been combined into one new, free plan called 'Chip', which is good news for users as now everyone can access the autosaving feature without having to pay a fee.

See our Top savings guide to ensure you're getting every possible penny of interest on your savings.

What is Chip?

Chip is a savings app that you connect your current account to 'Open Banking'. It's known for autosaving:  clever tech that works out what you can afford to save and then does it for you, automatically – moving money from your bank account to a virtual savings account. The idea is that you start building up savings without really noticing the cash is going.

What's the new membership structure?

Chip now has two membership plans called 'Chip' and 'ChipX'.

  • Chip is its free plan. With it you can access a number of savings accounts and one in particular – the easy-access savings account via Allica Bank – pays 0.7% AER variable with unlimited withdrawals and deposits from £1 to £85,000 (interest paid daily). Chip's autosaving feature is also available on this plan.

  • ChipX costs £3 every 28 days. This plan gives you access to a greater range of investment accounts, a lower annual platform fee for investments, and access to a Stocks & Shares ISA.

How does this differ from before?

Previously, Chip had three plans called 'ChipLite', 'ChipAI' and 'ChipX'.

  • ChipLite was its free plan. It didn't allow autosaving and only allowed up to £2,000 to be saved into the Allica Bank savings account (until 6 December 2021 – after this date it increased it to £85,000).

  • ChipAI had a £1.50 fee every 28 days. It allowed autosaving, and up to £30,000 to be saved into the Allica Bank savings account (until 6 December 2021 – after this date it increased it to £85,000).

  • ChipX had a £3 fee every 28 days. This plan has not been changed.

How does Chip compare to other savings accounts?

In terms of easy-access savings rates, Allica Bank's 0.7% is currently one of the top rates on the market. Elsewhere, you can get a slightly higher rate of 0.72% with Family Building Society, although strangely you can only add funds until 3pm on 7 February – so while it allows unlimited withdrawals (minimum £100 each time), you've only a short window to save into it.

Other options include 0.67% with Shawbrook Bank (only allows withdrawals of £500 or more), 0.65% with Paragon Bank (allows a maximum of three withdrawals a year) and 0.6% with Goldman-Sachs-backed Marcus.

All of these accounts offer the usual £85,000 per person protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

However, since you need to connect Chip to your current account via Open Banking, it works differently to other standard savings accounts. Notably, the current account you connect to Chip is the only one you can transfer to and from (though you can change it at any time), withdrawals take one working day (two if it's after 11am) and deposits take up to three working days.

Chip connects to most (but not all) major current account providers – it will work with Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Danske, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Monzo, Nationwide, NatWest, RBS, Revolut, Santander, Starling, TSB and Ulster Bank.

By default, the autosaving feature will be switched on, though if you don't want to autosave you can pause this for up to three months at a time once you've registered (go to your profile in the app, then 'Auto-save settings' then 'Skip auto-saves' and choose a date).

See our Top savings guide for full info and other savings options.

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