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Virgin Money increases easy-access savings account rate to a market-leading 1.71%

Virgin Money has increased its M Plus savings account’s interest rate to a table-topping 1.71%, the highest rate for an easy-access account since September 2013. New and existing savers will automatically get the new rate from today. But you can get a better rate if you lock your money away.

The savings account is linked to the Virgin Money M Plus* current account, the Club M account - Virgin Money's packaged account costing £14.50 a month - and the M account, which is its basic bank account. You need to have or open one of these to access the M Plus Saver.

Application processes for these accounts include a full credit check that goes on your credit file – which might be off-putting, especially if you have important credit applications due soon. 

If the credit check is not off-putting, the M Plus Saver offers 1.71% AER on up to £25,000, with no minimum deposit. You can still deposit more than this amount, though the interest rate for anything above £25,000 will drop to 1%.

The savings account has UK savings safety protection – though it's worth noting the £85,000 protection is shared with Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, so you'll only get protection on £85,000 in total across the three brands. 

How the account compares

The benefit of an easy-access account is you can deposit and withdraw your savings very easily, which is good  if you want to make the most of your money but can’t lock it away. For this type of account, the Virgin M Plus Saver is the best on the market at the moment.

Other options include Chase’s 1.5%, which also requires you open a bank account (though you only need ID to open it) plus it offers 1% cashback for the first 12 months. There's also Yorkshire Building Society at 1.55%, which has the best rate for a standard account that does not require you to open a linked current account.

If you are in a position to do so, however, you could get more from your savings by locking them away for a fixed term. For example, Tandem currently pays the top one-year fixed account rate at 2.75% and you can deposit as little as £1. The catch is you have to wait until the maturity date to access your savings - if you don't, you will loose your accrued interest. 

How to open Virgin Money's account if it's right for you

You can open an account with a linked M Plus Saver online or in branch. The M Plus account comes with its own perks, including 2.02% AER on balances up to £1,000. 

You don’t need to switch from your existing bank to open an M Plus current account, but if you do, Virgin Money is also offering a switch deal of 20,000 Virgin points if you meet certain conditions, which can be spent on things like wine, cinema tickets, some flight costs and sausage rolls.

If you are willing to switch, top offers also include up to £150 with Halifax. 

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