Urgent! Are you a saver? Watch Martin Lewis' warning video before midnight
You must act NOW to get the top-paying rate on an easy-access savings account, MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis has urged. Santander's best buy account offers 5.2% interest, but it will be axed to new customers after 11.59pm tonight. Martin explains everything you need to know in his latest video.
Update: 13 September 2023: Santander's top easy-access savings account paying 5.2% is no longer available as it was pulled at midnight as we warned in the story below. For the top paying rates now, see our Top savings accounts guide.
Some MoneySavers have reported being told they will be put onto Santander's new 2.5% rate despite taking out the 5.2% rate before it was pulled. But Santander has told us it will honour the 5.2% rate for everyone who applied in time.
A Santander spokesperson said: "All customers who applied for the Easy Access Limited Edition 3 Saver before applications closed will benefit from the 5.2% rate. Customers with this account will see the correct rate show within five days of opening and can contact customer services if they want to discuss any concerns with a member of the team after that time."
The video clip and full transcript are below, but you can also see our Top Savings guide for more info on Santander's account, plus alternatives including up to 6.2% if you're willing to lock your savings away into a fixed rate account.
Note that while Santander's website states that its 'Easy Access Limited Edition' account paying 5.2% is available until 17 September, unless it sells out sooner, the bank has separately issued a press notice today (12 September) stating that the account will close to new applicants from 11.59pm.
Watch Martin Lewis' urgent warning for savers – Tuesday 12 September 2023
What we said about Santander's account when it launched last week
Below is what we wrote about Santander's new savings account in last week's email, though we've updated the alternative accounts to the best available today (12 September):
Top easy-access account - 5.2%. Santander's new Easy Access Saver Limited Edition pays 5.2% (min £1, max £250,000). It can be operated online and withdrawals are unlimited.
Yet think of it as an account for a year only, because after that it 'matures' and it'll be moved to an Everyday Saver (which currently pays 1.05% or, as Martin describes it, 'a pants rate'), so you'll need to ditch and switch then.
Santander's sister bank Cahoot also offers a similar account paying 4.9% (the banks share their £85,000 savings safety protection, so don't save more than this across 'em).
Other top payers include Cynergy Bank and Furness Building Society, both at 5%. See our full list of alternatives in top easy-access savings.
PS: Existing Santander Edge customer? The linked saver pays 7% on up to £4,000.
Got larger amounts? Cash ISAs can reduce the tax you'll pay on interest. See our Top cash ISAs guide for full info and options.
Want to boost your rate by locking your money away? You can lock your money away for higher, guaranteed rates – the top-payer is NS&I's 6.2% one-year fix, though see Top fixed savings for full info and more options.
PS. This isn't in the video clip but Martin wanted to add the following: "Technically it [Santander's account] is a variable rate account, so it can change the rate, but it'd need to give two months' notice and usually with these things they keep it for the year."
Transcript of what Martin said in his video clip...
Martin Lewis: "Hello, I'm Martin Lewis from MoneySavingExpert.com and I've got some urgent information for you if you're a saver. You can tell it's urgent because I was due to go out on a run, but I've interrupted it to do this.
"Now, right now, the current top paying best buy easy-access savings account – that’s one where you can put money in and take it out when you like – is from Santander, and it is rare to see such a best buy coming from one of the big banks. But at midnight tonight, Tuesday 12 September, it's effectively pulling that.
"So here's how it works currently. Currently, you can go to Santander, you can open its 'Easy Access Saver Limited Edition' and get 5.2%. You only need to have £1 or more saved in there. You can put [in] up to £250,000, if you're lucky enough to have that much, it can be operated online, and you can make as many withdrawals as often as you like. From midnight tonight, the same account will only pay 2.5%.
"But the interesting thing is, as far as I can tell – and I've tried to dot every 'I' and cross every 'T' at speed – if you open it [the account] today, even if you don't put money in today, then you get to keep the 5.2% rate. So you want to open the facility today.
"Now, you want to see this as an account that will only last you a year because in a year we know it matures. In other words, they move your money to their far worse 'Everyday Saver' that pays a pants 1%. So you'll want to ditch and switch at that point.
"But for the next year, this looks like currently a massive best buy savings [account], but you'll have to open it by midnight tonight to get it. Now, if you want the full details and lots of more info and alternatives they’re all on the MoneySavingExpert.com Top Savings page, but I just wanted to give you a heads up as quick as I could while you’ve still got the opportunity to get this."