Top savings accounts

Up to 5.16% easy access or up to 5.22% fixed rates

After many years of low rates, savings have made a significant comeback over the last year. With inflation now sitting lower than rates the top savings accounts, there's a chance to really make your money work for you. We've the top easy-access, notice and fixed-rate accounts below.

This is our main savings guide, but there are other options that can pay even more...

Lifetime ISA: 25% bonus for first-time buyers aged 18 to 39
Help to Save: 50% bonus on savings if you're on a low income
Cash ISAs: The likely winner if you pay tax on savings interest
Regular savings: Up to 7.5% interest if you can save monthly
Children's savings: Earn up to 5.8% on kids' savings
Current accounts: Earn up to 5.12% on smaller sums 

What is a savings account?

A savings account is simply an account for you to put money in and earn interest. 

Savings interest is paid tax-free and most won't pay any tax on it at all. Basic-rate taxpayers can earn £1,000/year tax-free and higher-rate taxpayers £500. Full info on this allowance and how it works is in our Personal savings allowance guide.

As rates have risen, you'd need around £20,000 in easy-access savings at the best rates, or £16,250 in top fixed rates to reach this, as a basic-rate taxpayer. If that's you, it's worth considering a cash ISA as interest on these is always tax-free (and doesn't count towards your personal savings allowance).

Your savings are safe – up to £85,000 is protected per bank or building society

Every bank or building society we mention in this guide is fully UK-regulated, which means you get £85,000 per person protection in the event it goes bust (£170,000 for joint accounts). The only thing to watch out for is some banks are linked to others, meaning this protection is shared. See Are your savings safe? for full info.

How to choose the right savings account

There are many different types of savings account and if you're not sure what each one does, the choice can be confusing. This guide focuses on the top-pick 'standard' savings accounts, but there are other ways to boost your return. Here are our tips to decide where's best to put your money...

  • If you've expensive debt, it always pays to clear it before saving. For example, £1,000 in top savings earns up to £50/year, while £1,000 debt on a credit card with an APR of 24% costs £240/year. Clear the debt with the savings and you're £190+ better off. See Repay debts or save?

    If you've got a mortgage, it's similar logic, but there are a few catches. See Overpay mortgage with savings? and the Mortgage Overpayment Calculator.

  • Easy-access accounts let you make withdrawals at will (though some do limit the total number you can make a year). They tend to pay lower rates than many other types of account, but are a good place to keep your money if you're going to need it soon (or frequently)

    Make sure you keep an eye out for introductory 'bonus' rates. 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 remember the end date for the bonus and switch as soon as it ends, so you don't languish on a rubbish rate.

    Or, boost rates but still keep some access...

    Easy-access accounts are the simplest savings, letting you put lump sums in and withdraw when you want. Yet while you pay for that flexibility with lower rates, many leave cash in there for years, without touching it, arguing: "I may need to get at it at some point". So we've a few boosts – higher payers which give some access to your cash. And you can MIX these, so split your money across different ones, if suitable...

    • Boost 1: Fixed cash ISAs – let you access cash in an emergency. With normal fixed savings you lock money away with no access in return for higher, guaranteed interest. Tax-free fixed-rate cash ISA savings pay slightly lower rates, but the rules state they must allow you to access your cash, though they can charge an interest penalty if you do. Yet as rates are much higher than easy access, if you're unlikely to touch the cash, but want insurance that you can if needed, these win.

    • Boost 2: Use a notice account if you know, or will know, when you'll need to withdraw. Notice accounts require you to, er, give notice before you can withdraw your cash, so they're good if you know when you'll need the money, for example, if saving for a home, you should have a good idea in plenty of time. See the best payers in top notice accounts.

    • Boost 3: Short-term fixes work if you know exactly when you'll need the money. If you know when you'll need your cash (for example, for future mortgage overpayments), you can lock it away for six months or nine months in the top shorter fixes. If you know when you'll need it, but you've more time, see top longer fixes.
  • A fixed-rate account is just a 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, but if normal savings rates were to increase during that time you'd be unable to ditch and switch to a better payer until your fixed term ended.

    Want to know how much you'll earn in fixed-rate savings? Find out with our Savings Calculator. Simply plug in the rate, and how much you'll save, and it'll tell you how much you'll earn.

  • The Lifetime ISA (LISA) scheme gives first-time buyers a 25% boost to their savings, and should be your first port of call if you're saving for your first home.

    Anyone aged 18 to 39 can open a LISA and save up to £4,000/tax year into it, as a lump sum or by putting cash in when they can. Then the state adds a 25% bonus on top. So save £1,000 and you'll have £1,250.

    First-time buyers can use the money and bonus towards the deposits for any residential property costing up to £450,000 once they've held the LISA for 12 months. But be warned – there's usually a 25% withdrawal penalty if you take the money out for anything other than purchasing a first home or for retirement aged 60+. Full info in our Lifetime ISAs guide.

  • The Government's Help to Save scheme is designed to encourage people claiming Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits to save. It pays a 50% bonus on the amount saved, up to a maximum bonus of £1,200 over four years.

    Our Help to Save guide has full info on the scheme, including when you should and shouldn't go for it.

  • The personal savings allowance (PSA) means that many people don't pay tax on their savings. This means that deciding whether or not to put your money into a cash ISA is usually just a question of which account pays the highest interest rate.

    If you've reached your personal savings allowance limit (£1,000 in interest if you're a basic-rate taxpayer, or £500 for higher-rate), then it's worth considering a cash ISA as you never pay tax on the interest paid on that.

    Read our Top cash ISAs guide for the current best buys and a full analysis on whether or not you should open one.

    Not sure how much interest you'll get? Find out with our Savings Calculator. Simply plug in the rate, and how much you'll save (and if you pay tax on savings interest), and it'll tell you how much you'll earn.

  • Surprisingly, some banks' current accounts or their linked savers pay a higher rate of interest than most savings accounts, though you tend to only get interest on smaller amounts, often the first £4,000 or so. And unlike savings accounts, you'll need to pass a credit check to open one.

    Our Best bank accounts guide has the highest paying options.

  • These are specific products that let you save about £50 to £500 every month (maximum deposits vary by account). The main advantage is they tend to pay higher rates of interest than standard deals. For more details and best buys, see the full Regular savings accounts guide.

  • If you've got children aged under 18, then you can get a specialist savings account for them. Though they tend to mirror adult accounts (in that you can get easy access, fixed rate, ISAs and so on), 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 open a junior ISA and lock cash away until they're 18. If that's not what you want, see our Kids' savings guide.

  • If you've lots to save, you can open several different savings accounts. For example, if you had £20,000 and you needed £5,000 of it in two months' time, you could stick £5,000 in the top easy-access account, and then put the rest into a one-year fix.

    If you don't yet know what you want to do with your cash, just stick your money (up to the protected £85,000) in the top easy-access account while you're deciding.

  • As a MoneySaving website, the most important thing for us is rate, so we always include accounts with the highest interest rates in each category in this guide, regardless of which bank or building society offers them.

    In some cases, the best buys can change several times a day, and we don't have the resources to forensically check each savings provider to see what it is (and isn't) invested in, or what lending it uses savings balances to fund.

    Yet if green savings are important to you, we have a separate Green savings guide, where we do look at the banks and building societies that promise to help the environment or to use your savings to help fund green initiatives. 

    We also have a broader Ethical banking guide, which provides a good starting point if you're looking for an account which backs good causes, or at least avoids bad ones.

    However, these accounts do tend to have lower rates than the best buys in this guide, so there is usually a trade-off between interest and green credentials.

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Top easy-access savings

The main idea with easy-access accounts is that you pay cash into them, they pay you interest while the money's in the account and you can withdraw whenever you want – especially useful if you'll need to dip into them regularly to meet the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Rates on these accounts are variable, which means they can go up or down. You'll be notified of any change, but you should regularly check the table below for the current top payer. If your account is lagging behind, simply move your cash over.

If you'd rather a guaranteed interest rate, you may need to sacrifice this flexibility and lock cash away in a fixed savings account

MSE analysis.

Easy-access accounts – what we'd go for

The top rate for easy-access accounts is offered by Paragon Bank at 5.16% (min £1,000), though the rate plummets if you make more than two withdrawals a year, so this account’s best for those who know they won’t need regular access to their savings.

If you know you'll need access to your savings more often, Beehive Money pays a slightly lower 5.12% (min £1,000) and offers unlimited withdrawals, though the rate includes a bonus and will plummet on 31 March 2025, so diarise for then to check for a better rate.

We've lots more options in the table below.

Existing Santander or Skipton BS customer? You could get higher rates of up to 7%.

 

Provider  Rate (AER variable) & withdrawal restrictions When can I get the interest? Min/max deposit How to open
Top savings accounts. Here are the highest paying traditional savings accounts.

Paragon Bank

5.16%
(max two withdrawals a year or rate drops to 1.5%)

Monthly or annually

£1,000/ £500,000

Online

Beehive Money

 

5.12%

(includes a 2.47% bonus until 31 Mar 2025)

Annually

£1,000/ £85,000

Online/ app

(no joint accounts)

Close Brothers

5.12%

 

Annually £10,000/ £2m Online
Virgin Money

5.11%

(max three withdrawals a year, rate drops to 2% from fourth onwards)

Monthly or annually £1/ £250,000 Online
Monument Bank 5.11% Monthly £25,000/ £400,000

App

(no joint accounts)

Cynergy Bank 5.1%
(rate falls to 4% after 12 months)
Annually £1/ £1m Online
Ways to boost your interest. Competitive rates, but more restrictive conditions.
Santander Edge Saver
(Santander Edge current account holders only)
7% Monthly £1/ £4,000

Online/ app/ branch

(no joint accounts)

Skipton BS

 

(must have had a mortgage or savings account with £1+ since 11 Jan 24)

5.5%

 

(rate drops to 3.8% after a year)

Annually £1/ £3,000

Online/ app/ branch/ post

 

(no joint accounts)

Santander-owned Cahoot

5.2%

('matures' after 12 months)

Monthly or annually £1/ £3,000 Online

Castle Community Bank

(credit union)

5.17%

At maturity

£20,000/ £85,000

Online

(no joint accounts)

All have Financial Services Compensation Scheme savings protection of up to £85,000.

Remember, cash in all the accounts above is protected up to £85,000 per person, per financial institution. If you've more than £85,000, it's best to spread savings across several different banks just in case one gets into difficulty.

Want to know how much you'll earn in easy-access savings? Find out with our Savings Calculator. Simply plug in the rate, how much you'll save and how long for and it'll tell you how much you'll earn.

Quick questions

  • Why do you include accounts which limit withdrawals?

    We include them because they often have the best rates, and these accounts may suit some people who might not need to access their savings from one month to the next. But we will always include the top accounts with unlimited withdrawals as well, so you can pick the one that works best for you.

    If you have an account that limits withdrawals, check what happens if you make too many. Some will drop the interest they pay if you make too many, others will close the account and transfer savings to another account with a worse interest rate.

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

    Bonus rates are temporary interest hikes to attract new customers, so the rate will DEFINITELY plummet after the term ends, so ditch and switch then.

    Bonus rates can be a good thing, as they essentially act as a minimum rate guarantee during the introductory period, promising you at least some interest. Though the rate could still fall during the bonus period if the non-bonus element drops.

    Clean rate accounts don't pay a bonus. They are completely variable, so you could end up taking one out, and the provider drops the rate it pays on the account a couple of weeks later.

    In our experience, all savings account rates – if you hold the account long enough – become rubbish accounts. But active savers can avoid this by shifting the cash to a better payer once they see their rate has dropped.

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Top notice savings accounts

These accounts require you to give notice before you can withdraw your cash. They're good for people who know they'll need their money, don't know exactly when, but know they'll not need it straightaway when they do.

A good example might be if you're a first-time buyer. You know you'll need your saved cash for the deposit, but you might find your dream home in two months or in 10. A (shortish) notice account could let you get a boosted rate, but would also let you access your cash in time to exchange.

MSE analysis.

Notice accounts – what we'd go for

With notice accounts, you'll have to wait a little to access your cash, but in return you can get a rate boost above easy-access accounts. And, as things stand, these accounts currently outpay even fixed-term accounts, though the rate is variable here, which means it could go up or down over time.

Which notice account you go for depends on how long you're willing to wait...

The top rate at the moment is offered by Market Harborough BS at 5.45% for 195 days' notice (min £10,000). If you know you'll need access to your savings sooner, Monument Bank offers 5.27% for 60 days' notice or 5.2% for 45 days' notice (both min £25,000).

Provider Rate (AER variable) Notice When is interest paid? Min/max deposit How to open

Market Harborough BS

 

5.45%

195 days

Monthly, paid into the account or paid away

£10,000/ £500,000

Online/ branch

Monument Bank

5.27%

60 days

Monthly, paid into the account or paid away

£25,000/ £400,000

App

(no joint accounts)

5.2% 45 days
Ways to boost your interest. You can beat the rates above with these non-standard accounts.

QIB UK via Raisin

(online 'savings marketplace')

5.4%

(expected profit)

95 days Monthly, paid into the account £1,000/ £85,000

Online

(no joint accounts)

5.35%

(expected profit)

60 days

All have Financial Services Compensation Scheme savings protection of up to £85,000.

Want to know how much you'll earn in a notice account? Find out with our Savings Calculator. Simply plug in the rate, how much you'll save and how long for and it'll tell you how much you'll earn.

Quick questions

  • Do I always have to give notice on these accounts?

    The short answer's yes. The clue's in the name!

    You may find a few notice accounts will allow you immediate (or at least sooner) access to your funds and charge you an interest penalty for 'breaking the rules'. But these are few and far between.

    But in general, if you think you might ever need immediate access to your cash, it's much safer to opt for an easy-access account.

  • What happens if my provider changes the interest rate?

    The savings provider will generally give you enough notice that you can withdraw your money if you want to. So for example, if your cash was in a 95-day notice account, your savings provider would probably give you 95 days' notice, plus a bit more – often a couple of weeks.

    Some providers will choose to change the rate sooner than that, but if they do this, they should give you the chance to access and withdraw your money without giving the full notice period required by the account.

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Top fixed-term savings accounts

With fixed savings you can't usually withdraw your money until the end of the term, but in return the interest rate is guaranteed. So only lock away what you definitely won't need access to.

If you want a fix that you can access money from, consider a cash ISA, which by law must allow you to do this (though usually for a fee).

At the moment, rates across the board are pretty similar from one to five years. Plus, the interest rates for fixed-term accounts are about the same as for easy-access accounts as things stand. So there's an important question to consider: do you want the flexibility of an easy-access acount, or the certainty of a fixed-rate account?

Just remember, if interest rates rise, the longer you fix, the longer you forgo the ability to ditch and switch to a better deal.

For fixes that go across more than one tax year, when you can access the interest matters.

Basic taxpayers can earn £1,000 a year in interest tax-free as part of their personal savings allowance (PSA), for higher-rate taxpayers it's £500. Getting all your interest from long-term fixes in one go may mean you exceed your PSA in that year, which could mean you end up paying more tax.

MSE analysis.

Six- and nine-month fixes – what we'd go for

At the moment, six-month fixes pay slightly more than the top nine-month fixes. A six-month term gives you a higher rate and earlier access, but a nine-month term guarantees the interest rate for longer – so it's important to consider how long you want to lock away your cash for.

The top rate for six-month fixes is currently offered by Beehive Money at 5.17% (min £500), while the top rate for nine-month fixes is offered by Emirates NBD via Hargreaves Lansdown at 5.11% (min £1).

 

Provider Rate (AER) When can I get the interest? Min/max deposit How to open
Top six-month fixes
Beehive Money 5.17% At maturity £500/ £250,000

Online/ app

(no joint accounts)

Monument Bank

5.15%

At maturity

£25,000/ £400,000

App
(no joint accounts)

Top nine-month fixes

Emirates NBD via Hargreaves Lansdown Active Savings

(online 'savings marketplace')

5.11%

At maturity

£1/ £1m

App
(no joint accounts)

Atom Bank 5.1% Monthly or at maturity

 

£1/ £1m

App

(no joint accounts)

All accounts have Financial Services Compensation Scheme savings protection of up to £85,000. 

MSE analysis.

One-year fixes – what we'd go for

If you go for a one-year fix that pays interest 'at maturity', it'll count towards your tax-free allowance for the next tax year, not this one. Monthly interest paid out of the account differs, as it's counted for the tax year in which it's paid to you – though here you won't get interest on the interest. See tax on savings interest for full help.

The top rate for one-year fixes is currently offered by SmartSave at 5.26% (min £10,000) and can be open online. Atom Bank is offering a slightly lower rate at 5.25%, however it has a much lower minimum deposit of £50.

 

Provider Rate (AER) When can I get the interest? Min/max deposit How to open
Top standard one-year fixes. Here are the highest-paying traditional accounts.
SmartSave 5.26% At maturity £10,000/ £85,000

Online

(no joint accounts)

Atom Bank  5.25% Monthly or at maturity £50/ £100,000

App

(no joint accounts)

Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank via Flagstone

(online 'savings marketplace')

5.22% At maturity £10,000/ £1m Online
Ways to boost your interest. You can get a competitive rate with this non standard-account.

My Community Bank

(credit union)

5.24% At maturity £1,000/ £85,000

Online

(no joint accounts)

 

All accounts have Financial Services Compensation Scheme savings protection of up to £85,000.

MSE analysis.

Two-year fixed savings – what we'd go for

If you're going for a two-year fix, make sure you know the tax implications of how you take interest. Accounts paying interest 'at maturity' do so as a lump sum, which could take you over your personal savings allowance (PSA) for the year it matures – meaning you'd pay some tax on the interest. Alternatively, accounts that pay interest out of the account to you monthly or annually might help keep you under your PSA as it's spread across tax years. However, interest doesn't compound in this case.

The top two-year fixed rate is offered by app-based Atom Bank at 5% (min £50), if you'd prefer an account you can open and manage online, Hodge Bank also pays 5% (min £1,000). 

 

Provider Rate (AER) When can I get the interest? Min/max deposit How to open
Top standard two-year fixes. Here are the highest-paying traditional accounts.
Atom Bank 5% Monthly, annually or at maturity £50/ £100,000

App

(no joint accounts)

Hodge Bank 5% Monthly, annually or at maturity £1,000/ £1m Online
SmartSave 4.97% At maturity £10,000/ £85,000 Online
(no joint accounts)

All accounts have Financial Services Compensation Scheme savings protection of up to £85,000.

Three- and five-year fixes – are they worth it?

MSE analysis.

Currently, the difference in interest between fixed-term accounts ranging from one to five years is minor – so there's little incentive to lock in for longer right now, unless you want absolute certainty of returns over a longer period.

If you are locking in, make sure you know the tax implications of how you take interest. Accounts paying interest 'at maturity' do so as a lump sum, which could take you over your personal savings allowance (PSA) for the year it matures – meaning you'd pay some tax on the interest. Alternatively, accounts that pay interest out to you monthly or annually might help keep you under your PSA as it's spread across tax years. Yet interest doesn't compound in this case.

SmartSave (min £10,000) offers the top rate for three-year fixes at 4.64% and Shawbrook Bank offers the top five-year fix at 4.53% (min £1,000).

Three-year fixed rates

 

Provider

Rate (AER)

When can I get the interest?

Min/max deposit

How to open

Top standard three-year fixes. Here are the highest-paying traditional accounts.

SmartSave 4.64% At maturity £10,000/ £85,000

Online

(no joint accounts)

Shawbrook Bank 4.63% Monthly, annually or at maturity £1,000/ £2m Online

UBL UK via Raisin

(online 'savings marketplace')

4.63%

 

At maturity

 

£2,000/ £85,000

 

Online 

(no joint accounts)

 

All accounts have Financial Services Compensation Scheme savings protection of up to £85,000.

Five-year fixed rates

 

Provider Rate (AER) When can I get the interest? Min/max deposit How to open
Top standard five-year fixes. Here are the highest-paying traditional accounts.
Shawbrook Bank 4.53% Monthly, annually or at maturity £1,000/ £2m Online

SmartSave

4.52%

At maturity

£10,000/ £85,000

Online

(no joint accounts)

UBL UK via Raisin 

(online 'savings marketplace')

4.52%

 

 

At maturity

 

 

£2,000/ £85,000

 

 

Online 

(no joint accounts)

 

 

All accounts have Financial Services Compensation Scheme savings protection of up to £85,000.

Want to know how much you'll earn in fixed-rate savings? Find out with our Savings Calculator. Simply plug in the rate, how much you'll save and how long for and it'll tell you how much you'll earn.

How do savings platforms work?

Savings platforms, or savings marketplaces, offer accounts from the various banks that they partner with. Essentially it's a way to easily switch between accounts, though rates are not always as good as the ones above. Big names in this space include Raisin, Flagstone and Hargreaves Lansdown Active Savings.

  • Are my savings safe?

    Raisin

    Raisin accounts are provided by ClearBank, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. When you add money to a Raisin account, before funding your chosen savings product, your funds will be covered by ClearBank's £85,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection.

    Note: App-only Chip, often featured in this guide, is also protected by Clearbank so be aware that only £85,000 will be covered if you have both.

    This gets complex, so stick with us. For the accounts above, payments are then automatically transferred through Meteor Investment Management (MIM), which passes your money to the bank offering the account you've chosen. It's then covered by that bank's £85,000 FSCS protection.

    For the short time MIM holds your money, it's technically held in trust in a MIM client account with RBS. The FSCS has confirmed in this type of structure you still get the UK £85,000 per person, per institution savings safety protection of the account provider (between leaving your Raisin UK account and arriving with the end bank, it's through RBS's protection).

    Important: We only feature UK-protected accounts in this guide, but be aware that not all banks that Raisin partners with are covered by the FSCS – some are protected by European deposit schemes, so it could be harder to get your money back if the bank went bust. For more on how savings are protected, see Are your savings safe?

    Hargreaves Lansdown Active Savings

    Money saved in a bank or building society via Hargreaves Lansdown's Active Savings platform is protected by the FSCS for that particular institution. If the bank or building society fails, your money is safe up to £85,000, though it may take longer to receive your money than if you had saved with that institution directly. This also applies if Hargreaves Lansdown itself were to fail.

    Any savings not yet invested in a bank or building society through Active Savings is kept in what Hargreaves Lansdown call a cash hub. This cash hub is ringfenced by Barclays, which means your money would be covered by the Financial Conduct Authority's safeguarding rules – there's no £85,000 limit here and Hargreaves Lansdown would have no right to your money if it collapsed. However, some costs could be taken by the administrator and it might take longer to get your money back than if you saved directly with a bank.

    If Barclays collapsed, rather than Hargreaves Lansdown, your savings in the cash hub would be covered up to £85,000 by the FSCS, though note: any other money held separately with Barclays would fall under that same £85,000.

  • Important – you'll need to take action when your fixed term ends

    You'll be emailed before your fixed term ends asking what you want to do with the money. You can choose to get it paid back into your bank account or to open another product with the savings platform – remember, it won't necessarily offer the best rates at that point, so do check.

    Do nothing, and the money will go back to your Raisin UK account or Hargreaves Lansdown cash hub – so make sure you respond to the email or it'll be sitting earning zero interest.

    Note: Hargreaves Lansdown may return any money back to your nominated account if you leave it for longer than 30 days in the cash hub.

  • Is there anything else I should know?

    If you have any issues with your account, you need to contact the savings platform directly. You can contact Raisin and Hargreaves Lansdown by email, phone or secure messaging when logged in online.

    Raisin has links with about 30 banks, while Hargreaves Lansdown has about 20, so their offering is not whole-of-market – this means it won't always offer the top rates. Before you sign up to a new account through either platform, check this guide to see if the rate can be beaten.

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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...

Savings Q&A

  • What's the top account for joint savings?

    This is a commonly asked question, but most savings accounts can be held by two people – so actually the question should just be: "What is the best savings account?", which this guide is set up to answer.

    Except where noted, each of the accounts above can be set up as a joint account – so if you're looking to save with someone else, just head to our top easy-access accounts, top notice accounts and top fixed-rate accounts.

    Where an account can't be opened jointly, we've highlighted this in the relevant table.

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

    MoneySavingExpert.com is a national website serving England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So we try to feature accounts open to everyone, which means you need to be able to open them online, in-app, or by phone or post.

    Branch-based accounts are more difficult, as – unless the account is offered by one of the big banks – it's unlikely that everyone will be able to reach a branch. For example, Skipton Building Society sometimes offers decent branch-based accounts.

    But a person in Brighton would have to travel almost 40 miles to their nearest branch to be able to open it. Similarly, someone in Carlisle couldn't access branch-based accounts offered by Ipswich Building Society as there isn't one close by.

    It is always worth looking at local building societies as they can occasionally have a corking branch-based account. But because we're a nationwide site, we just can't feature them all.

  • Are there savings accounts designed for my business?

    If you have a business current account, the chances are it pays 0% interest. So any businesses with cash stored, even just to pay the taxman, are missing out on interest.

    If you're a sole trader, you're likely to be able to save the business's cash in a personal savings account. It's best to do this, as you get the best rates. But if you've a limited company, then you'll need to use a specially designed business savings account.

  • How do inflation and deflation affect my savings?

    To really know how well your savings are doing, you have to look at it compared to the rate of inflation. Inflation is the measure of the rate at which prices increase, so if savings don't beat inflation after tax, they're losing you money.

    Are your savings 'losings'? (Spoiler: almost certainly, yes)

    A savings account that pays less than the rate of inflation is eroding your wealth. And with today's inflation figures of 6% plus, no savings account can match it.

    Here's an example using simple numbers of how inflation and interest interact...

    Imagine inflation is 10%... Things costing £1 this year will then cost £1.10 next year.
    You have £1 in a savings account at 5% interest... By next year, it will have grown to £1.05.
    Therefore, saving has reduced your spending power by 5p a pound... It's a 'losings' account, not a savings account.

    What about deflation?

    Of course, sometimes prices drop – as happened in 2009 – and you get negative inflation, known as deflation. This can sometimes be a positive for savers.

    Imagine inflation is minus 2%... Things costing £1 this year will then cost 98p next year.
    You have £1 in a savings account. The interest rate has fallen to 1%... Despite the lower rate, by next year your savings will have grown to £1.01.
    Therefore, saving has increased your spending power by 3p a pound... Even though the interest rate has plummeted, you're actually better off.

    This has remarkable consequences. Far too many have a concrete savings mindset that shouts: "Don't spend your capital!" Yet in a deflationary environment that's too rigid, anyone living off savings interest would face huge cuts in their income, and not spending capital would actually be penalising yourself.

    Personal rates of inflation do vary, yet if you're experiencing deflation and need to spend from your savings pot, you can do so without hurting your savings pile. Take the capital out at the rate of deflation and you're not losing anything, as your purchasing power is retained.

  • Can I open an account through Power of Attorney?

    Not all providers will let you open a new account on another person's behalf through Power of Attorney. For those that do, in most cases, you will need to contact the provider's customer support line to open a new Power of Attorney account as well as provide relevant documentation.

    We have listed below some providers who consistently appear on our savings guides who explicitly allow new accounts through Power of Attorney. Take a look at some of these providers and compare the rates to the ones in the tables above to get as close to a competitive rate as possible.

    If you found an account you would like to open on someone else's behalf, try searching the FAQs for a specific Power of Attorney page or ring the provider's customer support line. Note that some providers have stipulations such as requiring sole signatories.

    These providers DO let you open a new account through Power of Attorney: 

    For full information on registering a Power of Attorney with your bank, or opening new accounts on behalf of a donor, see our guide Which bank is best if you have Power of Attorney?
  • How do sharia accounts work?

    Sharia accounts – in accordance with Islamic banking principles – prohibit interest. Instead, they give 'expected profit' rates which, by definition, mean returns aren't guaranteed – though we're not aware of any UK-based sharia banks that have failed to pay their expected rates in the past.

    The accounts are open to anyone, of any faith, and the ones above are fully UK-regulated, meaning you get £85,000 per person, per institution savings safety protection. Sharia banks also follow a rule not to invest in areas such as gambling and alcohol.

  • Why do you list AER interest when not all these fixed accounts pay it?

    We list the AER (annual equivalent rate) as it's the best way to compare rates.

    Savings accounts pay interest in different ways. Most pay interest into the fixed account itself, meaning you get interest on that interest as time goes on.

    But a few banks pay interest into separate accounts, meaning you don't earn interest on the interest, and so the actual rate of interest you get is slightly lower than the AER.

    You might then be thinking that getting your interest paid into your fixed account is a no brainer, but it could mean you end up paying more in tax.

  • When should I choose to have my interest paid?

    For some accounts you can choose for interest to be paid out to an external account (for example, your bank account), while others pay the interest back into the fixed-term account itself.

    You can often choose how often interest is paid too, for example monthly or annually, or even at maturity.

    Your choice can have a significant impact, as it's when you can ACCESS the interest that matters for tax reasons, which is not necessarily the same time as when the bank pays interest. Here's an example to help explain...

    Imagine you save £10,000 in a five-year fix which pays 4.5%.

    • Option 1: Interest is paid out of the savings account to your bank account each year, meaning you can access it when it's paid.

      Here, you'd earn £450 each year for five years. As you'd be earning less interest than the basic- and higher-rate personal savings allowance limits (£1,000/year and £500/year respectively), you'd pay no tax on the interest.

      After the five years, you'd have earned a total of £2,250.

    • Option 2: Interest is paid back into the fixed account each year, and you can't access it till the account matures.

      Here, you'd earn interest on your interest, meaning that after five years you'd have earned £2,460 – about £200 more than with the first option.

      However, because you can't access the interest until the end of the five-year fixed term, all the interest counts towards the fifth year's PSA, and far exceeds both the basic- and higher-rate limits. This means you'd have to pay tax – about £292 for basic-rate taxpayers, £784 for higher-rate.

      This means that, overall, basic-rate taxpayers would be £80 worse off than with the first option, higher-rate taxpayers a massive £570 worse off.

    So some may want to have interest paid out to a bank account monthly or annually, so it's spread out over multiple years. Others may want it all paid at the end if, for example, you're retiring and may be a lower taxpayer then.

    This is complex, so check with your savings provider about when you can access the cash, then call HM Revenue & Customs on 0300 200 3300 (call charges may apply) so it can help you declare the income for tax purposes in the right year, if you need to.

    It's also a good idea to get independent tax advice, as there are so many variables and what you do and don't pay tax on will depend on other savings and income you have. See how to find a financial adviser.

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