Top savings accounts

Top savings accounts

Up to 2.92% easy access or up to 4.5% fixed

After many years of low rates, savings have made a significant comeback. Yet with inflation roaring, in real terms money in savings is shrinking, so it's doubly important to maximise every penny of savings interest to mitigate the impact. 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% interest if you can save monthly
Children's savings: Earn up to 5% 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 £40,000 in easy-access savings at the best rates, or £20,000 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.

Help choosing 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 £20/year, while £1,000 debt on a credit card with an APR of 18% costs £180/year. Clear the debt with the savings and you're £160+ 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 my mortgage with my savings? and the Mortgage Overpayment Calc.

  • 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.

  • 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+ (though this penalty has been temporarily cut). 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 most 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 used your personal savings allowance (£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 pay a higher rate of interest than their savings accounts, though you tend to only get interest on the first £1,500 or so. 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. 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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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 in to them to meet the ongoing financial challenges.

But interest rates are usually lower than on fixed savings accounts, because you pay for the flexibility. And since the rates are variable, it's worth checking your rate regularly to make sure you're getting the best possible returns.

Easy-access accounts – what we'd go for

There are a few different options here, but what you go for will depend on how much you have to save, and how you want to save...

For easy access, Shawbrook Bank pays the top rate of 2.92% (min £1,000) with unlimited withdrawals (provided they're £500+. Want to take out less? Withdraw £500 then re-deposit whatever you don't need). Sainsbury's Bank also offers 2.92%, though you're limited to three penalty-free withdrawals a year.

Yet there are ways to beat these rates and get more on your easy-access account...
 

  • If you've less than £5,000 to save. Yorkshire Building Society pays 3.35% on up to £5,000 (2.85% above), but only allows two penalty-free withdrawals per year.

    Alternatively, if you bank with Barclays, Nationwide, Santander or HSBC, you can get access to accounts paying up to 5%, though you'll need to be (or become) an existing customer, usually with a current account – we've full details in the table below.

  • If you don't mind interest that isn't really interest. App-only Chip is another option. It pays 3%, allows unlimited withdrawals and also has an optional auto-saving feature (it charges for this). Although it outpays the rates above, it's not without complexity – the interest is technically a 'bonus', which means it doesn't compound (you won't get interest on your interest). And although the money you put in is protected, the interest doesn't yet have that same protection.

  • If you don't mind waiting a few days. From next Wed 1 Feb, new app-only bank Kroo* will pay 3.03% AER interest (currently 2%) on up to £85,000 in its current account. It has the full UK £85,000 savings safety protection, you needn't switch bank to get it, and there's no hard credit-check – so you could open one now to get money in there in time for the higher rate.
Provider Rate (AER variable) Min/max deposit Unlimited withdrawals? How to open
Top savings accounts. Here are the highest paying traditional savings accounts.
Shawbrook Bank 2.92% £1,000/ £85,000 (sole) £170,000 (joint) Yes, but min withdrawal £500 Online
Sainsbury's Bank 2.92% £1,000/ £500,000 No, max three a year or rate drops to 0.8% Online
Cynergy Bank 2.9% (includes fixed 0.15% bonus for first 12 months) £1/ £1m Yes Online
Alternative savings accounts. These pay slightly higher rates, but have added complexities.
Yorkshire BS 3.35% 
(rate falls to 2.85% if saving over £5,000)
£1/ £5,000 No, max two a year Online/ post/ branch
Chip 3%
Be aware. This is a bonus, not interest, and the bonus isn't Financial Service Compensation Scheme-protected
(more info)
£1/ £250,000 Yes App
(no joint accounts)
Kroo*
(current account)
2% 
(3.03% from 1 Feb)
£0/ £85,000 Yes App
(no joint accounts)
Decent option from a high-street name. As we know some prefer to save with bigger brands.
Nationwide* 2.5% £1/ £5m No, max three per year or rate drops to 0.75% Online/ app
Ways to boost your interest. It's possible to beat the rates above with these non-standard accounts.

Barclays Rainy Day Saver

(Barclays Blue Reward customers only)

5.12% £1/ £5,000 Yes Online/ app/ phone/ branch

Nationwide FlexDirect

(current account)

5% £0/ £1,500 Yes Online

Santander Edge Saver

(Santander Edge current account holders only)

4% (includes 0.5% bonus for first 12 months)  £0/ £4,000 Yes Online/ branch

HSBC Online Bonus

(HSBC current account holders only)

3%

 

 

£1/ £10,000 Yes, but rate drops to 0.65% for months you withdraw Online

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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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, but don't know when. 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.

Notice accounts – what we'd go for

If you're happy waiting three to four months for access to your cash, you can get a rate boost above easy-access accounts.

120 days' notice. Hinckley & Rugby BS pays the top rate at 3.6%, though its account can only be opened by post or in branch. For an online account, OakNorth Bank is the top-payer at 3.35%.

90 days' notice. Investec is the top payer at 3.22%, though you must have at least £5,000 saved to open.

Provider Rate (AER variable) Notice Min/max deposit How to open
Top notice accounts. Here are the highest paying traditional notice accounts.
Hinckley & Rugby BS 3.6% 120 days £2,500/ £300,000 Post/ branch
OakNorth Bank 3.35% 120 days £1/ £500,000 Online/ app
Investec 3.22% 90 days £5,000/ £250,000 Online
(smartphone required)

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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Fixed-term savings accounts

With fixed savings you can't usually withdraw your money until the end of the term. And in return, you get a better rate – and that rate's guaranteed. This is because the bank gets the certainty of holding your cash for a set amount of time, and in exchange, you get the certainty of the interest rate it offers. Therefore, you should only lock away what you definitely won't need access to.

Short-term fixed rate accounts

We've the top fixes of one year or shorter below, plus our MSE analysis of what we'd go for...

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

Zenith Bank pays the top six-month rate of 3.5%, though the account must be opened via the online savings marketplace Raisin. If you'd rather save direct, app-only Atom Bank pays a slightly lower 3.45%.

For a nine-month fix, Atom Bank is the top payer at 3.75%. Or, if you've £10,000+ to save, you can get £40 cashback with Brown Shipley via Raisin's 3.68% account.

Provider Rate (AER) Min/max deposit How to open
Top standard short-term fixes. Here are the highest paying traditional accounts.
Atom Bank

3.75% for nine months £50/ £100,000

App

(no joint accounts)

Brown Shipley via Raisin
(online savings marketplace)
3.68% for nine months + £40 cashback for some £1,000/ £85,000 Online
(no joint accounts)
Zenith Bank via Raisin
(online savings marketplace)
3.5% for six months + £40 cashback for some £1,000/ £85,000 Online
(no joint accounts)
Atom Bank
3.45% for six months £50/ £100,000

App

(no joint accounts)

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

One-year fixes – what we'd go for

SmartSave currently pays the top one-year fix at 4.21% (min £10,000). Alternatively, if you've less to save and/or want your interest paid out to you monthly, take a look at Vanquis Bank's 4.2% account.

There's also Nationwide's 4% account, which we've included as we know many prefer to save with the big high-street names.

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 4.21% At maturity £10,000/ £85,000 Online
(no joint accounts)
Vanquis Bank 4.2% Monthly or at maturity £1,000/ £250,000 Online
Atom Bank 4.15% Monthly or at maturity £50/ £100,000 App
(no joint accounts)
Decent option from a high-street name. As we know some prefer to save with bigger brands.
Nationwide 4% At maturity £1/ £5m Online

All accounts have Financial Services Compensation Scheme savings protection of up to £85,000, though Cahoot's is shared with Santander.

Long-term fixed rate accounts

Fixing for more than a year can be lucrative, though it means locking your savings away for a long period of time – so only do this if you're certain you won't need your savings anytime soon.

Usually, you get a decent interest rate boost the longer you fix for – though at the moment the top two-, three- and five-year rates are only slightly higher than the top one-year rate, so there's little incentive to fix for longer terms. And remember, if interest rates were to rise further, the longer you fix, the longer you forgo the ability to ditch and switch to a better deal.

Important! On multi-year accounts, you're taxed on savings interest in the tax year you can access that interest

The personal savings allowance (PSA) means basic-rate taxpayers can earn £1,000 in savings interest before having to pay any tax (£500 for higher-rate taxpayers). But for long-term fixes where interest is paid at maturity, all of the interest earned over the term of the fix only counts towards the final year's PSA. As you'd be getting multiple years' worth of interest in one go at the end, it's much more likely that you'd exceed the PSA limit and therefore have to pay tax.

  • This can significantly impact how much interest you'll earn. Here's an example to help explain...

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

    You can choose for your interest to either 1) be paid out into an external account each year, or 2) be paid back into the fixed-term account each year, where you'd only be able to access all of it in five years' time:

    • Option 1: Here, you'd earn £450 each year for five years, paid into an external bank account (this is called simple interest). As you'd be earning less interest than the basic- and higher-rate PSA limits, you'd pay no tax each year.

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


    • Option 2: Here, interest is paid back into the fixed-term account each year, meaning you'd earn interest on your interest (this is called compound interest). After five years, you'd have earned just over £2,460 in interest – about £200 more than with the first option.

      However, all of this interest counts towards the fifth year's PSA, and far exceeds both the basic- and higher-rate limits. This means there's a sizeable chunk of tax to pay – basic-rate taxpayers will have to pay £292, higher-rate taxpayers £784.

      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!

    Though being paid your interest at maturity can be more lucrative, spacing out your interest payments yearly or monthly can mean you make the most out of your PSA – particularly if you're a higher-rate taxpayer or have a large amount to save.

If a long-term fix does sound like the right option for you, we've the top two-year, three-year and five-year fixes below, plus our MSE analysis of what we'd go for...

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

App-only Atom Bank pays the top two-year rate at 4.45%, or for an online account, Vanquis Bank's 4.4% account is the top payer.

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 4.45% Monthly, annually or at maturity £50/ £100,000 App
(no joint accounts)
Vanquis Bank 4.4% Monthly, annually or at maturity £1,000/ £250,000 Online
SmartSave 4.36% 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?

The top three- and five-year rates are only slightly higher than the top two-year rate – so there's little incentive to lock in for longer right now.

If you do want a longer fix, the top three-year and five-year rates are both 4.5%, offered by Vanquis Bank and Isbank via Raisin respectively.

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.
Vanquis Bank 4.5% Monthly, annually or at maturity £1,000/ £250,000

Online

Atom Bank 4.45% Monthly, annually or at maturity £50/ £100,000 App
(no joint accounts)
Zenith Bank via Raisin
(online savings marketplace)
4.4% + £40 cashback for some At maturity £1,000/ £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.
Isbank via Raisin
(online savings marketplace)
4.5%
+ £40 cashback for some
Annually or at maturity £1,000/ £85,000 Online
(no joint accounts)
Atom Bank 4.45% Monthly, annually or at maturity £50/ £100,000 App
(no joint accounts)
Close Brothers 4.45% Annually or at maturity,
paid away
£10,000/ £2m Online

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.

Boost savings interest

We've a way of boosting the returns you get even further – but it's a bit more complicated than opening a standard savings account...

Get £40 cashback when you save through a 'savings marketplace' 

Raisin is a 'savings marketplace', which means it offers savings accounts from the various banks that it partners with. It currently has a cashback offer where you get £40.

To qualify for the cashback, you need to be a new customer to Raisin. Here's how it all works...

  1. Register with Raisin through this link* and enter MSE40 in the promo code box (it's the very last field before you create your account) by 11.59am on Tuesday 31 January. 
  2. Open a new savings account (our top picks are below, though other accounts are available) and fund it with at least £10,000 by Friday 24 February.
  3. The £40 cashback is then paid after 14 days. The exception is if you open an easy-access or notice account, in which case you'll need to keep £10,000+ in the account for at least six months – the cashback's then paid after 14 days of the six-month period ending.

Our top-pick Raisin accounts

After you factor in the cashback, the accounts below can beat the top rates from standard savings accounts, depending on how much you save. For full info, see our analysis of the top fixed-term accounts.

- Six-month fix: Zenith Bank 3.5% AER fixed*
- Nine-month fix: Brown Shipley 3.68% AER fixed*
- Five-year fix: Isbank 4.5% AER fixed*

All of these accounts have £85,000 UK savings safety protection and are available to individuals only – Raisin doesn't currently offer joint savings accounts.

  • Are my savings safe?

    Raisin accounts are provided by Starling Bank, 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 Starling's £85,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection.

    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?

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

    Raisin will email you about a month 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 Raisin – 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 until you tell Raisin what to do – so make sure you respond to the email or it'll be sitting earning zero interest.

  • Is there anything else I should know?

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

    Raisin only have links with a few banks at the moment, so its 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 Raisin, 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.

    Ensure your savings aren't 'losings'...

    A savings account that pays less than the rate of inflation is eroding your wealth. An example using simple numbers should help...

    Imagine inflation is 5%... Things costing £1 this year will then cost £1.05 next year.
    You have £1 in a savings account at 2% interest... By next year, it will have grown to £1.02.
    Therefore, saving has reduced your spending power by 3p 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 via 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 via 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 via 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.

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