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Top Savings Accounts

1.35% easy access or up to 2.67% fixed

Martin

Updated Daily

Top savings accounts

Top savings account interest rates have finally started creeping up, but many are still dismal. This guide will take you through the maze of accounts on offer to find the most profitable home for your cash – and keep it safe.

What is a savings account? Plus 12 more savings need-to-knows

A savings account is basically just a place to dunk cash in to earn interest and save for the future. Some accounts are variable rates with easy access while others are fixed where access to your money is restricted, with other variations too. But don't just go for the headline screaming the highest rate without first examining how it works and what the alternatives are.

Rather watch than read? This helpful little video gives you the easy-access savings lowdown...

  • Savings interest is now paid tax-free, but some still need to pay tax

  • If you've costly debts, pay them off before saving

  • If you've got a mortgage, check if you should overpay it before saving

  • Have you used your 2018/19 ISA allowance? It allows you to save and never pay tax on interest

  • Are you willing to switch bank account? You can boost savings rates

  • Can you put money aside each month? Consider a regular saver

  • Find it hard to save or unsure what you can afford to put aside? Earn up to 5% with automatic savings

  • Can you lock the cash away? Fixed-rate bonds give a (slightly) better return

  • Up to £85,000 in savings per person is safe in UK-regulated accounts

  • Ditch and switch after introductory 'bonus' rates end

  • In a couple? Put savings in the name of the partner who pays less tax

  • Got kids? Encourage them to start saving

Best easy-access savings

An easy-access account does what it says on the tin. Usually. The main idea is you pay cash into them, they pay you interest while the money's in the account and you can withdraw whenever you want.

But interest rates are usually lower than on notice and fixed savings accounts, because you pay for the flexibility to withdraw your cash at any point. Alternatively, if you can save every month, consider a regular savings or app-based account where you can earn up to 5% and your cash is more accessible.

Quick questions (show allhide all)

When is an easy-access account not easy access?

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

Can I get a savings account that lets me withdraw cash from ATMs?

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

How can I avoid paying penalties on withdrawals?


ICICI Bank UK

New. Joint highest rate with unlimited withdrawals, and you can save from £1

Birmingham Midshires* – 1.35% AER variable

The Internet Saver from Lloyds-owned Birmingham Midshires* pays 1.35%, can be opened with £1 and allows as many withdrawals as you like.

While it offers a high interest rate, you can only have this account for 12 months. After this the account transfers to BM's Standard Saver Internet Account which is likely to pay much lower interest – so prepare to switch when this happens.

Your opening deposit must be made by cheque, so make sure you have a cheque book with your linked current account before you apply.

1.35,1
Need-to-knows
  • You can make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals from this account.
  • The account can be opened online and managed online.
  • While Birmingham Midshires is owned by Lloyds, it shares its £85,000 UK FSCS savings safety protection with Halifax and Bank of Scotland.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.35% AER | Min deposit: £1 | Max deposit: £10 million | Access: Online | Interest paid: Annually or monthly | Withdrawals: Unlimited

cyprus

Good rate, with unlimited withdrawals

Bank of Cyprus – 1.34% AER variable

The Online Easy Access account from Bank of Cyprus UK pays 1.34%, and you can open it with £1. Plus you can make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals. As there's a 0.49% bonus for the first 12 months, the rate will drop after the first year – so make sure you switch when this happens.

1.34,1
Need-to-knows
  • You can make unlimited penalty-free withdrawals from this account.
  • It must be opened and managed online.
  • Bank of Cyprus has the full £85,000 UK FSCS savings safety protection.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.34% AER variable (incl 0.49% bonus for 12mths) | Min deposit: £1 | Max deposit: £1 million | Access: Online | Interest paid: Annually | Withdrawals: Unlimited

Got £85,000+? How to spread cash for safety

Remember, cash in all the accounts above is protected up to £85,000 per person, per financial institution. If you're lucky enough to have more than this, it's best to spread savings across several different banks in case one gets into difficulty. We've picked a selection of the other top payers…

See list of other top paying accounts

Provider Rate (AER variable) Min/Max Deposit How to Open Withdrawal Restrictions FSCS savings safety
Coventry BS 1.35% (incl fixed 0.35% bonus for 12mths) £1/£250,000 Online/ phone/ post/ branch Three/yr (1) Full
National Counties BS 1.35% £5,000/£250,000 Post/ branch Unlimited Shared
Post Office* 1.33% (incl fixed 1.08% bonus for 12mths) £1/£2 million Online Unlimited Full
Paragon Bank 1.31% £1/£100,000 Online Unlimited Full
Tesco Bank 1.31% (incl fixed 0.76% bonus for 12mths) £1/£1 million Online Unlimited Full
Shawbrook Bank 1.3% £1,000/£85,000 Online/phone Unlimited Full
Sainsbury's Bank 1.3% £1,000/£500,000 Online Three/yr (2) Full
AA Savings (3) 1.3% £100/£2 million Online/phone Unlimited Shared
Virgin Money 1.3% £1/£250,000 Online Two/yr (4) Full
(1) If you make more than three withdrawals a year, you'll pay a penalty of 50 days' interest on the amount you withdraw. (2) If you make four or more withdrawals a year or your balance drops below £1,000, you'll earn just 0.5% interest. (3) You need to be an AA member. (4) You can only make two withdrawals per calendar year and account closure also counts as a withdrawal.

Best current account savings

Rates are much lower on these accounts than in previous years. Yet you can still beat the easy-access rates above on small amounts, and some even offer security of rate. Nationwide's rate's fixed at 5% (though only for a year) and Tesco Bank guarantees at least 3% interest until April 2019.

The beauty of fixes is, once the account's opened, these are locked in, regardless of base rate cuts or banks dropping rates at whim. Be aware, though, if an account has a variable rate it could change at any time (though you'll get 60 days' notice). As these are bank accounts, be aware that you'll have to pass a credit check to open one.

Nationwide

Get 5% interest on £2,500 FIXED for 12 months, though only 1% afterwards

Nationwide FlexDirect

Switch to the Nationwide FlexDirect account and you'll get an interest rate of 5% AER on the first £2,500 of your cash. This rate is fixed for the first year you hold the account, giving you certainty in these uncertain times, but it drops to 1% after, which isn't such a good deal.

Unusually for a current account with perks, you don't have to set up any direct debits, you can just open this account as an extra.

Need-to-knows
  • The initial rate is fixed, so provided it's still at 5% when you apply for the account, you know that's the rate you'll get for the first year.

  • To get the interest, you'll need to pay in £1,000+ per month.

  • This account also offers a 12mth 0% overdraft, though the limit you get is credit score dependent. After the 12 months, it charges 50p per day for the overdraft.

  • You need to pass a credit check to get this account.

  • Nationwide has the full £85,000 UK savings safety guarantee.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 5% AER fixed on up to £2,500 for 12mths; 1% AER variable after | Min deposit: £1,000 per calendar month to get the interest | Max deposit: None, interest only paid up to £2,500 | Access: Online, branch or by phone | Interest paid: Monthly | Withdrawal restrictions: None

KEY QUESTIONS:

How do I get the interest? To get interest, you need to pay in £1,000 a month.

What if I can't pay in £1,000? Nothing happens, you just won't be paid any interest that month.

How much will the overdraft cost? For the first year, your overdraft will cost nothing so long as you stay within your limit. After that, you pay 50p per day you're overdrawn (within your limit). So, if you have a limit of £1,500 and owe £1,000, then you'll pay £182.50 if you're overdrawn every day of the year.

Don't bust your overdraft limit, as you'll pay £5 per day plus a charge of £5 for every paid or unpaid item.

Can I have two accounts? And two overdrafts? You can definitely have two accounts, and can even get two lots of interest – though one of your accounts must be joint to get this. Nationwide say that you may be able to get two overdrafts if you have two FlexDirect accounts, but each would be assessed on its merits, so there's no guarantee.

Tesco Bank

Tesco pays 3% guaranteed on £3,000 until at least Apr 2019 (and you can open two)

Tesco Bank

The Tesco Bank Current Account pays 3% AER variable on the first £3,000, but you can open two accounts, so could get 3% on up to £6,000 (a couple can save £12,000 in four accounts). Plus, Tesco Bank has guaranteed the rate will be a minimum of 3% until 1 April 2019.

However, to get the interest you must pay in £750 and pay out at least three direct debits every month. If you've two accounts, you must meet this criteria for each account.

As an extra perk, you get Clubcard points on debit card spending. The number you can earn in Tesco will be quadrupled for two years until 1 April 2019, from 1 per £4 to 1 per £1 – good if you're a Tesco shopper. For example, if you spend £80/week in Tesco, you get 80 extra points per week (4,160/yr). The extra is usually worth £41.60 in Clubcard points, but you can boost that to £166, and this is on top of the points you'd normally collect.

Need-to-knows
  • The interest rate is guaranteed to be a minimum of 3% AER until 1 April 2019.

  • You can open two of these accounts, so it's possible to earn 3% on up to £6,000.

  • You must pay in £750 a month and make three direct debit payments every month. Direct debit payments to Tesco savings accounts do not count.

  • You'll get one extra Clubcard point per £4 spent in Tesco (boosted to 1 per £1 for two years until 1 April 2019), and one point for every £8 spent elsewhere.

  • Service is good, with 71% of Tesco Bank customers in our recent poll rating it 'great', though we had a limited number of votes.
  • You need to pass a credit check to get this account.
  • Tesco Bank has the full £85,000 UK savings safety guarantee.

SUMMARY:

Rate: 3% AER variable under £3,000. Nothing above. | Min deposit: £750 per statement month | Max deposit: None, interest only paid up to £3,000 | Access: Online | Interest paid: Monthly | Withdrawal restrictions: None

KEY QUESTIONS:

How much interest can I earn? You can earn 3% AER on the first £3,000 you have in the account, but no interest on anything over that amount. Put and keep the full £3,000 in, and you'll get £88.80.

How many Clubcard points could I get? On top of your normal Clubcard points, you'll also earn 1 point per £1 spent in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent elsewhere on your Tesco debit card until 1 April 2019. We've crunched the numbers to see how much this could be worth, assuming you take advantage of Clubcard Boost to get 4x value for your points.

Annual spend £3,000 £5,000 £10,000 £20,000
Number of Clubcard points earned (1) 1,030 1,720 3,440 6,870
Value of Clubcard points (2) £41 £68 £137 £275
(1) Assumes 25% of spend in Tesco and 75% elsewhere. (2) Assumes you use Clubcard Boost to get 4x value.

Other top interest-paying current accounts

It's not just these accounts that offer decent interest rates. Several other accounts give you varying levels of decent interest (see below), and the one you pick should depend on how much cash you're likely to be able to keep in your account.

Be wary of these accounts though. While we've marked below where we know account rates or perks are under review, any bank could choose to cut its rate or change its deal at any point.

For comparison, the top easy-access savings deal open to all pays just 1.35%.
In-credit interest (AER) Max
interest /yr (1)
Min monthly pay-in How many can you have?
TSB Classic Plus (2) 5% on up to £1,500 £74 £500 2 (2nd must be joint)
Bank of Scotland Vantage 1.5% on up to £5,000 £74.50 £1,000 3
Club Lloyds 1.5% on up to £5,000 £74.50 £1,500 2 (2nd must be joint)
Halifax £3/mth (3) £36 £750 2 (2nd must be joint)
(1) Before any tax if you always held the max balance+. (2) Warning. TSB is currently not accepting applications for its current account due to IT problems. We'll update this guide when applications re-open. (3) Paid regardless of balance, as long as you stay in credit. The £3 is classed as after having paid basic rate tax. So higher taxpayers will lose some of the gain.

Do note there are bank accounts which will pay you £100+ to switch, which beat some of the accounts below in the first year – especially as many of them also have 5% regular savers. See a full list of accounts that pay you to switch and the top regular savings accounts.


Best fixed-rate bonds

Most savings accounts are variable, so the rate can change both with the Bank of England's base rate or at the provider's whim – so to keep earning well you need to actively monitor accounts. Yet there is an alternative...

Fixed-rate bonds are just savings accounts which give a guaranteed rate for a set period. The best buy fixed-rate deals are almost always higher than the best buy easy-access rates.

The big catch is you can't take your money out during that time, and you won't benefit if other rates rise in that period. Therefore, they're only suitable for those who are happy to lock cash away for the entire term.

Rather watch than read? This helpful little video gives you the fixed-savings lowdown...

Quick questions

Is now the right time to fix savings?

Why do you list the AER interest rate when not all of these accounts pay it?

I know these are fixed savings, but can I access my cash?

How do I get paid interest monthly?

The best UK-protected fixed-rate accounts

Here we've included the best UK-protected accounts that pay a fixed rate of interest, from one to five years.

The best one-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) Interest paid Min/Max Deposit How to Open FSCS Protection
Atom BankAtom Bank 2.05% Annually or monthly £50/£100,000 Mobile app Full
OakNorth OakNorth 1.96% At maturity £1,000/£250,000 Online Full
ICICI Bank UKSecure Trust Bank 1.95% Annually or monthly £1,000/N/A Online Full

Best 'Big Brand' Savings. While all the accounts above have the full £85,000 UK savings safety protection – you asked us to ensure there's a 'name you know' too. The account below is the top payer of those (however, there are other products – albeit not by well-known names – as well as the ones above, that beat it on rate too).

Post Office*Sainsbury's Bank 1.7% Annually or monthly £500/£2 million Online Full

Saving less than £50,000? A way to beat the rates above

If you're a new customer to savings marketplace Raisin, you can get £50 cashback when you open a one-year fixed savings account from ICICI Bank* paying 1.95% AER on £1,000+.

Factoring in the cashback, it'll beat the top one-year fix from Atom above if you're saving less than £50,000. Save the minimum of £1,000, and your effective interest rate will be 6.95% – smashing the best buys above.

To get the bonus you need to open an ICICI account through Raisin, then send it an email within 30 days of funding your account. The £50 will be paid within 60 days. If you don't want to open a Raisin account, you can still open an ICICI account paying 1.95% AER using the link in the table above, though you won't receive the £50.

Full details of how Raisin works

The best two-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) When is interest paid? Min/Max Deposit How to Open FSCS Protection
Birmingham Midshires BM 2.2% Annually or monthly £1/£10 million Online Full
InvestecAtom Bank 2.2% Annually or monthly £25,000/£1 million Online Full
Secure Trust BankSecure Trust Bank 2.18% Annually and at maturity £1,000/£1 million Online Full

The Secure Trust account matures on 15 July 2020.

Best 'Big Brand' Savings. While all the accounts above have the full £85,000 UK savings safety protection – you asked us to ensure there's a 'name you know' too. The account below is the top payer of those (however, there are other products – albeit not by well-known names – as well as the ones above, that beat it on rate too).

Post OfficeSainsbury's Bank 1.9% Annually or monthly £500/£2 million Online Full

The best three-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) When is interest paid? Min/Max deposit How to open FSCS protection
Birmingham Midshires BM 2.35% Annually or monthly £1/£10 million Online Full
Hampshire Trust BankSecure Trust Bank 2.35% Annually £1,000/£250,000 Online/ post Full
MasthavenParagon Bank 2.32% Annually or monthly £500/£250,000 Online Full

The Secure Trust account matures on 15 July 2021.

Best 'Big Brand' Savings. While all the accounts above have the full £85,000 UK savings safety protection – you asked us to ensure there's a 'name you know' too. The account below is the top payer of those (however, there are other products – albeit not by well-known names – as well as the ones above, that beat it on rate too).

Post Office*Post Office 2.1% Annually or monthly £500/£2 million Online Full

The best four-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) When is interest paid? Min/Max Deposit How to Open FSCS Protection
Secure Trust BankSecure Trust Bank 2.51% Annually and at maturity £1,000/£1 million Online Full

The Secure Trust account matures on 15 July 2022.

MasthavenParagon Bank 2.49% Annually or monthly £500/£250,000 Online Full

The best five-year fixed rates

Product Rate (AER) When is interest paid? Min/Max deposit How to open FSCS protection
Secure Trust BankSecure Trust Bank 2.67% Annually and at maturity £1,000/£1 million Online Full

The Secure Trust account matures on 14 July 2023.

MasthavenParagon Bank 2.66% Annually or monthly £500/£250,000 Online Full
Paragon Bankparagon 2.66% Annually or monthly £1,000/£100,000 Online Full

Best 'Big Brand' Savings. While all the accounts above have the full £85,000 UK savings safety protection – you asked us to ensure there's a 'name you know' too. The account below is the top payer of those (however, there are other products – albeit not by well-known names – as well as the ones above, that beat it on rate too).

Tesco BankTesco Bank 2.31% Annually or monthly £2,000/£5 million Online Full

Higher fixed savings with a but...

If you can buck convention you can earn more with fixed savings. All the accounts above are straightforward deals, yet a few other accounts do pay more, but with a but. So we'll only list accounts here that beat the normal best buys.

  • Sharia-compliant accounts – fully UK protected, but rate not guaranteed. Some top-paying fixed bonds are from a sharia-compliant Islamic bank.

    As Islam bars interest, instead of an interest rate they give an 'expected profit rate' – this has always been paid out by the bank listed below, though by definition it can't be certain.

    Gatehouse Bank* (formally Milestone savings) pays an expected 1.9% (min £1k) for one year. It has the the full UK £85,000 per person savings safety protection. If you apply through savings marketplace Raisin, new customers to Raisin can get a £50 bonus – meaning it'll beat the top one-year fix from Atom above if you're saving less than £33,330.

    To get the bonus you need to open an account through Raisin, then send it an email within 30 days of funding your account. The £50 will be paid within 60 days.

Best notice savings accounts

If you don't want to lock away your cash for up to a year, notice accounts could be a winner instead. Generally, the more notice you can give, the better the rate you'll get.

secure

Boost your interest rate, but only if you can wait for your cash

Secure Trust Bank – 1.7% AER Variable

The 90-day notice account from Secure Trust Bank allows you to boost rates to beat easy-access deals, but you must give 90 days' notice before each cash withdrawal – so only get this account if you'd never need the money in an emergency.

If you can wait longer to access your cash, you can boost rates even further. Secure Trust Bank also offers a 120-day notice account paying 1.75% AER variable.

1.7,1000
Need-to-knows
  • You must open the account online – once open, it can be managed either online or by phone.

  • You can make three withdrawals per year, though you must give 90 days' notice each time.
  • Secure Trust Bank has the full £85,000 UK FSCS savings safety protection.
SUMMARY:

Rate: 1.7% AER variable | Min deposit: £1,000 | Max deposit: £1 million| Access: Online | Interest paid: Quarterly | Withdrawals: Three/year

Quick question

Do I always have to give notice on these accounts?

Best ethical savings

Ethical savings accounts – where providers claim to behave ethically in terms of the environment, human rights and more – have jumped in popularity. Our main focus is always telling you the top savings rates, but to match demand we've worked with Ethical Consumer to list the top-paying accounts that also rate highly on their ethics.

When giving a bank or building society an ethical rating, Ethical Consumer looks at its track record on various environmental, social and political issues. For banks and building societies, this not only looks at how the business is operated, but also who their investors are, and what they invest in.


Ethical easy-access savings

These easy-access accounts are just the same as the ones above, but here we list only accounts from ethical providers.

Ethical easy-access top pick: 1.25% AER

All the accounts below have the full £85,000 UK FSCS savings safety guarantee.

Ethical Rating 13.5/20

1.25% AER variable – Unlimited withdrawals

The Easy Access savings account from Coventry BS pays 1.25% AER variable on £1+. You can open and operate the account online.

Ethical fixed-rate bonds

Again, these operate the same way as normal fixed savings, there's nothing special about what you have to do, but we only list ethical providers here.

Earn up to 1.75% AER fixed in an ethical bank

All the accounts below have the full £85,000 UK FSCS savings safety guarantee

Ethical Rating 11.5/20

1.5% AER fixed for one year

The Kent Reliance one-year Fixed Rate Bond pays 1.5% AER on balances over £1,000. You can open and operate the account online, by post or in branch.

Ethical Rating 11.5/20

1.75% AER fixed for two years

Kent Reliance pays 1.75% AER on balances over £1,000 in its two-year Fixed Rate Bond. You can open and operate the account online, by post or in branch.

The Savings Calculator

This multifunctional calculator allows you to calculate how much interest you'll be paid, how long you'll need to save for something, or tell you how much you need to save each month to meet a goal.

You might get one rate now, but unless you've fixed your rate, it's likely you won't get the same rate in a year – so you may need to redo the calculation then.

The calculator assumes you put money in at the beginning of each month, so if this isn't how you do it, the answers will be slightly out. If you don't make regular deposits but put lump sums in, figure out the monthly equivalent for a rough answer. Feel free to play with the results to see how it impacts your savings.

Savings Calculator

Pick your question...


How far ahead do you want to look? &
How much tax do you pay?

How much tax do you pay?

When do you need it by? &
How much tax do you pay?

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...

Free tool if you're having a problem

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It's totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver, which we like so much we work with to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, you can use Resolver to escalate it to the free Financial Ombudsman Service.

Q&A Savings

  • What's the top account for joint savings?

  • Are there savings accounts designed for my business?

  • Haven't you forgotten about inflation-linked savings?

  • How does inflation affect my savings?

  • What about when there's deflation?

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