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Compare the Best UK Savings Accounts

Fixed rate bonds, notice accounts, easy access savings and more. Not sure which type of account is the best fit for you? Visit our savings guides and savings news sections. Ready to compare rates? Click onto a chart page below and start your savings search today. 

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Depositor Protection

Eligible deposits with UK institutions are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to a maximum level of protection of £85,000 per person per institution. All new savings or bank accounts provided to UK customers are now covered by the FSCS.

Disclaimer

All rates subject to change without notice. Please check all rates and terms before investing or borrowing.

Savings Accounts Explained

What is a savings account?

A savings account is an account you put money into and in return the bank or building society will pay you interest or, in the case of Shari'ah-compliant accounts, profit. Savings accounts are different to bank accounts that offer additional services including direct debits, online payments, and debit cards.

5 important facts about savings accounts

1. Money saved with UK-regulated banks is protected up to £85,000 per person 

Your money is protected in the event that the bank goes bust up to £85,000 per person (£170,000 for joint accounts) under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Only banks with UK banking licences offer this protection and savers need to check that their bank brand doesn’t share its banking licence with another. For example, Saga uses Marcus by Goldman Sachs’ licence so savers protection is a total across both brands. See the FSCS guide.

 

2. Up to £1,000 of interest is tax-free

If you earn less than £1,000 in interest from savings accounts and are a basic rate taxpayer, you will not pay any tax on your savings. Higher rate taxpayers have a lower limit of £500 and those at the 45% rate of income tax have no allowance at all.  Just over 80% of UK taxpayers pay tax at the basic rate, while 13% pay at the higher rate.   If you want to make sure that you do not pay tax on your savings, then a cash ISA is a tax-efficient way to save.

 

3. Make sure you can access your savings accounts when needed

Different types of savings accounts have different rules about how quickly you can access your money. Money that needs to be readily available is best saved into an easy access account, if you can go without your money for longer then a fixed rate bond or notice account may give you a better rate in exchange for a longer wait to access your cash.

 

4. Look for high interest savings accounts to help beat inflation

If your savings interest rate is lower than the rate of inflation, then your money is being eroded. Getting a high interest rate that is greater than inflation means you are earning a real return in cash terms. The highest interest rate savings accounts are usually found with fixed rate bonds, but they have restrictions on withdrawals and additional payments in. The interest rates above are updated during each working day to make sure you always have the best rates at your fingertips. 

 

5. Compound interest can boost your savings interest

Savings accounts can offer to pay savings interest in different ways. Compound interest means the interest you earn is added to your balance. The next time interest is due to be paid, this will be calculated on your total balance including any interest added earlier. The effect over time is that your savings interest can snowball and grow.

 

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What to consider when choosing a UK savings account

There are lots of savings accounts available in the UK. Choosing the right savings account for you will depend on your personal circumstances and how you want to use the account. Here are 10 tips to help find the right savings account.

1. Got expensive debts? Pay them off before putting money into a savings account

Pay off your debts first if the interest cost of these is greater than what you currently earn in savings interest. If you have a balance on a 0% credit card, this will have an end date. Make sure you make your minimum monthly repayments and use your savings to repay this once the 0% expires.

2. Got a mortgage? Overpaying your mortgage could save thousands

Overpaying your mortgage can save you thousands in saved interest costs. If your mortgage rate is higher than your savings rate overpaying will save you more in mortgage interest rate costs than what you could earn from interest on your savings. Check that your mortgage allows you to make overpayments without a penalty.

3. Need to start an emergency fund? A savings account is not the only way 

Opening a savings account is a good start to build a pot of money to be used in case of an emergency. However, an alternative could be a credit card with a zero balance and only used when needed. Once used you could then look to switch any debt to a 0% credit card to minimise future interest costs (there may be a switching fee).  Try our calculator to how much you could save transferring a balance to 0% credit card.

4. Want to withdraw money quickly? Easy access is the most flexible

Easy access accounts are the most flexible type of savings account. They usually offer withdrawals whenever you need – although an increasing number have restrictions on the maximum number allowed in any period.  

5. Don’t need to access your cash for a while? A fixed rate bond offers better returns

Fixed rate bonds offer a fixed rate of interest or profit for a fixed period. During this time, you cannot add money to your bond or make any withdrawals, and in the cases where a withdrawal is possible this usually comes with an interest penalty.  

6. Higher rate taxpayer? Then you may need a cash ISA to minimise tax

All UK adults have a Personal Savings Allowance (PSA). This is a maximum amount you can earn in savings interest before paying any tax on it. If you are a basic rate taxpayer this is £1,000 in interest before paying tax, a higher rate taxpayer is £500 in interest tax free, while those at the 45% rate have no allowance at all. If you think you may exceed the PSA then a stocks and shares ISA or cash ISA allows you to save up to £20,000 per tax year and earn interest without paying tax.  See more in our guide to how are my savings taxed?

7. Got a good credit rating? A bank account can pay higher interest on smaller balances

It is possible to earn a higher interest rate on some bank accounts but only on smaller balances of usually a few thousand pounds. Most high interest bank accounts will need you to pass a credit check and you may be required to make regular payments and transactions.

8. Happy to save each month? A regular saver can stack up over 12-months

Regular savings accounts allow you to make monthly deposits of usually no more than £500 into your account. Interest rates are usually higher on these accounts as they do not allow lump sums, reducing the interest cost of the savings provider. They may come with penalties if you miss a monthly payment and some do not allow you to make withdrawals. Interest rates can be fixed or variable.
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What types of savings accounts are there?

Depending on your needs, you might want to have more than one account to take advantage of all the different features on offer. You can choose from:

Fixed Rate Bonds

Fixed Rate Bonds require you to set your money aside for a set period of time - typically from one year up to seven or more. Usually you won't be allowed to add to your pot over that time (bar the occasional window on opening the account). You may be able to access your funds on a severe interest penalty, but many of these accounts will not allow any access at all until the full term of the bond is up. In exchange, they do tend to offer the highest available rates of all standard savings products.

Easy Access Savings Accounts

Easy access savings accounts are the most flexible and simple of all savings accounts. They allow you to add money to your savings pot as and when you want to and offer quick withdrawals. Some easy access savings accounts restrict the number of withdrawals you can make each year, and if you need to exceed this may reduce your interest rate.

Notice Accounts

In many ways, notice accounts are a halfway house between easy access and fixed rate savings. They may allow unlimited additions, but withdrawals will usually require the stated notice period, which can range from 30 days to six months. Sometimes savers will even be able to get early access on the loss of a certain number of days' interest (usually equivalent to the notice period). As they live between easy access and fixed, the rates on offer also tend to sit between the two.

Monthly interest accounts

As the name suggests, monthly interest accounts pay out interest on a monthly basis. These accounts may require notice, could be easy access or even be interest from a fixed rate bond. They will likely offer saving rates that are less than those offered on annual interest-paying accounts.

Regular savings accounts

Regular savings accounts tend to offer the highest rates, but also come with the most restrictions. They will have a time limit to them, as well as an upper investment limit, and they'll usually require a certain number of deposits per year. They tend to be ideal for those looking to save small amounts every month, to develop a savings habit or save up for a specific purchase.

Offshore savings accounts

Offshore savings accounts are specifically designed for expats or those who live beyond the UK mainland, typically in Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. Such accounts are typically offered by the offshore arm of the UK’s largest banks and building societies, but bear in mind that funds held in such institutions will fall under the depositor protection scheme of the relevant jurisdiction, not the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Children's Savings Accounts

Children’s savings accounts are aimed at the under 18s. These accounts can come with varying minimum and maximum ages. They may be managed by a parent or guardian on behalf of the child or the child may directly manage the account themselves. This will depend on the rules of the account set by the savings provider. Parents can also use a Junior ISA to save for their children tax-free up to set limits. Read more about to save money for your grandchildren.

Business Savings Accounts

Business savings accounts allow businesses of all shapes and sizes to deposit surplus cash. They are available as easy access, fixed rates and notice accounts.

 

Do you pay tax on savings accounts?

Many UK adults will not pay tax on the interest they earn from savings accounts. The Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) gives you an allowance of interest you can earn before it incurs tax. This is based on your income tax band:

Income tax band Personal savings allowance
Basic rate taxpayer - 20% Up to £1,000
Higher rate taxpayer - 40% Up to £500
Taxpayer - 45% £0

Table1 - Personal Savings Allowances by Income Tax Band

Any interest earned above these personal savings allowances are taxed at the marginal rate applying to that person (20%, 40% or 45%). (Rates of tax in Scotland may differ.)
This means that if you earn interest above £1,000 (or £500), you'll need to declare it to HM Revenue & Customs. Cash ISAs, in contrast, are tax-free regardless of your tax status, so this is always a good first port of call for large savings pots or higher rate taxpayers.
Download TaxFacts to see tax bands and allowances across the UK or read more in our guides about how the PSA works and how savings are taxed.

How is savings interest paid?

Savings interest can be paid on the anniversary of your account, annually or quarterly on a specified date or monthly. You should also check if your interest is ‘paid away’ or compounded into your account. Savings interest that is paid away, means the interest must be paid into another account. Our savings charts show how the interest is paid and when you open a savings account you will be asked to nominate another account to pay the interest into, if this is required. If the interest is not paid away, then it is added to your account balance. If you are due to have interest added again in the future this interest will then be applied to your original balance, plus the first interest payment. This is called compound interest.

What does AER mean?

The Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) is designed to make savings accounts easier to compare. The AER assumes that you keep your money in a particular savings account for a year, while taking more factors into account than the gross rate, which means it can show a truer picture. 

Our guide compares the different types of savings interest rates.

Savings accounts FAQ

Who can open a savings account?

Generally, anyone can open a savings account, subject to proving their identity, but you will need to be a UK resident and be at least 16 for a cash ISA (18 from April 2023) and over 18 for other savings accounts. Those younger than this can open specific childrens’ savings account either in their own name or via their legal guardians.

How much can I save into a savings account?

Different accounts will have a minimum and maximum amounts that you can deposit. Our savings charts show these values under Further Information for each account listing.

How many savings accounts can I have?

There is no limit to the number of savings accounts you can have, but there are restrictions for the number of open cash ISAs you can save into during any one tax year. It’s often sensible to have a mixture of accounts, for instance, you might want a fixed rate bond for your longer-term savings, an easy access account for your emergency pot, and a regular saver to save up for your next holiday.

How to save money for your grandchildren

Grandparents can open savings accounts in trust for their grandchildren or open a children’s savings account in the name of their grandchild/ren and contribute to this. Grandparents can also contribute tax-free up to £9,000 each tax year into a Junior ISA, but this has to be set up initially by the child’s parents or legal guardian.

What are ethical savings accounts?

Knowing how an investment is being used can be very important to many savers. For instance, you might not be happy knowing that your savings are being used to help finance industries that have an adverse effect on the environment. Or you may not want your money lent to the producers of weapons, or to bankroll a gambling business.
There is a small minority of truly ethical banks and building societies in the UK that offer such transparency and ethical lending commitments. They are Charity Bank, The Co-operative Bank, Ecology Building Society and Triodos Bank.
However, it’s worth pointing out that Sharia’ah compliant accounts also tend to operate under ethical principles, with the money held never being used to fund businesses that engage in unethical activities.
It is generally the case that you don't earn as much interest in an ethical savings account as in a non-ethical alternative but what you do get is peace of mind that every penny of interest you receive has been earned ethically.

What are the best interest rates for savings of over £100,000

If you have more than £100,000 to put into a savings account, you should be aware, first of all, that you will likely have to pay tax on the interest that you get, as you would breach your personal savings allowance with a rate as low as 1%. To that end, the best savings vehicle for you might be an ISA, where you'll be able to enjoy the build-up of your interest without worrying about tax.
However, ISAs will only allow you to put in a certain amount per year (£20,000 per tax year), so you'd still have £80,000 to stash away. With this, you might want to put £20,000 aside for the short term, to be put into a new ISA or added to an existing one the following year, keep some of the rest in an easy access account, and put the remainder in a longer-term bond or even invest it on the stock market depending on your objectives and attitude to investment risk.
Depending on the savings rates at the time, there's no guarantee that you won't have to pay some tax on your interest, but the amount of interest you get may just outweigh the tax you'd have to pay – seek professional advice if you're not sure.

What are the best savings accounts for over 50s?

While there are a few savings accounts available that are exclusively for people over the age of 50, or even 60, these won't necessarily offer the best savings account rates. Instead, it’s often best to tailor your savings search according to your financial needs, regardless of your age – you’ll want to make sure any potential account can be managed in the way that you are most comfortable with and that it allows the level of access you desire, and of course make sure you’re getting the best savings rate to go with it.

Can you claim benefits if you have savings?

You can claim benefits if you are saving, but many are means tested and may reduce or not pay you at all if you have a certain amount in your savings account. You and your partner (if below state pension age) can have up to £6,000 before this impacts your benefits payments. This increases to £10,000 for those who are state pensioners. Those with savings above £16,000 will not receive any means tested benefits. Anything between £6,000 to £16,000 will see your benefits reduced by a set amount. Means tested benefits include Income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Income Support.

 

How does inflation affect savings?

Inflation, which measures the increased price of goods and services, affects the cost of everything you buy. As inflation rises, so does the price of your groceries, fuel etc. Because of this, you'll ideally want an interest rate that is above the rate of inflation, so your money doesn't lose its spending power.

When inflation is greater than the average interest rate, or (in the worst case) all savings rates fall short of the Consumer Price Index - the most commonly used measure of inflation - you will essentially be getting a negative return. That's why it's always a good idea to make sure your savings interest rate is higher than the rate of inflation, if possible.

Can I have a savings accounts with a bad credit history?

There is no credit check to pass when opening a savings account. You will need to prove your identity and be clear on the source of our funds.

How do I open a savings account?

Savings accounts can be opened in branch, by phone, online and by app. The choice available will depend on the savings provider. You will need to be able to meet the identification requirements of the bank or building society. This may include an electronic check on your identity or sending them hard copies of relevant documents.

What do banks and building societies do with your savings?

Banks and building societies will often use the money you save with them to lend to other customers as mortgages, credit cards and loans.

Free cash for your savings from the Government

The Government also offers savings schemes to encourage more people to save.

Lifetime ISAs – earn up to an extra £1,000 every tax-year

Those aged between 18 and 39 can save up to £4,000 tax-free in a Lifetime ISA. The Government pays a 25% bonus on top of what you save. This means a bonus of £1,000 for every £4,000 saved and that’s before you add any interest. The money can only be used for a house purchase or for your retirement and there are strict penalties for early withdrawals for any other purpose.

Help to save – earn 50p for every £1 saved

Those receiving Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit with over £604.56 from paid work each month can apply for Help to Save account. You can save from £1 to £50 each month and will receive 50p for every £1 saved up to a maximum of £1,200 over four years. You receive a bonus payment from the Government at the end of years two and four.

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Ashley Seager

Digital Marketing Manager

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4th July 2023

NS&I will be increasing its Premium Bond prize fund rate to 4% from the August draw – the highest it’s been since 2007.

NS&I will be increasing its Premium Bond prize fund rate to 4% from the August draw – the highest it’s been since 2007.

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Inflation remains static as pressure builds on Bank of England to raise rates

21st June 2023

The rising price of airfares, second-hand cars, live music events, and computer games are reasons why the cost of living remains elevated.

The rising price of airfares, second-hand cars, live music events, and computer games are reasons why the cost of living remains elevated.

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NS&I increases Premium Bond prize fund rate

20th June 2023

Premium Bondholders will have more chances to win prizes worth £50 to £100,000 after NS&I announced today it would be increasing its Premium Bond prize fund rate to 3.70%. According to NS&I, this is the highest the prize fund rate has been in 15 years and will mark the sixth time the rate has been increased in just over a year.

The increase will see the prize fund rate at the highest it’s been in 15 years.

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Best fixed rate hits 6% gross for the first time since 2008

19th June 2023

The deal is offered by Investec Bank plc but is only accessed via Raisin.

The deal is offered by Investec Bank plc but is only accessed via Raisin.

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Nationwide, Santander, TSB and Virgin Money defend savings rates

14th June 2023

Four high street providers, Nationwide, Santander, TSB and Virgin Money, all defended their savings rates in letters published last week. This follows correspondence from the Treasury Committee in May which criticised the banks and building societies for seemingly failing to pass increases to the Bank of England base rate on to savers.

Their responses cite current accounts and fixed products as higher-rate alternatives.

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