This comparison simply includes all savings accounts.
Easy Access Savings Accounts
Why we like it: Which? Recommended Savings Provider. No notice period. Deposit from £100. Interest paid monthly or annually. Apply in minutes. Your eligible deposits with RCI Bank UK Limited are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services. Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
Why we like it: Market Leading. Balances from £1,000 to £1 million. Unlimited withdrawals without restriction or loss of interest. Eligible deposits covered by UK FSCS.
Why we like it: Make up to three withdrawals during the 12-month term of this account. Open with £1. Manage your account online. Interest paid at maturity. FSCS Protected. Must be UK resident and aged 16 or older. Make more than three withdrawals and the rate drops to 0.01% AER/gross p.a. (variable). Not available in branch
Why we like it: Interest paid monthly or annually. Manage account online. Which? Recommended Savings Provider. Unlimited withdrawals subject to 95 days notice. Must be UK resident. Must be aged 18 or older. Your eligible deposits with RCI Bank UK Limited are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
Why we like it: No minimum monthly funding or monthly fee to maintain the account. Earn up to 15% cashback with Retailer Offers. Stress-free account switching in 7 days with the Current Account Switch Service. £300 ATM withdrawal per day, Arranged Overdraft facility (subject to status). Online and Mobile Banking with text and email alerts. Must be 18 or older and live in the UK permanently. 39.94% EAR overdraft charge. Bank is registered with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so any money you keep will be fully protected, up to £85,000
Why we like it: Free current account. Pays 0.05% AER interest on balances up to £85,000. Get set up in minutes. Send money abroad: Fast and secure money transfers to bank accounts in 38 countries worldwide. No fees when you pay with your card abroad or withdraw money. Get a spotlight on your spending: See what you’ve spent instantly with real-time payment notifications. 3 month interest holiday on the first £500 of an arranged overdraft. Best British Bank and Best Current Account in 2020 at the British Bank Awards. Awarded 5 stars by Defaqto. Bank is registered with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so any money you keep will be fully protected, up to £85,000
Why we like it: A bank account that can build credit history. No credit check during sign up. Apply straight from your mobile. Instant online decision. Get your Contactless Debit Mastercard within 3-5 working days. Add Creditbuilder onto your account and it could help build your credit rating at no extra cost. Deposit cash into your account at any Post Office UK branch. Money is available in your account immediately. Manage your account 24/7 from any device with the banking app - get real time balance information, statements, add payees send payments and apply for extras. Automatic payment alerts. UK based Customer Services Team. Your money is protected up to £85,000 by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme)
Why we like it: Earn 0.30% AER (variable) interest on balances up to a maximum of £20,000. Up to 3% cashback on household bills - 1% on council tax bills, Mobile and home phone bills, broadband and paid-for TV packages, and Santander monthly mortgage payments. 2% on Gas and electricity bills, Santander Home Insurance premiums and Santander Life Insurance premiums, and 3% on water bills. Monthly fee of £4. Cashback capped at £5 for each cashback tier each month. Must pay in £500 pm. Bank is registered with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so any money you keep will be fully protected, up to £85,000
Why we like it: Can be opened by or on behalf of any child up to the age of 18. Debit or cash card available for those aged between 13 and 18. Monthly interest. No monthly fee. For children under age 13, the account must be opened in trust and managed by an adult (trustee). If you’re aged between 13 and 18 years old and live permanently in the UK you can apply online by telephone or in branch. No overdraft facility. 1% interest on the entire balance once the balance is £100, 2.00% AER/1.98% gross (variable) on the entire balance once the balance is £1,500, 3.00% AER/2.96% gross (variable) on the entire balance once the balance is £1,500 or over (up to a maximum of £2,000). Bank is registered with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so any money you keep will be fully protected, up to £85,000
Finding the best easy access savings account
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If you think that you might need to access your savings in the short to medium term, your best choice is likely to be an easy access savings account.
Given that interest rates are low with little chance that they will increase in the near future, it’s even more important that you find the best easy access savings accounts on the market. This short guide is intended to help you do just that.
What is an easy access savings account?
An easy access savings account is essentially what it says; a savings account that gives you easy access to your money.
With such an account you can access your savings without giving prior notice, and without forfeiting any interest.
There are some caveat’s however: there may be restrictions on the number of penalty free withdrawals you can make in any specific time period and, although you have easy access to your savings, unlike an instant access savings account there might be a few days’ delay before you have the cash in your hand.
Instant access accounts compared with easy access accounts
It is easy to get confused by the differences between easy access and instant access accounts. While both of these provide you with rapid access to your money, with an easy access account you must transfer your savings to another account, for instance your bank account, before you can receive the money as cash.
Generally, you will carry this out over the internet and there is likely to be a delay between your request to withdraw money, the money appearing in your bank account and for the funds to clear so that you can withdraw them.
This will vary between savings accounts and will depend on the bank, but it could typically take several days with the longest delay often being clearing.
With an instant access savings account, you can walk into the bank or building society and withdraw your cash immediately.
While there are no restrictions on the amount of your savings you are able to withdraw, you might be penalised in terms of loss of interest. From the provider’s viewpoint such an account is more expensive to manage than an easy access account. Consequently, interest rates tend to be a little lower than those on an equivalent easy access account.
Easy access ISA savings account
An easy access savings account can also be held in an ISA wrapper. Otherwise known as a cash ISA, the advantage is that you don’t have to pay tax on your interest. The two largest downsides are the restrictions on how much you are able to save each year in a cash ISA and you will not be able to replace any money you withdraw.
There is, however, an exception to this. With a flexible ISA you can withdraw money and replace it within the same tax year without losing any of your allowance, though not all providers offer flexible ISAs.
Which is the best choice for me?
The best easy access savings account will depend on your circumstances, savings objectives and tax position.
You might decide to keep some savings in an instant access savings account to provide you with emergency funds immediately; some in an easy access savings account that will provide you with cash within a few days of making a withdrawal, or alternatively you might decide on a cash ISA that provides you with all the advantages of an easy access account without the need to pay tax on your interest.
The problem with cash ISAs is that the interest rates are often lower than those of a conventional easy access savings account, so don’t forget to check out the small print.