Savings accounts that let you access your cash

If you need to access your savings quickly, but would still like to benefit from a high interest rate, have a look at an easy access savings account.

This type of account means that you can access your money instantly – or at least, in a matter of days. In the past, interest rates on these accounts was not particularly high. Now though, these accounts often offer the competitive interest rates, especially online.

Introductory offers that end

New types of easy access accounts are frequently featured in Best Buy tables when they are first introduced to the market. This is because the bank offering the account needs to generate money and advertising a high rate is the most effective way to do this. This can sometimes result in a bottleneck in applications for a new account because everyone tries to take advantage of the good rate.

As time passes, the rate becomes less competitive in relation to other offerings on the market and this may happen over a year or two. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check if there are better rates of interest out there if you’ve have your savings in the same account for a while.

Bonuses

Banks often advertise a special bonus rate for a limited period – usually six months to a year when opening a new account. This is generally about 0.5% to 1% extra. This usually improves the position of the account in the Best Buy tables and makes the account appear higher up in the table than it would normally.

This is why you may notice that the gross rate paid on the account and its annual equivalent rate (AER) are different. You receive the gross rate on the first day but the AER is the average rate that you would get if you held the account for a whole year.

Frequency of interest

Normally interest on savings accounts is paid on an annual or monthly basis – sometimes you can choose which you’d like to take. It’s best to take it monthly, as then you will benefit from the miracle of compound interest.

Interest rate guarantees

Some accounts guarantee a rate of, for example, 0.5% above the base rate for a limited time. This is beneficial because this means you can be confident that any base rate increase will be passed to you. It also means that the interest rate will be relatively competitive during the advertised time.

Penalties on interest

Easy access accounts can sometimes conceal charges. Although you have access to your cash, you aren’t paid interest in any month that you take money out of the account. These easy access accounts may offer good rates, but if you need to withdraw money on a regular basis, they may not be the best option for you. So always double-check whether you will be charged any penalties for making withdrawals from your account.

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Some important information about this page

We are normally made aware of changes to rates and products, but very occasionally changes may occur without our being notified. If you spot any mistakes or inaccuracies on our site, please contact us.

Please note that the services and products featured are those made available from advertisers and may not necessarily be the best offers on the market. For more information, please see our Savings advertising disclosure.

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