After more than a year of rising savings rates, the trend has well and truly shifted in reverse in recent months.
We've seen the best rates available on a raft of different savings products fall by as much as 0.8% since November alone.
And, with most analysts predicting the Base Rate will be cut repeatedly over 2024 and 2025, it's likely savings rates will keep falling for the foreseeable future.
With that in mind, it's important you act fast to secure a top rate if you have money to set aside.
So, let's look at the best rates currently available, starting with regular savings accounts, which generally offer the best rates.
The catch is they're only really suitable for new savings, so if you're looking for a home for a larger pot then scroll straight to the next section.
Regular savers: up to 8% (if you’re a member)
Regular savings accounts are generally best for new savers as they don't allow you to deposit a lump sum upfront: instead, you make regular monthly contributions, and the money is returned to you with interest after one year.
However, if the rates are generous enough, and you are eligible, then they can also work for savers with a pot already built up.
All you do is put your funds in the best-paying easy access account and filter some money into a regular saver (or savers) each month.
So, what rates can you get?
The top rate comes from Nationwide Building Society and pays 8%.
The catch is it's only available to those who hold a Nationwide current account.
Savers can stash away up to £200 a month with this one.
If you happen to bank with first direct then you could get a rate of 7% on its linked regular saver instead.
It allows for slightly larger deposits of £300 a month into the account (apply for a first direct current account here).
The best regular savings account we could find that truly is open to everyone comes from Principality Building Society, with its regular saver paying 6% interest a year for two years.
Sadly you can only save a maximum of £50 a month into this account, so those able to set aside larger sums might want to consider the Halifax Regular Saver.
The rate is lower at 5.5%, but it allows deposits of up to £250 a month.
Notice accounts: get up to 5.5%
The top option here comes from the little-known Earl Shilton BS, which pays 5.5% on its 120-day notice account. The catch is there's a whopping £25,000 minimum deposit, so it certainly isn't for everyone.
Shawbrook Bank pays a lower rate of 5.25% on its 45 Day Notice Account but it can be opened from £1,000.
Best fixed-rate savings - up to 5.3%
Before we get into the best fixed-rate savings, we wanted to point out an interesting shift we've seen in this part of the market.
In recent years, you were generally rewarded with a higher rate by agreeing to lock your money away for a longer period, with five-year fixes the best-paying accounts.
But, with Base Rate expected to start falling at some point in 2024 as inflation comes under control, the best rates currently available are actually on shorter-term accounts, with one- and two-year fixes the pick of the bunch.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's look at the top fixed-rate deals.
The best rate at the moment is the Investec Fixed Rate Saver, which is a one-year bond that pays 5.3% with a minimum deposit of £5,000.
As an indication of how rapidly the savings market has changed, you could bag a rate in excess of 6% as recently as mid-November 2023.
This really highlights how important it is to get your skates on if you're planning to lock your money away in a fixed account.
Looking for a longer term than one year? The best three-year savings account currently pays 5% and you can get that from the Post Office (£500 min. deposit).
The top five-year fixed-rate account is from UBL and pays 4.75% with a £2,000 minimum deposit.
Cash ISAs: earn up to 5.25%
The Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) has meant that it’s easy to get a tax-free return from your savings even if you don’t use an ISA, though it’s still worthwhile making use of your tax-free ISA allowance (which is £20,000 for 2023/24).
That’s because any money you put into an ISA will stay tax-free long-term, even if the interest you earn grows beyond the PSA limits.
With the PSA, any interest you earn beyond the £1,000/£500 limit is taxed at your marginal rate.
The best rate on an easy-access Cash ISA right now is 5.09% from Moneybox, falling to 4.15% after one year. You can only make three withdrawals a year or the rate will plummet to just 0.75%.
Virgin Money is the best option for a one-year fixed rate ISA, paying 5.25%, but this is only available to existing Virgin current account customers.
The top fixed ISA that's available to all is from Shawbrook Bank. It comes with a rate of 5.01% and has a £1,000 minimum deposit. It's fixed for one year.
Best easy/instant access savings: up to 5.22%
You can bag a rate of 5.22% with Metro Bank's Limited Edition account, which has a manageable minimum deposit of £500.
If you're a little wary of saving with Metro given the headlines surrounding its financial troubles, you can get a fractionally lower rate of 5.2% from Ulster Bank's Loyalty Saver account.
You will, however, have to deposit at least £5,000 to get that rate.
Current accounts: earn up to 5%
You can get 5% for a year on up to £1,500 with Nationwide’s FlexDirect account, but the interest rate falls to 0.25% after 12 months.
To qualify for the 5% rate, you'll also need to pay in at least £1,000 a month.
Where to earn the most interest on your cash
Here's a table with all the top deals for you to compare at a glance.
The account you go for will probably be determined by the amount you have to save and whether you want instant access to your money.
Please note that we've only included the highest-paying account from each category (i.e. five-year bond, instant access ISA).
Max. £200 per month
Earl Shilton BS
120-day notice account
One-year fixed-rate bond
One-year fixed-rate ISA
5% for balances up to £1,500
Min. £1,000 a month
Time to consider investing?
If you are comfortable taking on some risk for potentially better returns, you could consider investing in the stock market (capital at risk).