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Top savings accounts: where to find the best rates for your cash

Top savings accounts: where to find the best rates for your cash

Savings rates have improved significantly over the last few months, so it’s worth finding a new home for your cash if you haven't looked recently.

lovemoney staff

Savings and ISAs

lovemoney staff
Updated on 15 November 2022

The savings market has finally sprung to life in recent months, with rates of up to 5.25% available.

While even the best accounts still fall some way short of inflation - currently sitting at an eye-watering 10.1% - it's the best savers have had it for over a decade.

However, if you want to take advantage of this relative gold rush (which might soon be ending) then you'll need to get your money moving.

Manage all your savings accounts in one place with Raisin, the simple savings service

Old savings account = rubbish rate

Savings rates have indeed rocketed in recent months thanks largely to the repeated, dramatic hikes to the Base Rate of interest, which has jumped from 1.25% in July to 3% this month. 

However, not all savers will be benefitting. As we highlighted here, banks will often respond to Base Rate hikes by introducing shiny new savings accounts.

Those with existing products will often see their rate rise only slightly - if at all.

That's why it's important you look to regularly shift your funds to a best buy account in order to really benefit. 

So, let's look at the best rates currently available.

We'll start with current accounts and regular savers, which tend to offer by far the best rate.

The catch is they're only available on small sums of money (usually under £2,500), so if you're looking for a home for a larger pot then scroll straight to the section on 'best fixed-rate savings'. 

Willing to take on some risk? You could earn far better returns by investing your money (capital at risk).

Regular savers: up to 5.25% (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 up-front: 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?

Lloyds Bank has a regular saver that pays 5.25% and allows a monthly contribution of up to £400. While it's a stonking rate, the catch is you'll need to have a Club Lloyds current account to take advantage. This requires you to pay in £1,500 a month or face a £3 fee.

The best regular savings account we could find that truly is open to everyone comes from Principality Building Society, which offers 5% interest for a year, but the monthly contribution is capped at £125.

Current accounts: earn up to 5.12%

If you have a Barclays current account and are part of the Blue Rewards scheme, you can get the linked Rainy Day Saver account, which offers 5.12% AER on balances of up to £5,000 (0.25% on balances over this amount).

The Blue Rewards scheme does cost £5 a month, but you can cancel that out as you get £5 back when setting up at least two Direct Debits.

You need to pay £800 into your linked account every month and register for online banking or the Barclays app.

You’ll also get cash rewards for having certain Barclays products with Blue Rewards – find out more here.  

Alternatively, you can get 5% for a year on up to £1,500 with Nationwide’s FlexDirect account. The interest rate falls to 0.25% after 12 months but you can get £200 when you switch.

To qualify for the 5% rate, you'll also need to pay in at least £1,000 a month.

Read our roundup of the best bank accounts for switching bonuses

Best fixed-rate savings - up to 5%

While still miles off inflation, we have seen interest rates rising in the fixed-rate savings market in recent months. 

In September, the best rate available on a five-year fix was 3.61%.

Now, Tandem is paying 5% interest on its five-year fixed-term account and you only need £1 to open an account.

RCI Bank offers the next best rate at 4.95% but you need £1,000 to open an account. 

Of course, five years is a long time to not have access to your funds, so you might want to consider a shorter fixed-rate deal, which will sadly come with a lower rate.

The best one-year fixed rate account is from Ikano Bank, which offers 4.50% (up from 3.50% in September), but you’ll need a minimum deposit of £1,000. 

If you opt for a longer term of two years, the top rate is 4.85% with RCI Bank and Secure Trust Bank. You'll need a minimum deposit of £1,000 for either account.

Manage all your savings accounts in one place with Raisin, the simple savings service

Best easy/instant access savings

The best rates on easy access savings have improved recently.

Back in September, the best rate was 2.10%, but now Aldermore and Cynergy Bank both offer a rate of 2.75%. You will need £1,000 to open an account with Aldermore.

You only need £1 to open the Cynergy Bank account, but you need to be an existing customer to apply.

Notice accounts: get up to 3.20%

Notice accounts are effectively a halfway house between fixed-rate and access accounts. 

You'll need to wait a few months before accessing your funds, but the rates are slightly more generous than those offering instant withdrawals.  

Allica Bank and OakNorth Bank both offer the best rate on notice accounts at 3.20%.

You'll need to provide 180 days of notice and deposit at least £10,000 for the Allica account, while the OakNorth account requires 120 days of notice and £1 to open it. 

Cash ISAs: earn up to 4.38%

While the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) has effectively made all savings accounts tax-free, you should still consider using your tax-free ISA allowance (which is £20,000 for 2022/23).

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 is 3% paid by Virgin Money, but you’ll need to have a current account with the bank to apply.

Savers are normally only allowed to open one Cash ISA account per tax year, which usually means having to choose between the flexibility of an easy access deal and a better rate by locking into a fixed-rate deal.

The best one-year fixed rate ISA comes from Castle Trust Bank, with a rate of 3.80% but you need £1,000 to open an account.

Charter Savings Bank offers the best rate on two-year fixed rate ISAs at 4.38% but you need a minimum deposit of £5,000.

Lock your money away for five years and you can get a 4.35% rate from Secure Trust Bank but you need £1,000 to open an account.

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).

Provider

Type

Interest rate

Minimum/maximum deposit

Lloyds Bank

Regular Saver (you need to have a Club Lloyds account)*

5.25%*

£25, can save up to £400 per month for a year

Tandem

Five-year fixed-rate bond

5%

£1

Tandem

Three-year fixed-rate bond

4.90%

£1

Secure Trust Bank

Three-year fixed-rate bond

4.90%

£1,000

RCI Bank

Two-year fixed-rate bond

4.85%

£1,000

Secure Trust Bank

Two-year fixed-rate bond

4.85%

£1,000

Ikano Bank

One-year fixed-rate bond

4.50%

£1,000

Secure Trust Bank

Five-year fixed-rate ISA

4.35%

£1,000

Yorkshire Building Society

Three-year fixed rate ISA

4.40%

£100

Charter Savings Bank

Two-year fixed-rate ISA

4.38%

£5,000

Castle Trust Bank

One-year fixed-rate ISA

3.80%

£1,000

Virgin Money

Easy access Cash ISA

3%**

£1

Allica Bank

180-day notice account

3.20%

£10,000

OakNorth Bank

120-day notice account

3.20%

£1

Aldermore

Easy access account

2.75%

£1,000

Cynergy Bank

Easy access account

2.75%***

£1

*Must have a Club Lloyds account. If you pay in less than £1,500 a month, you’ll pay a £3 monthly fee.
**You need to have a current account with Virgin Money to apply.

***You need to be a Cynergy Bank customer to apply.

What's clear from the above is that if you want a better return on your money in the longer term, you'll likely be better off looking beyond traditional savings accounts.

If you are willing to take on some risk for potentially better returns, you could consider investing in the stock market (capital at risk).

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

 

 

 

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