How do we rate savings accounts?

With such a large number of savings accounts available in the UK now, we explain how we decide our top picks.

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What factors do we take into account to compare savings accounts?

To come up with our expert summaries and top picks, we assess savings account providers across several key areas:

  1. Range of savings accounts on offer. We take a look at what type of savings accounts providers are offering in comparison to their peers and if they operate a full range, which includes instant access savings accounts, fixed term savings accounts, and more specialist accounts such as children’s savings options.
  2. Ease of account opening and management. Some providers ask you to open a savings account in-branch or by post, while others will let you apply online. Once the account is open we also assess how easy it is to manage – so whether you can quickly check your balance or add more money to the account through online banking or a mobile app.
  3. Customer service. This is also measured in relation to similar accounts on the market. We base this on our own experts’ use of the product, user feedback, press reports, customer reviews and forum discussions.
  4. Penalties and fees. While savings accounts don’t usually come with a monthly fee, some do have fees if your balance drops below a certain point, or they may charge a penalty if you withdraw money before your agreed fixed term ends or without giving enough days’ notice. While these penalties are part of the account conditions that savers sign up to, we look at how the size of these penalties compares to similar accounts.
  5. Interest rates. This is one of the most important factors that customers bear in mind when choosing a savings account, particularly if they want to grow their money as well as set it aside. Some providers offer a large number of different savings accounts with interest rates that may change at any given point. We take an overview of how a provider compares against its counterparts in the market, and whether it usually offers inflation-beating rates. (And remember, the tables on our savings account review pages are updated daily, so you’ll always be able to see the current interest rates available.)

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