No access savings accounts

Use a fixed rate bond or notice account to limit access to your savings.

Do you find it hard to save money? Are you forever dipping into your savings pot? If your savings are too accessible, it can be hard to resist the temptation to use them. However, there are savings accounts available which can lock your money away for a set period of time. Not only can they help you reach your financial goals, but they tend to offer higher rates.

What are locked savings accounts?

A locked savings account does what it says on the tin. It’s a type of savings account where you won’t be able to access your money during the term of the account. Essentially your money is “locked” away, meaning you won’t be able to dip into it whenever you feel like it.

There are different types of locked savings accounts which we will cover in a moment. The main similarity between all locked savings accounts is that you won’t be able to access your money for a specified amount of time. Typically, you will also earn a fixed rate of interest over that same period.

They can be a good way to ensure your savings balance grows over time. Just keep in mind that you will need to pick a term that suits your financial situation and saving goals.

The different types of locked savings accounts

The key characteristic of a locked savings account is that you cannot access your money during the term of the account.

Fixed rate bonds

One of the most common types of locked savings accounts are fixed rate bonds. Here are some of the important things to know about fixed rate bonds.

  • Terms. They have different term lengths which can be anything from 6 months to 5 years.
  • Fixed rate. You will receive a fixed rate for the period your money is locked away for in the bond.
  • Minimum deposit. They often require a minimum deposit, so check this works for your finances.
  • Top-ups. Typically you can’t make any deposits during the term of the bond, but sometimes you have the flexibility to make additional top-ups in the first few weeks.
  • Interest. Different bonds pay interest at different times, so check whether it will be when the bond matures or if it is monthly or annually.
  • Withdrawals. You cannot access your money until your bond has matured.

Notice accounts

Notice accounts don’t technically lock your savings away, but they are worth mentioning because they limit your access to your money. Instead of being able to withdraw your money whenever you want, you have to give adequate notice to your bank. Here’s what you need to know about notice accounts:

  • Withdrawals. There are restrictions around how you can access your money. These can sometimes be how many withdrawals you can make in a year. Or it will be that you need to give 30, 60 or 90 days’ notice to your provider before accessing your money.
  • Deposits. You can make deposits into the account whenever you like.
  • Interest. Rates tend to stand somewhere between those for easy access accounts and fixed rate bonds. It can be paid monthly or annually, into the account itself or into a current account.

Who are locked savings accounts for?

Locked savings accounts are best suited to savers who can afford to lock away a lump sum of money for a period of time. If you struggle with leaving your savings pot alone, then they can also be a good option to remove the temptation to dip into your account.

But it is important that you pick the right term length for your situation and that you only lock away what you can afford to. As the name suggests, once that money has been deposited, you won’t be able to access it until the account matures.

How to open a locked savings account

Once you have compared locked savings accounts and decided which one you want to go for, opening an account is relatively simple.

  1. Head to the bank/savings provider’s website.
  2. Find the locked savings account you want to open.
  3. Confirm you are happy with the details and the rate.
  4. Enter the amount you want to open the account with.
  5. Verify your identity, remember each bank will have its own specific requirements.
  6. Provide final confirmation you want to open the account.
  7. Transfer your deposit to your new no access savings account.

Bottom line

No access savings accounts provide a place to put a lump sum of money that is out of sight (but not necessarily out of mind). They work if you have been saving for something big and need somewhere to put the money for a bit of time, if you are looking for a guaranteed rate, or if you just know you are bad at dipping into your savings.

It’s important that you only lock away what you can afford to, as there will be no accessing your money before maturity once it’s been deposited. Also, make sure you consider how long you want to lock your savings away for, and pick a term that suits your personal circumstances.

Overall, locked savings accounts can be a low-risk way of achieving guaranteed savings growth.

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