Best savings accounts for March 2023
Looking for a new home for your savings? We check the full UK market daily to find the top rates available on the most popular types of account.
Best easy access savings account
Best for most savers
Some top-rate accounts can come with strings attached (like “existing customers only” or “additional account necessary”), but this one is more or less open to all. The Yorkshire Building Society Rainy Day Account Issue 2 offers 3.35% AER on balances up to £4,999 and 2.85% AER thereafter. You can open the account with as little as £1.
Best overall… IF you’re eligible!
The Barclays Bank Rainy Day Saver offers 5.12% AER on balances up to £4,999 and 0.65% AER thereafter. You can open the account with as little as £1. Please note that you'll need to be an existing customer to apply (Must be a member of Barclays Blue Rewards.).
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What do I need to know about easy access savings accounts?
If you want an account that allows you to withdraw your money whenever you need to, you'll need to look for an easy access savings account. In fact, experts recommend that everyone has some form of easy access savings that they can get hold of in an emergency as part of an emergency fund. These accounts can also be a good option if you're just starting to save.
Many accounts can be opened with as little as £1, and you can top up funds as and when you're able to. However, interest rates won't be as competitive as some savings accounts and the rate is usually variable so it can change at any point.
- Can be opened with as little as £1
- You can access your funds whenever you need to
- You can add to your funds as and when
- Interest rates are variable
- Won't offer the most competitive rates on the market
Best fixed savings account
Best 1-year fixed-rate bond
The Al Rayan Bank 12 Month Fixed Term Deposit offers 4.5% AER on balances up to £1,000,000. You’ll need to open the account with a minimum of £5,000.
Best fixed-rate bond overall
The Al Rayan Bank 36 Month Fixed Term Deposit offers 4.68% AER on balances up to £1,000,000. You’ll need to open the account with a minimum of £5,000.
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What do I need to know about fixed savings accounts?
With a fixed rate savings account, you agree to lock your money away for a term of anywhere between 6 months and 5 years in return for a more competitive, fixed interest rate. The longer you're prepared to lock your funds away, the higher your interest rate will be – but keep in mind that if external rates rise, you won't see any benefit.
Fixed rate accounts can be a good option if you have a lump sum of cash that you want to earn interest on and you won't need to access for a while – you won't usually be able to top up your money during the term or withdraw it without paying a penalty.
- Good if you have a lump sum to invest
- Fixed rate of interest
- Choose how long you want to tie up your funds
- You won't usually be able to top up your funds
- You won't usually be able to access your money during the term
- Longer fixed rates can be riskier if rates rise
Best notice savings account
The Cynergy Bank Online Notice Saver offers 3.65% AER on balances up to £1,000,000. You’ll need to open the account with a minimum of £500.
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What do I need to know about notice savings accounts?
Notice savings accounts are half way between an easy access account and a fixed rate account. They can be a good option if you don't want to tie up your funds for long, but also don't need to access them immediately.
Notice accounts often offer better rates than easy access accounts, but require you to give notice before you can access your funds. How much notice you need to give will depend on the account – for example, you might need to give 30 days' notice, 60 days, 90 days or 180 days. Usually, the more notice you need to give, the better the interest rate you'll get. Interest rates are typically variable.
- You can still access your savings, provided you give notice
- Interest rates are higher compared to easy access accounts
- You won't necessarily need a large deposit to open the account
- Interest rates are variable so they can change at any point
- You won't be able to easily access your funds in an emergency
Best Cash ISA
The Santander 18 Month Fixed Rate ISA offers 4.25% AER. You’ll need to open the account with a minimum of £500.
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What do I need to know about Cash ISAs?
Thanks to the personal savings allowance, which allows basic rate taxpayers to earn up to £1,000 in savings interest without paying tax (£500 for high rate taxpayers), the tax-free wrapper offered by cash ISAs is no longer so important.
However, if you can find a particularly competitive option, cash ISAs are still worth considering. You can pay up to £20,000 into any combination of ISAs each tax year, but you can only pay money into one cash ISA. As with other savings accounts, you can choose from easy access and fixed rate options. If you have money to move from an existing ISA, look for one that allows transfers in.
- Choose between easy access and fixed rate options
- ISA income does not count towards your personal savings allowance which can be useful if you're likely to exceed your allowance
- Many accounts can be opened with just £1
- You can only pay in up to £20,000 a year
- Tax-free wrapper is no longer so important
Best regular savings account
Best for most savers
Some top-rate accounts can come with strings attached (like “existing customers only” or “additional account necessary”), but not this one. The Nationwide BS Start to Save Issue 2 offers 5% AER on balances up to £1,200. You can open the account with as little as £0.
Best overall… IF you’re eligible!
The first direct Regular Saver Account offers 7% AER on balances up to £3,600. You can open the account with as little as £25. Please note that you’ll need to open an additional “linked” first direct account (Must have or open a first direct 1st Account.The 'linked' account needs to be actively used.).
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What do I need to know about regular savings accounts?
Regular savings accounts can be a good option if you're just starting to get into the savings habit or if you have a particular savings goal in mind. These accounts require you to pay in a set amount each month – say between £25 and £300 – for 12 months, and you'll earn a fixed amount of interest on that money.
You won't usually be able to access your funds during the 12-month period and once it's up, your account will close and your savings will usually be moved to an easy access account. Note that with some regular savings accounts, you'll need to open a current account with that particular bank or hold another financial product with it to qualify.
- Easy way to save on a regular basis
- Fixed rate of interest
- Interest rates can be competitive
- Account only lasts for 12 months
- You won't usually be able to access your funds during that time
- Limit to how much you can pay in
Best lifetime ISA
The Moneybox Moneybox Cash Lifetime ISA offers 3.5% AER. You can open the account with as little as £1.
What do I need to know about lifetime ISAs?
If you're aged between 18 and 39, you can open a Lifetime ISA. This is a longer-term tax-free savings account that gives you a government bonus of 25% of the money you put in, up to a maximum of £1,000 a year.
You'll be able to save up to £4,000 a year, which forms part of your overall annual ISA limit, and you can continue to pay into your ISA until you reach the age of 50. However, you can only withdraw your money after 12 months if you use it to help pay for your first property or after you turn 60 if you intend to use it for your retirement. If you withdraw the money for any other purpose (unless you're terminally ill), you'll face a 25% penalty.
- Earn tax-free interest on your savings
- Government bonus available
- Available as a cash ISA or stocks and shares ISA
- You can only withdraw your funds under specific circumstances
- Only available for those aged between 18 and 39
Which are the best savings accounts at the moment?
Our best savings accounts are the highest interest rates available for each type of account we specify. To get the latest rates, we use Moneyfacts data, which covers nearly the full market of savings products and is checked and updated daily. We don’t include accounts from private banks.
All the accounts in our list have savings protection – for most, this is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Other schemes include that of NS&I, which is 100% backed by HM Treasury, and the Gibraltar Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
- Best easy access savings account 5.12% Barclays Bank
- Best fixed-rate savings account 4.68% Al Rayan Bank
- Best notice savings account 3.65% Cynergy Bank
- Best Cash ISA 4.25% Santander
- Best regular savings account 7% first direct
- Best lifetime ISA 3.5% Moneybox
High interest current accounts
Believe it or not, some current accounts pay higher rates of interest compared to some savings accounts. What’s more, because it’s a current account you’ll be able to access your money whenever you need to. However, the downside is that the amount of money you can earn interest on will be limited and in some cases, the rate drops after a year. Banks also offer fantastic signup offers when you close down your current account and switch to a new one.
- Interest rates can be competitive
- Easy access to your money
- You may benefit from other perks such as cashback for switching
- The amount of money you can earn interest on is limited
- You might need to meet certain criteria to qualify (e.g. setting up direct debits or paying in a set amount each month)
Auto-savings apps help you squirrel away some of your cash without you noticing. This could be done through working out how much you can afford to save each week and automatically transferring that amount into a separate savings account. Or your purchases might be rounded up to the nearest £1 and the difference moved to a savings pot. This can be a great option if you’re struggling to get into the savings habit or you regularly forget to put money aside.
- Easy way to help you save
- You can opt to save less or withdraw the funds if you need to
- You won’t always earn a high interest rate on your savings
- You won’t necessarily be saving a huge amount
Premium bonds are a savings product from National Savings and Investments (NS&I) and give you the chance of winning between £25 and £1 million (tax-free) each month instead of earning interest. You will need to invest at least £25 and you can keep buying bonds until you reach a maximum holding level of £50,000.
- There’s the potential to win big
- There’s no investment risk – they are government backed so you won’t lose your money
- Winnings are tax-free
- There’s the risk you won’t win anything
- You won’t get a regular income
Sharia savings accounts
Islamic savings accounts must follow the rules and laws of Islam or Sharia law and be guided by Islamic economics. Islamic savings accounts do not pay interest, but instead, you’ll be promised a return on the money saved, called an “expected profit rate”.
The money kept in an Islamic bank account must be ring-fenced and cannot be used for non-Sharia approved activities. This means money will not be lent to businesses that provide goods or services such as alcohol, tobacco or gambling.
- More ethical way to bank
- Expected profit rates on savings accounts can be competitive
- Open to all
- Fewer banks to choose from
The best savings account providers for customer satisfaction
We asked savers to rate their satisfaction with their account provider, and whether they’d recommend it to a friend. We’ve shown both for each brand in the table below. Our independent survey of 2,224 savers was carried out in December 2022. The table is ordered by the percentage of customers who said they’d recommend the brand to a friend.
|Savings provider||Logo||Overall satisfaction||Would recommend||Review||Link|
|Shawbrook Bank||★★★★★||87%||Shawbrook is a specialist savings bank with a range of savings products including cash ISA, easy access accounts, fixed rate bonds and notice accounts. It posted an impressive 87% “would recommend” score in our inaugural savings customer satisfaction survey.||Read our review|
|Post Office Money||★★★★★||86%||Post Office offers both online and brand-based savings products, which makes it popular with customers. It posted a “would recommend” score of 86% and customers commented on its trustworthiness and “helpful” staff.||Read our review|
|Yorkshire Building Society||★★★★★||87%||With Yorkshire Building Society, you can choose from a range of savings accounts including regular savers. The building society also has a series of savings pledges that look to support members by letting them know of new deals first and supporting them if their personal circumstances change.||Read our review|
|Santander||★★★★★||84%||High-street bank Santander comes with all the advantages of a big bank and offers a wide range of savings accounts. Customers particularly liked how easy it was to use and its decent rates of interest.||Read our review|
|Nationwide||★★★★★||82%||The last building society that does banking on a national level, Nationwide offers its members exclusive savings accounts. Our survey found that customer’s recommended Nationwide for its “friendly” customer service and competitive interest rates.||Read our review|
|AA Savings||★★★★★||82%||AA Savings has a varied range of savings accounts including products exclusively for AA members. It recorded a very decent 82% “would recommend” score from its customers that we surveyed.||Read our review|
|Virgin Money||★★★★★||81%||Virgin Money has a decent variety of savings accounts available to new customers, as well as exclusive accounts linked to its current account. Customers remarked on its easy-to-use app and regular communication.||Read our review|
|Barclays||★★★★★||78%||Savings accounts by Barclays come recommended by 78% of its customers in our survey. Respondents highlighted its good customer service and decent interest rates.||Read our review|
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||★★★★★||74%||Marcus by Goldman Sachs has a limited amount of savings accounts available, but still scored 4.5 out of 5 in our survey. It’s based online and customers praised its app and account management features.||Read our review|
|NatWest||★★★★★||76%||NatWest has savings accounts for every financial need. Its products range from regular savers, fixed rate ISAs to children’s savings accounts. It clear the bank promotes long-term loyalty, with some customers having held an account with the bank for over 30 years.||Read our review|
|Halifax||★★★★★||76%||Part of the wider Lloyds Banking Group, Halifax has several savings options, ranging from easy access accounts to fixed term savings. Many customers in our survey higlighted the quality of both its customer service and its mobile banking app.||Read our review|
|Tesco Bank||★★★★★||75%||The financial arm of the supermarket, Tesco Bank has a range of different savings accounts including a good variety of fixed term savers. Respondents liked its easy-to-use app and its trustworthy service.||Read our review|
|HSBC||★★★★★||70%||HSBC has lots of different savings accounts on its roster. Like other banks, there are accounts that have exclusive rates for its current account customers. Respondents liked it for its reliable and secure brand.||Read our review|
|Paragon||★★★★★||70%||Paragon has cash, easy access and fixed rate ISAs on its roster, alongside a Lifetime ISA product. Respondents praised it for offering both long- and short-term savings options.||Read our review|
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