Best easy & instant access savings accounts UK 2024

Top up your savings with some interest while still keeping full access to your money with rates up to 7.49% AER.

Instant or easy access savings accounts allow you to earn interest on your savings while still being able to withdraw your funds if you need them. Here's more on what they are, how they work and how to choose the right one for you.

FSCS logo
Is my money safe?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) guarantees that it will step in to compensate the first £85,000 (£170,000 for a joint account) you have saved with a UK-authorised bank, building society or credit union in the event that the business goes bust.

Compare easy & instant access savings accounts

Table: sorted by interest rate, promoted deals first.
1 - 16 of 555
Name Product Account type Withdrawals Open with Deposit protection Interest rate Open via Incentive Table product description Apply link
Plum – Plum Cash ISA
Cash ISA
Instant access
£1 - £99
FSCS logo
protected
5.17% AER variable (Includes a bonus )
Open via: mobile app
Go to site
View details
Moneybox – Moneybox Cash ISA
Cash ISA
Instant access
£500
FSCS logo
protected
5.16% AER variable (Includes a bonus )
Open via: mobile app
Go to site
View details
Barclays Bank – Rainy Day Saver
Variable
Instant access
£1 - £10,000,000
FSCS logo
protected
1.16% AER variable (on first £4,999)
Open via: branch, website, mobile app, telephone
Go to site
View details
Chip – Chip Cash ISA (powered by ClearBank)
Cash ISA
Instant access
£1 - £85,000
FSCS logo
protected
5.1% AER variable
Open via: mobile app
Go to site
View details
Post Office Money® – Online Saver Issue 72
Variable
Instant access
£1 - £2,000,000
FSCS logo
protected
5.06% AER variable (Includes a bonus )
Open via: website
Go to site
View details
Post Office Money® – Online Saver Issue 72
Variable
Instant access
£1 - £2,000,000
FSCS logo
protected
5.06% AER variable (Includes a bonus )
Open via: website
Go to site
View details
Aldermore – Double Access Account Issue 1
Variable
Instant access
£1,000 - £1,000,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.9% AER variable
Open via: website
Go to site
View details
Aldermore – Double Access Account Issue 1
Variable
Instant access
£1,000 - £1,000,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.9% AER variable
Open via: website
Go to site
View details
Finder Award
EXCLUSIVE
Chip – Instant Access powered by ClearBank
Variable
Instant access
£1 - £250,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.84% AER variable
Open via: mobile app
Earn up to £50 additional bonus: use code FINDER5K for a £10 bonus on deposits over £5,000, FINDER10K for a £30 bonus on deposits over £10,000, FINDER15K for a £40 bonus on deposits over £15,000 or FINDER20K for a £50 bonus on deposits over £20,000.
Go to site
View details
Yorkshire Building Society – Internet Saver Plus Issue 14
Variable
Instant access
£1 - £500,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.8% AER variable
Open via: website
Go to site
View details
RCI Bank UK – Freedom Savings Account
Variable
Instant access
£100 - £250,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.75% AER variable
Open via: website
Go to site
View details
RCI Bank UK – Freedom Savings Account
Variable
Instant access
£100 - £250,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.75% AER variable
Open via: website
Go to site
View details
Paragon Bank – Raisin UK - Rainy Day Easy Access Account
Variable
Instant access
£20,000 - £85,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.7% AER variable
Open via: website, mobile app
Go to site
View details
Brown Shipley – Raisin UK - Easy Access Account
Brown Shipley – Raisin UK - Easy Access Account
Variable
Instant access
£1,000 - £85,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.67% AER variable
Open via: website, mobile app
Go to site
View details
GB Bank – Raisin UK - Easy Access Account
Variable
Instant access
£1,000 - £85,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.6% AER variable
Open via: website, mobile app
Go to site
View details
Ford Money – Flexible Saver
Variable
Instant access
£1 - £2,000,000
FSCS logo
protected
4.6% AER variable
Open via: website
Go to site
View details
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What are easy access savings accounts?

Easy access accounts are straightforward savings accounts that let you deposit funds whenever you are able to, and withdraw them again when required (in most cases without penalty). For this reason, they can be an ideal place to stash rainy day funds that can be used as part of an emergency fund, that can be used for things such as a boiler breakdown or urgent car repairs. Many easy access accounts only require a small deposit to open them, so you won’t necessarily need a large lump sum to get started.

However, there are a few downsides. For a start, even the top-paying easy access savings accounts struggle to beat inflation these days, so don’t expect interest rates that will make your mouth water. Some accounts also come with a bonus rate that temporarily increases the rate you earn for around 12 months and after that time, the interest rate drops. It’s at this point you should start shopping around for a better account to switch to.

Also be aware that some easy access savings accounts will limit the number of penalty-free withdrawals you can make each year so always check the small print before you apply.

Expert analysis: Should I consider a current account instead of a savings account?

katesteere profile pic
Kate Steere

Editor

Current accounts and digital banking apps also offer the chance to earn interest on your money. So if you don’t want to open a whole separate savings account, this could be an alternative option for you to consider.

Kroo Bank pays a competitive rate of interest on current account balances. As a UK licensed bank, your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. There’s no need to move your money to a different account, the interest is paid on your main balance.

However, if you still feel you want to keep your savings separate from your current account, then digital banking apps like Revolut, Monzo and Starling have the solution. Each of these has developed a sub-savings account within their main accounts, where you can move your money - and in some cases earn some interest.

For example, Revolut’s Savings Vaults offer tiered interest depending what plan you are on. Monzo is similar, in that its Savings Pots have a higher rate of interest if you have its Plus or Premium account. Meanwhile, Starling’s Savings Spaces are more of a visual tool to keep your savings separate - but you do have the option to create a virtual card which lets you spend directly from a Savings Space.

How do easy access savings accounts work?

Here’s a quick snapshot of how easy access accounts work:

  • Application. You can usually apply online by providing your personal details and going through an ID check. If you already have an account with the financial institution you’re considering, you may be able to apply from the app.
  • Deposits. You can normally deposit as much as you like, whenever you like. If you’d like to save a fixed sum every month, you can set up a standing order from your current account, and your bank will move the money automatically for you.
  • Interest. It can be paid monthly or annually.
  • Withdrawals. By definition, an easy access savings account should allow you to transfer the money back to your current account anytime and then use it as you like.
  • End of a deal. Unlike fixed-rate bonds, easy access savings accounts don’t mature or expire. However, they might offer introductory interest rates that expire after a set period of time (like a year). If that’s the case, put an alarm on your phone calendar or make a note in your diary so that you don’t forget to compare easy access accounts again and potentially open one with another institution.

Should I get an easy access savings account?

Easy access savings accounts can be ideal if you’re looking to build an emergency savings cushion thanks to their ease of opening and flexibility. However, they don’t pay the best rates of interest, so if you’re looking to make more of a long-term commitment, a fixed-rate bond may be more suitable.

Fixed-rate bonds typically pay higher interest rates but require you to lock away your funds for a period of between 6 months and 5 years. The longer you can commit, the higher the interest rate will be. Note that most won’t allow you to add to your savings during the term of the bond so they are best suited to those with a lump sum to invest.

If you’re happy to take on more risk and potentially gain a greater return on your savings, you could also consider investing. However, remember that your capital is at risk and you may get back less than you invested.

What's the difference between instant access and easy access?

Instant access and easy access accounts tend to have fewer restrictions than some other savings accounts. These types of accounts typically allow withdrawals instantly or within 1 day, and have no penalties attached to withdrawing.

For an account to be easy access rather than instant access, it means there may be a short wait when you want to take money out and there can be limits on the number of withdrawals you can make.

In our easy and instant access tables, we show products that are variable rate or cash ISAs, that allow instant withdrawals or withdrawals within 24 hours, and that have no penalties attached to withdrawals. However, for some products, there may be a limit to the number of withdrawals you can make in a specified amount.

Is an easy access savings account right for me?

To summarise, an easy access savings account can be a good choice in the following situations:

  • The idea of investing your savings fills you with dread. Investing can be risky, complicated and time-consuming.
  • You think you may need your savings at some point in the near future. If you’re 100% sure you won’t, have a look at fixed-rate bonds instead as they normally pay better rates.
  • You’d rather keep your savings separate from your day-to-day finances. In general, having a dedicated account for your savings takes away some of the temptation to spend them.
  • Your current account doesn’t pay an interest rate (or you’ve reached the maximum limit). Some current accounts (although not many) pay interest on balances up to a certain figure, which in some cases may be better than those offered by easy access savings accounts. It’s worth considering this option, but if your current account doesn’t pay any interest and you don’t want to switch, or if it only pays interest for the first few thousand pounds (that’s usually the case) and you’ve already reached the limit, an easy access savings account is definitely the next option to look at.

Case study: Sophie got a better rate with Chip

Sophie Barber profile pic
Sophie Barber

Works in Finder's PR team

My existing savings account wasn't paying much interest, so I wanted to open a new easy-access savings account with a higher rate. I chose Chip for its competitive rate, and so far it's been a great choice.

You can easily track your returns - including those that are pending - and it's easy to connect Chip with your other bank accounts so you can quickly withdraw your money if you need it. It works well as a savings account if you're happy with simple, app-only access.

If there's one thing you'd tell a friend who's thinking of getting this, what would it be?
There's a fee attached to certain features such as Recurring Save, but you can just use the free version of the Chip app if you're happy to manually deposit into your savings account.

How to compare easy access savings accounts

Unlike most financial products, easy access savings accounts are not complicated to compare. Take a look at the steps below:

  • Look at the interest rate. Guess what? You’ll want the one that pays the highest rate.
  • Check the eligibility criteria. Some banks only offer savings accounts to existing customers. Moreover, while some easy access savings accounts can be opened with as little as £1, others require a more conspicuous minimum deposit, so they’re not suitable for savers who are just starting their journey.
  • Make sure withdrawals aren’t limited (or that you’re okay with it if they are). Some easy access savings accounts aren’t fully easy access, but will limit the number of times you can withdraw money from the account every year. Make sure you’re aware of it if that’s the case.

Which are the best easy access savings accounts at the moment?

Our best easy access accounts are the highest interest rates available. 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 savings 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.

  • Bath BS – 16-25 Regular Saver - 7.49%
  • Santander – Santander Edge Saver (Issue 1) - 7%
  • Nationwide BS – Flex Regular Saver Issue 3 - 6.5%
  • Leeds BS – Shared Ownership Saver - 6.25%
  • NatWest – Digital Regular Saver - 6.17%

Are easy access savings accounts safe?

Yes, just double-check that the deal you’re looking at is FSCS-protected (all the savings accounts with major financial institutions will be). The Financial Services Compensation Scheme protects your deposits up to £85,000 and would refund you if something were to happen to your savings account provider.

If you have more than £85,000, it’s better to spread your savings between different accounts to secure full protection.

Pros and cons of easy access savings accounts

Pros

  • You can top up and access your funds whenever required.
  • Many accounts can be opened with as little as £1.
  • Straightforward application process.

Cons

  • Interest rates are typically lower compared to fixed-rate bonds.
  • Some easy access accounts include a bonus rate for around 12 months. After this point, the interest rate usually drops dramatically.
  • Interest rates are usually variable so can change at any point.

An overview of our easy access savings account comparison

Rates up to 7.49% AER
Number of accounts 555
Minimum investment £0.01
Maximum investment £10,000,000
Opening options Branch, website, mobile app, post, telephone

Bottom line

If you’re just starting to save or you are looking to build up a cash cushion to fall back on in an emergency, an easy access savings account can be a great place to start. Just remember to seek out the best interest rate and make a note of when any bonus rate expires so that you’re ready to switch to a more competitive account when the time comes.

Finder survey: What proportion of your savings would you want to keep instant access to, even if it meant a lower interest rate?

Response% of respondents
N/A11.11%
Most of it16.67%
Less than half of it18.52%
Half of it24.07%
All of it!29.63%
Source: Finder survey by Finder of Finder members

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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