first direct savings accounts and interest rates

first direct offers a variety of savings accounts with interest rates up to 7%.

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first direct

Since its launch in 1989, first direct has branded itself as the bank of the future and offers a range of savings accounts for its customers. It has no branches and prefers to operate online and via its telephone service.

first direct's top savings rate of 7% is available on its regular savings account.

Easy access savings accounts

Table: sorted by interest rate
first direct's best easy access rate of 4% is significantly lower than today's market-best rate of 7.49%.
1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Account type Withdrawals Min. opening balance Interest rate Deposit protection Open via Incentive Apply link
first direct – Bonus Savings Account
Variable
Instant access
£1
4% AER variable (on first £50,000)
FSCS logo
protected
Open via: website, mobile app, telephone
Go to site
View details
first direct – Cash ISA
Cash ISA
Instant access
£1
2.85% AER variable
FSCS logo
protected
Open via: website, post
Go to site
View details
first direct – Savings Account
Variable
Instant access
£1
2% AER variable
FSCS logo
protected
Open via: website, mobile app, telephone
Go to site
View details
first direct – Bonus Savings Account
Variable
Instant access
£1
2% AER variable
FSCS logo
protected
Open via: website, mobile app, telephone
Go to site
View details
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Cash ISAs

Table: sorted by interest rate
first direct's best cash ISA rate of 2.85% is significantly lower than today's market-best rate of 5.1%.
1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Interest rate Minimum investment Interest paid Withdrawals Deposit protection Open via Incentive Table product description Apply link
first direct – Cash ISA
2.85% AER variable
£1
Monthly
Instant access
FSCS logo
protected
Open via: website, post
Go to site
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Fixed-rate bonds

Table: sorted by interest rate
first direct's best fixed-rate bond rate of 4.3% is lower than today's market-best rate of 5.5%.
1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Interest rate Invest Interest paid Withdrawals Open via Deposit protection Open via Incentive Table product description Apply link
first direct – Fixed Rate Savings
4.3% AER fixed until 27.06.25
£2,000 - £1,000,000
On maturity
Withdrawals not permitted
Website, mobile app, telephone
FSCS logo
protected
Open via: website, mobile app, telephone
Go to site
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Regular savings accounts

Table: sorted by interest rate
first direct's best regular savings account rate of 7% is slightly lower than today's market-best rate of 8%.
Name Product AER Save Withdrawal notice Interest paid Deposit protection Open via Incentive Apply link
first direct – Regular Saver Account
7% fixed for 1 year (on first £3,600)
£25 to £300 per month
1 year bond
On maturity
FSCS logo
protected
Open via: website, mobile app
Go to site
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What is first direct's best savings account with the highest interest rate?

The best savings account depends on what you want from your savings. If you're after fast access to your money, then an easy-access account should suit you. However, if you're happy to lock your money away for a time to access a higher rate, then a fixed-rate bond is a good option.

Finally, if you're looking to maximise your returns and shield them from income tax, consider an ISA. Below, we've listed the different types of accounts first direct offers, plus the highest interest rate currently available.

Savings account types include Easy access, cash ISAs, fixed-rate bonds, regular savers
Best easy access rate 4%
Best cash ISA rate 2.85%
Best fixed-rate bond rate 4.3%
Best regular saver rate 7%
Fixed bond terms 1 year
Opening options Website, mobile app, post, telephone
FSCS protection

Didn’t find the account type you were looking for? Check our other guides:

Who owns first direct?

first direct is owned by HSBC. So, while you can’t find first direct on the high street, it does offer cash and cheque paying-in services through HSBC’s branches.

first direct is a separate division to HSBC but the two do offer similar savings account rates and deals. However, the two differ in other aspects. first direct often tops polls for the quality of its customer service.

How to pay a cheque or cash into first direct

If you’re wondering how to cash a cheque in with first direct, it’s incredibly simple. Just use the online HSBC store locator to find your local branch.

You can pay in cash or cheque. In addition, you can take cash out over the counter at an HSBC branch. However, you need to call first direct in advance to arrange this particular service.

If you have a 1st account then you do all these actions at a Post Office branch. However, paying in a cheque is slightly more complicated. Here are the details:

  • You need a pre-printed first direct credit slip, from your paying-in book.
  • You’ll also require an HSBC Post Office® cheque deposit envelope, which you’ll find on the Post Office® counter.
  • Cheques paid into the Post Office® will take a day longer to reach your account than cheques paid in at HSBC branches.
  • first direct sometimes also offers a cheque cashing service at Post Office® branches, to customers who can’t use a chip and PIN card – subject to status.

How safe is first direct?

One thing to bear in mind is if you plan on having accounts with both HSBC and first direct. FSCS rules mean you’ll be covered for up to £85,000 if your bank goes insolvent. However, the rules apply to the overall banking group, rather than the individual bank.

So if HSBC and first direct both go bust, you would only be covered for £85,000 – not £170,000.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Customer service information for first direct

Email support
Telephone support
In-app or live chat
Contact form
Branch support

Our verdict

Whether you want to lock away your money for a fixed amount of time, or need to be able to access it whenever required, first direct offers a range of savings accounts and other options to help you manage your money.

Don’t forget to check our other reviews first, though, to see how first direct savings accounts weigh up against the competition in terms of rates, fees and perks.

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. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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Written by

Felix Thompson

Felix Thompson is a freelance writer at Finder. He covers everything from digital banking to car insurance and, whatever the topic, he aims to make it easy for consumers to get straight to the best deal. Felix has a postgraduate qualification in international journalism and is also a broadcast journalist. In his spare time, he loves to cycle. See full profile

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