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Sep 15

Best Easy Access Savings Accounts in Autumn 2022

Reading Time: 8 mins

After years of falling interest rates and near to zero returns on savings, interest rates are finally starting to go up. This is potentially good news for savers, but we are also in a period of record high inflation, a cost of living crisis and energy prices that are taking far too big a chunk out of your income.

However, it is important that you set money aside if you can, for the future and for unforeseen events and emergencies. Ideally, you want to have at least 3 months’ of compulsory spending put by. If you work freelance, are self-employed, or have a fluctuating income, having up to 6 months is more advisable.

There are lots of options out there to get your money to earn more for you, including savings accounts, ISAs and various investments. Investments work well for your long-term financial goals and we do recommend investing if you can. But first, you should make sure you set up an emergency fund. As we’ve seen over the past few years – anything can happen, so make sure you’re protected.

What you really want is for any savings account you open to earn more that the rate of inflation, otherwise you are technically losing money in real terms. But, this just isn’t possible at the moment with inflation rates so high. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t save though, there are options that are worth looking into – you might just have to think longer-term, if you can.

We’ve done some research to put together some of the best options out there which might be suitable for you. We have summed up the basic need to know facts below, but please click on the links and read all of the terms and conditions really carefully before committing. Also make sure that your account is covered by the FSCS Scheme which protects your savings up to £85,000.

Please note that any savings rates listed are correct at the time of publication. They do change – some on a daily basis – so be sure to check first.

 

 

regular savers

Regular savers earn more interest than stashing your emergency fund in a piggy bank

While regular savers are a great product for some, they’re not for everyone. Regular savers are a good way to build an emergency fund if you’re starting from scratch. They tend to offer better interest rates than some other savings accounts but you do have to commit to saving a minimum amount every month. This can help you to get into the mentality of saving regularly though if you tend to struggle.

If you are looking to immediately put a large sum away into an emergency fund, then these accounts are not for you. To get the benefit of the higher interest rate, you’re limited on how much you can deposit into the account each month. You’ll usually need a current account with the bank to open a regular saver, too.

 

REGULAR SAVER ACCOUNT – NATWEST / RBS DIGITAL REGULAR SAVER 

Interest Rate: 3.82% AER variable

Minimum Monthly Deposit: £1

Maximum Monthly Deposit: £150 (Maximum amount you can earn higher interest on is £1000)

  • This account offers a really high interest rate (for the current climate) but it does have restrictions – the most important being that you need to be a Natwest or RBS current account customer to open this savings account
  • You can only save £150 a month and only earn 3.82% interest on the first £1000 you save, after that it drops to 0.50% AER up to £5000, then drops again to 0.40% for savings over £5000
  • You can withdraw your money at any time

REGULAR SAVER ACCOUNT – FIRST DIRECT REGULAR SAVER

Interest Rate: 3.50% AER/Gross fixed for 12 months

Minimum Monthly Deposit: £25

Maximum Monthly Deposit: £300 (Maximum annual deposit is £3600)

  • You can save up to £3,600 at a fixed rate of 3.50% for 12 months.
  • Only available to existing First Direct customers
  • If you close your account before the end of the fixed rate 12 month period, you will only get the standard Savings Variable Rate on the money you’ve deposited so far.
  • You can’t make partial withdrawals
  • At the end of the 12 month fixed rate period, your savings (plus interest) will be transferred into a sole Savings Account (if you don’t have one, First Direct will open one for you).

REGULAR SAVER ACCOUNT -NATIONWIDE FLEX REGULAR SAVER

Interest Rate: 3% AER variable

Minimum Monthly Deposit: £0 – but you do need to put up to £200 in within 28 days of opening

Maximum Monthly Deposit: £200 (Maximum annual deposit is £2400)

  • Only available to existing Nationwide customers
  • This is a variable rate which means Nationwide can change it at any time – up or down
  • You can only make up to 3 withdrawals during the 12 month account term without impacting your interest rate.
  • If you  make 4 or more withdrawals and your rate will drop to 1.00% AER/gross a year (variable) for the rest of the term. Nationwide will apply the lower rate on the day you make your fourth withdrawal.
  • You can only open this account using the Nationwide Internet Bank or their Banking app

instant access saving accounts

Instant access savings accounts offer a lower interest rate than regular savers. However, you often don’t have the same deposit restrictions as a regular saver, and you can open them independently without the need for a linked current account.

INSTANT ACCESS – FORD MONEY FLEXIBLE SAVER

Ford’s flexible Saver is an easy access account that allows you deposit and withdraw money as often as you like, but it does have variable interest – this means it can go up or down

Interest Rate: 1.75% AER variable or 1.74% Monthly variable

Minimum Deposit: £1

Maximum Balance: Up to £2,000,000

  • Interest can be paid monthly or annually (Interest is calculated daily)
  • You have easy access to your money whenever you need it, with no notice, fees, or charges.
  • You can open multiple accounts and either singly or jointly
  • Withdrawals can be made online at any time to your Nominated Account or by transfer to another Ford Money savings account.

INSTANT ACCESS – NATIONWIDE 1 YEAR TRIPLE ACCESS ONLINE SAVER

Interest Rate: 1.75% AER variable for 12 months

Minimum Deposit: £0 – but you do need to put money in within 28 days of opening

Maximum Balance: £5,000,000

  • You can only open this account using the Nationwide Internet Bank or their Banking app but you don’t have to be an existing customer.
  • The interest rate is variable which means it can go up or down
  • You can  make up to three withdrawals during the 12-month term of this account. If you make more than three, the rate drops to 0.25% AER/gross a year (variable)

INSTANT ACCESS – HAMPSHIRE TRUST BANK (HTB) ONLINE EASY ACCESS 

Interest Rate: 1.15% AER variable

Minimum Deposit: £1

Maximum Investment: £250,000

  • You can apply online and interest is paid annually
  • Unlimited deposits and withdrawals
  • HTB is a specialist bank which won the Platinum Trusted Service Account from Feefo in 2022

FIXED NOTICE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Fixed Notice Savings Accounts mean that you need give notice – tell the bank – when you want to access your money. The usual notice period can be anything from 30 up to120 days. But beware, some accounts require 6 or even 12 months notice so make sure you read the small print. However, you should still earn interest on your savings during the notice period.

These are best for savers who can plan ahead and don’t need easy access to their money. They won’t work for you if you are worried that you’ll need to get to your money at short notice. But they do often offer higher interest rates and can stop impulsive withdrawals. The downside is they usually require a bigger deposit compared with other savings accounts.

PARAGON BANK 120 DAY NOTICE SAVINGS ACCOUNT

Interest Rate: 2.15% AER variable (2.13% monthly)

Minimum Deposit: £500

Maximum Investment: £500,000

  • You can make unlimited deposits without penalties or restrictions
  • You can withdraw your money with 120 days notice
  • You can choose monthly or annual interest payments
  • Open and manage your account online

OAKNORTH BANK 90 or 120 DAY NOTICE SAVINGS ACCOUNT

OakNorth Bank allows you to select your preferred notice period and adjusts the interest rate accordingly (they do also offer a 33 Days Notice Rate, but that only gives you 0.35% interest):

90 DAYS Interest Rate: 2.26% AER variable

Minimum Deposit: £1

Maximum Investment: £500,000

120 DAYS Interest Rate: 2.33% AER variable

Minimum Deposit: £1

Maximum Investment: £500,000

  • You can make unlimited deposits without penalties or restrictions
  • You can withdraw  your money with either 90 or 120 days notice
  • There are no hidden fees
  • Open and manage your account online

Help to Save Accounts

One savings account with a MASSIVE and guaranteed 50% return is run by the Government. It’s called Help to Save – check out our detailed guide here.

The short version of it is this: if you receive certain benefits (even £1 of Universal Credit!), you could be eligible. Save up to £50 per month over four years. At years two and four, you get a bonus paid to you by the Government that’s worth 50% of your highest balance held in that two-year period. So, if you save £50 a month for four years, that’s two bonus payments of £600! You’ll have saved £2,400 yourself, and benefit from a total £1,200 bonus.

This payment is notably a bonus and NOT an interest rate. That means it doesn’t come under the personal allowance for interest rate earnings (where you can earn £1,000 a year in interest before paying tax on it). It’s a guaranteed account and scheme, and couples on Universal Credit or similar benefits can each have a Help to Save account.

It’s easy access, too: you can take your money out whenever you need it. However, this will reduce how much you can get on your bonus.

should i lock my money away?

Only lock your money away when you've got an emergency fund in an easy access savings account first

There are so many options for saving products it’s hard to know where to start. The benefit of locking your money away, in investments for example, is that your money keeps up with inflation and you often see better returns in the long-run than the low interest rates will ever give you.

The problem is that you need to lock money away for at least ten years to see suitable returns and ride out the ups and downs of the stock market. This obviously doesn’t help in the case of having an emergency fund. So, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a couple of months’ worth of living costs that you can easily access should you need to. Part of this is accepting that you will have to have some money in a relatively low interest account.

If you do have money left after you’ve created an emergency fund then we definitely recommend investing. If you are able to commit for the long haul then it’s a great way to see your money grow.

 

a new savings account that keeps up with inflation!

i’m guessing that you’re reading this article because you want to make money on your savings. Quite right – who doesn’t!

However, you will have noticed that even the very top rates above don’t get near to the current rate of inflation. So in reality, even if you leave your money in the best savings account you can find, you will still effectively be losing money because the price of things is going up while your pounds languish in an account that’s not keeping up with things.

However…there is a savings account that we like that does keep up with inflation. It doesn’t give you interest, but it does keep the value of your money up so that it keeps up with the horrible rise in the cost of living.

That savings account is Tallymoney and it keeps your money in line with inflation by basing the whole account on gold. Historically gold has generally kept up with, and sometimes even outstripped, inflation, so money that is held in gold is more likely to hold its value and keep up with the rising cost of living than pounds and pence are.

With Tallymoney you can transfer cash into the account and you get a card to use in shops so you can buy a coffee with it or buy a car or whatever you would normally pay with a credit or debit card. It’s particularly good to use abroad too as there’s no foreign exchange charge – you’re just paying with gold even if it’s in dollars or euros or yen at the time.

The account does charge a fee – 0.9% a year – and there’s a small charge to set up the account at the start (£19) but other than that it is a solid alternative to savings accounts in banks, and better for keeping up with inflation.

sign up for na Tallymoney account here.

 

more useful reading

For more money management help and advice on how to look after your savings, check out more of our articles here:

Saving Accounts

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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Joanne
Joanne
10 days ago

Good information given here.

Raman
Raman
2 years ago

Good options but i am worried about interest rate, so noncompetitive.

Tom
Tom
2 years ago

A very helpful article. Much appreciated.

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