This post was originally published in November 2022 but was updated in July 2023 to reflect new figures and the changing economy.
The Bank of England Bank Rate has been raised to 5%, a high last seen in 2008. It’s also the 13th consecutive hike of the rate since December 2021.
While the UK’s central bank has maintained an upward trajectory, interest rates at high street banks have fluctuated enormously over the last couple of months.
At first, lenders have been quick to adjust their rates up – meaning a higher debt burden for borrowers – but these seem to be dropping now, especially among mortgage providers trying to stay competitive.
Those offering savings products have been similarly competitive, with a handful adjusting their interest rates as soon as the Bank Rate changes.
It means if you’re currently saving – and you should have an emergency fund at the very least – it’s high time to review whether your money is still in the best place.
With that in mind, here are the best savings accounts around.
Where to find the best savings rates
With interest rates pretty much stagnant even before the pandemic, there wasn’t much point in regularly reviewing interest rates.
Even now, with so much fluctuation, comparing every bank or building society’s interest rates isn’t the best use of your time.
Fortunately there are plenty of websites that do it for you. They’re not exhaustive, but they often make a good start.
Savings Champion is one such website. It has a Best Buy table of most of the major players and a rates alert newsletter that you can sign up to.
It doesn’t include every provider though, so if you’re seriously thinking about making a switch rather than just casually browsing, it’s worth doing a wider scan.
Money Saving Expert’s savings accounts table is updated daily and makes for a good alternative.
Or try a savings account aggregate.
Hargreaves Lansdown has an Active Savings* product where you can deposit your cash into one account and then funnel the money into different pots held with different providers.
Essentially it allows you to manage all your savings in one place, even if your money is, well, all over the place.
The rates offered here may be different from what you see advertised elsewhere though as Hargreaves Lansdown get paid a fee from the savings account providers for the service.
It’s also worth signing up to any newsletters from your current banks so you get alerted to any new products.
Nationwide for example has a Savings Watch service that emails you when there’s a product that might offer a better interest rate than what you’re currently getting.
Best savings accounts at a glance
A note on the below: This is by no means an exhaustive list.
I’ve only included better known providers here but there may well be lesser known ones offering better rates.
If you do go with a provider that isn’t a high street name, make sure you double check that they are legitimate and that they offer the right type of protection for your money (look for mentions of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme).
In some cases, your interest payment is not protected so you may need to move the money out and then back in to ensure that it is.
This list is also different from the usual Money Talk Best Buy one because it’s purely rates based rather than best overall – some may require you to sign up for a fee-paying current account, for example.
Best instant access savings account
These are savings accounts that allow you access to your money at any time. Some current accounts have similar interest rate levels so it’s worth considering those, too.
- Barclays Rainy Day Saver 5.12% AER (up to £5,000 for current account customers with Blue Rewards membership)
- Chip Instant Access Account* 4.21% AER
- Santander Edge Saver 4% AER (up to £4,000 for current account customers with Santander Edge)
- HSBC Online Bonus Saver 4% AER (up to £10,000 for current account customers)
- Atom Instant Saver 3.95% AER
- Marcus Online Savings Account 3.75%
Best regular saver
As the name suggests, you have to deposit a minimum amount of money into the account each month.
Some will allow you to withdraw the money halfway through but some will lock away the funds until the account matures.
- First Direct Regular Saver 7% AER (save £25 to £300 a month, for current account holders only)
- Club Lloyds Monthly Saver 6.25% AER (save £25 to £400 a month, for Club Lloyds current account holders only)
- Natwest Digital Regular Saver 6.17% AER (save up to £150 a month, with higher rate paid up to £5,000, for current account holders only)
- RBS Digital Regular Saver 6.17% AER (pay in up to £150 a month, with higher rate paid up to £5,000, for current account holders only)
- TSB Regular Saver 5% AER (save £25 to £250 a month, for current account holders only)
Best cash ISAs
You have a personal allowance of up to £20,000 a year for ISAs, which is pretty decent.
If you open a LISA, your allowance would be split between the LISA (up to £4,000) and the ISA, which can be with different providers.
There are a few different types of cash ISAs so choose carefully.
All the top rates are fixed rate ISAs where your money must be held in the account for a certain amount of time – if you need the money early you’ll likely have to close the account.
- Coventry Building Society Fixed Rate ISA 5.2% AER
- Virgin Money 1-year Fixed Rate ISA 5.05% AER
- Tesco Bank Fixed Rate Cash ISA 5% AER
Other types of savings accounts
Aside from the most obvious types of savings accounts, if you have money that you don’t need immediate access to, there are lots of alternative options that can earn you a bit more interest.
On notice accounts for example, you have to give notice of 30 days, 90 days or longer to withdraw your money.
There are also fixed rate accounts where your money is locked away for longer periods of time, say at least a year, and you can withdraw it early on payment of a penalty (usually lost interest).
Or you could opt for bonds where, once you pay your money in, it’s effectively locked away until it matures.
If you want to try your luck, there are always savings accounts with prize draws.
And then there are the savings accounts for kids, which usually offer higher interest rates.
None of these are inflation beating of course – investing isn’t right now either.
But if you do decide to lock away your money, you probably wouldn’t want to do it for longer periods of time as interest rates are still on an upward trajectory so better rates will likely come around a few months down the line.
Besides, given the current cost of living crisis, you never know when you might need the cash.