Savings jar

This post was originally published in November 2022. It was last updated in June 2024 to reflect new figures and the changing economy.

The Bank of England Bank Rate is currently holding at 5.25%; the UK central bank decided on this rate in August 2023, and has held it since.

While high street banks usually peg their interest rates to the Bank Rate, in recent months many have started to drop the rates on their savings products.

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.

How to find the best savings rates

In the last couple of months, a few banks, including Santander, Virgin Money and Marcus, have announced that they’re dropping the interest rates on their bank products.

While there are still some decent rate available, now is the time to start locking those in.

If you’re short on time, here are a few easy ways to find the best savings rate.

Savings websites

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.

Savings platforms and hub accounts

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 all over the place.

The rates offered here may be different from what you see advertised elsewhere though as Hargreaves Lansdown gets paid a fee from the savings account providers.

Raisin and Flagstone does a similar thing, but they require minimum deposits.

Savings newsletters

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.

And of course, don’t forget you can sign up for the Money Talk newsletter if you haven’t already.

Best savings accounts at a glance

The below 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 lesser known provider, 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 Money Talk Best Buy 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.

Best regular saver

As the name suggests, you have to deposit a minimum amount of money into the regular saver account each month. 

Some will allow you to withdraw the money halfway through but some will lock away the funds until the account matures.

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. 

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. I actually managed to win some money with Chip’s version.

And then there are the savings accounts for kids, which usually offer higher interest rates.