Easy access accounts let you withdraw your money when you need to, without penalty.
They're basically a staging area for your money – while you save for a big purchase, or whilst you consider where to save or invest next.
Because you're not committing your cash for a set period, like you would with a fixed rate bond, you won't earn the very best savings rates available. However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to get the best rate you can!
Many of the top easy access rates are comprised of an introductory bonus which in effect means that you'll need to review the account every year – but not all accounts are like this. Here we look at the top accounts that offer a solid rate, without an introductory bonus.
This type of savings account might be good if you are:
Virgin Easy Access eSaver
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Penny says… "This account from Virgin Money is the standout leader in this pageant of savings beauties. Paying 2.85%, it sits 0.27% lower than the top easy access rate from Nationwide. However, the Nationwide MySave Online Plus only allows one free withdrawal per year, compared to Virgin which allows unlimited withdrawals.
The Virgin Easy Access eSaver is offered under the banking licence of Northern Rock (which Virgin took over last month). So check that you don't exceed £85,000 saved with Northern Rock (£170,000 for joint accounts) if you apply."
West Brom BS
WeBSave Plus 2
Penny says… "West Brom doesn't fare well in comparison to Virgin Money, even though it is a close second rate-wise. You'll need at least £1,000 to open the WeBSave Plus 2 with a maximum deposit limit of £250K.
If you think you'll need to make more than one withdrawal per year this isn't the account for you – as beyond the first withdrawal you'd forfeit 120 days' interest for the privilege of accessing your money."
Newcastle Online Access Saver
Penny says "The Newcastle Online Access Saver looks off the pace set by Virgin and West Brom BS, but would out-rate West Brom if you need to make more than one withdrawal per year.
Newcastle allows you to open the account with £500 and to set up a regular contribution to grow your savings by direct debit. The account also allows unlimited withdrawals."
Barnsley BS Online Saver Issue 2
Penny says "As we get to Barnsley we witness somewhat of a rate drop. You can open the Online Saver Issue 2 with as little as £1, depositing up to £1 million.
Barnsley BS is part of the Yorkshire Building Society. Therefore you should check depositor protection limits to make sure you don't have more than £85,000 (£170,000 for joint accounts) held across this group which also includes Chelsea BS and Norwich & Peterborough BS amongst others."
e-Saver Issue 1
Penny says "As with Barnsley, 2.50% is quite a way off the 2.85% on offer from Virgin. If you like your interest paid monthly – to supplement your income in retirement for instance – it's worth noting that Bath does not offer this option.
You can open the account with £1, and can save up to £100K (you must make your opening deposit by cheque)."
Online My Savings
Penny says "My Savings is a nice idea from Skipton. You tell them what you're saving for and how much you'll need, and they've got a calculator so you can see how long it will take. Choose between 13 'my savings' goals including 'my new year's resolution saver' and the interestingly-titled 'my slush fund saver'.
However, as great as the concept is, the rate isn't at the very cutting edge of competitiveness. But if you feel like the extra nudge of having a savings account that feels a little more personal – this might be right up your street!"
What next? Search all savings accounts Best buy introductory bonus accounts Best buy online easy access accounts (no bonus)
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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