Easy access savings accounts are as simple as they sound - they allow you to access your money whenever you need it, without having to give advance notice to your savings provider, and they can be paid into at any time.
They're the most flexible type of savings account and can be the perfect place to build up that emergency fund, or to store savings for those who aren't too sure if they'll need to dip into their pot. They can be just as suitable for those with short-term savings goals, and ideal for those who simply want to get into the habit of saving - they don't require a lot of commitment, so can be a great starting point for fledgling savers.
However, despite their inherent flexibilities, there are a few catches to watch out for, as some accounts come with opening or withdrawal restrictions. For instance, there are a growing number of accounts that only allow a certain number of withdrawals per year, so don't choose a high-paying deal that will penalise you for withdrawals if you'll regularly need to access your cash. It's all about finding an account that works for you, so always check the terms and conditions to ensure it suits your financial and lifestyle needs.
Make sure you carefully consider accounts that come with bonuses, too. Many only last for a 12-month period, after which the rate will drop considerably, so you may want to look for one that comes without this kind of bonus added in. Having said that, if you're organised and are happy to change your account every year, these accounts could still be worth considering, particularly as many offer rates that rival their bonus-free counterparts - and the bonus element is usually guaranteed, too.
So, with that in mind, here are the current top-paying easy access accounts, most without an introductory bonus, offering you a great rate with added convenience.
RCI Bank Freedom Savings Account
RCI Bank UK takes the top spot with this restriction-free account that pays a market-leading 1.10% AER variable, easily the top rate for this sector of the market. It requires a minimum investment of £100, after which savers are free to make additional deposits and withdraw funds whenever they wish, with the instant access nature of the account offering the height of flexibility.
It should be noted that this bank is covered by the French compensation scheme (which covers deposits of up to €100,000) rather than the UK-based FSCS.
Nottingham BS eSaver Instant Issue 7
In second place is this deal from Nottingham BS, a no notice deal that pays a variable rate of 1.05% AER yearly. It requires a fairly large minimum investment of £1,000, but once deposited it allows further additions and withdrawals at will - provided the minimum balance of £1,000 is maintained and a nominated account is used for all transactions - making it an appealing choice for internet investors with a decent savings pot.
West Brom BS WeBSave Bonus Saver 2
Securing a top-three spot is this deal from West Brom BS, one of the few in our list that includes a bonus element. It's an easy access account that pays a variable rate of 1.05% yearly from a minimum deposit of £1,000, including a 0.35% bonus until May 2018. In true easy access style, further additions and withdrawals are welcome at any time, making it a competitive choice for the internet investor.
Skipton BS Limited Edition Online Bonus Saver
Next up is this deal from Skipton BS, the second bonus account to make the cut. This one boasts a rate of 1.02%, including a 0.21% bonus for 12 months, and requires a minimum addition of just £1. It can be operated online for money management on the go, but it should be noted that the maximum investment is £50,000, relatively small by savings account standards.
Virgin Money Defined Access E-Saver Issue 10
Virgin Money makes the top five with this no notice deal that pays 1.01% from a minimum investment of just £1. Further additions are welcome at any time, and although withdrawals are also permitted without notice, only three will be allowed on a penalty-free basis per year.
This means savers will need to carefully consider their withdrawal requirements or be faced with a lower interest rate, making this deal suited to those who are willing to exercise caution when it comes to access.
Post Office Money Online Saver Issue 23
Just squeezing into the top six is this deal from Post Office Money, a no notice account that pays a variable rate of 1.01% AER yearly, including a 12-month bonus of 0.76%. It can be opened with a minimum of just £1 and allows further additions and withdrawals at will, making it a great choice for internet investors - provided they don't mind reviewing their rate in a year's time, as the withdrawal of the particularly high bonus means their returns will drop dramatically thereafter.
Information & Rates correct as at: 17/03/2017
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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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