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.
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. They all either match or beat inflation, too, giving you a home for your money without needing to worry about inflation eroding the value of your savings. But you may want to be quick about it - our research shows that many top savings deals can vanish from sight in a matter of days, so if you like what you see, don't delay!
ICICI Bank UK SuperSaver Savings Account
ICICI Bank UK takes the top spot with its easy access account that pays a variable rate of 1.00% from a minimum investment of just £1. It allows further additions and withdrawals at your leisure, provided any withdrawals are made through a linked current account, but it should be noted that savers will need to find a local branch in order to open the account.
RCI Bank Freedom Savings Account
RCI Bank UK takes second place with this restriction-free account. It's another easy access deal that pays 1.00% AER variable, which just misses out on the top spot due to its slightly higher deposit requirement of £100. 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.
NS&I Income Bonds
Securing a top-three spot is this deal from NS&I, another account that pays 1.00%, but this time from a minimum investment of £500. As is common in this sector, it allows further additions at will, together with unlimited withdrawals, provided they're of at least £500 and don't bring the balance below that level. This account is specifically designed to boost income as it pays interest monthly and can't be compounded, making it ideal for those who rely on their savings as a source of income.
Tesco Bank Internet Saver
Next up is this deal from Tesco Bank, the only one in our list to include a bonus element. It's an easy access account that pays a variable rate of 0.91% yearly from a minimum deposit of £1, including a 0.51% bonus for 12 months (it should be noted that this only applies to savings of up to £1m, after which the rate becomes 0.40%). In true easy access style, further additions and withdrawals are welcome at any time - subject to some hefty daily withdrawal limits - making it a competitive choice for the internet investor.
United Bank UK Online Easy Access
United Bank UK makes the top five with this no notice deal that pays 0.90% from a minimum investment of £500. Further additions are welcome at any time, and although withdrawals are also permitted without notice, only one free-of-charge withdrawal will be allowed per calendar month. This means savers will need to carefully consider their withdrawal requirements or be faced with a £1 charge each time, something that could easily eat into any interest earned, making this deal suited to those who are willing to exercise caution when it comes to access.
Nottingham BS eSaver Instant Issue 5
Just squeezing into the top six is this deal from Nottingham BS, a no notice deal that pays a variable rate of 0.90% AER yearly. It requires a hefty minimum investment of £5,000, but once deposited it allows further additions and withdrawals at will - provided the minimum balance of £5,000 is maintained and a nominated account is used for all transactions - making it an appealing choice for internet investors with a healthy savings pot.
Information & Rates correct as at: 30/11/2016
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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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