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6 of the best easy access savings accounts

6 of the best easy access savings accounts

Category: Savings

Updated: 14/09/2017
First Published: 14/09/2017

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 for those who aren't sure if they'll need to dip into their pot. They can be ideal if you're not sure what will happen to interest rates in the near future - which could explain why people are increasingly moving fixed rate cash into easy access deals - and can be just as suitable if you've got short-term savings goals, or even if you 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 things to watch out for. There may have been a slight boost in competition recently, but these upticks aren't exactly common, so you'll have to be vigilant to get the best rate. There's also a growing number of accounts that only allow a certain number of withdrawals per year, so watch out for deals that will penalise you for withdrawals if you regularly need to access your cash.

You should also be prepared for the fact that online-only accounts often pay the best rates, and 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. Having said that, if you're organised and happy to review your account every year, they could still be worth considering, particularly as many offer rates that rival their bonus-free counterparts - and the bonus element is usually guaranteed.

It all comes down to finding an account that works for you, which means you should always check the terms and conditions to ensure it suits your financial and lifestyle needs. So, with that in mind, here are the current top-paying easy access accounts, looking at both those with and without an introductory bonus, offering you a great rate with added convenience.

Top 6 easy access savings accounts:

AER
Details

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank

eSavings

1.25% AER
  • Minimum investment of £1
  • No notice account
  • Variable rate
  • Further additions via Anytime Internet Banking allowed at any time
  • Withdrawals permitted
  • Account must be opened online, and can then be managed by telephone and mobile app as well, provided savers register for Anytime Banking
  • Interest paid monthly and must be compounded

Taking the top spot is this no notice account from Ulster Bank, which pays a variable rate of 1.25% on a monthly basis. If you're happy to open this account online, it allows unlimited additions and withdrawals, and can be opened with as little as a single pound - a truly easily accessible offering.


AER
Details

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank

Easy Access Savings

1.25% AER

  • Minimum investment of £1
  • Instant access account
  • Variable rate
  • Further additions allowed at any time
  • Withdrawals up to £300 permitted by cash card
  • Account must be opened in branch, and can then be managed in branch and through ATMs (online, telephone and mobile app management requires Anytime Banking)
  • Interest paid yearly and must be compounded

In second place sits the branch-based and yearly version of the top account, which also pays a variable rate of 1.25%, making these two deals from Ulster Bank joint market-leaders in the easy access market. This account has some limitations on withdrawals, but can be managed by more means than its online counterpart, making it a matter of personal preference for those choosing between these top rates.


AER
Details

ICICI Bank UK

ICICI Bank UK

HiSAVE SuperSaver Savings Account - Bonus

1.25% AER

  • Minimum investment of £1
  • No notice account
  • Variable rate of 0.65% paid at £1, rising to 1.25% at £500 (rate includes a bonus of 0.60% until 30.09.2018 on funds of £500+)
  • Additions and withdrawals allowed at any time via a nominated account
  • Must be opened online, after which it can be operated by mobile app as well
  • Interest paid monthly and must be compounded

Completing the top three is this internet and app-operated deal from ICICI Bank UK, a variable rate account that includes a bonus element, provided you've got at least £500 to invest, bringing the rate to 1.25% AER. It allows unlimited additions and withdrawals via a nominated account, but the bonus element means that those with a pot of less than £500 may be better off looking elsewhere.


AER
Details

Virgin Money

Virgin Money

Double Take E-Saver Issue 1

1.21% AER

  • Minimum investment of £1
  • No notice account
  • Variable rate
  • Further additions allowed at any time
  • Two withdrawals permitted per calendar year (including closure)
  • Access via nominated account
  • Internet operated
  • Interest paid yearly

Next up is this no notice account from Virgin Money, boasting a variable rate of 1.21% from as little as £1. It allows unlimited further additions, but you're not quite so well catered to in terms of access, with only two withdrawals permitted per calendar year. Nonetheless, for internet investors who want the flexibility of being able to build up their pot without being tempted to spend it all, it could be worth considering.


AER
Details

Tesco Bank

Bank of Cyprus UK

Online Easy Access AccountGo to Site

1.20% AER

  • Minimum investment of £1
  • No notice account
  • Variable rate (includes 0.60% bonus for 12 months)
  • Unlimited additions and withdrawals allowed
  • Access via nominated account
  • Internet-operated
  • Interest paid on the account's anniversary and must be compounded

In fifth place is this deal from Bank of Cyprus UK that boasts a variable rate of 1.20%, including a fixed bonus of 0.60% for the first 12 months. It can be operated online with just £1 and permits unlimited access via a nominated current account, for the height of flexibility. Savers who are interested in this online-only account would be wise to review the rate in a year's time, however, when the bonus disappears.


AER
Details

RCI Bank UK

RCI Bank UK

Freedom Savings AccountGo to Site

1.20% AER

  • Minimum investment of £100
  • Variable rate
  • No notice account
  • Further additions and withdrawals permitted
  • Access via a nominated current account
  • Account must be opened online before becoming post, phone and internet-operated
  • Interest paid on the anniversary of the account opening and must be compounded

RCI Bank UK just manages to squeeze into the top six with this restriction-free account that pays a variable rate of 1.20%. It requires a minimum investment of £100, after which savers are free to make additional deposits and withdraw funds whenever they wish. 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.

Information & Rates correct as at: 14.09.2017

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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