Our team of experts have chosen those savings accounts they believe to be Best Buys. A selection of those, for which we have arranged links are shown above, whilst products shown with a yellow background are sponsored products.
Before immersing yourself in our lovely selection of the best savings accounts & best savings rates, take a step back. Do you know what you need from a savings account?
Savings accounts can get pretty complicated, and are designed to meet different needs. There are many considerations to make when deciding which account to choose - it's far more than simply finding the best savings rate. So it’s good to get a handle on what it is you want, before jumping in…
Some accounts are only available to you if you can commit at least a certain minimum level. Be sure to check this before you get too excited about a rate you may not be able to have!
Just the word inflation can induce sleep in most people, but when it comes to your savings, inflation is very important. Inflation, simply put, is the rate at which the value of things goes up; a good way to think of it is to think of how much £100 would have bought you 10 years ago, and then to think of how much it would buy you now. The difference between the two is the result of inflation.
Now, if the rate of inflation is higher than the rate of interest you receive on your savings, that means the actual value of your savings is going down. So you want to make sure that your rate of interest is greater than the latest rate of inflation to make sure you actually make money on your savings!
The taxation of savings interest changed in April 2016. Basic rate taxpayers can now earn up to £1,000 in savings interest tax-free, while 40% taxpayers can only get £500 in tax-free interest and anyone paying 45% tax will have no tax-free allowance. Any amounts of interest above these tax-free amounts are taxed at the marginal rate applying to that person (20% or 40%).
From April 2016, interest will be paid to you without any tax being deducted by your bank or building society, so if you will owe tax you will need to declare it to HM Revenue & Customs.
Cash ISAs will continue to be paid with interest tax-free, regardless of your tax status, so this is always a good first port of call for savings.
If you need to access your money instantly, then tying your savings up in a fixed rate bond may not be the best idea! On the flipside, if you don’t need access to your money for a while (you’re saving for your retirement for instance), having your money in an instant access (or no notice) savings account isn’t particularly good either.
If you use your savings as part of managing your cash flow (you dip into your savings, but then pay back into them regularly), an ISA isn’t best as you can only pay in up to your ISA limit once each tax year.
The usual options for the payment of interest are yearly or monthly (although other options such as quarterly do exist). Annual interest best suits those best who don’t need to touch their savings very often, whereas monthly interest is good for those such as pensioners, who have to derive a regular income from their savings.
We’re all different. Some of us prefer managing our accounts by popping down to the local branch in our lunch hour, while others like to keep track of our finances in the evening using online banking. Whatever your preference, be sure the account you select can be operated the way that suits you.
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