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An easy or instant access savings account is a type of account where you can get to your cash quickly if you need to make a withdrawal. However, depending on how your account is managed, the length of time it takes from requesting the withdrawal to actually having the money in your hand or bank account can vary.
Particularly where an account is managed by post, there will be a time lag because the length of time it takes for you to post in your withdrawal request, and then for the transaction to be processed. In contrast, accounts that are managed online, over the phone or in branch can give you instant or very quick access to your cash.
Some easy access savings rates benefit from an introductory bonus. While these accounts can offer higher rates, remember that the initial bonus boost is temporary, and in most cases only lasts for 12 months. This means that in order to continue getting the best rate on your savings, you’ll need to review your account again after a year. Easy and instant access accounts are available without introductory bonuses, if you’d rather not make changing accounts an annual job! Many accounts that don’t pay a bonus actually have better rates than those that do, so its worth comparing the two.
Many easy and instant access savings accounts put certain restrictions on withdrawals, limiting you to a certain number of ‘free’ withdrawals in a 12-month period. After you’ve hit that limit, your interest rate may suffer if you need to access your money again.
If you think you’re going to need to make several withdrawals over a yearly period (perhaps to pay university tuition fees for instance), be sure to check the small print of the account before opening it.
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