Are High Interest Current Accounts A Good Option | moneyfacts.co.uk

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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 16/11/2021

High interest current accounts can offer interest rates of over 2.00% AER, which in a climate of low savings rates makes these highly tempting for savers. Along with competitive rates, high interest current accounts also have the benefit of allowing consumers to add money to the account and making withdrawals, which are much more restrictive on some savings accounts.

For many consumers the ease, accessibility and high rates offered on current accounts make these a much more attractive savings option than actual savings accounts, but while they may be a good choice for some savers, they might not be the best option for everyone.

What are the highest paying current accounts?

Both Virgin Money and Nationwide Building Society offer high interest current accounts that have a rate of 2.00% AER or above available to all adults.

Virgin Money’s M Plus Account and Club M Account pay 2.02% AER on balances of up to £1,000. To open these accounts, customers must open a linked Virgin Money savings account, and Club M Account charges a monthly fee of £14.50. A saver who had the maximum of a £1,000 balance in one of these accounts would earn £20.20 in interest per year.

FlexDirect – Funded account from Nationwide Building Society pays 2.00% AER on balances of up to £1,500 and a minimum of £1,000 must be deposited into the account each month. Although this account pays a lower rate than the accounts from Virgin Money, due to the higher maximum balance allowance, a saver who had the maximum deposit in this account would earn £30 in interest per year.

Due to the high interest rates, these accounts are usually a good option for savers with a small amount of savings. Those with higher deposits, however, may want to consider splitting their savings between a high interest current account and a savings account to get the best return on their savings.

Easy access savings accounts

Many easy access savings accounts have the same accessibility as current accounts, although some do have restrictions on withdrawals, making them a good option for savers building a savings fund and who may need to access their money.

The downside to easy access savings accounts is that they often pay the lowest rates of all savings accounts. For example, just three easy access savings accounts that are available to new and existing customers have rates over 0.60%.

Shawbrook Bank pays the top rate of 0.67% AER on its Easy Access – Issue 28, which requires a £1,000 minimum deposit to open. It allows further additions and withdrawals via a nominated account.

If a saver deposited £5,000 into this account, they would earn £33.50 in interest per year. If, however, they split their savings and deposited £3,500 into this account and £1,500 into Nationwide Building Society’s FlexDirect – Funded Account they would earn £23.45 in interest from the savings account and £30 from the current account. This would be a total of £53.45 in interest per year and £19.95 more than if they had just deposited all their savings into Shawbrook Bank’s easy access account.

When not to choose a current account for savings

The current account highlighted in the example above is a high interest current account, which are usually aimed at consumers who regularly have a high balance. For consumers who have a lower balance, who use their overdraft or whose current account pays no interest, separating savings from their current account is often a better option.

Unlike current accounts, savings accounts are specifically designed for savers. Easy access savings accounts can be a good way for savers to keep their savings separate from their everyday income, helping them to build and retain a rainy-day savings fund.

Meanwhile, fixed rate accounts are usually the best option for savers with a substantial amount of savings that they want to deposit into a secure account offering a set interest rate. Interest rates on fixed rate accounts are creeping up at the moment and, although still below pre-pandemic levels, the average rate on a one year fixed rate account is now higher than it was this time last year.

Despite rates rising, the market remains challenging for savers, which means they should consider all high interest products, both current accounts and savings accounts, when looking to get the best deal for them.

Disclaimer

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