New TSB current account pays 5% interest

TSB has launched a very attractive new current account, which pays an outstanding 5% interest rate. That’s way better than the vast majority of savings accounts.

TSB was relaunched as an independent brand last September, and it’s expected to float on the stock market later this year. So it’s no great surprise that TSB wants to make a splash with a market-beating account.

Let’s look at the account in a bit more detail:

The account is called TSB Plus and it’s a fee-free account. In other words, there’s no monthly charge. In fact, you won’t have to pay any fees as long as you stay in credit and comply with the terms and conditions for the account.

The 5% interest rate applies to any balance up to £2,000. To get the interest, you must pay in at least £500 a month, and sign up for paperless statements.

Interestingly, if you open two Plus accounts, you’ll be able to earn 5% interest on both accounts. So you could deposit £4,000 in total and earn £200 in interest each year.

What about the competition?

So what about the rivals?

Well, Nationwide’s Flex Direct account also has a 5% interest rate, and that rate applies to balances up to £2,500. However, the 5% rate only lasts for a year. By contrast, TSB’s 5% rate should last for the foreseeable future.

If you want to earn interest on much larger balances, take a look at the Santander 123 account. It pays out 3% interest on all balances between £3,000 and £20,000. You do have to pay a £2 monthly fee, but given that you could earn as much £600 in interest over a year, it’s a good deal for many folk.

The Santander account also gives you cashback on some bills – 3% on phone, internet and TV.

I also like the Halifax Reward current account. It’s especially attractive if you normally have a small balance, as it pays out £5 every month even if you only have £50 in the account. Be careful though: you’ll lose out if you let your account slip into the red.  You must also pay in at least £750 a month.

Halifax’s other plus point is a £100 welcome bonus when you join.

You can also get £100 welcome bonuses if you switch to First Direct or Co-op Bank. First Direct also has an outstanding reputation for customer service, so if that’s what matters most to you, go for First Direct rather than rivals who pay interest.

Credit interest rate
Welcome bonus
TSB Plus account
5% up to £2000 None Can open two accounts, giving you 5% a total £4000 balance
Santander 123 account
3% for balances between £3000 and £20,000 None 3% cashback on phone/TV, 2% on energy, 1% on utilities and Santander mortgage
Halifax Reward account
£5 a month £100
Co-op standard current account
None £100 + £25 for charity
Nationwide FlexDirect account
5% up to £2500 None 5% rate only applies for first year
First Direct 1st Account
None £100


You may think it’s not worth switching due to the hassle involved. However, it should now be much easier to switch current account these days thanks to a seven-day switching guarantee that was introduced last September. That’s the theory anyway.

On a personal note, my wife and I opened a Santander 123 account about a year ago. We’ve very much enjoyed the substantial interest payments, but sadly, the customer service hasn’t been perfect.


I’ve not looked at overdrafts in this article. That’s for another day.

If you expect to go into the red on a regular basis, the accounts I’ve looked at may not be the best for you. All the accounts I’ve highlighted are for folk who are normally in the black.

The great thing is that these accounts enable you to get a better return on your money. In fact, at least four of them give you a much better return than most savings accounts.

• Stay up to date with MoneyWeek: Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Google+

  • Realist

    While you mention the Santander 123 which is fairly good because it is on balances up to £20,000, but these other accounts which have limits of £2000 are hardly worth mentioning. The way you and the newspapers have been going on about them, you would think that this is the new saviour for all the pensioners and others that rely on income from their savings.

  • plainsdrifter

    I completely agree with that. The level of hype and over-promise in some of the articles and subscriber emails (example headline: solve all your financial problems now) is like that of a direct-mail copywriter on Prozac.

MoneyWeek magazine

Latest issue:

Magazine cover
The hunt for water

The most valuable commodity

The UK's best-selling financial magazine. Take a FREE trial today.
Claim 4 FREE Issues

Robert Shiller: why one of the world's smartest economists is worried about the bond market

Merryn Somerset Webb talks to Yale professor and Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller about how the power of 'stories' drives the global economy and creates financial bubbles.

Which investment platform?

When it comes to buying shares and funds, there are several investment platforms and brokers to choose from. They all offer various fee structures to suit individual investing habits.
Find out which one is best for you.

2 March 1797: the Bank of England prints its first pound note

On this day in 1797, and to the consternation of many, the Bank of England printed its first pound note in order to help pay for war with France.