Interest rates for easy-access savings accounts – which let you make withdrawals without much of an interest penalty or notice period – are usually pretty miserly. But some of the better deals can still let you earn a bit of a return on cash without having to jump through too many hoops. They can be especially useful if you want to put aside a substantial amount of cash for a short period – for example, if you know you will be making a large purchase soon and don’t want to tie up your money.
When choosing an account, read the small print, as some banks and building societies interpret the term “easy access” rather loosely. Certain accounts impose a minimum withdrawal amount, while others will cut the amount of interest you are paid if you make more than a certain number of withdrawals.
The table below shows some of the best deals available at the moment. Note that the best rates (such as those offered by West Bromwich Building Society and Tesco Bank) are often only temporary bonus rates, which will fall after a set period. These accounts can still be worth signing up for, but be ready to switch once the rate drops. Alternatively, Charter Savings Bank offers a decent rate of 1.55%, but requires a 95-day notice period for withdrawals, so it’s slightly less “easy-access” than others.
It’s worth being aware that you can often get slightly better rates on an easy-access individual savings account (Isa) than a standard easy-access account (for example, Coventry Building Society offers an Isa paying 1.3%), but you may prefer to use your full Isa allowance for investments. In this situation, an easy-access account can still be a good choice, especially now that the new personal savings allowance means that most people won’t pay tax on up to £1,000 of interest (this falls to £500 for higher-rate taxpayers).
|Interest rate||Min./max. amount||Interest paid||Withdrawal conditions|
|WeBSave Bonus Saver (West Bromwich BS) WestBrom.co.uk||1.3% (drops 30 Sep 2017)||£1,000 to £250,000||Annually||Unlimited|
|Internet Saver (Tesco Bank) TescoBank.com||1.27% (drops after 12 months)||£1 to £1m||Annually||Unlimited|
|Easy Access – Issue 5 (Shawbrook Bank) Shawbrook.co.uk||1.25%||£1,000 to £75,000||Annually or monthly||Unlimited. Min. £500|
|Easy Access Saver (2) (Coventry BS) CoventryBuildingSociety.co.uk||1.15%||£1 to £250,000||Annually or monthly||Unlimited|
|95 Day notice – Issue 9 (Charter Savings Bank) CharterSavingsBank.co.uk||1.55%||£1,000 to £250,000||Annually or monthly||Must give 95 days’ notice|
Get a £200 welcome bonus from HSBC
HSBC has launched a new £200 switching bonus for its Advance or Premier accounts in a bid to attract new customers in the competitive market for current accounts.
In order to get the bonus, customers must switch to HSBC’s Advance or Premier current accounts before Sunday 10 July. The £200 payment is then paid out in two parts: £150 will be paid within 70 days of opening the account, so long as you use the current account switching service to move an account across from another bank and have two active direct debits or standing orders set up on the account within 30 days.
The remaining £50 will be paid after a year, but only if you register for internet or mobile banking within 60 days of opening the account and fulfil eligibility criteria for nine out of the 12 months. If you choose an Advance account, you need to pay in at least £1,750 each month, or £10,500 every six months. A Premier account requires at least £50,000 of investments with HSBC, or an annual income of more than £100,000 and a mortgage, investment, life insurance or protection product with the bank.
If you’re considering switching banks, this is the largest welcome bonus on offer. However, other banks offer joining bonuses with easier requirements to meet. The Co-operative Bank offers £150 to customers who switch to its current account, move across four active direct debits and deposit £800 per month. First Direct, owned by HSBC, offers £100 to new customers who deposit £1,000 per month.