It’s the best regular savings account on the market - paying a rate above the 5.25% Bank of England base rate - and, unusually for this type of account, it also allows customers to withdraw their cash. On top of that, anyone switching to a Nationwide current account can also bag a £200 switching bonus, which is one of the best switching deals right now.
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For example, last week NS&I withdrew its market-leading 6.2% one-year fixed-rate savings bonds. They had been on sale for five weeks, with almost a quarter of a million savers bagging the top rate since they launched at the end of August.
Last month, Santander pulled its best-buy 5.2% easy-access account early - the limited deal was due to end on 17 September, but actually finished on 12 September.
“Savers will need to act quickly to apply for any market-leading offers as there is no guarantee they will stay on the shelf for long,” said Rachel Springall, finance expert at the comparison site Moneyfacts.
Nationwide told MoneyWeek it had no plans to withdraw its Flex Regular Saver, but as with all its savings products, it always kept interest rates under review.
The last version of Nationwide's Flex Regular Saver account was withdrawn on 4 October 2022. When the last of the accounts matured (4 October 2023), the account was paying 4.5%.
How does the Nationwide Regular Saver account work?
The latest Nationwide Flex Regular Saver account, paying 8%, has been on sale since 21 September.
To open it, you need to have one of the following Nationwide current accounts: FlexPlus, FlexDirect, FlexAccount, FlexStudent, FlexGraduate, FlexBasic or FlexOne. The 8% savings account is open to both existing and new Nationwide customers, though you can only have one regular saver account at any given time.
You must be a UK resident aged 16 or over, and be able to open and manage the account online.
You can open the account with as little as £1 and your first payment must be made within 28 days of opening the account.
Like most regular savings accounts, you can’t stash large amounts of money in it - instead, it’s designed for people who want to save small amounts every month.
You don't have to pay any money in each month, but the maximum you can contribute each calendar month is £200.
The account runs for a year, after which your cash is moved to Nationwide’s instant access account.
As previously mentioned, you are allowed to make withdrawals - but make sure you don’t make more than three, because otherwise, the rate drops to 2.15%. In comparison, the next best regular savings account, First Direct’s 7% Regular Saver, does not allow any withdrawals.
Nationwide works out the interest daily. If you maximised the £200 monthly allowance, totalling £2,400 across the year, and made no withdrawals, you’d have a balance of £2,504 after 12 months.
What else is Nationwide doing to attract customers?
The world’s biggest building society has been busy trying to attract new customers. As well as a best-buy regular saver account, and a generous current account switching offer, it has also boosted its savings rates multiple times this year.
In addition, it has introduced incentives like its 5% cashback on grocery shopping, and the £100 payment in its profit sharing scheme, now known as the ”Fairer Share” payment. The scheme shared £340 million of profit with 3.4 million eligible members.
In the last few days, it has also unveiled its biggest rebrand since 1987, with a new logo appearing on branches, payment cards and customer communications.
The building society says the rebranding is part of its commitment to offer “a good way to bank”, based on offering excellent service, value and fairness.
It follows a promise by the mutual to keep its branches open and to not leave any town or city in which it is based until at least 2026.
With 605 branches, it has now overtaken the big banks to have the largest branch network on the high street.
Ruth is passionate about helping people feel more confident about their finances. She was previously editor of Times Money Mentor, and prior to that was deputy Money editor at The Sunday Times.
A multi-award winning journalist, Ruth started her career on a pensions magazine at the FT Group, and has also worked at Money Observer and Money Advice Service.
Outside of work, she is a mum to two young children, a magistrate and an NHS volunteer.
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