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Savings are very precious and should be nurtured accordingly in highest interest savings accounts. Through this website you can compare some of the market leading easy access accounts and see which banks offer the best savings rates.

Building a nest egg for the future through regular or even lump sum savings provides peace of mind for retirement and can make big expenses, such as a deposit for a house or paying for a wedding, achievable.

Following consecutive cuts in interest rates, many savers are being paid derisory rates on money held in bank and building society savings accounts. The average variable rate for savers has plummeted to below 1%. 

However, some of the best savings accounts with easy access pay over 3%.  Alternatively, if you are prepared to lock your money away for a year or more, one way of maintaining a good rate of return on your savings is to opt for a fixed rate account. These tend to have onerous withdrawal restrictions in that you are are not allowed access to your money during the term of the deal, or you'll get a much reduced rate if withdrawals are made.

Once you have made the most of your annual ISA allowance which enables you invest up to 3,000 in mini cash ISAs every year free of income and capital gains tax, you need to ensure the remainder of your savings are placed in accounts which are going to generate the greatest return.

However, savers in the UK have literally billions of pounds languishing in accounts which deliver a negative return because the interest rate does not cover the effects of inflation and tax.

Some experts argue that accounts where saving pots would be worth less in the future than they are today should not even come under the savings classification, however the Banking Code, which is a voluntary code of practice, is powerless to ban banks from calling them 'savings'. 

Traditionally, the longer you tied your money away the better the interest rate. So notice accounts - where you have to give 30, 60 or 90 days' notice to withdraw your money without penalty - were viewed as the best way to get a competitive rate.

But in the past two or three years this theory has been rejected as the rates available on the best easy access or no-notice accounts have started to outperform those offered on notice accounts. Increasing competition from foreign banks has led to a rate war as banks vie to offer eye-catching accounts. This trend began when Dutch ING Direct burst on to the scene in May 2003 and threw down the gauntlet to the other banks by offering a simple, 'no catches' savings account with a market-beating rate. Since the arrival of ING and more recently Indian bank ICICI,  traditional providers have been forced to react and pay better rates of interest.

Best rates are to be found with an online account

When it comes to savings, the internet is your friend. As cosy as branch based accounts may seem, you need to spurn them as the best savings rates for easy access accounts are to be found online. Use the comparison search above to compare the current rates.

Frequently Asked Questions
What difference does it make if interest is paid monthly or annually?

Are my savings protected in any way?

When do I need to provide proof of identity to open an account?

My interest rate has just been cut why does this happen?

What does AER mean?

What's the difference between a notice and an easy access account?

More FAQs
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In Profile: ING Direct

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Latest News
27/02/12
One in 10 people feel their money is safer at home

09/09/11
Figures suggest savers have lost 40billion
Figures from the Bank of England suggest that savers have lost more than 40bn because of low interest rates during the past two and a half years.
13/01/11
One in four consumers will stop saving in 2011
A new survey reveals that one in four consumers will stop saving in 2011. While a low base rate of 0.5% means savers need to shop around to beat inflation.
26/10/10
Savers are missing out on 12 billion a year due to poor interest rates
The consumer group, Which?, says savers are missing out on billions of pounds, because they leave their money in accounts which no longer pay top rates.
05/01/10
Will rates for savers rise in 2010?
With the country gripped in rececession, the Bank of England acted by cutting the base rate to a record low of 0.5% in March 2009 which was good news for mortgage borrowers but bad for savers.

Whether 2010 will be a better year for savers remains to be seen.

10/03/09
Average rate for an instant access account falls to just 0.17%

10/03/09
Nearly a quarter of Britons save nothing

09/03/09
Despair for prudent savers as Bank of England cuts interest rates to 0.5%

08/10/08
ING acquires British cash deposits held in Heritable Bank and Kaupthing Edge

08/10/08
Government guarantees 100% of Icesave deposits

03/10/08
Guarantee for savers increased

29/09/08
Bradford & Bingley savings business sold to Spanish bank Santander

01/07/08
Savings protection could rise to 50,000

30/06/08
Household savings ratio falls to lowest level in almost 50 years

05/06/08
Savers urged to avoid low interest accounts

22/12/07
Building Societies benefit from influx of deposits

06/10/07
Savings up to 35,000 now fully protected

24/09/07
Chancellor plans to guarantee savings up to 100,000

24/04/07
69% of easy access accounts pay insufficient interest to counteract the shrinkage caused by inflation

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