Best Savings Accounts in the UK

Updated May 2020.

People professing to wisdom often opine “never a borrower nor lender be” but, while this was a witty phrase in Shakespeare’s Hamlet it is now 2020, and both options are common.

Saving money, through a savings account from a bank or building society, is an interest bearing and low risk investment. If you have cash, you can put it to work in a savings account.

In the course of my travels around the web, I’ve found it is often hard to quickly establish the best rate available… a lot of sites are biased. A lot waffle on about this and that. The irony is not lost on me, that I’m now waffling in the introduction… so one more paragraph, then you can have some data, my friend.

I’ve added a savings table which I think simplifies things. If you enjoy this table or find it useful, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Particularly, if you find the rate has gone, or you’ve heard of a better offer, then leave a comment too. Together we can learn and grow stronger. Collaboration for the win!

Best Savings Accounts

I’ve broken down the best, below, into relevant tables. Before you get there, the best instant access (i.e. withdraw your money immediately) account I think is Marcus by Goldman Sachs, who offer 1.45% AER (when you include their 0.1% bonus rate, which is only available for the first 12 months).

The best long term savings are the 2.37% AER offered by Secure Trust Bank on their 5 Year Fixed-Rate savings account.

Instant Access Accounts

Want instant access to your money? These are accounts offering exactly that – in return for a slightly reduced rate. Ideal if you regularly would need access to your money.

ProviderInt (AER Variable) Withdrawals?Min / Max DepositOpeningFSCS Protection
Marcus1.45%*Unlimited£1 / £100,000Online£85,000
Shawbrook Bank1.41%Unlimited  (min £500)£1,000 / £85,000Online£85,000
Saga1.4%*Unlimited£1 / £100,000Online£85,000
Post Office1.38%*Unlimited£1 / £2mOnline£85,000

* Denotes that some monthly bonus amount is included in this figure.

Notice Savings Accounts

The following accounts require notice before you may withdraw balance, therefore are more appropriate if you don’t need the money involved, for example if you have been given or inherited or won a lump sum of money, and would like to put some away. They generally offer better interest rates, at lower risk than other investments.

ProviderInt (AER Variable)Notice?Min / Max DepositOpeningFSCS Protection
United Trust Bank1.75%200 days£5,000 / £1mOnline£85,000
Moneybox1.65%95 days£1 / £85,000In app£85,000
Close Brothers1.55%95 days£10,000 / £2mOnline or post£85,000
Charter Savings1.50%60 days£5,000 / £1mOnline or post£85,000

Fixed-Rate Accounts

If you’re really prepared to lock in your money over a longer period of time, you can get even better rates of interest. Options range from 9 months up to 5 years (or more) with the interest ranging from low to higher on the same basis.

1 Year Fixed Rate Accounts

ProviderInt (AER Variable)Interest is PaidMin / Max DepositOpeningFSCS Protection
Metro Bank1.70%Monthly or annually£500/£2mOnline/ branch£85,000
Zenith Bank1.70%Annually£1,000/£2mOnline£85,000
Post Office1.41%Monthly or annually£500/£2mOnline£85,000

3 Year Fixed Rate Accounts

ProviderInt (AER Variable)Interest is PaidMin / Max DepositOpeningFSCS Protection
UBL UK2%Monthly, annually or at maturity£2,000/£1mPost/ branch£85,000
Secure Trust Bank1.86%Annually£1,000/£1mOnline£85,000
Post Office1.46%Monthly or Annually£500 / £2mOnline£85,000

5 Year Fixed Rate Accounts

ProviderInt (AER Variable)Interest is PaidMin / Max DepositOpeningFSCS Protection
Secure Trust Bank2.37%Annually£1,000/£1mOnline£85,000
UBL UK2.36%Monthly, annually or on maturity£2,000/£1mPost/ branch£85,000
Tesco Bank1.71%Monthly or annually£2,000/£5mOnline/ phone £85,000

Leave a comment below if there’s any better options out there – anywhere – and I’ll update the relevant tables, to improve this resource even further 🙂

A different way to save money is to spend less on the things you buy. You may be interested in the UK’s best broadband deals, which I’ve also collected together.

Okay – They Don’t Impress Me Much… More Risk! More Reward?!

Now, you’ve seen the sub-2% interest rates available for basically liquid instant access accounts, and the 1.7-2.37% you can get if you’re willing to tie up your capital for up to 5 years… is there a way to make more than this, you may be wondering.

There are several, but they carry additional risk.

Invest in Peer-to-Peer Lending

If you’re eyeing up returns of 2% over 3+ years, then you can probably do more and better by investing in peer-to-peer lending in the UK.

I prefer to lend to businesses, and I do this via Funding Circle.

They recommend to invest £2,000 or more, so you can lend £100 to 200 businesses, and therefore diversify your risk (by spreading it across many businesses – because you may not get out what you put in if you only lend to one, and it goes wrong).

If you’re interested in doing this, my referral link (click here) will give you a £50 Amazon voucher after you deposit and invest £2,000, which is, when you think about it, a 2.5% return on investment straight away. But… there is risk attached. Read the fine print!

About Robin Scott

I'm Robin Scott, a WordPress Consultant and WooCommerce expert developer who, along with three other people, runs a business called Silicon Dales Ltd remotely, from a base in the North of the UK. I enjoy using my talents for programming to track and interpret sporting, political or retail data - and therefore you'll see me posting some content in these spaces in this, my personal website. If you're interested to talk about leveraging this for your business (in sport, entertainment, retail, etc) please contact me.

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