Save, make, understand money


Saffron pulls market-leading 9% savings account: What are the alternatives?

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Saffron Building Society has withdrawn its inflation-beating 9% regular savings account for members. Where else can you go for a top-paying regular saver?

The mutual is no longer offering the Members’ Month Loyalty Saver account paying an inflation-beating, market-leading 9% gross/AER after launching it on 1 June 2023.

The deal was pulled on 30 June, with anyone trying to access that page seeing the message ‘Forbidden. You are not authorized to access this page’. It’s also no longer listed as part of its savings account offering.

At the time of its launch last month, it was the first time in over a decade that savings rates had reached this level. It was also double the Bank of England base rate of 4.5% (now 5%) and offered a higher rate than the inflation index of 8.7%.

While the rate was headline-grabbing, it was only available to existing customers – those who had been with the mutual a year or more (1 June 2022) so anyone joining recently wouldn’t be eligible.

Saffron said out of its 100,000 members, 96,400 customers were eligible to open the regular saver and deposit up to £50 a month.

It was launched as part of its “first-ever Members Month”, held from 1-30 June, but Saffron confirmed that as it was a “limited edition” account offered on a first-come, first-served basis, it could have been withdrawn from sale at any time.

However, Saffron said it was “delighted” to have been able to keep it open for the whole month, benefitting thousands of members and it “proved to be our most successful savings account launch in many years”.

High-paying alternatives: Skipton’s 7.5% regular saver is still available

The Saffron saver deal came out on the same day as Skipton Building Society launched its 7.5% regular saver, which was for a brief moment, market leading.

The Skipton deal is for existing customers who hold a savings or mortgage account with it on or before 31 May 2023.

It is still available to open which can be done online, over the phone, by post or in branch.

The maximum you can deposit each calendar month is £250, though there’s no minimum monthly subscription amount or limit on the number of times you can deposit cash, just as long as you stick to the £250 a month level.

Any unused allowance can be rolled up into the next month which refreshes on the 1st of each month.

You can’t withdraw part of your account balance during the 12-month term. But you can close your account at any time and withdraw the full balance without penalty, with customers receiving any interest earned up to the point of closure.

At the end of the 12 months, your cash will be transferred to a Skipton variable rate easy access account unless you tell it otherwise.

Elsewhere, for those looking for a decent paying regular saver account, the First Direct Regular Saver offers 7% AER. Newbies can sign up to its current account to be eligible to open the linked savings product (and you can bag £175 too). Here you can save between £25 and £300 a month meaning you could earn up to £136.50 in interest.

Meanwhile, the Club Lloyds Monthly Saver pays 6.25% AER for those depositing between £25 and £400 each month, and allows you to withdraw your cash without penalty. You’ll need a current account to get the deal, but again, newbies can open this to be eligible for the linked saver.

Note that the Club Lloyds current account has a £3 monthly fee, though it is waived each month you pay in £2,000 or more.

If you want a decent rate without being limited to monthly deposit amounts, then for those locking away their money for a year, you can get 6.02% AER from Allica Bank. However, you need a hefty £10,000 minimum deposit.

Elsewhere, the top-paying easy access account is offered from Yorkshire Building Society at 4.25% AER on £1.

Related: How to get 7.5% interest without tying up your savings for years