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This week’s best savings rates

This week’s best savings rates
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning
Posted:
03/05/2024
Updated:
03/05/2024

Savings rates may have taken a dip since the turn of the year, but value is still to be had among high street providers and challenger banks.

Despite the drop-off in rates in the savings market, the leading deals for easy-access and fixed-term bonds are all above 5%, while there are creative offers on the market to entice savers too.

One is from Virgin Money, which launched a current account switch deal offering 10% gross for balances up to £1,000 from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025.

We’ve gathered the best rates, using data from Moneyfacts to help you get the most from your funds.

Easy-access accounts

The top easy-access rate comes from Ulster Bank’s Loyalty Saver, which offers 5.2% AER on balances of £5,000 or more annually. If your funds are below that, a lower rate of 2.25% is included.

This account can only be applied for online or by the lender’s app, but once opened, it can be managed online and in the branch. You’ll also need to open an Ulster Bank current account to take advantage of the best rate on the market.

Two providers take the second-best rate of 5% – Paragon Bank and Close Brothers Savings. The former offers a Rainy Day 2024 Easy Access Account (Raisin UK) that requires a hefty £10,000 to open.

This also needs a Raisin UK account to open and all deposits have to be at least £1,000 and minimum withdrawals £500. While there are significant funds required to operate the account, there are no restrictions on the number of withdrawals or additions.

The Easy-Access Account Issue 3 from Close Brothers Savings has the same rate and also needs a big deposit of £10,000 to open. Interest is paid on anniversary for this deal.

If you have a smaller potential opening balance, consider the Kent Reliance Easy Access Account with a 4.96% AER. You can open this account with a deposit of £1,000.

Fixed-bond rates

Frequently beating rivals to be the best fixed-bond rate is SmartSave’s 1 Year Fixed Rate Saver. The deal has a 5.18% AER rate and, much like the easy-access options, needs a large deposit to the tune of £10,000 to get going.

Two alternatives are the HBZ Fixed Rate eDeposit and a Fixed Term Account equivalent from Habib Bank Zurich. Both match the leading rate and pay interest on maturity. As a Sharia law provider, the fixed-term account provides an expected rate and requires £5,000 in the account to start.

You have 30 days to add to your funds on both deals and you can open them online, but after that, you can only make transactions by phone or post.

Meanwhile, RCI Bank and Close Brothers Savings share the best two-year rates for savers this week, both paying 5.05% AER. You’ll need £1,000 in the bank to open the 2 Year Fixed Term Savings Account from RCI and £10,000 for the 2 Year Fixed Rate Bond at Close Brothers Savings.

You can add to RCI’s deal for a fortnight after opening and 10 days for Close Brothers.

SmartSave scoops the most appealing rate on its 3 Year Fixed Rate Saver and its five-year equivalent. The offers pay 4.72% AER and 4.58% respectively and can only be opened online. Again, a £10,000 deposit is needed, and can be added for 14 days once opened.

While the deposits for these accounts are considerably higher than in other markets, you can only access your savings pot once the end of the term is reached.

Notice accounts

In the 30-, 45- and 90-day market, the usual suspects are providing the highest rates.

FirstSave’s 30 Day Notice Account (Feb 24) continues to offer the best rate (4.85% AER) and you’ll only need £100 to get started, while interest can either be paid monthly or on the anniversary. As is the case with notice accounts, early access comes with a 30-day loss of interest.

If accessing your cash early isn’t a deal breaker, the 5.16% AER from Shawbrook’s 45 Day Notice Personal Account Issue 14 might be for you. A minimum of £1,000 is required to open the account, which can only be done online, but you have a chance to manage your account on the phone if you wish. However, you cannot access your finances early for this deal.

In the longer-notice period market, Oxbury Bank provides the best rate of 5.26% AER, which is paid monthly. The Personal 90 Day Notice Account (Issue 13) has the same deposit clause as Shawbrook, and you can only open the account online, but managing the account can happen through its app too. This option also doesn’t permit early access, so you have to wait for the full 90 days to dip into your funds.