Life & Culture

The best accounts to make the most of your savings

Which accounts offer the highest interest rates? Our personal finance expert picks the best banks for savers


While many households continue to struggle with the high cost of living, new research shows a significant minority have continued and even increased the amount they are saving.

In a Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) poll, two-thirds of respondents said they had been putting money into savings in the past six months.

Over a third were saving to cover any unexpected expenses, three in ten for a holiday and one in five for a special occasion.

These results were echoed by research from Hargreaves Lansdown, which revealed a quarter of people have started saving for the first time or are saving more and one in eight are also investing more or for the first time.

While cash ISAs offer the most tax-efficient way to save, most people can earn some interest without paying tax.

For example basic-rate taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 in interest before paying tax under the Personal Savings Allowance, and higher rate taxpayers £500.

With interest rates high, there are some good deals available to savers, especially if they are happy to tie their money up for a period of time.

For example, Atom Bank ( is offering 6.05 per cent on its one-year bond with deposits from £50 while Charter Savings Bank ( is paying 6.02 per cent also for a year, with a minimum balance of £5,000.

Both are managed online. For people wanting a branch-based account as well as online, Kent Reliance ( is offering 6.01 per cent fixed for a year on a minimum £1,000.

Regular savers can get a higher 7 per cent for a year with First Direct ( making monthly deposits ranging from a minimum of £25 to a maximum of £300.

You need to have a current account with First Direct to apply and it is currently offering £175 to people switching their accounts. Lloyds Bank ( is offering a 6.25 per cent on a minimum £25 deposit a month to a maximum £400 monthly investment for year.

Again it is available only to existing Club Lloyds current account holders. Nottingham Building Society ( offers a year-long 6 per cent regular saver, minimum £10 per month, maximum £250, to non customers.

It is branch based, but those wanting to run their account online can do so via its Beehive Money ( on the same terms.

For savers wanting instant access to their money, the top rate is 4.6 per cent from Beehive Money and Paragon Bank ( on a minimum £1,000 savings.

However, you can only make a maximum of two withdrawals a year from the Paragon account or the rate falls to 1.5 per cent.

For people on low incomes, the government ( offers Help to Save. It allows those receiving certain types of benefits to save up to £50 a month for up to four years.

At the two-year and four-year mark, the government pays a tax-free bonus of 50 per cent based on the highest balance, rather than interest.

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