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The best savings accounts in 2022

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Find out how to choose the best savings account for you and discover some of the highest interest rates on the market

Whether you’re saving money as an emergency fund or to pay for something special like a holiday or a deposit for a home, it’s important to get your money working as hard as possible. Choosing the best savings account for you depends on multiple factors, though, so in this article we’ll explain everything you need to know before taking the plunge.

Although putting your cash into a savings account is arguably less risky than investing it, as you won’t be exposed to any stock market turbulence, there are currently no accounts that pay you a rate of interest that will beat inflation. This means you’ll lose money in real terms as its spending power will go down.

Prices rose by an eye-watering 6.2% over the year to February – the highest rate of inflation for 30 years – and are predicted to rise even further this year. The best easy-access account will pay you just 0.75%, while the top five-year fixed-rate pays 2.2%.

While your savings may not keep up with the soaring cost of living, you can minimise the effects by choosing the highest-paying accounts that suit how you want to access your money and switching when better options are available if your existing account allows it.

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Types of savings account

Before you open a savings account, consider making full use of your ISA allowance. ISAs (individual savings accounts) let you save without paying tax on the money you make.

There are four flavours of ISA. Cash ISAs are similar to ordinary savings accounts. There are also stocks and shares ISAs, innovative finance ISAs and Lifetime ISAs. You can save up to £20,000 a year across these different types in the 2021–22 tax year.

However, while cash ISAs are guaranteed to be tax-free, you may not pay tax on any interest earned from a savings account anyway. Savers can earn up to £1,000 of interest a year without paying tax, depending on which tax band they’re in – more if their income is less than £17,570. Since the top savings accounts currently pay higher rates than the top cash ISAs, if your interest will be tax-free whichever product you choose, you might decide to focus on a savings account rather than a cash ISA.

The types of savings accounts available vary according to how they let you pay in and access your money:

  • Easy-access accounts: These usually let you pay money in and take it out whenever you like, although some may limit the number of withdrawals you can make in a year.
  • Fixed-rate accounts: You pay a lump sum into the account when you open it and get a fixed rate of interest for the specified period, which could be one to five years. You may not be able to pay any more money in during this period and you can’t take it out until the end of the term (or if you do, there may be a penalty). Other types of account usually pay variable rates of interest that can go up or down, although some regular savings accounts offer fixed rates. While the interest rate on a fixed account won’t go down during the fixed period, it won’t go up either, so one downside is that you could miss out if rates go up in the market as a whole. The longer you lock up your money, the more of a risk this becomes.
  • Notice accounts: You can usually pay in and withdraw money whenever you like but you’ll only get access to any funds you take out once the notice period has ended, which could be between seven and 120 days. Some accounts limit the number of withdrawals you can make each year or let you access your money early with an interest penalty.
  • Regular savings accounts: These often pay higher rates than easy-access and fixed-rate accounts, but you can only pay in up to a certain amount each month so they may not be the best option if you have a lump sum to save. The interest rate is usually fixed for one year. Some accounts restrict withdrawals, while others allow you to access your money as you like.
  • Help to Save accounts: If you claim universal credit or working tax credit you can get a 50% bonus from the government on the money you save of up to £1,200 over four years. You can pay in up to £50 a month and take your money out whenever you like. Visit gov.uk to find out more.

Generally speaking, the harder it is to get at your money, the higher the interest rate you’ll receive. The best rates are available if you’re willing to lock your money up for a number of years.

Some accounts pay a higher rate of interest for a limited period – often a year – and will become less competitive after that so make sure you switch at that point to earn as much interest as possible. If you don’t want the hassle of having to switch, choose an account without an initial bonus rate.

There are also some current accounts that pay good rates of interest. Visit our best current accounts page to see which ones. You can get accounts to save for children too, which often pay higher rates of interest than adult accounts.

Bear in mind that accounts usually have rules around minimum and maximum deposits, so check that these fit with the amount of money you’re planning to save. You’ll need at least the minimum amount to open the account.

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How to find the best savings account for you

Always compare the best interest rates on the market, and also ask yourself the following questions to work out which sort of account will be right for you:

Do you need to be able to access your money instantly?

If you’re confident you won’t need to access your money for one or more years, have a look at fixed-rate accounts as they often pay the highest interest rates. Or you could take out a notice account to give you a bit more flexibility.

Another option is to put some of your money into an easy-access account so it’s available if you need it and another chunk into a fixed-rate account.

Do you mind how often interest is paid?

Interest may be paid daily, monthly, quarterly, yearly or at the end of any fixed-rate period, depending on the account, so if you need to be paid interest frequently – because you need to use it as income, for example – choose an account that pays you the interest more than once a year.

How do you want to access your account?

Some accounts are operated only online or via an app. If you want to be able to manage your account in a branch, by post or over the phone, make sure you check that this is possible before you open it.

Do you have more than £85,000 to save?

Up to £85,000 of your money (this applies per person in the case of joint accounts) is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the provider goes bust.

This is per banking institution across all the accounts you hold with it and only applies to banks regulated in the UK. Banks regulated elsewhere, such as in the EU, will be covered by whatever scheme applies there.

If you have more than £85,000 in savings, or expect to do so because of the interest you’ll accrue, make sure you split it across more than one provider for peace of mind.

Bear in mind that some banks share the same banking licence, such as Halifax and Bank of Scotland, so you only get £85,000 of protection between them.

You can see the top-paying accounts currently available in three categories below. As the best accounts change frequently, double-check the rates on offer before opening one.


Disclaimer: A product or firm being well placed in this article based on past performance is no guide to their likely future performance. Our ranking does not amount to a recommendation.


Top five easy-access savings accounts

Interest rate (AER)Minimum depositNotes
Zopa, Smart Saver1%£1App-only account, interest paid monthly, option to increase the interest rate by giving notice to withdraw money
Investec, Online Flexi Saver0.93%£5,000Online-only account, interest paid monthly
Atom Bank, Instant Saver0.9%£0App-only account, interest paid monthly
Shawbrook Bank, Easy Access Account Issue 290.89%£1,000Online-only account, interest paid yearly, minimum withdrawal of £500
RCI Bank, Freedom Savings Account0.7%£100Online-only account, interest paid monthly or yearly

Notes: Correct as of 6 April 2022.

Top five one-year fixed-rate savings accounts

Interest rate (AER)Minimum depositNotes
My Community Finance1.87%£1,000Managed online and by post, interest paid on maturity
Al Rayan Bank, 12 Month Fixed Term Deposit1.86%¹£5,000Managed online and by post (for maturity instructions, interest paid quarterly or on maturity)
Tandem, Fixed Saver1.8%£1App-only account, interest paid on maturity, additional deposits allowed within 14 days of opening the account
Atom, Fixed Rate Saver1.75%£50App-only account, interest paid monthly or on maturity, additional deposits allowed within one week of opening the account
OakNorth Bank, Fixed Term Savings1.56%£1Online and app account, interest paid on maturity, additional deposits allowed within 14 days of your account being approved

Notes: (1) Sharia-compliant account so the rate shown is the expected profit rate. Correct as of 6 April 2022.

Top five notice savings accounts

Interest rate (AER)Minimum depositNotes
Shawbrook Bank, 120 Day Notice Personal Account Issue 501.22%£1,000120-day notice period, managed online or by phone, interest paid monthly or yearly
DF Capital, 120 Day Notice Account Issue 11.05%£1,000120-day notice period, online-only account, interest paid monthly
Charter Savings Bank, 95 Day Notice Issue 411.04%£5,00095-day notice period, online-only account, interest paid yearly
QIB UK through Raisin UK, 95 Day Notice Account1.15%£1,00095-day notice period, online-only account, interest paid monthly, further deposits and partial withdrawals not allowed
Paragon Bank, 120 Day Notice Account Issue 231%£500120-day notice period, online-only account, interest paid monthly or yearly

Notes: Correct as of 6 April 2022.

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