Our experts have compared their top choice instant access saving accounts from across the market place.
Are you thinking about transferring some of your money into a savings account, but don't know which is the best one to choose? There are a range of options for savers, including the NISAs which allow you to save money in a single place for a year, and then take the money out to do what you want with it. If you don't want to have your money stuck in an account for a year while it earns you money, then you may want to know more about the types of instant access savings accounts available for average savers.
If you need to have a savings account which is more flexible than the standard accounts offered to savers by banks, then you should be looking at an instant access savings account. This allows you to withdraw money from your savings without having to give the bank prior notice about it. You may need to wait for a day or so while the account is processed, but you won't have to wait for as long as the standard saving accounts withdrawal. You simply go to the bank, or manage the account online, and switch money from the savings account to your standard current account, as easily as that.
The main advantage to the instant access saving account is being able to reach out to take your money whenever you choose. If you really want this kind of account, then you may be prepared to overlook other traditional rewards that usually come with savers accounts. However, you may still be able to get some kind of reward, so for example you may be offered a 12-month bonus to use the account. You can use this to boost your net return on the account, and can be particularly useful for those who only want a short-term savings account.
While the instant access account may be the ideal place to put surplus cash for a short while, there are some downsides which mean that this type of account is not ideal if you want a longer-term relationship with your savings. The main reason why most savers tend to avoid this kind of account is that it has a variable interest rate. That means that rates can go down quite sharply, and you may not get much for your money in an instant access account. The interest rates are not fixed, and that means that any fluctuations in the base rate of interest dictated by the Bank of England can force your savings account rates to dip sharply.
An additional problem lies in the fact that the account does not have long-term rewards, which are typically offered on regular savings account. This means that if your bonus stops after 12 months, you could end up with an interest rate which is lower than a standard current account, and may even be just 0.1%. With this type of saving rate, you are not going to earn a lot of money, no matter how much you put into the account, and if the bank is also charging a monthly fee, you could end up with less money in the account than when you started.