Best savings accounts with high interest in the UK

Gert Svaiko

When the cost of living is rising, you’ll want to make every penny of your hard-earned money go just a little further. This is where a savings account can come in very handy.

After years of disappointingly low interest rates, there are now a number of savings accounts available in the UK offering decent returns on your money. But which is the best? And crucially, which pays the most interest?

Read on for a full list of the best savings accounts with high interest in the UK right now. We’ll also give you some tips on picking the most suitable account for your needs.

And, if you’re looking for an account to manage your everyday money in the UK and abroad, check out the Wise account from the money services provider Wise.

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Table of contents

What is a high-yield savings account?

A high-yield savings account may sound like a complex financial product. But in fact, it’s just a savings account with a high interest rate. Many providers offer them, from UK banks and building societies to money apps and digital banks.

There are a few different kinds, including:

  • Instant/easy access - this is an account which lets you deposit and withdraw your money whenever you need to, while still earning interest on the balance.
  • Fixed term - these usually offer higher interest rates than easy access accounts, in return for you ‘locking away’ your money for a fixed term. For example, 1, 2 or 5 years. You can still access your money if you need it, but may pay a penalty.
  • Notice savings - these accounts let you withdraw your savings, but you’ll need to give a certain amount of notice (i.e. 90 or 120 days). However, interest rates may be a little higher compared to easy access accounts.

While shopping around for a new account, you may also come across cash ISAs, regular savers and packaged bank accounts.

Advantages and disadvantages of savings accounts

Before you open a savings account, you need to be sure it’s the right option for you. Here are a few pros and cons to consider.

Advantages:

  • Earn interest - helping your savings pot to grow.
  • Security - most UK banks and building societies offer £85,000 FSCS protection per person.

Disadvantages:

  • Minimum balance requirements - some savings accounts require a minimum deposit or for you to maintain a minimum balance.
  • Access restrictions - if you pick a fixed term or notice savings account, you may not be able to access your money if you need it unexpectedly (or at least not without paying a penalty).
  • Variable interest rates - some accounts, particularly easy access ones, have variable interest rates. This means that the rate could change after you sign up.

How to pick the best high interest earning savings account?

The AER interest rate isn’t the only thing to look out for when choosing a new savings account.

It’s just as important to check the access arrangements. If you urgently need access to your money, a notice or fixed term account won’t be the best choice for you.

But if you already have a financial safety net to cover unexpected circumstances, you can safely lock your money away in a fixed term account and earn higher interest.

You should also check:

  • Whether your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
  • The level of security offered by the provider
  • Customer reviews
  • How you’ll be able to manage your account, whether it’s online, via a mobile app, by phone or in branch.
📚 Read more: How to find the best current account in the UK?

Quick comparison of the high interest savings accounts

Now it’s time for our high interest savings account comparison. Here are the highest-paying savings accounts available in the UK right now, at a glance:

AccountAER*Min/max depositAccount type
Ulster Bank Loyalty Saver¹5.20% (balances of £5,000+)No min/maxInstant access
Paragon Bank Double Access Savings Account²5.25%£1,000/£500,000Double access

Max. 2 withdrawals

Santander Edge Saver (Santander current account customers only)³7%£1/£4,000Instant access
Cynergy Bank Online Notice Saver⁴5.5%£500/£1mNotice
Monument Bank Fixed Term Deposits⁵5.6%£25,000/ £400,000Fixed term - 6 months
JN Bank Fixed Term Savings Account⁶5.97%£1,000/£500,000Fixed term - 3 years

* Rate as of 30th October 2023.

The 6 best savings accounts with high interest rates in the UK

To help you choose the best and highest paying savings account for your needs, let’s dive into the detail on each of the accounts listed above.

Ulster Bank - Loyalty Saver

The first of a handful of instant access accounts on our list is the Loyalty Saver from Ulster Bank (part of NatWest Group).¹

This FSCS-protected account pays 5.2% AER/Gross p.a. (variable) on balances of £5,000 and over. If you save less than this, the rate drops to 2.25%.¹

You can deposit money or withdraw money whenever you need to, with no restrictions or penalties.

There are no minimum or maximum deposit limits on this account, so you can save as much as you want. Just remember though that you’ll need to keep at least £5,000 in it to get the higher interest rate.¹

You can manage the account online, by phone or on the Ulster Bank mobile banking app.

Paragon Bank - Double Access Savings Account

The Paragon Bank Double Access Savings Account is what is described as a limited access account. You don’t need to lock your money away for a fixed period, but there are limits on how many withdrawals you can make.

With this account, you’ll get an interest rate of 5.25% AER (variable) on balances from £1,000 to £500,000. But if you make more than 2 withdrawals within 12 months, the rate will drop to 1.50% from your third withdrawal. You can make unlimited deposits

You can manage your account online, and enjoy FSCS protection up to £85,000.²

Santander - Santander Edge Saver

The Edge Saver from Santander savings accounts' list has the highest interest rate on our list, but there’s a catch. It’s only available to personal customers who already have a Santander Edge current account. This has a £3 monthly fee, although it does offer cashback and other benefits in return.⁴

If you have this account, it’s pretty straightforward to sign into your online banking and apply for the easy access Edge Saver account. There’s a minimum deposit requirement, but it’s just £1. It pays 7% AER (variable) on balances up to £4,000, so it’s not the best choice for those with large savings pots.³

It’s FSCS protected, so your savings (up to £85,000) are safe.³

📚 Read more: How to open a Santander account online

Cynergy Bank - Online Notice Saver

If you might need access to your money but not urgently, a notice account like the Cynergy Bank Online Notice Saver could be a good fit.

The account pays 5.55% AER variable, on balances up to £1 million. There’s a minimum deposit of £500. The only catch is that you will need to give 120 days notice in order to make a withdrawal.⁵

The account is FSCS protected and wholly managed online.⁵

Monument Bank - Fixed Term Deposits

Fine to lock your money away for a while, in return for a higher interest rate? The Monument Bank Fixed Term Deposits account could be a good choice.

It pays interest of 5.60% AER for a 6 month fixed term, or 5.70% AER for a 12 month fixed term. There’s a high minimum deposit of £25,000 though.⁶

The account is FSCS protected and you can manage your money using the Monument mobile app.⁶

JN Bank - Fixed Term Savings Account (3 Years)

If you’re in it for the long haul, you can get an interest rate of 5.97% with the JN Bank Fixed Term Savings Account. The fixed term is 3 years, and you won’t be able to withdraw your money during this time.⁷

The minimum deposit is £1,000, and you can save up to £500,000 in this account. You’ll get FSCS protection up to £85,000, and can manage your account online.⁷

Wise – Money for here, there, and everywhere

If you’re looking for an alternative way to manage your money at home and abroad, check out the Wise account. It’s not a bank account but offers many similar features.

You can open a Wise account online and manage your money in 40+ currencies, send money worldwide for low fees and get mid-market exchange rates on all currency conversions. There’s even a Wise card for low cost spending in 150+ countries.

Sign up with Wise today 💰

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.


Sources used for this article:

  1. Ulster Bank - Loyalty Saver
  2. Paragon Bank - Double Access Account
  3. Santander - Santander Edge Saver
  4. Santander - Santander Edge Current Account
  5. Cynergy Bank - Online Notice Saver
  6. Monument - Fixed Term Deposits
  7. JN Bank - Fixed Term Savings Accounts

Sources checked on 30-Oct-2023.


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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