Nationwide savings accounts: Rates, features and more

Zorica Lončar
08.06.21
6 minute read

Considering putting some money away for a rainy day, or need to switch to a savings account with a better interest rate? Whether you’re starting to save or are on the hunt for a new account, Nationwide could be a decent option.

Nationwide is the world’s largest building society, run for the benefit of its members. It has a choice of savings accounts available, including dedicated options for young and first-time savers.

In this guide, we’ll run through the types and features of Nationwide savings accounts, including the rates and any other perks on offer. This should help you choose the right one for your needs.

And if you’re a keen saver, you’ll also want to know about jars - the handy savings feature from Wise. This is an easy way to stash away money (in any currency) in your Wise multi-currency account, to put towards a particular goal like an overseas trip or a house.

Learn more

First, let’s see what savings accounts are on offer at Nationwide.

Types of Nationwide savings accounts

Nationwide has a number of different savings accounts available, including tax-free cash ISAs (which we’ll look at separately).

Here are the standard savings accounts you can choose from:

Start to Save¹

This instant access account is geared towards new savers, with a few incentives and tools to help you start putting money away. This currently includes a prize draw, where you have the chance to win £100 if you save between £50 and £100 over a three month period. You can withdraw your money whenever you want, but this could affect your prize draw entry (another incentive to keep your savings pot intact).

The Start to Save account from Nationwide offers the following features:

  • Save up to £100 a month for 24 months
  • Interest paid annually (calculated daily)
  • Open and manage the account online or through the Nationwide banking app.

Instant Access Saver²

This account is for those who need instant access to their savings. It comes with a lower interest rate, but you can make withdrawals at any time. It’s a basic, everyday savings account offering the following features:

  • Interest paid annually (calculated daily)
  • Unlimited deposits
  • Open and manage your account online, using the Nationwide banking app or in a Nationwide branch.

1 Year Triple Access Online Saver³

If you don’t need instant access to your money but aren’t quite ready to lock it away, this could be the savings account for you. By limiting your withdrawals to just three in the account’s one year term, you can get a better interest rate compared to Nationwide’s Instant Access Saver.

The account offers the following features:

  • Maximum of three withdrawals in 12 months - if you make more than this, the interest rate drops
  • Interest paid annually (calculated daily)
  • Unlimited deposits
  • Open and manage your account online or using the Nationwide banking app

Nationwide cash ISAs and other accounts

Alongside its range of savings accounts, Nationwide also offers a choice of cash ISAs. These offer tax-free savings and either limited access or fixed rate for locking your money away.

You can choose from:

  • 1 Year Triple Access Online ISA
  • Fixed Rate ISA
  • Fixed Rate Bonds and Fixed Rate e-Bonds
  • Inheritance ISA
  • Instant ISA Saver.

You can check out the full list, along with interest rates, conditions and eligibility, on the Nationwide website.

Savings accounts for children with Nationwide⁴

There’s also a dedicated account for young savers at Nationwide. The Future Saver account gives the parents of under 16s the option of saving up to £5,000 a year for their children. It’s limited access, and can be opened and managed online.

Nationwide savings accounts rates

Now we come to the important part - how much interest do Nationwide savings accounts offer? Here are the current interest rates for the building society’s three main non-ISA savings products⁴:

Account typeInterest rate (AER/gross p.a - variable)Access
Start to Save1% (for 24 months)Instant
1 Year Triple Access Online Saver0.40%Three withdrawals - exceed this limit and interest rate falls to 0.01%
Instant Access Saver0.01% to 0.05% (balance dependent)Instant

Saving tools with the Nationwide app

Another thing you need to know about if you’re thinking of opening a Nationwide savings account is the building society’s app.

The Nationwide Banking app can not only be used to manage your account, make deposits and watch your interest payments come in. It also comes with some pretty useful tools to help you save more. These include:

  • Savings goals - set a specific savings goal in the app, entering the amount you want to save and the date you’d like to hit your target. The app will then calculate how much you need to put away each day, week or month to stay on track. You can rename your goals to reflect what you’re saving for (i.e. ‘wedding’, ‘dream holiday’ or ‘house deposit’) and check in on how you’re doing at any time.

  • Impulse Saver - with just one tap, you can move money from your Nationwide current account to your savings account. It all happens at lightning speed within the app, before you can change your mind.

  • Round-ups - another part of the Impulse Saver tool in the banking app, this is a clever feature that lets you round up the ‘spare change’ from your card purchases to an even or whole number. This small amount is then sent straight to your savings account. It may only be a few pence, but it’s amazing how quickly it can add up.

How to open a savings account with Nationwide

Before you can open a savings account with Nationwide, you’ll need to check whether you’re eligible. The conditions vary depending on the account, but in most cases you’ll need to be¹:

  • Over 16 years of age
  • A UK resident (except for the Start to Save account, which is only available to residents of England, Scotland and Wales)
  • Have a valid email address
  • Be able to manage your account online (except for the Instant Access Saver, which can be managed in branch)

Fit the bill? Great, you can apply for an account. Here are the steps you need to follow²:

  1. Head to the Nationwide website to start your application - all of its savings accounts can be opened online, but only the Instant Access Saver can be opened in branch. To open this account in your local Nationwide branch, you’ll need to phone ahead to make an appointment. If you’re an existing Nationwide customer and are registered for online banking and/or the banking app, you can also open a new savings account there.
  2. Click ‘Start Application’ - make sure you read all the terms and conditions first.
  3. Complete the online application process.
  4. Once your account is open, you’ll need to pay in your first deposit within 28 days or the account will close. The available payment methods will depend on the account, but in most cases you’ll pay in from another UK bank account.

Ready to save in multiple currencies? Try jars from Wise

If you’re a keen saver and you also regularly send and receive money in different currencies, you may want to know about jars from Wise.

This is a pretty clever feature in the Wise multi-currency account, which lets you easily create a ‘jar’ to stash away savings in a particular currency. You can have loads of them if you want to, add to them whenever you want and access your money whenever you need to.

So, you may want to have one jar in euros, to save for that big Interrail trip you’re planning next year. There’s no interest with jars, but keeping the money in a jar can be a powerful incentive not to spend it.

Plus, they’re so easy to manage either online or via the handy Wise mobile app, so you can simply tap to transfer money and grow your savings pot whenever a new euro payment pops into your Wise account.

And if you do want to save in an interest-earning account, you can use Wise to make a deposit to a bank or building society for low fees and the real, mid-market exchange rate. This is particularly useful if your bank is overseas, as it means you can put cash away without losing lots of it to high bank fees, currency conversion costs and expensive mark-ups on the exchange rate.

Join Wise and start saving today


If you’re weighing up Nationwide as an option for savings accounts, you should now be armed with all the key info you need to know. We’ve looked at account types, features and interest rates, plus a couple of handy tips about saving using the Nationwide app. Just remember to compare accounts carefully before making up your mind!


Sources used for this article:

  1. Nationwide - Start to save account
  2. Nationwide - Instant access saver account
  3. Nationwide - Triple access online saver account
  4. Nationwide - all savings accounts

Sources checked on 27th May-2021.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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