Nutty

Best savings accounts (app and online) - UK (2024)

Christopher Dowling
Editor-in-Chief
Updated
June 17, 2024

In a nutshell

The best savings account in the UK currently is Chip with 5.10%*. It’s one of the highest interest rates out there, is easy to set up and use (an app), and you can withdraw as much as you like, wherever you like, instantly. Moneybox is over 5%+ too.

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Earning a pittance on your cash savings? You’re in the right place. Moving your money to a high interest savings account could earn you £100s more per year, maybe even £1,000s (depending on how much you have saved)!

We’ve done the hard work for you and found the best savings accounts in the UK. Here they are:

Best savings accounts

Best rate 5.10%* with Chip

Chip is currently offering 5.10%* with their Cash ISA.

Visit Chip¹Visit Chip¹

*AER variable.

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Best overall
Chip rated 5 stars

Chip

Heads up: Chip offers one of the highest rates available right now – a massive 5.10%*

You can open an account within minutes. Their app makes it quick and easy to do.

There’s no fees, and your money is safe and secure.

There’s unlimited deposits and withdrawals and you’ll get your money back almost instantly if you need it.

Chip is an app to help you save, and invest if you want to. Although, you can simply use their instant savings account without any extra features for free.

Learn more

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Savings rate: 4.84% AER (variable)

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Top rate
Moneybox rated 5 stars

Moneybox

Heads up: currently Moneybox has a great savings rate - 4.75%!

Moneybox is super popular, with over 1,000,000 customers. It offers the full range of savings and investing accounts, from saving cash (at a great savings rate), to saving for retirement with a pension.

The mobile app is great and easy to use, with a range of investment options to choose from, which includes investment funds and individual shares (e.g. Apple and Amazon). 

It’s low cost overall (free to save cash), and the customer service is excellent.

Learn more

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Capital at risk.

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Easy to use
Wise rated 5 stars

Wise

Wise offers a great interest rate, currently 4.82%.

Wise is a very popular money transfer and currency exchange platform, but you can just use it to save your cash.

Instead of a bank giving you interest, Wise has partnered with a large investment firm (BlackRock) so you can earn money on your cash – they use safe government loans that pay interest.

It’s free to open an account, although you’ll pay 0.29% in fees on your saved cash.

The app (and website) is super easy to use too.

Learn more

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Best rate 5.10%* with Chip

Chip is currently offering 5.10%* with their Cash ISA.

Visit Chip¹Visit Chip¹

*AER variable.

Our criteria for the best savings account (UK)

There’s a lot of savings accounts out there – pretty much every bank offers one, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lot of good ones. Most savings accounts pay very little interest (especially the high street banks), and it’s often hard to find some of the top paying ones, big banks have much bigger marketing budgets.

Note: interest is how much you earn from your savings (within a savings account), and it’s measured by an interest rate (a percentage of your savings).

We’ve researched all the best options out there to come up with our list of recommendations. We didn’t just look at the interest rate (although they are all very high paying), we covered a range of things, including:

  • Savings interest rate
  • Fees
  • If it’s easy to use (app or online)
  • Minimum investment
  • Limit on withdrawals
  • Speed of withdrawals
  • Safety and security

We looked across the whole range of savings account options, for instance; easy access, notice and fixed term (we’ll cover what they are below), although most of the best accounts are typically easy access options (where you can withdraw your money whenever you like).

Best savings accounts (app and online) - UK

The savings accounts we recommend above are all accounts we recommend to our friends and family (and readers of course), so you can be confident that whichever one you choose, your money will be earning a top interest rate, is quick and easy to withdraw money, easy to use service, and your money is safe and sound.

Overall, the best savings accounts are  Chip¹ and Moneybox¹ , they're super easy to use, there’s fast withdrawals, no fees, and one of the highest interest rates out there.

Types of savings accounts

If you want to make sure an easy access account like Moneybox¹ or Chip¹ is suitable for you. It's best to understand what options you have.

There’s a range of different savings accounts out there, all suited to different types of savers. Let’s run through them.

Easy access savings account

Easy access savings accounts (also often called instant access savings accounts) are very popular – you’re able to withdraw your money whenever you like, and typically have it back into your bank account straight away (although it can take a while with some accounts, usually within an hour or two but sometimes a few days).

You can typically deposit (add) money whenever you like too. Other types of accounts can have restrictions. And, you can normally start saving with a small amount of money (sometimes as low as £1). All our recommendations have a minimum deposit of £1.

The interest rate offered is normally a variable rate. This means it can go up and down over time, whenever the savings account provider wants to change it. It normally changes when the Bank of England base rate changes – which is the interest rate the banks get when saving money with the Bank of England.

Variable rate

All of our top savings accounts are easy access. They offer some of the best savings rates out there, and combined with being able to withdraw your money whenever you like, make them very hard to beat.

We’ve got a lot more information on these with our guide to the best easy access savings accounts.

Notice account

Notice savings accounts are where you can add (deposit) money and earn interest, but you can’t get your money back unless you give ‘notice’, which is asking for your money back. You’ll then have to wait an agreed amount of time, normally 28 days or 90 days, but can be a lot longer, before you can actually get your money back.

Typically, this is in exchange for a higher interest rate, but not always, it depends on the savings account.

Fixed term savings account

Fixed term accounts, also called a fixed rate saving account, or fixed term bond, is where you add money, normally as a lump sum, in exchange for (normally) a higher interest rate. These savings accounts typically start from 1 year, and can go all the way up to 7 years or more.

You’ll normally need to save a large amount (at least £1,000), and normally can’t top up your savings after the first deposit.

Regular savings account

Regular savings accounts are an account where you are normally required to deposit money monthly, in exchange for a higher rate for a set period of time (normally 12 months, this is often called a bonus period).

The interest rate normally drops after the bonus period, and there can be a limit on the number of withdrawals you can make each year.

What’s AER? (Annual Equivalent Rate)

You might have seen the word ‘AER’ or ‘AER variable’ when comparing savings accounts, but what does that actually mean?

The interest a savings account pays is often measured in ‘AER’, or the Annual Equivalent Rate. This is a percentage and simply shows how much money you’ll have made at this point next year.

So, if you have a 4% interest rate, you’ll have made 4% of your money (in interest), this time next year.

AER? (Annual Equivalent Rate)

It seems simple, but it’s actually calculating compound interest too – that’s when the interest you make, makes interest too. For instance, the interest you make this month will be added to your account, and that interest will then make money (interest) next month too.

Gross rate

The gross rate is the simple interest rate, which states the amount of money you’ll get paid in interest, ignoring compound interest.

AER vs Gross interest

Nuts About Money tip: it’s a good idea to compare savings accounts by using one or the other – either compare AER, or compare gross rate, try not to use both at the same time, as they can be quite different and misleading.

Will there be credit checks to open a savings account?

A credit check is where a bank or financial company checks to see if you are suitable to borrow money with them, and they do this by looking at your credit score. If you’re good at paying money back, you’ll likely have a high score, and if you’re bad at paying money back, such as missing payments, you likely won’t have a good credit score.

Credit score - best savings accounts

There won’t be any credit checks when it comes to opening a savings account. That’s because ‘credit’ is related to borrowing money, rather than saving money. That means, you can typically open a savings account with a bad credit score too.

No credit checks

You will still need to prove your identity, and that can involve a ‘soft’ credit check, which doesn’t leave a mark on your credit report (a report everybody has which shows how good (or not) you are at borrowing money). It simply checks who you are.

This also means opening a savings account won’t have a positive impact on your credit score either (e.g. increasing your credit rating) – just in case you were thinking of improving your credit score by opening a savings account.

Can I start saving with a small amount?

You can start saving with as little as you like!

However, that doesn’t mean you can use every single savings account out there, some will have minimum deposits, such as £100, or even £1,000+.

Starting with a little amount doesn’t mean you’re going to get a bad interest rate either, some of the highest interest rates, and best savings accounts overall let you get started with just £1 (including all of our recommendations, such as Moneybox¹, which has one of the highest interest rates you’ll find).

What’s the best savings account for over 50s and 60s?

The days where you could get a better deal if you are older (with an exclusive account for older people), are pretty much gone. It’s unlikely you’ll find an account just for an age group – most savings accounts cater for everyone these days (as long as you’re over 18, or opening a children’s savings account for under 18s)).

There’s also not normally any age restrictions either, so if you are getting on in years (just a bit), don’t worry, you can use pretty much any savings account you like (and all of our recommended options).

Alternatives to saving cash

If you’re saving for the medium-to-long term (for instance 3 years or more), and likely won’t need access to your cash, you could consider investing your money instead.

Investing your money

As a general rule, you’ll make more money by investing your money (sensibly) rather than using a cash savings account (but there’s no guarantees) – and the longer you’re invested, the more money you are likely to make.

Investing is where your money is invested in things such as growing businesses (via stocks and shares) – with the idea that as businesses grow in value, so does your money. Your money can also be invested in property, and bonds, which are loans to governments and large corporations in exchange for interest.

Stocks and Shares

We don’t often recommend you invest your money yourself, but rather use the experts to handle your investments – they know how to grow money successfully over time, and use tried and tested investment strategies that work, and limit the risk of losing money.

Investing your money

If that sounds interesting, check out our guide to the best investment platforms, with a range of great options to choose from – with experts handling everything for you.

If you’ve got a pension, your money is already being invested to grow over time (even if you don’t know it is) – it’s exactly the same with normal investing.

Better still, you can avoid paying any tax at all on your money with a Stock and Shares ISA. Meaning your money could grow even more over time too. 

What is an ISA?

And, if you don’t need the money any time soon, you could help secure your future by contributing into a personal pension and taking advantage of the free 25% government bonus on all the money you add (we’re not joking!). Learn more about pensions with our guide to the best personal pensions.

Your Personal Savings Allowance

Did you know you might have to pay tax on your interest? Oh yes, the government likes to get their cut! And it can be quite a bit, depending on how much you make of course.

However, in the UK, you’ll get a Personal Savings Allowance (PSA), which means you can earn tax-free interest, up to a certain amount. How much your allowance is, depends on how much you earn in income (e.g. your salary from your job).

The most you can earn tax-free is £1,000 per year (in interest), and you’ll get this allowance if you are a basic rate taxpayer, so earn less than £50,270 per year. If you earn over £50,270, your Personal Savings Allowance will be £500, and if you earn more than £125,140 per year, your allowance will reduce to £0.

Here’s a summary:

Income Tax band Personal Savings Allowance
Basic rate (£12,570 to £50,270) £1,000
Higher rate (£50,271 to £125,140) £500
Additional rate (£125,141+) £0

The amount of tax you’ll pay (if you earn more interest than your allowance), is exactly the same as your income, you’ll pay Income Tax (you'll see this on your payslip if you have one). So, if you earn less than £50,270, you’ll pay 20%, and if you earn more than £50,270, you’ll pay 40%.

Nuts About Money tip: if you’ve got a fair bit of cash saved up earning interest, and you are paying tax on it, you might want to consider investing your money over the long term within a expert managed Stocks and Share ISA – your money could grow much more, and you’ll avoid paying any tax at all. Or, if you prefer to keep your money as cash, you could consider a Cash ISA, where your money can grow tax-free, however you might not get a great interest rate.

ISA vs savings account

Starting rate for savings

If you’re earning a lower income, less than £17,570 per year, there’s a ‘starting rate for savings’. This is where you could earn £5,000 in interest before you have to pay any tax on it.

If you earn less than £12,570, you’ll be able to earn the maximum £5,000 per year (in interest), tax-free. Above £12,570, and your tax-free allowance (starting rate for savings), will reduce by £1 for every £1 you earn.

That’s a bit confusing, but if you earn £2,000 above £12,570, so £14,570, the £5,000 maximum allowance would reduce by £2,000 to £3,000 total. So, you can earn £3,000 per year in interest before you need to pay tax.

Is it safe to use a savings account?

It’s very safe to use a savings account.

All savings accounts in the UK need to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They’re the people who make sure financial services companies are looking after their customers and their money. Each savings account provider needs to be approved and is constantly reviewed (all our recommendations, such as Moneybox¹ and Chip¹ are authorised by the FCA).

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

It also means your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This gives you protection up to £85,000, if the company your savings were with were to go out of business (and didn’t give you your money back, which is extremely unlikely).

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Pros and cons of savings accounts

Like the sound of a savings account? Let’s run through the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Earn money on your cash
  • Easy way to earn money
  • A range of options to suit you (e.g. easy access accounts)
  • Can be easy to set up and use
  • Often free or very low fees
  • Money is safe and secure (FSCS protected)

Cons

  • Need to shop around for the best savings rate (or use our recommended options)
  • High street bank saving rates are usually low
  • Locking your money away can be a risk (use an easy access to avoid this)
  • Typically won’t make as much as investing your money (sensibly over the long term)

Let’s recap

That’s it for the best savings accounts. All simple and straightforward really isn’t it?

With a savings account, you simply deposit your cash, and earn interest. As long as you don’t lock your money away in a fixed rate savings account, you should be able to get your money back within a short(ish) time frame. Use an easy access account to access your money usually within a couple of hours (all of our recommendations are easy access).

We’ve done the research and found the best savings account overall is Moneybox¹. It’s super easy to set up and use, has one of the best interest rates out there, and you can get your money back almost instantly, without any limits on how often you’d like to withdraw. You can’t really beat that can you?

However, if you want to shop around, check out Chip¹ and Wise¹, they're great options too.

If you are saving for the long term (over 3 years or more), and likely won’t need access to the cash, you could also consider investing your money. Learn lots more about that with our guide to the best investment platforms. You could also consider saving with a personal pension, and getting an extra 25% bonus on your savings.

All the best with your savings, you’ll soon have the right savings account for you.

No items found.

Best rate 5.10%* with Chip

Chip is currently offering 5.10%* with their Cash ISA.

Visit Chip¹Visit Chip¹

*AER variable.

No items found.

Best rate 5.10%* with Chip

Chip is currently offering 5.10%* with their Cash ISA.

Visit Chip¹Visit Chip¹

*AER variable.

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This article has been fact checked.

This article was written, reviewed and fact checked by the expert team at Nuts About Money. You’re in safe hands. Learn more.

Best rate 5.10%* with Chip

Chip is currently offering 5.10%* with their Cash ISA.

Visit Chip¹Visit Chip¹

*AER variable.

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