Interest rates are on the rise and if you want to benefit from them, but still want to be able to dip into your savings, then an instant access savings account might be right for you.

Instant access savings accounts, also known as easy access accounts, can be a great option for savers that need a pot of money that they can easily dip into, possibly for emergencies or unexpected expenses, such as a car or boiler repair.

Here’s our rundown of how easy access savings accounts work and where you can find the best rates.

What is an easy access savings account?

An easy access savings account, as the name suggests, is a type of savings account that usually lets you withdraw your money whenever you want. 

However, depending on the account, there might be some limits on the number of withdrawals you can make each year, or penalties that apply if you make frequent withdrawals, so it’s important to read the small print to make sure you choose the right account for you.

Some easy access accounts also offer introductory bonuses to lure savers in, but once these disappear, rates often aren’t nearly as favourable. It’s therefore worth checking whether there is a bonus included in the rate, and if there is, make a note of when it finishes in your diary so you can more to a more competitive account at that point.

If you aren’t sure that an easy access account will suit you, have a look at our guide What are the different types of savings account? for some other options you might want to explore.

The best easy access savings accounts

Rates on easy access accounts are changing all the time, so it’s worth keeping an eye on how much interest your account is paying, and switching if you can find better returns elsewhere.

Here are a few of the current best buy easy access accounts (updated weekly, and sourced from savings website Savings Champion). 

Ulster Bank

Loyalty Saver

Pays: 5.20% AER

Minimum opening balance: £5,000

Maximum balance: N/A

What are the limits on withdrawals? You can withdraw or transfer money to any other account based in the UK (up to the daily limits).

The small print: Easy access. Available to existing Ulster Bank customers only who hold a current account with the bank. Interest drops to 2.25% below £5,000 balance. Interest is paid annually.

Find out more at: Ulster Bank

Chase

Chase Saver (Boosted Rate Offer)

Pays: 5.10% AER

Minimum opening balance: £0

Maximum balance: £1m

What are the limits on withdrawals? You can withdraw money at any time.

The small print: Easy Access. 5.1% gross (4.98% gross monthly) variable, including a 1% AER fixed boost until 16 Jan. As a result the AER is lower than 5.10%. At 16/6/24 AER was 4.68%, reducing daily. Available to new customers and existing customers but T&Cs apply – see Chase.co.uk. Chase current account required. 1 boosted saver account per customer. Interest is paid monthly.

Find out more at: Chase

Flagstone

Instant Access (provided by SmartSave)

Pays: 5.07% AER

Minimum opening balance: £10,000

Maximum balance: £1m

What are the limits on withdrawals? You can withdraw money at any time.

The small print: Easy Access. Interest is calculated and paid daily. This account is available exclusively through the Flagstone Investment Management platform.

SmartSave is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so funds deposited are protected up to £85,000. Be aware that any funds that you already hold with SmartSave will also count towards this limit.

Find out more at: Flagstone

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Monument

Easy Access Savings

Pays: 5.03% AER

Minimum opening balance: £25,000

Maximum balance: £2m

What are the limits on withdrawals? You can withdraw money at any time without penalty.

The small print: Easy access. Interest is paid monthly.

Find out more at: Monument

Oxbury

Easy Access Account Limited Edition 1

Pays: 5.02% AER

Minimum opening balance: £20,000

Maximum balance: £500,000

What are the limits on withdrawals? You can withdraw up to the full balance of your account provided your instruction is received before 1.00pm on a Working Day and passes their payment validation requirements.

The small print: Easy Access. If the balance falls below £20,000, no interest will be paid. Interest is paid monthly.

Find out more at: Oxbury

Rates correct as at 15.07.24

Finally…

While many of these banks and building societies allow you to have balances of anywhere from £50,000 to £1m or more, remember that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme only covers balances up to £85,000 with individual banking groups. So if you hold more than this in a single account, and the bank goes bust you might not be able to get your money back.

You can read more about this in our guide Are my savings safe?

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