Easy access savings accounts

Flexible savings. Full control

Enjoy the freedom to withdraw money and top up at your convenience

Earn interest on your money whilst having the flexibility to access it when you need to

Easy access savers are ideal for short-term savings goals or as a regular savings account

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Easy access savings accounts (also known as instant access savings accounts or easy access savers) are one of the most flexible types of savings accounts available to UK savers, giving you the freedom to top-up and withdraw money at your convenience.

All easy access accounts at Raisin UK are deposit protected and free to open online. The following are just some of the benefits offered by easy access accounts:

  • Top-up and withdraw at your convenience

  • Keep your account open for as long as you want

  • Competitive variable rates of interest

  • The FSCS or European DGS protects all savings accounts in our marketplace

Key takeaways
  • Easy access: An easy access savings account allows you to top-up and withdraw your savings with minimal restrictions

  • Opening deposit: Many banks allow you to open an easy access savings account with as little as £1, although some top-paying accounts may require a deposit of up to £1,000

  • Benefits: An easy access saving account may be beneficial if you want the flexibility to dip into your savings or start an emergency fund

May easy access savings accounts update: what’s new?

If you want to save while retaining the ability to access your cash when you need it, you can still get good returns on your savings with an easy access savings account.

High street banks typically offer easy access savings accounts at lower interest rates than other providers, so it’s worth seeing what alternative banks and building societies have to offer. Our top easy access savings account is 5% AER.

Register for a free Raisin UK Account today to get started, and watch your savings grow!

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What are easy access savings accounts?

Easy access savings accounts allow you to deposit your money and earn interest with minimal restrictions, so you can top up or withdraw your savings pot at your convenience. Typically, easy access rates are variable, which means that the interest rate may increase or decrease while your account is open.

You may also find there are some restrictions on easy access savings accounts, as well as notice periods, penalties and changes to interest rates, so it's worth doing an easy access savings account comparison before you open a new account.

The types of restrictions on easy access savings accounts will differ bank to bank. However, typical restrictions include limitations on withdrawals that stipulate how often you can take out funds, e.g. twice per calendar year, or that funds can only be transferred to a nominated savings account. For example, if you have an easy access savings account with one bank, you could choose your current account as the ‘nominated account’ to make any withdrawals and transfers easier. 

How much money do I need to open an easy access savings account?

You don’t usually need a large deposit to open an easy access savings account. While some of the top-rate, high yield savings accounts may require deposits of up to £1,000, there are many available that offer initial deposits from just £1. This makes them an accessible product for new savers who may not have a large upfront deposit to put away into their savings pot.

There’s also no limit on the number of easy access savings accounts you can open. However, you’ll need to check that the total amount of interest you accrue across all of your accounts doesn’t exceed your personal savings allowance (if it does, you’ll need to declare it).

Is there a penalty for withdrawing money from an easy access savings account?

In some types of easy access accounts, there may be a penalty for withdrawing more money than the terms of the account stipulate. This penalty might come in the form of forfeiting interest on your savings or even a charge. That being said, there are plenty of easy access savings accounts that don’t restrict the number of withdrawals you can make, although bear in mind that the interest rate may be lower on these types of accounts.

As always, check the small print before you open any savings account, so you’re sure it’s right for your needs.

Are easy access savings accounts and instant access savings accounts the same thing?

While they’re similar in that they both allow you to top-up and withdraw money, easy access and instant access accounts differ on a few key details.

Instant access savings accounts allow you to make unlimited withdrawals without incurring a charge or penalty. These types of accounts also enable you to withdraw money instantly as cash, and there’s no restriction on how much you can take out.

Although easy access savings accounts allow you to take out money at your convenience, there may be a limit on how often you can do this. Depending on the type of account you have, you might also have to wait a short while before you can access your funds. Another key difference is that some easy access savings accounts require you to transfer your savings to a current account before you can withdraw your cash.

What are the features of easy access savings account?

The main benefit of easy access savings accounts is that they offer flexibility. This type of account might be right for you if you want to access your savings at your convenience, say in case of an emergency or if you’re not saving for anything specific. You can learn more about starting an emergency fund here.

Easy access accounts may also be a good idea for first-time savers and those who want to get into the habit of saving without making a big commitment, because you don’t need a lump sum to kickstart your savings.

For example, some easy access accounts require as little as £1 to open (although these might not be high-yield savings accounts). Although you typically don’t need to invest a lot to open an easy access account, it’s important to try and save as much as you can, as you’ll earn more interest that way.

It’s usually beneficial to compare easy access savings accounts to find one that suits you and your savings goals. You can quickly compare a range of easy access savings accounts by visiting the table at the top of this page.

How much should I keep in an easy access savings account?

How much you should keep in your easy access savings account depends on your person circumstances.

It's generally recommended that you have accessible savings to cover your bills and essential expenses for 3-6 months, if you happened to lose your job, for example.

Many savers choose to split their money between different savings pots, for example, between more flexible easy access savings accounts, and high yield, longer term fixed rate accounts. This means that if an unexpected expense came up, such as a broken boiler, you have quick access to additional funds in an easy access account.

What are the downsides to easy access savings accounts?

The biggest disadvantage of easy access savings accounts is that they typically offer lower interest rates than other savings accounts types, such as fixed rate bonds or notice accounts, due in part to the added flexibility they provide.

Other than that, there are sometimes stipulations in the fine print as to how many withdrawals you can make or how often. It’s important to check these details before you open an account and begin your savings plans.

Our guide to choosing an easy access savings account can help you weigh up the pros and cons and decide whether this type of account is right for you.

Do easy access accounts pay interest monthly?

With most easy access or instant access savings accounts, you'll earn interest every day, but interest is typically paid to the account, or accrued onto your funds, on a monthly basis. You can then withdraw the interest earned to use it as a monthly payment, or keep it in your account and enjoy the benefits of compound interest.

Does the interest rate on an easy access savings account change?

Most easy access savings accounts offer variable interest rates, meaning that the interest rate you receive could increase or decrease.

There are several reasons why the interest rate on your easy access savings account may change, but it typically fluctuates in line with the Bank of England’s base rate. This means that a lot of economic factors come into play when determining interest rates. A provider may also alter their rate when a competitor bank or building society changes theirs.

Because of this, it’s worth comparing interest rates on easy access accounts to find one with the highest interest rate right now.

How to find the best easy access interest rates

To find the best easy access interest rates, you’ll need to compare accounts from a range of different providers. There are lots of comparison tools online or you can visit the table at the top of this page to compare high-interest easy access accounts on the Raisin UK marketplace.

You may find that the best easy access interest rates are offered on accounts that impose certain restrictions. Although most easy access accounts allow you to top-up and take out money at your convenience, some banks may restrict the number of withdrawals you can make in return for a competitive interest rate.

When you’re searching for the best easy access interest rates, it’s also worth considering the effect of compounding. Arguably, the best easy access and instant access savings accounts are those that compound interest on a regular basis as they can help you to grow your savings faster.

Don’t forget that both easy access savings accounts and instant access savings accounts pay a variable interest rate, which means it could fluctuate. It’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully as some introductory offers, for example, a high interest rate, may expire after a set period. Some banks may also move you onto a lower interest rate if your balance drops below a certain level.

How do banks calculate interest on easy access accounts?

Some easy access and instant access savings accounts pay interest once a year, usually on a set date or the anniversary of the opening of your account. Others, however, pay interest on a monthly or quarterly basis. Exactly how interest is calculated depends on the particular account you have and your chosen provider, so it’s worth checking this before you open your account.

When you’re comparing high-interest instant access accounts, it’s also important to check how often interest is compounded and to note that there’s a difference between the AER and the gross interest rate.

The AER, or annual equivalent rate, is the interest rate most commonly used to make comparisons between savings accounts because it allows you to see how much interest you’ll earn over a full year. Unlike the gross interest rate, it takes into account other factors such as bonuses, compounding and bank charges.

Some easy access accounts might give you the option to have the interest added to your savings or paid directly into a nominated account.

Do I have to pay tax on interest from my easy access savings?

The amount of tax you pay on interest from your savings depends on how much you earn, but don’t worry, most savers don’t pay tax on their savings. 

Low earners with a total taxable income of less than £17,570 can earn up to £5,000 in interest before paying tax. This is known as the 0% tax ‘starting rate’. This rate decreases for every £1 you earn over your personal income tax allowance of £12,570 (2023/24 tax year).

What’s more, thanks to the personal savings allowance (PSA), basic rate (20%) taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 tax-free interest, while higher rate (40%) taxpayers can earn up to £500 per year. Additional rate (45%) taxpayers don’t receive a PSA, meaning you’ll need to pay tax on any interest earned.

Although many people won’t have to pay tax on the interest they earn in an easy access savings account, recent increases in interest rates could mean that more savers may reach or exceed their PSA. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to review your savings strategy regularly.

If you do exceed your PSA (or you aren’t eligible for it), you’ll need to declare it. Any interest that exceeds your PSA will be taxed at your usual rate of income tax. If this applies to you, you may want to consider utilising tax-free saving accounts like ISAs.

Compare easy savings accounts at Raisin UK

If you're ready to begin your savings plan, you can quickly and easily open savings accounts with deposit protection by registering for a Raisin UK Account and logging in to apply. Opening a Raisin UK account and applying for savings accounts from our partner banks is free, and once you’ve been approved, all you need to do is make a deposit and watch your savings grow.