Whether you struggle to save because you’re tempted to spend your money or you’re looking to earn a good return on a lump sum with minimal risk, you might want to consider a no access savings account. 

Restricting access to your cash, no access savings accounts (also called fixed rate bonds and fixed term accounts), require you to lock away your money for a set period of time. On this page, find out more about no access accounts, how to compare this type of account and what the best no access savings accounts are. 

What are no access savings accounts?

With no access savings accounts, the clue is in the name. They’re a type of savings account that doesn’t allow you to access your cash during an agreed term, usually giving you a higher interest rate in return. 

A common form of no access savings accounts are fixed rate bonds. Fixed rate bonds are savings accounts that lock your money in at a fixed rate of interest for a specified amount of time, usually one year, two years, three years, five years or six months.

How do I choose the term of my no access savings account?

The term you choose will depend on your personal savings goals. Whichever term you choose, a no access account is a secure way to take advantage of competitive interest rates, especially if you have a low appetite for risk. 

The rate of interest you’ll earn typically depends on the length of the term you choose, with longer terms commonly featuring higher rates of interest. For example, the highest six month no access savings account interest rate in the Raisin UK marketplace is 0.91% AER, while the highest five year no access account interest rate is 2.00% AER.

How does a no access savings account work?

The way no access savings accounts work can be broken down into a few simple steps, as follows:

  1. You open your account by depositing a lump sum of money that you agree with the provider when you apply for the account
  2. Your money will then be locked away for the chosen term of your account while it accrues interest (you won’t have access to your money during this time)
  3. You can sit back and watch your money grow 

Another thing to know about the way no access savings accounts work is that they typically have minimum and maximum deposit amounts, usually between £500 and £1,000 for a minimum deposit and as much as £2,000,000 for a maximum deposit. 

At Raisin UK, our top priority is keeping your money safe, so the maximum amount you can deposit per savings account is £85,000 per person, per banking group, so that your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Who are no access savings accounts right for?

No access savings accounts are only really the right type of savings account for you if you can afford to lock away a lump sum without needing access to it. They also offer a low-risk alternative to volatile investment options such as stocks and shares.  

Are no access savings accounts and fixed rate bonds the same thing?

Fixed rate bonds are a type of no access savings account. On this page, we use ‘no access savings accounts’ and ‘fixed rate bonds’ to mean the same thing. You can find out more about the different types of fixed rate bonds below, or by comparing fixed rate bonds on the Raisin UK marketplace. 

What kind of no access savings account terms are available?

Interest rates are currently low, following the financial fallout of the pandemic. This has seen UK savers opt for all different types and terms of no access accounts due to uncertainty about whether or not the interest rate is going to rise or fall, and on what timescale. 

For example, if you’re concerned that the Bank of England could introduce negative interest rates, you might want to opt for a long-term no access savings account, in the belief that interest rates will climb back up gradually. If you think things are more likely to improve in the near future, you might want to choose a shorter-term no access savings account. 

 

The following are the most common types of no access savings accounts: 

6 Month Fixed Rate Bonds

6 month fixed rate bonds are typically the shortest term no access account available, which often means they offer lower interest rates than longer-term options (but typically still a more competitive rate than more flexible savings account types). They can be a good choice if you want to grow your money more quickly without locking it away for a longer period of time. 

1 Year Fixed Rate Bonds

1 year fixed rate bonds are short-term fixed term savings accounts that can feature competitive rates of interest. They allow you to grow your money and benefit from a bonus, providing you adhere to the account terms. 

2 Year Fixed Rate Bonds

2 year fixed rate bonds are one of the most common forms of no access savings accounts, typically offering competitive interest rates and the opportunity to grow your savings pot on a fairly short yet manageable timescale.

3 Year Fixed Rate Bonds

3 year fixed rate bonds typically offer savers slightly higher rates of interest than 1 and 2 year no access accounts, as your money is locked away for longer. 

5 Year Fixed Rate Bonds

5 year fixed rate bonds typically offer the biggest return on your investment due to the compounding effect of interest that occurs each year, as well as a bonus when the bond matures.

How is the interest on a no access savings account calculated?

You’ll see the interest you’ll earn on a no access savings account as an annual equivalent rate (AER), which will help you compare interest rates from accounts with different terms. 

How much you’ll earn from a no access savings account depends on the following:

  1. The term of your account
  2. The amount you deposit
  3. How interest is earned according to the bank
  4. The interest rate (AER)

UK taxpayers can earn interest on savings up to certain amounts without paying tax. Basic rate taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 of interest per year, and higher-rate (40%) taxpayers up to £500 of interest per year.

Is a no access savings account a good investment?

No access savings accounts could be a good investment as they typically offer higher interest rates than easy access or notice accounts. With these types of savings accounts,  you’ll be locking your money in until the end of your chosen term, so you should only open one if you have a lump sum to deposit that you won’t need access to.

 

Can you lose money with a no access savings account? 

No. When your term ends, you’ll receive your original deposit back with any interest you’ve earned. 

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects deposits up to £85,000 per person, per banking group under British banking regulations, meaning your money is safe up to that amount. If you want to deposit more than that, it’s a good idea to split your savings between accounts from different banking groups. 

Pros and cons of no access savings accounts

Pros of no access savings accounts Cons of no access savings accounts
Guaranteed savings growth The interest rate is fixed, meaning that if interest rates rise during your term, you’ll be on the agreed rate until your bond matures, so you might be earning a lower interest rate than the one set by the Bank of England
Peace of mind thanks to FSCS deposit protection, as long as you bank with a UK registered institution and your savings are less than £85,000 per person, per banking group) You won’t have access to your money during your chosen term
Very minimal risk You’ll need to pay in a lump sum to open your account - the more you can pay in, the more interest you’ll earn
The ability to work out exactly how much you’ll earn
Even if interest rates drop, the interest rate on your fixed term bond will stay the same

What are the best no access savings accounts?

Generally, the best no access accounts are those that offer the most competitive rate of interest for the lowest deposit for the period of time that works for you. You can compare different no access savings accounts on our fixed rate bonds page.

How do I find the best no access savings account for me?

The best way to find the no access account that’s right for you is to compare the different accounts available on the market. However, before you do this, it’s important to assess your budget plan and financial circumstances so you know you can afford to lock a lump sum of money away over a set period of time. 

How do I get the best interest rate on a no access account?

There are some things you can look out for when you want to get the best interest rate on your no access savings account, including the following:

1. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate

This might not always be the case, but you’ll typically find that no access accounts with longer terms earn higher rates of interest. Before you open an account, it’s important to ensure you can afford to lock your money away for a longer time period.  

2. No access accounts which offer compound interest are the ones to watch 

Compound interest can help grow your savings at a faster rate because the interest you earn gets added to your overall balance, which is then the basis for earning future interest. 

3. A larger deposit could mean a better rate of interest 

Most providers offer more competitive interest rates on larger deposits. You can see how this works for yourself by using an online comparison table. 

How do I compare no access savings accounts?

Once you know how much you can afford to deposit and the term that’s right for you, you can compare different no access accounts. It’s easy enough to do this online by using free comparison tables.

What should I consider when I compare no access accounts?

Some of the most important things to consider when you’re comparing these types of accounts include the following:

  • The length of the term
  • The required deposit amount
  • The rate of interest
  • Whether the account offers compound interest 

How long should I lock my money away for?

Typically, you’ll earn more interest the longer you can lock your money away in a no access savings account for. However, this isn’t always the case, and it’s important to compare no access accounts carefully. The length of time you choose to lock your money away depends on your financial goals and whether you’ll need access to your money during your term. 

Can I withdraw money before the end of my term?

You usually won’t be able to withdraw money early, and you’ll likely have to pay a penalty which could negate the interest you’ve earned. Your provider could also penalise you by reducing your interest rate. The penalty will differ depending on your provider, so it’s always best to check before signing up. 

Can you top up a no access account?

Not usually, as the ‘no access’ stipulation works both ways. The amount you deposit upon opening the account is typically the only time you will pay in. 

How much can I invest in a no access savings account?

No access savings accounts typically have a minimum and maximum opening deposit amount, which differs depending on the account and the provider you choose. It’s worth keeping in mind that only up to £85,000 per person, per banking group is protected, so it’s a good idea to spread your money between different banking groups if you’re investing more than this. At Raisin UK, we want to make sure your money is safe, so we only accept deposits up to £85,000 per person, per institution.

Do I have to pay tax on a no access savings account?

If you’re a basic rate taxpayer, you can earn up to £1,000 in interest on savings each year without paying tax, thanks to the Personal Savings Allowance. Higher-rate (40%) taxpayers can earn up to £500 tax-free each year. Additional rate taxpayers are not eligible for an allowance. 

Any interest you earn over this amount is usually collected through the PAYE system, or you’ll have to complete a self-assessment tax return. 

What happens when the term of my account ends?

When your term ends, your account will have ‘matured’. At this point, you usually have to choose between one of these three options:

  1. Invest your money into another no access savings account
  2. Withdraw your funds
  3. Add to your funds and re-invest the entire amount 

Why a no access savings account from our marketplace might be right for you

  • They’re are free to open
  • Your savings are protected
  • You’ll earn a fixed, competitive interest rate
  • Higher interest rates are available on accounts with longer terms
  • You’ll lock away your savings for a fixed term
  • You can easily manage your savings online
  • The FSCS protects your money up to £85,000 per person, per UK regulated banking group

Applying for a no access savings account 

If you want to quickly and easily apply for a no access savings account with attractive rates from a range of UK partner banks, register for a Raisin UK Account in just a few clicks.

You can find out how to apply by reading our guide to opening a fixed rate bond.

No access savings account FAQs

You can open some no access savings accounts for as little as £1, however most accounts require a £1,000 deposit minimum. To earn the most from your money, you’ll probably want to invest as much as you’re comfortably able to.

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There is no restriction on how many no access accounts you can open. There are, however, limitations on each account that you’ll need to adhere to, such as access restrictions and investment criteria. You’ll also need to monitor your income so that it remains below your personal savings allowance, or make a note of how much it goes over by so that you can file it with HMRC.

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No – no access savings accounts are a safe option. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects deposits of up to £85,000 per person, per UK regulated banking group under British banking regulations, so your money is safe up to that amount. 

If you want to deposit more than £85,000, you might want to spread it between no access accounts from different banking groups. 

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There are other options available if you want to invest your money for growth, however, they typically carry more risk than a no access savings account. If you’re comfortable with risk, you may want to consider investing.

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