Savings Accounts

Take the hardship out of choosing the best savings account by using our advanced comparison tool.

Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, savings accounts have almost become a joke, with interest rates at five year record lows. Interest rates will slowly start to rise again, but all savers can do at the moment is look for the highest rates possible and hang on until the economy starts to return to normal, whenever that might be.

So, you have to look for all the elements that can make your money work harder for you, including:

  • the best gross rate of interest
  • the minimum balance required to get the best rates
  • if there is a maximum balance
  • what investment vehicle is attached to the savings account (Cash ISA etc)
  • will your money be protected

Gross rates of interest are pitiful at best, so ensure that you get the best possible return for your money. This usually depends on the amount of money you are prepared to lodge into your savings account. The more you can commit to an individual account, the better rate you should get. Mind you, most accounts have maximum balances, so if you have more than that, you will have to create a number of money pots.

Tax comes into play as well, so whether you pay no tax, the lower, or upper rate, having the Government take their share will have an impact upon what you earn as interest.

You also have to think about the various investment vehicles (such as a Cash ISA), which could give you a better rate of return and a tax break as well.

Finally, you need to think about what financial institution you are giving your money to. There are Government schemes in place to protect savers money, but there are strict rules as to how much is covered. Now, there is criteria as to how it is protected if it’s a single, or joint account, and these figures do change, so it’s best to check with the provider of the savings account. Ensure that the savings account and the provider you choose are within the Government’s protection schemes (some overseas providers are not, so care should be taken).