Banking has changed over the years to reflect customers' demands - people want to be able to run their finances twenty four hours a day and from the comfort of their homes.
Many accounts can now be run online and by phone, without ever requiring you to set foot in a branch. They even offer some of the best rates, since they're cheaper for banks to run.
However, if you prefer to run your finances in branch savings accounts offered by high street banks and building societies might be more your cup of tea. As well as letting you deposit cash if you need to, they let you talk to a real person, and sometimes might even offer a bit of good old-fashioned customer service!
If you're not a fan of online banking but still want a decent interest rate, you'll need to compare the best branch based savings accounts to make sure you get a good deal. Here's what to look for:
Location of branches
If you want to be able to visit your branch regularly, you'll need to pick one that's easy to get to!
If there's not one nearby, you might want to consider using a different bank.
Other ways to operate the account
It's worth considering how you would run your account if you moved away or otherwise found yourself unable to get to your branch. Many accounts can also be operated by post, telephone or internet, so look into these as a backup for when you can't make it to your bank.
Alternatively, some savings accounts come with the sorts of facilities that you'd usually expect from a current account, like a cheque book, cash card or debit card, which can make the account easier to use.
What access you need to the funds
Whenever you look for a new savings account you need to think about when you might need to use your savings.
For example, if you want to be able to withdraw your funds whenever you need them, make sure you don't tie them into a bond.
Looking at the best instant access savings accounts branch based options are common, but in return for easy access the interest rates aren't always the highest. If you won't need your money for a while, you could also consider a less flexible branch based account:
Fixed rate bonds might not let you withdraw, but they pay a guaranteed interest rate for their entire term
Notice accounts require you to request any withdrawals in advance
Regular savings accounts have a higher interest rate if you pay into the account each month
ISAs pay interest without the deduction of tax
If you're happy to tie it up long term, a bond might be your best bet; if not, looking for the best easy access savings accounts in branch might be the way forward.
Compare branch based savings accounts
Decide how frequently you would like your interest to be paid. You may need it monthly, if you rely on the interest as a regular income; alternatively, it may earn a slightly better rate if paid annually, so only look out for accounts that offer what you'd prefer.
You can also often choose if you want your interest added to the account to grow your balance, or paid out to your bank account instead, so check that the option you want is offered.
Finding a high interest rate is an important consideration, so once you've decided on what features you need, use our branch accounts comparison to find the best rates.
Remember, if you're looking to put your funds away for a while, the best branch instant access accounts aren't necessarily always the ones with the highest rates. Some savings accounts offer an introductory bonus, giving you a decent rate for a while, before dropping after a year or so. It's not worth discounting these entirely, but you'll need to remember to look for a new account once the rate drops.