Instant access savings accounts give you the flexibility to save money in an account which attracts a good rate of interest while allowing you the freedom to access your funds on demand without penalties or restrictions.
Because of the flexibility easy access savings accounts offer, the rate of interest paid on them tends to be slightly lower than on fixed term or notice accounts.
However, if you're savvy about looking for the best instant access savings accounts and are willing to move your money around in return for the best instant access savings accounts rates, it is still possible to get a good return but you do need to stay on your toes.
Many instant access bank accounts advertise attractive savings accounts interest rates to entice new customers, but lower the rate shortly after so that it's nowhere near as competitive as the best instant access savings account available. As such when you're looking for a new savings account you need to check whether the account's interest rate is fixed or variable before you open it.
If the interest rate is variable you need make sure that it remains competitive otherwise you'll lose out. If it's fixed you need to make a note of the higher rate end date and move your money once the return drops.
Regardless you should keep an eye on the rate you're earning and see how it compares to the top 10 instant access savings accounts on the market. As soon as you find that you could earn more interest elsewhere it's time to switch- with an instant access saving account you have the flexibility to do this as and when you like.
You should also keep an eye out for interest bonuses. These will inflate the return you get on your easy access savings for a number of months. After this time, the interest rate will drop and what was a high interest savings account will become mediocre. Once this happens it makes sense to move your money to a more profitable home.
Additionally, many financial institutions offer tiered interest rates on their instant access accounts; these are designed as an incentive because the more you save the more interest you'll earn.
What's more, the majority of instant access savings accounts can be opened and kept open with a minimal balance (often as little as £1) making them suitable for even the novice saver.
Interest is usually paid annually, either on the anniversary of the account opening or on a pre-specified date. Some institutions may offer the option to take instant access savings monthly interest payments, although this may be subject to a slight reduction in the rate of interest paid.
When you're researching your options you'll need to consider how you'll want to access your money. For example, if you want branch access you'll need to opt for instant access branch savings accounts, whereas if you're happy with online banking then you'll need to check this is offered.
The flexibility with which money can be accessed is a definite benefit of instant access accounts as money is available when you need it. Conversely however, this easy access feature may also offer the temptation to spend. So after building up a reasonable amount in an instant access account it may be worth looking to investing some of the money in a longer term account so that your savings can earn a higher rate of interest.