Finding the best savings accounts for over 50s is vital – our guide helps you to weigh up the pros and cons of these accounts.
If you’re over 50, there are plenty of reasons you’ll appeal as a saver to banks and building societies.
Maybe you’ve achieved financial stability, finished paying off your mortgage, already saved up a considerable sum and are taking saving for retirement even more seriously.
Hence competition on over 50 savings accounts can be fierce to reel you in – in theory promising better interest rates than the equivalent accounts that are available to everyone.
The only difference to normal savings accounts is that they’re only offered to customers over 50.
However, it’s important that you don’t let the exclusivity fool you – just because there’s a velvet rope keeping out younger savers, that doesn’t mean they’ll always be the best deal out there. As ever you should compare accounts to find the best home for your savings.
What to look for
Whether you’re looking to put a little aside every month or trying to find a home for your existing savings over 50s accounts come in many different forms, so it’s worth working out what you want before you start looking.
What access do you need?
Although many over 50s accounts you’ll find will be basic deposit accounts, they also come in other forms which may offer better interest rates in return for less flexibility. Options include:
Fixed rate bonds that offer a guaranteed rate, but with penalties for withdrawals
- Notice accounts, which allow withdrawals without interest penalties but only if you request the funds an agreed number of days in advance
- Regular savings accounts, which reward you with a higher interest rate if you make a deposit each month
- Cash ISAs, giving you tax-free interest, subject to a yearly limit on your deposits
Think about what you are saving the money for and when you might need it. If you’re saving for retirement or for the distant future and have other funds put away in case of emergencies, a fixed account with a high interest rate will likely offer you the best return.
As a halfway house, notice accounts give you free access but fall down if you need urgent access. If you think you might need your money to be always available, an instant access account might be your only option.
If you can, prioritise the account type which fits your finances, but whichever type of account you end up choosing read the terms so you understand what is and isn’t allowed, and make sure they won’t leave you stuck.
Savings accounts can be opened and managed by post, telephone, internet or visiting a branch; however, few will let you use all four. Choosing a method that suits you is particularly important if you expect you’ll be dipping into the account.
If you’re happy to use any of those options, you’ll find a greater choice of accounts, but if you’re not comfortable banking over the internet, or don’t have the time to get to a branch during the week, make sure you rule out any accounts that don’t suit your needs.
Finding the best interest
Sometimes even the best savings rates over 50 accounts don’t tell the full story. For example, if their headline rate includes an introductory bonus you should check when and by how much that rate will drop. If you’re happy to benefit from the higher rate and then look again in a year’s time, it’s worth considering these accounts; if you’re not that organised you’d lose out in the long run so look for a lower-maintenance account.
You’ll also need to think about how you want your interest paid. If you would prefer that interest is paid monthly rather than annually, you should only look at accounts that offer this. You may also be able to choose if you want your interest paid to your bank account or added to the account balance.
Decide if you want a fixed or variable rate. If your account is fixed, you’ll be guaranteed an interest rate for a specified period, which will protect you against the possibility of rates going down. However, if interest rates should rise, you’ll be stuck on the fixed rate until the terms ends. A variable account’s rate could go up or down, but it would allow you to move to a more competitive account if needed.
You may find that regular saver accounts offer some of the most competitive rates, as long as you stick to its terms. If you’re planning to save a little each month, it’s worth looking at these too - our guide tells you more.
Cash ISAs allow you to invest up to a set amount each tax year and pay interest without the deduction of income tax, meaning you will be able to take home more interest if the rate is good enough. They offer the full range of account types within the ISA wrapper, but you're limited to paying into one ISA per year.
Compare saving rates for over 50s
When you’ve decided what you need from your account, and what type, look for the best interest rates in our over 50s accounts comparison to find the best instant access savings accounts for over 50s on your terms.
Finally, consider the best accounts you pick out alongside alternative savings options like ISAs and fixed bonds if these suit your circumstances, rather than assuming that the exclusivity of the age limit will guarantee you a great deal.