Savings accounts are just bank or building society accounts where you put money in, and earn interest on your savings.

It's different from a current account because you can't do things like withdraw cash, spend on a debit card or pay bills. It's just a way to save your money, while getting a return on your savings.

The higher the interest rate offered, the better it as this means you'll earn the most from your money.

Who can open a savings account?

Anyone who is 18 or over can open a savings account. If you're 16 years old, you can open a cash ISA.

What's the best savings account?

Choosing the best savings account can be confusing. There are lots of different types to choose from. Our table shows many of the savings accounts you can get online, over the phone or by visiting a branch.

When you compare savings accounts you'll see some exclusive savings accounts. These are only open to banks' existing customers. They give better savings incentives, such as higher interest rates.

Find out how to choose the best savings account

What types of savings accounts are there?

Before you start looking for the best savings account, UK wide, think about what type of savings account you'll need. There are lots of different types.

Deposit savings accounts

These keep your money in a bank or building society. They might not always give the best rates but they don't put your funds at risk, because they don't invest your money in the stock market. These accounts include

  • Instant access accounts: These let you withdraw cash whenever you like.

  • Easy access accounts: Your withdrawals can take up to a week to process, but the flexibility means you won't get the best savings interest rates.

  • Notice accounts. You have to give notice to withdraw cash or you'll pay a penalty, but you'll get some of the best savings account interest rates out there.

  • Regular savings accounts: These generally require you to pay into the account every month.

  • Fixed rate bonds: You tie your savings up and can't access them until the end of the set term. But if you'll earn a higher return than your usual savings accounts.

Find out how each of these accounts works here.

Tax free savings accounts

These let you save money, without paying tax on any interest you make. They'll often offer you some of the best savings interest rates too. But remember that you're restricted on how much you can pay in each tax year (6 April - 5 April). These accounts include:

  • Cash ISAs

  • Help to Buy ISAs.

Find out more about ISAs here.

Children's savings accounts

These are designed specifically for children. They can be opened by a parent or guardian on behalf of your child. Children's savings accounts include:

  • Junior ISAs

  • Junior stocks and shares ISAs (junior investment ISAs)

  • Young person's savings plans

  • Children's instant access accounts

  • Children's notice accounts

  • Children's fixed rate bonds.

Here are the best ways to save for your child.

Business savings accounts

These are specifically designed for businesses, so they can save and earn interest on their spare cash. They include:

  • Business instant access accounts

  • Business fixed rate bonds.

Here's how business savings accounts work.

Risk-based savings accounts

These put your money at risk. But they give you the chance of a much larger return compared to savings accounts. They include:

Find out more about savings accounts here.

Do you pay tax on savings?

Most people can earn savings account interest without paying any tax on it at all.

If you're a basic rate taxpayer you can earn up to 1,000 of interest from a savings account without paying tax. If you're a higher rate taxpayer, you can earn up to 500 from savings accounts. Even with a very high interest savings account it's unlikely you'd earn this much on your savings.

This amount you can earn from interest is called your Personal Savings Allowance. It's in addition to the amount of tax-free interest you can earn from an ISA.

Only people with large amounts of savings need to worry about having to pay tax on the interest they earn from their savings. That's less than 5% of people.

Here's more information on how tax affects your savings.

Can I have more than one savings account?

Yes, you can. It means you can get the benefits from the best savings accounts, UK wide.

It can be a good idea if you've got lots of money to save. You could put some into a one-year fixed that pays the best savings rates and some into an easy-access account, so you can get to the money easily if you need it.

Do your research and find the best savings accounts before you decide where to put your money. Remember, you could put it all into a savings account that gives you easy access to your money while you decide what to do.

How do I open a savings account?

Once you've found the best savings account for your needs, with the best interest rates you'll be able to open it either online, by phone or in branch. Some accounts have to be opened in specific ways.

To open it, you'll need ID and proof of your address so the bank can do its checks.

When you want to close your savings account, you just need to contact your bank. Some accounts need you to give notice. If you don't give that notice and take your money out, you could lose some or all of your interest.

Savings FAQs

Q

How much can I save?

A

Usually as much as you want, but some accounts restrict how much you can save. This guide explains how to manage each type of account.

Q

Can I take my money out whenever I want?

A

Yes, but only if the account allows withdrawals. Some do not let you take any money out without a penalty, find out more in this guide.

Q

Do I have to tie my money up to save?

A

No, you can choose how much access you have to your money by choosing the right savings account. This guide explains which accounts are available.

Q

Can I have more than one savings account?

A

Yes, however you can only save into one ISA every tax year. Read this guide for more information on choosing the right savings account.

Q

Can I have a savings account if I have bad credit?

A

Yes, your finances are not checked when you open a savings account. If you need help choosing the right savings account, read this guide.

About our savings accounts comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include personal savings accounts from our panel. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Here is more information about how our website works.

Q

How do we make money from our comparison?

A

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.