An instant access or easy access savings account is a bank account for your savings. It's more flexible than some savings accounts. You can earn interest, but still dip in to your money whenever you need to.

Savings accounts are just there for you to earn interest. They don't offer the special features that current accounts do, like paying bills or spending on your debit card.

If you want to find the best instant access savings accounts, you've come to the right place. Use our comparison table to find the best easy access savings account with a good rate.

Is an easy access savings account right for me?

Keeping your money safe in the most profitable place is sensible. Sometimes, this can mean putting it into an account with restrictions. But you might prefer to know your savings are within easy reach, in case you need to dip into them.

If you want access to your savings whenever you like, but would still like to earn some interest, an instant access savings account might be for you. Or you could look at an easy access savings account.

How do I find the best instant access savings account?

If you're thinking of opening one of these accounts, it's a good idea to understand a little bit about how they work before you pick one.

To find the best instant access savings account, you'll need to think about:

  • The interest rate: A higher interest rate gives you a better return on your money

  • How much you need to put in when you open the account: Some accounts need just 1p, yet others need up to 10,000

  • How you want to manage the account: Some accounts are online, yet others are managed in a branch, on the phone or by post

  • Whether your money's protected: Choose an account with a bank or building society that uses a compensation scheme.

What's the difference between an instant access savings account and an easy access savings account?

An instant access savings account does what it says on the tin - you can access your savings instantly. You can either transfer the money into your current account or withdraw it at a branch. There's no penalty for taking money out.
Even with the best easy access savings accounts, you might need to wait a short while to get to your money. That's because you have to link your easy access savings account to another bank account, and withdraw money into that account. You also pay in money in the same way.

The best easy access savings accounts should also lets you withdraw money by faster payment, bank transfer or cheque by post.

How much do you need to open an instant access savings account?

The best instant access savings accounts can be opened with as little as 1p. Most need 1 or more. Some need as much as 10,000.
Use our comparison table to find the best instant access accounts. Then use the filters to find accounts that can be opened with a specific amount. For example, you could find one that needs you to put in less than 100. Or you could search for instant access savings accounts that need you to put in more than 1,000.

Do I pay tax on interest I earn from my instant savings account?

Most people don't pay tax on savings interest because everyone has a Personal Savings Allowance. It's only people with lots of savings that pay interest on them.

Basic-rate taxpayers can earn 1,000 in savings interest tax-free and higher-rate taxpayers can earn 500.

Find out more about paying tax on your savings here.

What are the downsides of instant access savings accounts?

Often, the more restrictions that are placed on a savings account, the higher the interest rate will be. That means that even the best easy access savings accounts or instant access savings accounts might not be the highest earners. But you might choose one anyway, if you want to be able to dip into your savings whenever you want.

Is there an instant savings account with a high interest rate?

Some of the best easy access accounts pay a slightly higher rate than others.

But you should be aware of restrictions. Accounts with the best instant access savings rates might be online only, or might have strict rules. For example, some accounts may only allow a certain number of withdrawals in a year.

The best easy access savings option will have a good rate and restrictions that won't be a problem for you personally.

What is the best way to save for your child?

The best way to save for your child is likely to be through a children's savings account. It is a savings account that can only be opened by, or on behalf of, a child under 18.

Most banks and building societies will offer a children's savings account product. You will find that they usually pay a significantly better interest rate compared to adult savings accounts. This makes them a great way to save for your child's future, especially compared with holding onto the money yourself.

When it comes to choosing an account, saving for a child's future is a crucial part of planning your family's finances. There is no perfect formula and every family will have their own best options. However, there are a number of ways you can choose to save for your child, so you should be able to find a product to fit your financial goals.

For example, an instant access children's savings account will let you pay money in and take it out when it's needed, but will not usually offer you very competitive interest rates.

If you think you will need to access your child's savings then an instant access savings account should suit your needs.

If access is not a priority and you are looking for higher interest accounts, fixed term bonds and junior stocks and shares ISAs could produce a better return on your child's money.

What's the best instant access savings accounts for over 50s?

If you're looking for the savings accounts for over 50s, you'll see that there aren't many age-specific accounts available.

There are a few, but they don't pay high rates in comparison to other easy access ISA options that aren't age-specific.

Instead, you might be better off doing a more general search. Or, you could just look at traditional savings accounts with good rates, which also give you easy access to your money.

Instant access saving FAQs


How much can I save in an instant access account?


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.


Can I get monthly interest with an instant access account?


Yes, however the majority of instant access savings account only offer interest paid out annually.


Is my money safe in an instant access savings account?


Most banks are backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which protects your money up to 85,000 in a single institution.


Can I manage my instant access savings account online?


Not always, so make sure you check before you open the account. Our internet savings table only shows accounts that can be applied for online.


What is AER?


It is the Annual Equivalent Rate which tells you how much interest you will actually get paid until the end of the term of your chosen savings account.

About our instant access savings accounts comparison


Who do we include in this comparison?


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

Here is more information about how our website works.


How do we make money from our comparison?


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.

Last updated: 22 February 2021