Beware the top savings rates that come with a catch 

The top savings rates that come with a catch: They can limit withdrawals or require a current account… but are these deals still worth taking?

  • Many limit withdrawals, require a current account or slash rate after 12 months 
  • There are also a host of top building society deals only open to local customers 

As savings rates edge up, accounts are becoming more complicated. Last week Money Mail revealed there have been nearly 2,000 increases in easy-access deals in under two months.

But many limit the number of withdrawals, require you to take out a current account or slash your rate after 12 months. Others demand you run the account via a smartphone app.

There are also a host of top building society deals only open to local customers.

Think twice: There have been nearly 2,000 increases in easy-access deals in less than two months, but many come with sneaky catches 

Money Mail’s star buys focus on simple easy-access savings deals that pay a consistently good rate, are widely available and let you take money out whenever you want. 

But we will also ensure you hear about accounts with stricter terms and conditions in case they suit you.

The new Chase Saver account, for example, pays an enticing top rate of 1.5 per cent. But you must also open a current account with the bank and manage your money via its smartphone app.

Many top accounts also include a bonus that lasts for just one year. If you do not move your money when this expires, the rate will plummet or you will be moved into a different, lower-paying account. 

The only bonus deal we include in our tables is with Marcus because the uplift is only small and you can reapply for it when it runs out without having to move your cash. It currently pays 0.9 per cent plus a 0.1 percentage point bonus.

However, other deals often include a very low underlying rate. The Cynergy Online Easy Access pays a higher 1.2 per cent but this includes a huge 0.9 per cent bonus. 

So if you don’t move your money after a year, you will end up earning just 0.3 per cent.

Nationwide’s one-year Triple Access Saver offers 0.8 per cent. But the rate only lasts a year during which you can make just three withdrawals. 

If you want a branch account, look to see what is on offer locally. We include the larger societies paying good accessible rates, such as Coventry at 0.6 per cent or Kent Reliance at 0.85 per cent.

Yet some smaller societies pay good rates through a few branches. For example, Bath BS pays 0.89 per cent on its Branch Saver to those living or working in Bath.

Similarly, Swansea Instant Access saver pays 0.75 per cent to those who live in Wales. Hanley Economic Branch Saver also pays 0.75 per cent through its six branches.

Savings accounts