You CAN get a better savings interest rate from your high street bank – here’s how


When it comes to savings rates, the big banks have been well and truly shamed by their smaller competitors this year.

The gap between top savings rates of high street banks versus smaller rivals has dramatically widened over the past 12 months.

However, despite this, many Britons continue to remain loyal to the major brands.

Whether it be down to trust, inertia or convenience, lots of people prefer to keep their savings with the same provider they bank with. 

Many of the high street banks continue to offer standard easy-access savings rates around the 0.5 per cent mark. 

That’s despite the Bank of England hiking the base rate – which influences the interest banks make on the money they hold – from 0.1 per cent to 3.5 per cent since December last year.

Low base: Many of the High Street banks continue to offer standard easy-access savings rates around the 0.5% mark

There is a total of £392billion held in savings accounts paying 0.5 per cent interest or less, according Paragon’s Bank’s latest analysis of Caci data taken from 34 savings providers.

Out of the total £750billion held with these 34 providers, it suggests that more than half of savers are potentially allowing their cash to sit in low-paying accounts.

However, getting a better rate doesn’t mean they’ll have to necessarily abandon their trusted bank altogether.

Whilst many of the major providers offer standard easy-access savings rates that are five or six times lower than the best rates on the market, some also offer savings deals that are much more competitive. 

For those who are determined to stay loyal to their bank, they should at least consider moving their savings to the best rate possible on offer.

Getting that improved rate might mean following some extra rules, for example not withdrawing money more than three or four times per year, or paying a monthly fee of a few pounds. 

But not all of the accounts listed below have these kind of restrictions, and for some people the rules might be fairly easy to keep to without changing their normal spending and saving patterns. 

We ran the rule over the best – and worst – savings deals on offer at the six of the biggest high street banks.

Halifax

Standard rates:

Halifax’s Everyday Saver – 0.55 per cent

Isa Saver Variable – 0.55 per cent

How you could do better: 

Reward Bonus Saver – 2.55 per cent

Isa Reward Bonus Saver – 2.55 per cent 

If you’re sticking with Halifax then there are plenty of savings accounts that will pay much more than the standard easy-access rate of 0.55 per cent. 

If you have a Reward Current Account or Ultimate Reward Current Account, it means you can apply for a reward bonus savings account.

The Reward Bonus Saver and Isa Reward Bonus Saver both pay a much higher 2.55 per cent. 

The only catch is that, unlike the lower-paying accounts, if you make four or more withdrawals in a year your rate will fall all the way down to 0.35 per cent.

If you think you can handle that limitation, then this should be a no-brainer. Putting £10,000 in these accounts will earn £255 over the course of one year, rather than just £55 in the standard accounts.

VIP: Halifax offers higher savings rates to its Reward Current Account or Ultimate Reward Current Account

VIP: Halifax offers higher savings rates to its Reward Current Account or Ultimate Reward Current Account

What else does it offer? 

Halifax’s fixed rate savings accounts are poor in comparison to the rest of the market. It pays 2.8 per cent for a one-year fix and 3.1 per cent two-year fix, which is is well below the average. 

>> Find best-buy fixed rate savings deals using This is Money’s independent tables

However, its Regular Saver could be a good option for those who want to save £25-£250 every month by standing order or a bank transfer.

It pays 4.5 per cent fixed for 12 months from opening the account. If you make regular deposits of £250 every month, you will earn £67.50 in interest after 12 months.

It’s worth noting that you can’t access your savings unless you’re closing the Regular Saver account.

Lloyds Bank

Standard rates:

Easy Saver – 0.5 per cent

Standard Saver – 0.5 per cent 

How you could do better:

Club Lloyds Advantage Saver – 2.25 per cent

Someone keeping £10,000 in Lloyds’ Club Lloyds Advantage Saver account could earn £225 interest after one year as opposed to just £50 with the Easy Saver. 

However, the higher paying deal is only available to Club Lloyds current account holders.

But whilst Club Lloyds bank accounts charge a £3 monthly fee, it also waives this charge if you pay in £1,500 into the account each month. So ultimately it may cost you nothing to have this account.

Unlike the Easy Saver, it doesn’t allow for unlimited withdrawals either. As long as you make up to three withdrawals per year you’ll remain on the higher rate.

If you make four or more withdrawals, your rate will plummet to 0.3 per cent.

It’s worth pointing out that you can have up to five Club Lloyds Advantage Saver accounts, which could be a good way to get around the withdrawal restrictions.

After 12 months the account will revert back to a standard saver paying 0.5 per cent. So you’ll need to once again review your options.

Better deals: Club Lloyds members get access to exclusive savings rates that pay more than what other customers can get

Better deals: Club Lloyds members get access to exclusive savings rates that pay more than what other customers can get

What else does it offer?

Lloyds also has two regular savings deals. Its Club Lloyds Monthly Saver pays 5.25 per cent and allows savers to deposit between £25 and £400 each month. You’ll need a Club Lloyds bank account to qualify.

Someone depositing the maximum £400 each month for the full year will earn £126 in interest. 

If you don’t have a Club Lloyds bank account, then its standard Monthly Saver pays 4.5 per cent instead – fixed for 12 months.

Savers can can deposit between £25 and £250 every month. Someone depositing the maximum amount each month for the full year will earn £67.50 in interest.

Unfortunately, its fixed rate savings just don’t stack up against the rest of the market. Its one-year fix pays 2.6 per cent, whilst its two-year fix pays 2.9 per cent.

Savers would be better served checking out our best buy fixed rate savings tables. 

HSBC

Standard rates:  

Flexible Saver – 0.65 per cent

Premier Savings – 0.65 per cent

How you could do better: 

HSBC’s Online Bonus Saver – 3 per cent

HSBC Loyalty Cash Isa – 2.5 per cent

HSBC’s Online Bonus Saver is an instant-access deal paying 3 per cent on balances up to £10,000, exclusive to HSBC banking customers.

On any cash held over the £10,000 cap, the rate drops to 1.4 per cent.

The drawback is that the 3 per cent rate only applies for any month in which no withdrawals are made. During a month in which a withdrawal is made or the account is closed, savers will only earn 0.5 per cent for the specific month.

However, that’s not a huge amount less than what you’d be earning on HSBC’s standard easy-access deals.

That said, savers who sign up would be wise to treat this account as their emergency fund, rather than everyday savings they can dip in and out of.

HSBC's Online Bonus Saver is essentially an instant-access deal paying 3 per cent on balances up to £10,000

HSBC’s Online Bonus Saver is essentially an instant-access deal paying 3 per cent on balances up to £10,000

Another great option for HSBC banking customers is its Loyalty Cash Isa deal, which pays 2.5 per cent interest. 

Given that HSBC’s standard easy-access cash Isa rate is 2.1 per cent, this is a nice little perk that HSBC Premier customers can cash in on.

Anyone with another type of HSBC bank account also gets a bonus rate – albeit only to 2.3 per cent.

The loyalty rate applies for 12 months from the date of each payment into your Isa.

If you make further payments into your Isa, your loyalty rate period will begin again from the date of each payment.

Upon the expiry of your loyalty rate period, you will return to the standard rate of interest until you make a further payment.

What else does it offer?

Its Regular Savings deal pays 5 per cent, and allows savers to deposit between £25 and £250 a month over 12 months.

Someone saving the maximum £250 a month could expect to earn £81.25 interest over the year. 

Although HSBC’s fixed rates are not the best on the market, they’re not terrible either. Its best one-year fix pays 3.5 per cent, while its best two-year fix pays 3.75 per cent.

That’s just below the average fixed rate deal across the entire market.

Barclays

Standard rates: 

Everyday Saver – 0.5 per cent

Instant Access Cash Isa – 0.6 per cent

How you could do better: 

Rainy Day Saver – 5.12 per cent

One-year Flexible Cash Isa – 4 per cent

Premier one-year Flexible Cash Isa – 4.1 per cent

Barclays banking customers who sign up to its Blue Rewards scheme will be able to benefit from an exclusive easy-access savings deal paying more than 5 per cent interest.

The Barclays Rainy Day Saver account pays 5.12 per cent on balances up to £5,000. That could equate to more than £250 in interest after one year.

However, it’s worth pointing out that cash held above the £5,000 cap will only earn 0.5 per cent.

The drawback is that savers will need to pay £5 a month to become a Blue Rewards member. However, that does come with other advantages such as £5 monthly cashback for having two direct debits paid out of the bank account.

Good deal? The Barclays Rainy Day Saver account pays 5.12 per cent interest on balances up to £5,000. That could equate to more than £250 in interest after one year

Good deal? The Barclays Rainy Day Saver account pays 5.12 per cent interest on balances up to £5,000. That could equate to more than £250 in interest after one year

Barclays also offers some market leading one-year and two-year flexible cash Isa deals paying 4 per cent or more.

The banking giant has rocketed up the best-buy tables with a one-year fix paying 4 per cent and a two-year tax-free fix paying 4.1 per cent.

Customers with its Premier Current Account can get a higher rate of 4.1 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively.

Both Barclays accounts allow transfers in from other Isas and can be opened with just £1.

Despite being fixed, the accounts have some flexibility, with three penalty-free withdrawals permitted – each one of up to 10 per cent of the balance.

>> Check how they compare against the rest of the market

What else does Barclays offer?

Its standard fixed rate savings deals are also quite competitive. Its one-year fix pays 3.9 per cent while its two-year fix pays 4 per cent.

This is 0.36 percentage points and 0.41 percentage points below the market leading rates.

Barclays Premier customers can also bump up their two-year rate to 4.1 per cent.

Nationwide Building Society

Standard rates: 

Instant Access Saver – 0.75 per cent

How you could do better:

Flex Instant Saver – 2.25 per cent

One-year Triple Access Online Saver – 2.5 per cent

One-Year Triple Access Online Isa – 2.5 per cent

Nationwide’s Flex Instant Saver is aimed at its current account holders who want instant access to their money, and offers a rate of 2.25 per cent. It allows unlimited withdrawals and pays three times the rate of the Instant Access Saver.

You will need to open and manage your account online using its internet banking service or banking app. 

After 12 months, your money will be moved to another instant access savings account with a lower interest rate, so you’ll need to review your options at that time.

As for the Triple Access savings accounts, these allow you to make up to three withdrawals during the 12-month term of this account in exchange for a slightly higher rate.

Those who withdraw money more than three times will see their rate drop to 0.75 per cent. 

It’s also worth pointing out that you don’t need to be a Nationwide banking customer to benefit from the Triple Access deals. 

Boost your rate: Nationwide savers can earn three times more interest by moving their cash out of its Instant Access Saver

Boost your rate: Nationwide savers can earn three times more interest by moving their cash out of its Instant Access Saver

What else does Nationwide offer?

Start to Save Issue 2 – 5 per cent

There is more to like about this than simply a 5 per cent regular savings account, although it limits savers to a maximum £50 deposit each month.

It also offers a regular £250 prize draw. To be in with a chance of winning, savers will need to increase their balance by at least £25 (but by no more than £50) in each of the six months leading up to a prize draw to be in with a chance of winning.

Prize draws will take place on 21 February 2023, 22 August 2023 and 20 February 2024.

Nationwide also currently offers the most competitive fixed rate bonds of all the major banks. 

Its one-year, two year, and three-year fixed rate online bonds range from 4 per cent to 4.2 per cent.

These are still below the best buy rates, but are at least not too far away. 

Santander

Standard rates: 

Everyday Saver – 0.55 per cent

How you could do better: 

Santander Edge saver – 4 per cent

Santander’s linked savings deal is offering customers who hold a Santander Edge current account 4 per cent interest on balances up to £4,000. No interest is paid on balances above that level.​

Someone maintaining the maximum balance in this account will earn £162 over the course of a year.

It’s worth noting that the 4 per cent interest rate includes a 0.5 per cent bonus rate for the first 12 months after opening – so after a year the rate will be 3.5 per cent. 

Santander's linked savings deal is offering customers who hold a Santander Edge current account 4 per cent interest on balances up to £4,000

Santander’s linked savings deal is offering customers who hold a Santander Edge current account 4 per cent interest on balances up to £4,000

The Edge current account does come with a £3 monthly charge, although it should be easy enough to make this back. The account also offers cashback of up to £20 per month on both debit card spending and direct debits.

There is 1 per cent cashback on essential grocery shopping and transport-based debit card spending. This is capped at £10 a month.

There is a further 1 per cent cashback on household bills paid via direct debit covering council tax, gas and electricity, mobile, landline, broadband and paid-for TV packages. Once again, this is capped at £10 a month.

If you don’t have an Edge account you could settle for the eSaver, which pays 1.5 per cent. While this is almost three times better than Santander’s standard rate it’s less than half as good as the best easy-access rate you’ll find on the open market.

– Check out the best easy-access savings rates here. 

Santander also offers an easy-access cash Isa deal paying 1.5 per cent, although once again you can get twice the interest elsewhere.

What else does Santander offer? 

Its regular savings deal pays 2.75 per cent, fixed for 12 months. This is significantly less than the other big banking providers that offer these types of accounts.

You can save up to £200 a month paid by standing order from your Santander current account.

You can withdraw funds from your Regular eSaver by transferring funds into a Santander current account.

If you pay in £200 per month for the full 12 months and make no withdrawals, you’ll get back what you paid in plus up to £35.76 in interest.

Its fixed rates pay between 3.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent depending on how long you fix for. These fall well short of the best buys.

NatWest

Standard rates: 

Cash Isa – 0.5 per cent up to £25,000. It pays 1.26 per cent from £25,000 – £100,000. And 1.51 per cent on £100,000-plus

Flexible Saver – 0.5 per cent. It pays 1.51 per cent on £25,000+

How you could do better: 

Digital Regular Saver – 5.12 per cent

NatWest offers one of the best regular savings deals for those looking to kickstart a savings habit.

It says over 750,000 people currently use this account to save between £1 and £150 each month.

It allows for unlimited access and doesn’t restrict savers to a 12 month term like many of the other regular savings deals do. 

However, this also means that NatWest can tinker with the rate as and when it likes.

Popular: NatWest says over 750,000 people currently use its 5.12 per cent regular savings account to save between £1 and £150 each month

Popular: NatWest says over 750,000 people currently use its 5.12 per cent regular savings account to save between £1 and £150 each month

NatWest will pay the 5.12 per cent rate on balances up to £5,000, although above that level the rate drops to 0.5 per cent. 

Someone depositing £150 each month for 12 months will earn £49 in interest after one year.

Someone maintaining £150 each month for the next two and half years, will earn £303 in interest during that time. 

What else does NatWest offer?

Other than the regular savings account, NatWest doesn’t offer many accounts worth noting. Its one-year fixed saver pays 3.3 per cent while its two year fix pays 3.82 per cent.

For its one year fixed Isa it pays 3.25 per cent and for its two year fixed Isa it pays 3.75 per cent. 

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