Digital-only banks are leading the charge on instant-access savings rates, with Tandem and Zopa both launching new best buys.
Earlier today, Zopa bank upped the rate on its easy-access Smart Saver to 3.21 per cent, while Tandem bank upped its instant access account to 3.2 per cent on Friday.
Both accounts allow savers to withdraw funds without any restrictions, making them potentially more attractive than some of the other best buys, which you can check in our easy access savings account tables.
With Zopa, savers can also boost their rate all the way up to 3.47 per cent by locking money away for longer, via a selection of linked notice accounts.
Top of the table: App based Zopa bank is offering one of the best easy-access savings rates on the market.
Although Yorkshire BS pays a higher 3.35 per cent on its Rainy Day Account, this is only paid on the first £5,000 and withdrawals can be made on just two days in each year. Anyone with a balance over £5,000 will earn a lesser 2.85 per cent.
Similarly, Coventry Building Society, last week, launched a new Limited Access account paying 3.1 per cent. However, the account only offers six penalty free withdrawals each year.
Any additional withdrawals subject to a charge equal to 50 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn.
Unlike some of the best deals that make up This is Money’s best buy savings tables, Zopa and Tandem have a good record of passing on any rate rises to existing customers, which means they do that rare thing of rewarding loyalty rather than punishing it.
A number of banks and building societies are guilty of creating new issues when they raise rates, leaving customers who signed up to older issues on lesser rates.
Of the providers that currently pay 3 per cent or more, Coventry BS, Yorkshire BS, Aldermore bank, Al Rayan bank and Sainsbury’s bank are all guilty of doing this.
However, one element that savers will have to get to grips with, is that both Tandem and Zopa are entirely app-only. This means opening and managing either account using just a smartphone.
Savings boost: Zopa’s easy-access rate is 3.21%, but savers can up their rate all the way up to 3.47% by locking away for longer.
Zopa or Tandem?
Since launching as a bank in 2020, Zopa has attracted £3 billion in deposits. It is no longer a peer-to-peer platform but a fully authorised and regulated bank and offers savers FSCS protection up to £85,000 per person.
Zopa also offers one of the best app-based banking experiences.
This is Money recently put seven savings apps to the test and Zopa came out on top.
The sign-up process only takes a few minutes, and from then on, logging into the app requires either a fingerprint scan or a six-digit passcode.
It takes up to two hours to transfer money in and out of Zopa, but most transfers take around 20 minutes.
Savers can get start with its easy-access deal by just transferring £1 and can add up to a maximum of £85,000.
Someone depositing £10,000 in Zopa’s 3.21 per cent deal could expect an annual return of £321 in interest – albeit if the rate remains the same.
Instant Access: Tandem is paying 3.2% and won’t place restrictions on the number of withdrawals like many savings providers.
Tandem launched in 2014 and is a fully licensed UK bank with a strong fintech banking platform serving over 270,000 customers. Just like Zopa, savers have FSCS protection up to £85,000 per person.
Tandem Bank also made our roundup of the best app-based savings apps, scoring 4.3 out of 5 on the Apple app store.
The signing up experience took slightly longer than with Zopa. It asked for a few extra details such as job type and salary.
Adding money and withdrawing money is quick and simple to do, achieved either via open banking or via bank transfer.
In most cases money will be in your account within 2 hours, however sometimes this may take up to 24 hours to arrive.
There is no minimum deposit to open Tandem’s instant access deal and thereafter savers are free to save up to £250,000.
It’s worth noting that although savers can get 3.2 per cent with Tandem, to do so, they need to boost their return via a 0.35 percentage point bonus rate for 12 months.
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