Looking to put your money away somewhere safe? Whether you’re saving for a rainy day fund, or simply want to put your money to better use versus keeping it in a regular bank account, a savings account can give you peace of mind while allowing you to earn a small amount of interest on the side.
As part of our focus on personal finance, we’re keen to help you understand your finances during your senior years. While many options exist, today we will be bringing you the best instant access savings accounts.
Offering you more freedom than most other savings accounts, an instant access savings account isn’t restricted or complicated, making it a popular option for senior savers. Based on the providers offering the highest interest rates in the UK, here are our top picks for instant access savings accounts at the time of writing.
What Is An Instant Access Savings Account?
As the name suggests, an instant access savings account means you can access your money at any time, bar the exception of any withdrawal limits that may be set by the account provider.
It’s handy to note that instant access savings accounts are also known as easy access savings accounts. They work on the premise that you don’t need to give notice before you make a withdrawal, unlike notice savings accounts for example.
Basic rate taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 a year tax free, making instant access savings accounts a great way to grow your money, especially compared with your money sitting in a regular current account.
Also, while inflation rates going up might be bad news for mortgages, for savings accounts it means you’ll get a bigger return on your investment.
However, something to note in terms of instant access savings accounts for seniors is that the vast majority of providers operate online, either through a website or app. For seniors who don’t feel confident using technology, you may lose access to the best deals if you only want a provider who you can visit in person.
Instant Access Savings Account Pros
- Your money will gain more interest versus sitting in a regular current account
- Unlike stocks and shares, savings accounts are not volatile and most have FCSC protection up to £85,000
- Instant access savings accounts can be opened for as little as £1
- A wide range of providers exist, making this account type ideal for all savers, rather than only the highest earners
- As most providers will allow you to open an account at age 18, you could start saving early for your retirement
Is An Instant Access Savings Account Right For You?
Something to consider is that with an instant access savings account, the interest rates will be higher than a typical current account, but not as high as any savings account where you don’t have easy access to your money. So, if building up interest is the most important thing, and you don’t mind leaving your money alone, you may want to explore other savings account types.
That said, in this current economic climate, losing easy access to your money is a daunting prospect, which is why instant access savings accounts make for a sensible choice. So, finding the right savings account type is really about understanding your priorities.
As with all savings account types, interest rates are subject to fluctuations. It may be the case that you’ll need to switch providers every few years to ensure you are still getting a decent interest rate. So, we’d certainly advise keeping an eye on your savings over time.
Finally, if you are looking to save amounts over £250,000, you may find only a handful of providers can cater for you in terms of instant access savings accounts. You may need to explore other providers or other savings account types to secure your money instead.
Virgin Money M Plus Saver
Interest rate: 1.71%
Minimum balance: N/A
Maximum deposit: N/A
Overview: The Virgin Money M Plus Saver is a combined current and savings account. Virgin does offer an Easy Access Cash E-ISA which allows for withdrawals at any time, although the interest rate is just 0.25%. So, if you don’t mind switching your current account at the same time, this dual offering will make it easier to manage everything at once.
You’ll also be given a card that comes with Apple and Google Pay already set up, with no charges on international withdrawals, making the Virgin Money M Plus Saver your one-stop shop for everyday spending, savings and travel abroad.
Perks: Earn 20,000 Virgin Points when you also switch your current account and meet qualifying terms. The points can be redeemed against Virgin Atlantic flights and much more.
RCI Bank Freedom Savings Account
Interest rate: 1.67%
Minimum balance: £100
Maximum balance: £250,000
Overview: For those in search of a no-nonsense, no frills instant access savings account, the RCI Bank Freedom Savings Account is worth considering. It offers one of the highest interest rates available for any instant access savings account on the market.
Money can be paid in from a linked account, though you must always maintain a balance of at least £1 or your account will be closed. If you do want to close your account, you must do so in writing. Your first deposit of £100 must also be made within the first 14 days of your application.
No withdrawal fees apply unless you require a same day withdrawal made via CHAPS at a cost of £15.
Perks: No perks or incentives exist as with other providers apart from offering a 7-day service. However, any deposits are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the FSCS.
Skipton Building Society Double Access Saver Issue 1
Interest rate: 1.56%
Minimum balance: £10,000
Maximum balance: £1,000,000
Overview: Skipton Building Society Double Access Saver Issue 1 account works slightly different to other instant access savings accounts. That’s because with a maximum of only two withdrawals per year, it doesn’t give as much free access to your money as with other accounts. So, this account is really for those who want to build up their money and truly save it, rather than deplete the balance as and when it suits.
However, when you do want to make a withdrawal, you can do so in branch, by post, online or over the phone. With so few instant access savings accounts offering an in-person service, Skipton Building Society is certainly more senior friendly. Though, the only branches you can access are in Preston, Bury, Huddersfield, Scarborough, Aylesbury, Lincoln and Bridlington, which doesn’t cater for seniors elsewhere in the UK.
The minimum balance for this account is £10,000, which again lends itself to higher income savers.
Perks: Can make withdrawals in person. Higher upper balance account limit than other providers, making the interest particularly attractive to those with considerable savings.
Raisin UK – Brown Shipley Easy Access Account
Interest rate: 1.55%
Minimum balance: £1,000
Maximum balance: £85,000
Overview: Founded in 1810 and part of a consortium with 50 other banks across Europe, Brown Shipley may not be the most well known instant access savings account provider on our list, but certainly offers a sense of security for your money.
When wanting to top up your balance, each additional deposit must be £500 or more. Withdrawals are also subject to a £500 minimum amount, and if the withdrawal amount means your balance will fall below £1,000 it will not be authorised. So although this isn’t too stringent, compared with other instant access savings accounts, it doesn’t offer as much flexibility.
Perks: You’ll receive a £25 bonus if you deposit £10,000 or more and it’s your first Raisin UK savings product. Raisin UK is also a member of the FCSC deposit scheme.
Chase Saver Account
Interest rate: 1.50%
Minimum balance: N/A
Maximum balance: £250,000
Overview: Chase is a US bank that is trusted by millions of Americans, and in 2021 they began offering financial services in the UK for the first time. This includes the Chase Saver Account, which is a credible option for seniors looking for an instant access savings account.
Although, as with Virgin, you’ll need to make a current account to access the Chase Saver Account. Also, your savings are only accessible in-app, with no physical Chase branches yet to exist in the UK, although a UK-based call centre does also exist if you need extra help.
You will need a smartphone to access your account, and you’ll need to be a UK tax resident to qualify.
Perks: 1% cashback on all purchases for a year, 5% interest on round-ups, numberless card for added security, no fees on using your card abroad, free extra accounts and in-app card control.
Saga Easy Access Savings Account
Interest rate: 1.50%
Minimum balance: £1
Maximum balance: £100,000
Overview: Saga is the only instant access savings provider on the market that caters exclusively for the over 50s. The Easy Access Savings Account is delivered by Goldman Sachs International Bank, which provides protection for any deposits up to the value of £85,000.
Any money put into your account must come from a linked account, and likewise, you can only withdraw money from your savings account into a linked account. Although, along with the £20,000 a day maximum withdrawal limit, this does offer added protection for seniors with higher capital amounts.
Any money can be taken out by using the website or calling the Saga team, with the option of being able to call particularly welcome for seniors who aren’t tech savvy.
Perks: The interest rate is fixed for 12 months with a 0.25% gross bonus rate included.
Sainsbury’s Bank Defined Access Saver
Interest rate: 1.55%
Minimum balance: £1
Maximum balance: £2,000,000
Overview: Sainsbury’s as a brand offers a sense of familiarity for seniors, seen as the supermarket is a staple on most high streets. Although, unlike with a building society, with Sainsbury’s Bank, deposits or withdrawals need to be made online or over the phone.
As far as instant access savings accounts go, Sainsbury’s Bank offers a typical interest rate of 1.55%. Although, they do offer a maximum balance of £2,000,000 which is far greater than most saving providers.
It’s good to note that the interest rate will depend on the amount in your savings account, with 1.55% only offered for balances between £1,000 and £500,000. For amounts below £1,000, the interest rate will drop to 1.05%, and for balances over £500,000, the interest rate is just 0.90%.
Also, you can only make up to three withdrawals a year. Otherwise, your interest rate will fall to 0.80% AER. However, one huge plus is that withdrawals only have to be to a bank account with the same name, rather than having a linked account as many other providers require.
Perks: You only need £1 to get started. Balances can be managed 24/7 via the app. Accounts are FCSC protected.
Retirement Expert – Free Financial Tips & Advice For Seniors
We hope you found our guide on the best instant access savings accounts useful. On the whole, they are a great option for those who want to build up their savings outside their current account, both to ring-fence your money and earn more interest in the process.
As always, we’d recommend reading through the small print before signing on the dotted line to ensure you are getting the best deal, and that any restrictions on withdrawals or deposits are agreeable.
If you have any questions, or perhaps want to suggest any other providers to add to our list, please leave us a comment below.
Be sure to check out our other articles on all things senior living by heading to the Retirement Expert homepage. You can also follow us over on Facebook or Twitter so that you’ll be the first to know about our latest posts and advice.