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How to pick the best savings account

This guide shows you how to get the most from your cash by explaining how the different types of savings accounts work. 

 

by Victoria Bischoff on Feb 01, 2012 at 12:51

How to pick the best savings account

When searching for a savings account the first question you should ask yourself is: do I need to be able to get my hands on my cash at short notice?

If the answer is yes, then an easy access savings account is probably what you’re looking for.

What is an easy access account?

An easy access savings account is a flexible account that allows you to put money in and take it out whenever you choose – without being charged a penalty or forfeiting the interest you have earned.

They are ideal for people who want to save money but can’t commit to a long-term deal.

You may see easy access accounts referred to as both instant access and no notice accounts.

Both allow you easy access to your money, but operate in slightly different ways. For example, with an instant access account you can usually make immediate cash withdrawals, but with a no notice account it could take up to a few days to process your transaction.

What are interest rates like on this type of account?

In return for the convenience of being able to withdraw your money as and when you please, you are often offered a lower interest rate compared with other types of savings accounts.

However, there are competitive rates available if you consult comparison sites such as Moneyfacts.co.uk, especially if you are willing to invest in an online account.

Some easy access accounts offer an introductory bonus for the first 12 months or so after you open your account.

Although these are often attractive to savers, be aware the rate usually drops considerably once the bonus rate ends. It is also important to check if the bonus rate is conditional, as there may be a limit on how many times you can withdraw cash over a certain period of time.

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