Savings rates remain at historically low levels, but did you know that notice accounts offer a way to beat easy access deals without having to lock away cash? Here’s why I think savers should start to take notice accounts seriously.
What are notice accounts?
Notice accounts are just like normal easy access accounts, except that they have a rule that you must give a number of days notice before you make a withdrawal. Notice periods can range from 30 to 120 days depending on the account. Typically, the longer the notice period, the higher the interest rate.
I personally like notice accounts as they’re a sort of halfway house between easy access and fixed savings accounts. That’s because with notice accounts you get the benefit of a boosted interest rate without having to lock away your cash for a long period of time.
For more information, see our guide explaining the ins and outs of notice accounts.
How good are savings rates on easy access accounts?
Savings rates on easy access accounts are poor.
Right now, the top-rated easy access savings account from Coventry Building Society pays 0.65% AER variable interest. However, it’s generous to call this an ‘easy access’ account as you can only make four penalty-free withdrawals a year from the account.
For more deals, see the list of our top-rated easy access savings accounts.
How do the savings rates on notice accounts compare?
The top-rated notice accounts have savings rates comfortably above the top easy access deals.
OakNorth Bank is currently at the top of the tree with its account paying 1.06% AER variable interest. To access this rate, you must be happy to give 120 days notice before each withdrawal. If this notice period is too long, then Allica Bank pays 1.05% AER variable with a 95-day notice period.
For those looking for a shorter notice period, Charter Savings Bank’s 60-day notice account still beats the top-rated easy-access deal. The account has an interest rate of 0.83% AER variable.
Other ways to boost savings rates
I’ve covered the fact that savings rates on notice accounts are higher than they are on easy access deals. But if you’re keen to chase higher interest and you’re happy to lock away your money, then a fixed savings account could be for you.
Right now, Zopa pays 1.36% AER interest fixed for one year, while Masthaven Bank pays a slightly lower 1.35% AER for the same fixed period. For three-year fixes, Secure Trust Bank leads the way with its account paying 1.8% AER interest.
If you’re happy to lock your cash away for a lot longer, then you can earn up to 2% AER interest via Recognise Bank’s 5-year fixed account.
For a full list of deals, see our top-rated fixed savings accounts.
You can boost savings rates with Sharia accounts too
Sharia accounts don’t pay interest due to Islamic Banking principles. Instead, savings rates on these accounts come in the form of ‘expected profit rates’. These are often higher than those of normal savings accounts, so are definitely worth exploring.
For example, Gatehouse Bank’s one-year fixed Sharia account pays an expected rate of 1.51% – higher than the savings rates offered on normal one-year fixed accounts.
In similar fashion, Al Rayan Bank’s Sharia accounts beats the top three-year fixed account, with its account paying an expected rate of 1.81% AER.
To learn more, see our guide explaining what Sharia accounts are.
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