A complete guide to easy access saving accounts
If you need more freedom to access your savings, but still want to earn interest, an easy access account could be the fuss-free one for you.
Need flexibility above all else when it comes to your savings? An easy access savings account makes it easy to withdraw your money while building up interest at the same time. From new savers to those who need fast access when your plans change, they’re one of the most flexible accounts you’ll find on the market. In this guide, we’ve covered the top features of easy access accounts, how they can best be used and the type of savers they would suit. We’ll also compare how they shape up against other savings accounts, so you can see for yourself how they can match your savings goals.
An easy access account gives savers much faster access to their money compared to other savings accounts. These are simple accounts that let you enjoy the benefits of saving while keeping complete control of your money, allowing you to deposit and withdraw your cash when it suits you, and all while earning interest. It’s a savings account that works with your lifestyle, suiting lots of different needs and giving you the flexibility to achieve different financial goals.
Easy access savings accounts do what they say on the tin – they are a safe place to keep savings you can dip into as and when needed. Very few rules are attached to these types of accounts as they are designed to be straightforward to keep access to cash hassle-free. You transfer your money into the account, and the bank pays you interest on your savings. And when you do need to get to your money, you can often have it within a matter of hours — sometimes even instantly.
Interest on an easy access savings account is typically calculated daily based on your account balance, then usually paid into your account monthly. Your interest rate can be variable, meaning it could fluctuate over time, but this is likely to be lower than a fixed rate account. And while the interest rate on an easy access account might not be the highest you’ll find on the market, it still offers a boost to your savings while keeping them readily available should you need it.
At OakNorth, your interest is calculated daily and paid out every month. From within your account on your online banking portal or mobile app, you can see your current interest rate, how much interest you have already been paid, and how much interest you have earned so far.
Easy access savings accounts are pretty much for everyone as they’re so flexible. They cover all types of scenarios, from a student who may occasionally need to dip into their savings to someone looking for a safe and fuss-free place to keep their emergency fund. They don’t come with restrictions like a lengthy notice period to get to your money. Instead, they’re a simple place for all types of savers — whatever your goals are.
We provide an easy access account designed to match flexibility with competitive interest rates. Our easy access account gives a quick route to your savings while offering more interest than a typical current account.
With OakNorth, you can effortlessly deposit and withdraw funds, manage your account via our secure online banking or mobile app, and earn interest on your balance. Our easy access savings account can be opened with as little as £1, meaning you can start your savings journey with any amount you’re comfortable with.
An easy access savings account offers so much versatility. You can use it as a safe space to keep and access an emergency fund, a haven for short-term savings goals, or a safety net for any unexpected expenses. It also serves as a perfect interim home for your money while you decide on a plan of action for your long-term savings or investments. To really make the most of it, try committing to regular deposits into an easy access account, and you’ll benefit from the power of compound interest — where as you save and earn interest, you’ll earn interest on your interest, too!
Easy access savings accounts have a few big advantages:
The difference between these two types of easy access account are the tax implications. Both types of accounts provide quick access to your funds, but one gives you a tax-free savings allowance, whereas the other leaves the possibility that you may need to pay tax on the interest you earn.
With an easy access savings account, you may need to pay tax on the interest you earn, depending on your Personal Savings Allowance. The standard tax-free Personal Allowance is currently £12,570, though you don’t get a Personal Allowance if you have taxable income over £125,140. In contrast, an easy access ISA is a special tax-free account, meaning you don’t have to pay tax on your interest, as you have a set tax-free savings allowance each year, which is currently £20,000. The choice between the two largely depends on your individual tax situation and savings goals.
Remember, this will only affect you if your savings are greater than the tax-free allowance for the year or if you have already maxed out your ISA allowance.
One of the best features of an easy access savings account is the speed at which you can access your money. Transfer times can vary between banks, but other than a current account, these are the accounts that connect you to your cash the quickest. However, unlike current accounts, which typically offer very low or no interest, an easy access savings account lets your money grow with much higher interest rates. These accounts are designed to be flexible and to give you access to your savings as quickly and conveniently as possible. Plus, your money will be with you much faster than the typical weeks of a shorter notice account.
For example, OakNorth’s easy access savings account will allow you to withdraw your saving within one business day, whereas our shortest notice account requires 35 days’ notice before you can receive your money.
Despite their name, easy access savings accounts may come with a few conditions. While they usually allow you to deposit and withdraw money as you please, some banks restrict the number of withdrawals you can make each year. Others might require you to maintain a certain balance in the account to earn the top-tier interest rate. Always make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of your account before you make your decision.
Our easy access account doesn’t allow immediate access to your savings, but your money can be withdrawn within one business day.
Yes, the interest rates on an easy access savings account can change.
It’s important to understand that most easy access savings accounts come with variable interest rates. This means that the rate can fluctuate — both rising or falling — over time. This change is usually at the discretion of the bank or building society and can be influenced by lots of different factors, such as changes in the Bank of England base rate, market competition, and how the economy is doing. However, banks and building societies are usually required to let you know before they decrease your rate.
This gives you the opportunity to decide whether you want to keep your money in that account or move it somewhere else where you might get a better return. So it’s always worth keeping an eye on your account’s interest rate to not miss any communication from your bank about rate changes.
With an OakNorth easy access savings account, you’ll be told about this 14 days before any rate decreases by email. You can also see any rate changes on our website with the date they will be changed.
Easy access savings accounts offer a fuss-free and flexible way to start your savings journey or to keep some of your money in an easy-to-reach, safe place. Though these accounts don’t offer the highest interest rates on the market, they’re popular because of their convenience. Ultimately, the key to successful saving is choosing the right tools that match your financial goals and personal circumstances. And with an easy access savings account, you have the power of choice and flexibility at your fingertips.