April 2023’s savings round-up & news

The latest news to help you get the most from your savings account.

Here’s my monthly update sharing changes at leading UK savings accounts, as well as some of the articles you might have missed on the blog.

April’s savings update video

This month you’ve got two videos, one from 3 April and a quick update from 5 April

April’s savings news

Base rate increased again, while inflation sneaked up to 10.4%

After inflation unexpectedly went up, there was another increase to the base rate as set by the Bank of England on Thursday 23 March. It now sits at 4.25%. Though this could be one of the last hikes we see if predictions that inflation will drop below 3% this year come true.

Easy Access rates nudge up

*Update 4/4/23 – Tandem increased to 3.5% *

*Update 5/4/23 – Chip moved rates up to 3.55% today, with the chance of a £50 bonus, while My Community Finance launched a 3.56% paying account, though only on balances over £20,000 *

See the second video above for more on the above accounts

Unlike most months, the base rate hike was actually followed by a number of increases soon after, though not many passed on the full 0.25 percentage points. Here are some of the key changes.

Zopa now offers 3.34%, and as I’ll get to in a moment, it can be boosted slightly if you put your money in notice pots. Just below this, Kroo is paying, while 3.33% and Al Rayan and Secure Trust Bank both offer 3.3%.

If you want a Building Society account then Family BS is now offering 3.26%. Though the Santander esaver isn’t open to new customers, it’s boosted the rate to 3.25%. Other increases include accounts linked to current accounts from Monzo (3.2%) and Chase (3.1%), handy if you already bank with them.

Be careful with some accounts, such as Shawbrook, where the increased rates are for new customers. Existing ones will have to apply for a new issue and move their money across.

However, these rates can all be beaten. Even though it didn’t increase rates, Chip is still at the top with 3.4%. And don’t forget the Barclays Blue Rewards Rainy Day Saver pays 5.12% on the first £5,000.

A much lower rate, but worth mentioning, is the 1% paid by Chase on balances held in the current account, as opposed to money in the savings accounts. It’s not huge, but it’s more than you’ll get elsewhere on your everyday spending balance.

Easy access picks as of 5/4/23

A full list of accounts is available here. The leading options are below:

  • Barclays Blue Rewards (5.12% AER variable): min £1 / max £5,000 (requires current account with Blue Rewards add-on)
  • My Community Finance (3.56% AER variable on balances above £20,000 / 2.56% AER between £1,000 and £19,999): min £1 / max £85,000
  • Chip (3.55% AER variable): min £1 / max £250,000 + up to £50 welcome bonus
  • Tandem (3.5% AER variable, includes 0.35% bonus for 12 months): min £0 / max £250,000
  • Zopa (3.34% AER variable, increases for notice accounts): min £1 / max £85,000
  • Kroo: (3.33% AER variable): min £0 / max £85,000 (requires current account)
  • Al Rayan (3.3% Expected Profit Rate variable): min £5,000 / max £1m
  • Secure Trust Bank (3.3% AER variable): min £1,000 / max £85,000
  • Family Building Society (3.26% AER fixed): min £100 / max £250,000
  • Shawbrook Bank (3.26% AER variable): min £1,000 / max £85,000

Limited access accounts nudge up to 3.6%

A slightly higher rate is available on the first £5,000 saved thanks to Yorkshire Building Society increasing to 3.6% on the Rainy Day saver from 5 April 2023. Coventry BS has also boosted rates to 3.3% on all balances in its limited access saver. Both accounts restrict how often you can withdraw your cash.

Limited access picks as of 5/4/23

Notable changes this month include:

  • Yorkshire Building Society Rainy Day account (3.6% AER on first £5,000 / 3.1% on balances over £5,000) Max two withdrawals a year: min £1 / max £500,000
  • Coventry Building Society Limited access account (3.3% AER variable) Six withdrawals a year: min £1 / max £250,000

As ever, these could well change again in the coming days, so check out my best buys guide for updates.

Notice accounts reach 3.65%

And you can get a little more if you are willing to give notice. Here are the top paying ones by length

Notice accounts picks as of 5/4/23

  • Cynergy Bank (3.65% AER variable) 120-day notice: min £500 / max £1m
  • Cynergy Bank (3.6% AER variable) 95 day notice: min £500 / max £1m
  • Zopa (3.45% AER variable) 31-days notice: min £1 / max £85,000
  • Zopa (3.38% AER variable) 7-days notice: min £1 / max £85,000

Halifax monthly saver increases

The only big change for monthly or regular savers was from Halifax, which now offers 5.5%, making it the highest paying option that doesn’t require a current account.

The Christmas regular savers from Principality BS and YBS have now both closed to new applicants.

Regular Saver accounts picks as of 5/4/23

  • First Direct (7% AER variable) – min £25 / max £300 (requires current account)
  • Club Lloyds (6.25% AER fixed) – min £50 / max £400 (requires current account)
  • Natwest or RBS (6.17% AER variable) – min £1 / max £150 (requires current account)
  • Halifax (5.5% AER fixed) – min £25 / max £250
  • Bank of Scotland (5.5% AER fixed) – min £25 / max £250 (requires current account)
  • Lloyds (5.25% AER fixed) – min £25 / max £250 (requires current account)

In case you missed previous savings account updates:

Check out my savings updates from previous months for details on the following and more

  • First Direct’s 7% regular saver
  • Green Bonds at 4.2%
  • Chip instant access changes

Fixed rates jump up

The slight increases to fixed rates I reported on last month have continued, and it’s possible to get an extra 0.21% on a one year fix, and even more on a 6-month fix.

Here are the leading options right now. Make sure you keep an eye on my best buy list for all the options.

Fixed savings accounts picks as of 5/4/23

  • Allica Bank 6-month fix (4.1% AER fixed): min £10,000 / max £250,000
  • ISBank via Raisin 9-month fix (4.1% AER fixed): min £1,000 / max £85,000
  • Smart Save 12 month fix (4.51% AER fixed): min £10,000 / max £85,000
  • Al Rayan 18-month fix (4.57% Expected Profit Rate fixed): min £5,000 / max £1m
  • Al Rayan 24-month fix (4.62% Expected Profit Rate fixed): min £5,000 / max £1m

Best rates for “ISA season”

There are only a few days left to add up to £20,000 to ISAs for the 22/23 year, but you’ll be able to add up to another £20,000 from Thursday 6 April – though only if you need to.

The fastest payments are often by debit card, though your bank might have a daily limit that’s less than the total you want to add.

If you’ve been with Yorkshire Building Society for more than a year you can get 4% on a limited access account, but only up to £20,000. Above this, it’s 3.5%. Only six withdrawals are allowed per year without an interest penalty.

The top two fixed-rate ISAs from my video last month have now gone, but others have replaced them with similar rates. Santander is also offering £50 if you transfer at least £10,000 across to one of its fixed cash ISAs.

ISA picks as of 3/4/23

Lifetime ISA picks as of 3/4/23

  • Moneybox (3.5% AER, drops to 2.75% after one year): min £1

Where to put your savings in April 2023

Below are my “simple” tips – the accounts that’ll give you the highest rates, though make sure you check for updates in my regularly updated savings best buy article,

Of course you might be able to fix your money for better rates. The same goes if you’re happy to have your money in lots of different places. And you might have existing accounts closed to new customers with better rates. But if you just want one or two accounts, these are the ones I’d go for right now.

Best places to save up to £5,000

The highest paying option for the first £5,000 is the Barclays Blue Rewards Rainy Day Saver via a current account.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
£5,000Barclays Blue Rewards Rainy Day Saver5.12%Can only earn interest on the first £5,000 saved and requires two direct debits a month to cancel out a £5 monthly fee

Best places to save above £5,000

Again, going on the idea of keeping things simple, I’d next look at an easy access account without any restrictions. If you wish to have more accounts with higher rates but limits then you could look at the Santander Edge or Yorkshire Building Society Rainy Day Saver.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Up to £85,000Chip3.55%

Best places to save extra each month

If you’re looking to save every month then it’s worth looking at a regular or monthly saver. The top paying ones all require a current account, but I’d go for the Club Lloyds Monthly Saver over the higher paying First Direct account one as you can pay in more each month, plus you get free cinema tickets or Disney+ on top.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Up to £400 a monthClub Lloyds Monthly Saver6.25%Requires a current account, fixed for 12 months

Best places to avoid tax on interest

If you’re going above your Personal Savings Allowance (or don’t have one), then you can obviously save up to £20,000 in an ISA and £50,000 in Premium Bonds. I’m assuming you don’t need access to this money.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Up to £20,000 (more if transferred)Santander 1 year fixed ISA4.15%Requires a current account

Best ethical savings option

The easy shorthand is to go for a building society account, though Tandem also claims to be building a green bank and has the best rates

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Up to £250,000Family Building Society easy access3.26%

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