December 2022’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.

December’s savings update video

December’s savings news

Fixed rates falling

Over the last few weeks the best buys on all fixes have been falling, and it could be that the peak has been and gone. For example a one-year fix reached 4.65% early in November but it’s now at 4.35%. Falls have been similar on two, three and five year fixes.

This is partly because rates jumped up when there were predictions that the base rate would hit 5% or even 6% next year. As that’s now looking less likely, the savings rates are reflecting it. Of course, you never know, what will happen, but if you have money you can fix, it could be worth grabbing a rate now.

You just need to be happy with the knowledge that things could go up or down again next year. Make sure you keep an eye on my best buy list of all the options.

Massive 7% regular saver from First Direct

On 1 December 2022, First Direct will double the rate on its regular saver from 3.5% to 7%. This will be for new and existing customers. You can save up to £300 a month for 12 months. Save the full amount and you’ll get £135 interest in a year.

New First Direct customers can also get £175 right now for switching to the bank. All the details on that offer here.

HSBC and Nationwide reg savers increase to 5%

Elsewhere, HSBC will increase their regular saver from 1% to 5%. There’s a cap here of £250 a month, so the max interest over a year will be £81.

Nationwide is also boosting the rate of it’s regular savers. The Start to Save account will be 5% (up from 3.5%), while the Flex Regular Saver will improve to 4% – though that’s still closed to new applications and Nationwide confirmed to me there are no plans to change this at the current time.

Again, both banks have switching offers right now worth £200! Details here.

Natwest and RBS regular savers increases to £5,000 balance

From 6 December 2022 you’ll be able to earn 5.12% on balances up to £5,000 in the Natwest Digital Regular Saver and its sister account from RBS. This is a huge increase from the current £1,000. However, the monthly deposit is still capped at £150, though you can save additional funds if you use the Round Up function.

If you keep the interest in the account, it’ll take two years and seven months of saving the full £150 to reach a balance of £5,000, which will include interest of around £370.

For those already with £1,000 saved in the account, it’ll be just over two years until you reach £5,000, which will include interest payments of around £300.

Once you hit the balance of £5,000 the rate on additional interest drops so it makes sense to stop paying any further money into the account. Of course, in two years time the offer could have changed again so it’s not something to worry about right now!

In last month’s update:

Check out November’s savings update for details on the following and more

  • HSBC 3% limited access saver
  • Chase interest rate hike disappoints
  • Lifetime ISAs reach 3%

Christmas regular savers pay up to 5.5%

Two building societies are offering limited Christmas regular savers. You can get 5.5% with Monmouthshire BS on up to £200 a month for a year, though applications are by post or in branch only. Or there’s up to £125 a month in the 5% paying option from Principality.

Santander Edge up to 3.55% joint accounts hack

The new Santander Edge account comes with an Edge Saver account offering 4% on up to £4,000 – though it comes with a £3 monthly fee. If you don’t use cashback on bills to cancel that out, it drops quite a bit, with only those saving more than £3,600 beating the 3% available from Virgin Money’s Cash ISA or HSBC’s Online Bonus account. My full analysis of the Santander Edge account is here.

However, those with a joint account are able to open two Edge Saver accounts, so the impact of the fee can be reduced. You’ll still need more than £3,600 across both accounts to beat 3%, but it gives you the potential to earn more than this on up to £8,000.

Here’s how the “real” interest rate looks if you do this.

Amount savedAnnual InterestInterest after £36 feeEffective interest rate
£4,000.00£160.00£1243.10%
£4,500.00£180.00£144.003.20%
£5,000.00£200.00£164.003.28%
£5,500.00£220.00£184.003.35%
£6,000.00£240.00£204.003.40%
£6,500.00£260.00£224.003.45%
£7,000.00£280.00£244.003.49%
£7,500.00£300.00£264.003.52%
£8,000.00£320.00£284.003.55%
If you have two Edge Saver accounts linked to one joint Edge current account

Cash ISA hits 3%

If you have a Virgin Money current account then this 3% paying ISA is a great option as it beats all easy-access accounts. However you can only add up to £20,000 across all your ISAs in a financial year, which includes payments to Lifetime ISAs and investment ISAs.

Raisin bonus ends

The £30 bonus available to first-time customers of savings platform Raisin via this link ends on 30 November 2022. You’ll need to open an account by this date and save £10,000 for six months to get the extra money. You will need to claim the bonus – how to do this and full terms and conditions can be found here.

The top options at the time of writing are:

Chip launches 2.55% bonus account

Chip is offering customers what it calls a market-leading rate of 2.55%. Technically that does match the rates from Tandem and Atom, though it can be beaten by Al-Rayan’s sharia compliant account (2.81%) and Cynergy’s existing customer account (2.75% – though you can open another account and then this to get it).

Even so, you have to be careful of Chip’s offering as the 2.55% rate isn’t an interest rate. Instead it’s a bonus. And this bonus has a few problems. First, it’s not protected by the FSCS, though your initial deposit is.

You also don’t earn a bonus on the bonus, so it won’t compound as it would with normal savings accounts. Plus to access the bonus you have to withdraw the full amount from your account first. So if you want to keep saving it there you’ll need to then pay it all back.

Chip changes prize draw eligibility rules

From 1 December you can no longer just add money to the Chip Prize Savings account at the end of the month and withdraw it a few days later and still be entered into the draw. Instead, entries under new rules will be based on the average balance over the month.

So to have the minimum £10, required for a single entry, you’d need to multiply this amount by the number of days in the month and have that as your average balance – at the very least. So for a month with 31 days, that’s a single or multiple deposits totalling £310 required.

You still also need to have at least £100 in the account on the last day of the month for any entries to be counted. Here’s my analysis.

Where to put your savings in December 2022

Make sure you check for updates in my regularly updated savings best buy article, and of course you might have existing accounts closed to new customers with better rates.

Of course you can fix your money for better rates, or if you’re happy to have your money in lots of different places you can mix and match the options. But if you’re looking for relative simplicity right now I’d look at the following easy access accounts:

Best places to save up to £5,000

The best 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 between £5,000 and £9,000 (possibly up to £17,000)

Next up I’d look to put additional income into the Santander Edge saver. There’s also the potential to open an extra Edge account as a joint account and get two more Edge savers with this. However the monthly fee will impact your interest so you’ll want at least £3,600 in accounts where this charge isn’t covered by cashback on bills.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Up to £4,000Santander Edge Saver4%Assumes £3 fee is cancelled out by cashback on bills
Up to £8,000Two Santander Edge Saver (via joint account)Up to 3.55%Opening an additional joint Edge current account means you can get two Edge Savers.

Best places to save more than £9,000 / £17,000

If you can’t do all or some of the Edge options, or for money after this then the highest place for the rest is HSBC’s limited access account at 3% or Virgin Money’s 3% ISA.

Beyond this are easy-access accounts without upper limits from Al Rayan and Tandem.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Up to £20,000Virgin Money ISA3%Requires a current account
Up to £10,000HSBC online bonus saver3%Rate reduces in months you make a withdrawal
Up to £100,000Al Rayan easy access2.81%Sharia account / Online only / min £5,000 to open
Up to £250,000Tandem easy access2.55%

Best places for ongoing savings

If you are saving money every month then these accounts will beat the above accounts. You could also drip feed from easy-access accounts to boost existing savings. Read more on regular savers here.

Max amount saved per monthAccountRateNotesMax annual interest
£300First Direct Regular Saver7%Current account required£135
£400Club Lloyds Regular Saver5.25%Current account required. Full review here.£135
£150Natwest Digital Regular Saver5.12%Current account required. You can save up to £5,000 and get 5.12% interest. It’s a flexible account so you can take money out and pay it back in. There’s also no set end date like with many regular savers£50
£150RBS Digital Regular Saver5.12%You can have both the RBS and Natwest accounts, though you’ll need a current account with both£50
£250HSBC Regular Saver5%Current account required£81
£250Halifax Regular Saver4.5%£73
£250Lloyds Regular saver4.5%Current account required.£73
£250Bank of Scotland Regular Saver4.5%Current account required.£73

Best places for locking savings away

If you are willing to lock money away for a set time then better rates are available in a fixed bond.

Length of fixAccountRateNotes
Six monthsAtom3.55%
12 monthsAtom4.35%

Andy’s podcast

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4 thoughts on “December 2022’s savings round-up & news

  1. Being new to the country, with a credit and pay history going back to Mar’22, would you recommend applying to First Direct regular saver (considering chances of being approved)? If not, can you recommend any other savings accounts and credit cards I can consider applying for, with greater chances of approval?

  2. Once you have accumulated the full £5000 balance in the Natwest and RBS regular savers the max annual interest would be £256 not £50 – think perhaps this hasn’t been updated from when the maximum balance on which you could earn interest was £1000

    1. This £50 is assuming you are starting from scratch rather than already having a balance built up and going from there

  3. Atom Bank have reduced their rates from those shown above.

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