February 2024’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.

February’s savings update video

February’s savings news

Inflation set to fall to 2% this summer

The latest inflation is at 4%, surprisingly a little higher than the rate for the month before. This means you can now beat inflation with every type of savings account.

We’ll know next week how January’s rate compares, though it’s likely to be down to the lowest rate we’ve seen in a long time. And that’s set to continue with the Bank of England predicting it’ll fall to 2% by June – though then increase a little to around 2.75 by year end.

Even more huge cuts to fixes

If the base rate falls as a result of lower inflation, we’ll likely see more cuts to all accounts. However it’s fair to say many of the predicted base rate cuts have already been priced into longer term fixes.

The best three year fix is down 0.4 percentage points on last month and a huge 0.75 on two months ago. A one year fix isn’t far behind, dropping 0.33 points in a month and 0.63 over two. The top four and five year fixes are 0.5 percentage points lower than in December.

This table shows the changes to the best paying accounts at the time of writing, compared to my the same point in January this year and December last year.

Account typeBest rate 7 February 2024Best rate 10 January 2024Best rate 6 December 2023Change in percentage points (Feb to Jan)Change in percentage points (Feb to Dec)
Current account linked7%7%7%+0%+0%
Easy access (no limit)5.1%5.22%5.22%-0.12%-0.12%
Limited access5.15%5.15%5.16%+0%-0.01%
90-day notice5.4%5.4%5.51%+0%-0.11%
120-day notice5.25%5.35%5.5%-0.1%-0.25%
Open to all7%7%7%+0%+0%
6 month fix5.17%5.12%5.49%+0.05%-0.32%
9 month fix5.1%5.03%5.55%-0.07%-0.45%
12 month fix5.17%5.5%5.8%-0.33%-0.63%
2 year fix5.1%5.1%5.5%+0%-0.4%
3 year fix4.6%5%5.35%-0.4%-0.75%
4 year fix4.5%4.55%5%-0.05%-0.5%
5 year fix4.5%4.55%5%-0.05%-0.5%
ISAs (open to all)
Easy access ISA5.08%5.08%5.08%+0%+0%
1 year fix ISA5.25%5.25%5.65%+0%-0.4%
2 year fix ISA4.7%5.3%-0.6%
Lifetime ISA4.25%4.25%4.25%+0+0

Easy access rates about to fall?

Despite the removal of accounts at the top of the easy access tables, the drop has been smaller than on other account types. Indeed Ulster’s 5.2% is still around (but only to current account holders), while Cahoot’s account has the same rate (though only for up to £3,000).

However as the year goes on, these are likely to drop as soon as we get base rate cuts, now predicted to begin in June.

For some we know this for certain, with this month Chip changing the terms on it’s Instant Access account to follow the Base Rate minus 0.51%. So if the base rate falls to 5%, it means Chip’s rate will drop from the current 4.84% to 4.49%. Kroo already has a similar rate in place, though tracking at 0.9% below the base rate.

Meanwhile Tandem have announced the top-up bonus applied to most accounts will drop on 6 March from 0.35% to 0.25%, giving a headline rate of 4.9%.

And though you’d be losing out if you still have any money in the once table topping Virgin Money M Plus Savers, that bank has also said the rate will fall

So is this the start of things to come? Yes absolutely. Which means moving your money will become important once more to get the best rates.

Current account linked saver picks as of 7/2/24

  • Santander Edge Saver (7% AER variable, includes 2.5% bonus for 12 months): min £0 / max £4,000
  • Ulster Bank (5.2% AER variable): min £5,000 / max £1m (part of Natwest/RBS)
  • Barclays Blue Rewards Rainy Day Saver (5.12% AER variable): min £0 / max £5,000

Top loyalty easy access picks as of 7/2/24

  • Skipton Building Society Member Bonus Saver (5.5% AER variable includes 1.7% bonus for 12 months): min £1 / max £3,000
    • Only for Skipton members who joined before 11 January 2024

Easy access picks as of 7/2/24

  • Cahoot Sunny Day Saver (5.2% AER variable for 12 months): min £1 / max £3,000 (part of Santander)
  • Close Brothers Savings (5.1% AER variable): min £10,000 / max £2m
  • Cynergy Bank (5.1% AER variable includes a 1.1% bonus for one year): min £1 / max £1m
  • Leeds Building Society (5.1% AER variable): min £1,000 / max £1m

Limited access picks as of 7/2/24

  • Coventry Building Society (5.15% AER variable): min £1 / max £250,000 – 3 withdrawals a year
  • Virgin Money (5.07% AER variable): min £1 / max £250,000 – 3 withdrawals per year

Notice accounts picks as of 7/2/24

  • 2 months notice Monument (5.25% AER variable): 60-day notice: min £25,000 / max £400,000
  • 3 months notice FirstSave (5.4% AER variable): 90-day notice: min £100 / max £2m
  • 4 months notice Cynergy Bank (5.25% AER variable): 120-day notice: min £500 / max £1m
  • 6 months notice United Trust Bank (5.25% AER variable – tracks the base rate) 180-day notice: min £5,000 / max £1m

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

Savings pots added to two easy access accounts

Good news comes from Tandem and Kroo, who both now offer the opportunity to split your savings into separate pots, while still earning decent rates.

Fixed rates falling even faster

In November you could get 6% on a one year fix. Now the best is 5.17%. And the drops have been huge on other lengths too.

Remember, most fixed rate accounts will pay all the interest at the end of the term, so the longer fixes will very likely take you over your personal savings allowance, meaning you’ll be subject to tax on the excess. So check what’s best for you when you apply.

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 7/2/24

  • 6 months Allica Bank (5.17% AER variable): min £10,000 / max £250,000
  • 9 months Atom Bank (5.1% AER fixed): min £50 / max £100,000
  • 12 months My Community Bank via My Community Finance (5.17% AER fixed): min £1,000 / max £85,000
  • 18 months Charter Savings Bank via Hargreaves Lansdown (4.98% AER fixed): min £1 / max £1m
  • 2-year iFast Bank (5.1% AER fixed): min £0
  • 3-year Close Brothers (4.6% AER fixed): min £10,000 / max £2m
  • 4 year ISBank via Raisin (4.5% AER fixed): min £5,000 / max £85,000
  • 5 year ISBank via Raisin (4.5% AER fixed): min £5,000 / max £85,000

NS&I Premium Bonds cut

Back in December I shared how NS&I had met all the savings requirements as set out by the government, which meant we’d likely see cuts in 2024. And the big one was a reduction to Premium Bonds.

The prize rate is still high versus historical levels, but at 4.4% from the March 2024 draw (down from 4.65%) it means you’re going win less bigger prizes compared to recent months (of course that’s if you win anything at all).

Green Bonds cut again

A big blow to those hoping to save ethically. The rate on NS&I’s Green Savings Bond was reduced to 3.95% in early February, following a cut from 5.7% to 3.95% in the middle of November. This applies to new applicants only. The difference to other 3-year accounts is quite stark, so best avoided.

New “Christmas” regular savers

There are a couple of new Regular Savers to share, both open to all and designed to help people put money aside for Christmas this year.

Though both pay 6%, the best is from Furniss Building Society as you can add up to £500 and it’ll last a few year with the opportinity to make one withdrawal.

The other is for Yorkshire Building Society though this one matures at the end of October and limits you to £150 a month.

Lock in fixed regular savers?

If you are worried about rate cuts, then it’s worth noting most top paying regular savers are variable, so they could drop too. That means it might be worth locking in one of the fixed rate regular savers, such as the 7% account from First Direct or 6.25% paying one for Club Lloyds customers. Halifax and Principality BS both have 5.5% accounts that are open to all.

We’ve got a dedicated Regular Saver best buy article, so you can see further details and more rates there.

Regular Saver accounts for current account holders picks as of 7/2/24

  • Nationwide Flex Regular Saver (8% AER variable) – min £1 / max £200 per month (max 3 withdrawals per year, after which your rate drops to 2.15%. (Requires Nationwide current account – full review)
  • First Direct (7% AER fixed) – min £25 / max £300 (requires current account)
  • Club Lloyds (6.25% AER fixed) – min £50 / max £400 (requires current account)

Regular Saver accounts for all picks as of 7/2/24

Regular Saver accounts for existing customer as of 7/2/24

In case you missed previous savings account updates:

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

  • Nationwide’s 8% regular saver
  • Santander’s 7% Edge Saver

New ISA from Chip

It’s been a while coming, but Chip has finally launched a new easy access ISA. The rate of 4.75% is, however, disappointing. Zopa pays 5.08% right now and there are a number more that also beat Chip. Still it’s good to see another option out there.

Elsewhere rates have all dropped on all types of ISA.

We’ll update the tables (as we do every day) in our best Cash ISA accounts article.

ISA picks as of 7/2/24

  • Easy access Zopa  (5.08% AER variable)
  • Limited access Moneybox (5.09% AER variable) max 3 withdrawals
  • 1 year Virgin Money (5.23% AER variable) – requires current account
  • 2 years Zopa (4.7% AER fixed)
  • 3 years UBL (4.35% AER fixed)
  • 4 years UBL (4.05% AER fixed)
  • 5 years UBL (4.16% AER fixed)
  • Lifetime Moneybox (4.25% AER, drops to 3.5% after one year)

Where to put your savings in February 2024

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

The best rate is via Santander’s Edge Saver so it’s worth a look. But if you want to keep things simple, I’d look at using any of the accounts offer 5.1% for anything beyond this you need access to.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Between £2,000 and £4,000Santander Edge Saver7%£3 monthly fee
Between £5,000 and £85,000Leeds Building Society5.1%

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 Nationwide Flex Regular Saver, or lock in the fixed 6.25% via Club Lloyds.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Up to £200 a monthNationwide Flex Regular Saver8%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)Virgin Money 1 year ISA5.25%

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 decent rates. Beehive Money is part of Nottingham Building Society.

Amount savedAccountRateNotes
Up to £85,000Leeds Building Society easy access5.1%

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