March 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.

March’s savings update video

March’s savings news

Inflation stays at 4%

The latest inflation rate remained at 4%, avoiding a small expected increase. This means you can still beat inflation with every type of savings account.

We’ll know on 20 March how February’s rate compares, and the next day whether the Bank of England decide to cut the base rate or not.

Small increases to short term rates

We’re seeing a few increases compared to last month, but they are very small. And compared to just two months ago, the best buys are all still pretty much down with only a handful of exceptions.

This table shows the changes to the best paying accounts at the time of writing, compared to my the same point in one month and two months ago.

Account typeBest rate 4 March 2024Best rate 7 February 2024Change in percentage points (One month)Best rate 10 January 2024Change in percentage points (Two months)
Current account linked7%7%+0%7%+0%
Easy access (no limit)5.12%5.1%+0.02%5.22%-0.1%
Limited access5.16%5.15%+0.01%5.15%+0.01%
90-day notice5.4%5.4%+0%5.4%+0%
120-day notice5.2%5.25%-0.05%5.35%-0.15%
Open to all7%7%+0%7%+0%
6 month fix5.17%5.17%+0%5.12%+0.05%
9 month fix5.15%5.1%+0.05%5.03%+0.1%
12 month fix5.26%5.17%+0.08%5.5%-0.24%
2 year fix5.1%5.1%+0%5.1%+0%
3 year fix4.64%4.6%+0.04%5%-0.36%
4 year fix4.5%4.5%+0%4.55%-0.05%
5 year fix4.53%4.5%+0.03%4.55%-0.02%
ISAs (open to all)
Easy access ISA5.1%5.08%+0.02%5.08%+0.02%
1 year fix ISA5.25%5.25%+0%5.25%+0%
2 year fix ISA4.7%4.7%+0%
Lifetime ISA4.4%4.25%+0.154.25%+0.15

Easy access rates still above 5.1%

It’s still possible to get more than 5.1% from a number of savings providers on easy access savings. Without any restriction at all the best is 5.12% from Close Brothers, while a double access account from Paragon pays 5.16%, and a £3,000 capped account from Ulster pays 5.2%.

That’s not to say rates haven’t fallen or been pulled – they have – but it shows as a new customer you can still get a decent rate.

And there are even higher paying accounts for those with a linked product such as a specific current account, with Santander’s Edge Saver at the top, though the 7% rate could be reduced by the linked current account’s monthly fee. Saying that, you can normally wipe that out with cashback earned on bills, and if not, a balance of £2,000 or more (up to £4,000) will give you at least 5.2%.

Don’t forget notice accounts too, which can offer a slightly higher rate up to 5.35% for shorter term periods such as 90 days / three months.

Current account linked saver picks as of 6/3/24

  • 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 6/3/24

  • 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 6/3/24

  • Cahoot Sunny Day Saver (5.2% AER variable for 12 months): min £1 / max £3,000 (part of Santander)
  • Close Brothers Savings (5.12% AER variable): min £10,000 / max £2m
  • Monument Bank (5.11% AER variable): min £25,000 / max £400,000
  • Cynergy Bank (5.1% AER variable includes a 1.1% bonus for one year): min £1 / max £1m

Limited access picks as of 6/3/24

  • Paragon (5.16% AER variable): min £1,000 / max £500,000 – 2 withdrawals a year
  • Virgin Money (5.11% AER variable): min £1 / max £250,000 – 3 withdrawals per year

Notice accounts picks as of 6/3/24

  • 2 months notice Monument (5.27% AER variable): 60-day notice: min £25,000 / max £400,000
  • 3 months notice BLME (5.35% Expected profit rate variable) 90-day notice: min £10,000 / max £1m
  • 4 months notice Cynergy Bank (5.2% AER variable): 120-day notice: min £500 / max £1m
  • 6 months notice Market Harborough Building Society (5.45% AER variable) 195 days notice: min £10,000 / max £500,000

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

Trading 212 offers 5.2% interest

I’ve had a lot of questions from you recently about savings from Trading 212, though until last week the simple answer was you can beat their rate with other accounts, so it’s not one to go for.

Now though the investing app has increased what you can get to 5.2%, which puts it at the top of the easy access accounts. So should you get it?

I’ve written in more detail about the pros and cons of using them for your savings, but the main headline is the money isn’t held in cash but is actually investing. Though it’s very low risk, it does mean you could lose some of your money.

And since you can get 5.2% or just below from a number of other accounts, or even beat it with a handful of loyalty accounts or regular savers, my instinct is to go elsewhere.

Also, something worth adding is that interest is still “interest” rather than investing income. Which means unless you’re holding it in the T212 ISA, the money you earn will count towards your Personal Savings Allowance.

Top interest from investment accounts picks as of 6/3/24

Fixed rates rally a little

There have been some slight improvements at the top of most fixed rates, but it’s marginal.

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 6/3/24

NS&I Premium Bonds cut

A reminder that since the start of this month, Premium Bonds now pay a lower 4.4% prize rate.

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

Nationwide reduces Regular Saver rate

Last month I urged you to lock in the best buy regular saver accounts in case we saw those rates fall, as we had on all other account types. Well, a few days later we saw Nationwide reduce the rate from 8% to 6.5% for new customers on the Flex Regular saver.

And later in the month the new “Christmas” regular savers from a couple of building societies were also pulled (though that’s more likely because they have an obvious end point).

There’s still a chance we could see reductions on the other best buys, so do see if one will work for you. We’ve got a dedicated Regular Saver best buy article, so you can see further details and more rates there.

The cut to Nationwide takes it off the top of the table, but it’s still worth a look if you are a Nationwide current account customer.

New Co-operative Bank regular saver

Anyone with a Co-operative Bank current account can now get access to a Regular Saver paying 7%. That puts it joint on the table with First Direct and Gatehouse, however those two still have the edge if you’re not already a Co-op customer.

For a start the rate is variable, whereas the FD one is fixed. So you’re guaranteed to keep this rate for 12 months there, though it could change for Co-op. You can also deposit £300 for FD, but a lower £250 for Co-op. So assuming you can afford the extra £50, FD will earn more interest in total too.

The issue with both FD and Co-op is they require you to have a current account, whereas the Gatehouse one doesn’t. So if you’re not already a customer of either, you might prefer to go for the Gatehouse option. Though that too is variable, it does allow up to £300 added a month.

Regular Saver accounts for current account holders picks as of 6/3/24

  • First Direct (7% AER fixed) – min £25 / max £300 (requires current account)
  • Co-operative Bank Regular Saver (7% variable) – min £1 / max £250 a month (requires a current account)
  • Nationwide Flex Regular Saver (6.5% 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)
  • Club Lloyds (6.25% AER fixed) – min £50 / max £400 (requires current account)

Regular Saver accounts for all picks as of 6/3/24

  • Gatehouse Bank Regular Saver (7% expected profit rate variable) – min £1 / max £300 per month
  • Halifax Regular Saver (5.5% AER fixed) – min £25 / max £250 a month

Regular Saver accounts for existing customer as of 6/3/24

In case you missed previous savings account updates:

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

  • Santander’s 7% Edge Saver
  • Premium Bond cuts

Tembo and Moneybox boost Lifetime ISAs

Some big changes at the top of the Cash Lifetime ISA tables. First, Nude was taken over by Tembo, who boosted the rate to 4.3% and removed the monthly fee. Then Moneybox responded by going a little higher, to 4.4%. However this does include a 0.9% bonus for the first year, so Tembo might be a better long term option.

Chip increases rate on easy access

Chip has just upped the easy access Cash ISA rate to a table topping 5.1%. It’s flexible, so you can take money in and out, though it’s not currently accepting transfers (there are plans to add this feature).

Since the end of the financial year is only a month away I expect we’ll see some improvement in rates across all ISA types, or offers to encourage you to transfer, so keep an eye on the tables (we update them every day) in our best Cash ISA accounts article.

ISA picks as of 6/4/24

  • Easy access Chip (5.1% AER variable)
  • Limited access Moneybox (5.11% AER variable) max 3 withdrawals
  • 1 year Virgin Money (5.25% AER variable) – requires current account
  • 2 years UBL (4.7% AER fixed)
  • 3 years Aldermore (4.5% AER fixed)
  • 4 years UBL (4.05% AER fixed)
  • 5 years UBL (4.16% AER fixed)
  • Lifetime Moneybox (4.4% AER, drops to 3.5% after one year)

Where to put your savings in March 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 £85,000Close Brothers5.12%Rate drops after a year

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 £300 a monthFirst Direct Regular Saver7%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%Requires a current accout

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 £85,000Family Building Society5.04%Rate drops after a year

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