It’s hard to beat this high-interest rate on cash savings. But there are a few catches.
This monthly saver from Natwest (and also RBS) has had one of the highest interest rates since it launched in 2020 – but with a catch. The Digital Regular Saver is designed for those starting off their savings journey, and as such there’s quite a small monthly limit you can put away. Just £150.
But as rates begin to improve elsewhere, there’s been an increase in how much you can save. Here’s what you need to know and whether it’s worth it.
How much can you save in the Natwest or RBS Digital Regular Saver?
Since late 2022, the maximum you can earn interest on will be £5,000. This is a big jump from the previous maximum of £1,000.
But it’s not as simple as adding all that cash to the account in one go. You can save between £1 and £150 a month into the account (at launch it was just £50).
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 (including the accumulated interest payments)
For those already with £1,000 saved in the account, it’ll be just over two years until you reach £5,000 (again including interest paid each month).
Unlike other regular savers accounts it won’t close after 12 months so you’ll continue to earn interest on your savings beyond this. You can also keep adding money once you get to the £5,000 cap, but I wouldn’t bother.
Another difference to normal regular savers is that you can take the money out whenever you want, not just when it matures. But taking £150 out doesn’t mean you can put extra back in. That £150 monthly deposit limit stays at £150 regardless.
The only way to add more than the £150 each month, and get to that £5,000 sooner, is to use a round-up function on your debit card. More on how this works here.
How much money can you earn?
From 14 February 2023, the account pays a huge 6.17% AER. If you save the full £150 a month for the first year that’ll net you £60 in interest. Keep going until you reach £5,000 and the total interest will have been around £380.
However any new deposits will earn far less. Money saved beyond £5,000 will only earn 0.65%. This can easily be beaten elsewhere. Confusingly if you do have more than £5,000 in the account it’ll show the combined interest rate on the app as your earning rate. Don’t worry about this – you’re still getting the full whack on the initial balance up to £5,000.
It’s worth noting the interest rate is variable. So though it’s 6.17% now, that could change at any time.
Who can get this account?
You can only open one of these regular savers if you have a Natwest or RBS current account. There are free ones, or you can look at the Natwest or RBS Rewards account (here’s my review).
How many accounts can you have?
There’s only one per person, which means you can’t get another, even as a joint account.
However the same account is offered by both Natwest and RBS, and you can open up an extra current account and then digital regular saver at the other bank to get two.
Natwest / RBS Digital Regular Saver (5.12%)
|Digital Regular Saver
|6.17% AER (variable)
|Max monthly deposit
|Min monthly deposit
|Max amount earn interest on
|Easy access with no penalty
|Must have a Natwest or RBS current account
|Must have a standing order of at least £1 every month from your Natwest current account
How to open an account
If you have an account you need to go to your online banking or app to open the saver. I did this via my app and it took just three minutes. There’s an “Apply” button on the bottom right, and then tap the savings option. It’s all self-explanatory from there.
You need to set up a standing order of between £1 and £150 from your Natwest account, though you can cancel this once you reach £5,000.
Should you open a Natwest Digital Regular Saver?
If you already have a Natwest or RBS current account then absolutely, it’s worth it. It’s one of the best rates out there (for now). And if you can, put the full £150 in there to reach that £5,000 as soon as possible.
But what if you don’t have one? Well, that depends if there’s a bank switching offer running. Often both banks offer up to £200 for switching (you can only get the cash from one). Add that to the £36 a year via the Reward account and the initial interest, and you’re making £296 in year one.
When there’s no offer, well… most of the switching deals have been open to existing customers. And even if not, you could get it from the RBS instead. So you could open the account now to get saving on the Digital Saver and hope you can still get the switching cash later on.
Though there are better paying regular savers which might take priority, the big difference here is you will continue to earn interest on this one after 12 months. So in time it could be a better earner. Ideally you’d do both this and a strong competitor.
Of course, let’s not forget if you have a larger lump sum it’s better to prioritise opening up one of the best paying savings accounts.