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.
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Natwest / RBS Digital Regular Saver (5.12%)
|Account name||Digital Regular Saver|
|Interest rate||6.17% AER (variable)|
|Max monthly deposit||£150|
|Min monthly deposit||£1|
|Max amount earn interest on||£5,000|
|Withdrawals||Easy access with no penalty|
|Requirements||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.
23 thoughts on “Natwest 6.17% Digital Regular Saver review – is it worth it?”
Had a look at the Chip account – if you are part of their free plan, they charge a 0.5% platform fee. So if you invest £5K for a month, you essentially get charged £25 – undoing the referral bonus. Hence I wouldn’t recommend subscribing to Chip for the sake of the intro bonus.
That’s investing rather than savings
how does this work 1% on spending on chase bank or 5% double round ups into a nat west regular savings ?
I can’t get my head around what’s best.
With the Natwest 5.12% Digital Regular Savers Account, assuming I’ve deposited my monthly maximum deposit amount of £150 pcm, do you know if I’ll receive interest on any money I pay into the Account via ‘Round Ups’?
I was going to ask the same questions and if you do can I do double round up on RBS Digital saver
Try the RAISIN platforms. Much better value. You can even put it away for only 6 or 9 months.
The most important part here is ‘Who can get this account?’
Odd that that’s not the first thing addressed.
I noted this in the terms from Natwest:
“If you close your account, you will not earn interest for the month of closure”
Therefore, if you do decide to close it, it’s going to be sensible to do so at the start of a given month. Another way around this would be to withdraw the bulk of the balance out, and leave say £1 in it. Then close the account with £1 in it during the month following that in which you withdrew the bulk.
Natwest seem to imply a minimum deposit of £1 monthly. Yet later on in their spiel they imply that once you get to £1000 that you can stop the Standing Order. So there is some ambiguity there.
I’ve reached £1,000 on both RBS and Nat West Regular Savers. Can I cancel the Standing Orders and leave the £1ks to earn the 3% interest?
The RBS regular saver has just gone up to £150 a month!
So you can get to the £1000 a lot quicker. After £1000 the interest rate now goes down to 0.25%
You can exceed the £50 a month limit, but it’s a lot of transactions!
“You can use Round Ups with Digital Regular Saver. Any money added from Round Ups won’t count towards your £50 per calendar month limit.”
Thanks Rod, good to know! The Chase Bank round up feature offers 5%, so a better bet if you also have that
rbs offers double roundups, so double the money at 3.8 vs half the money at 5% on chase.
Overall more money.
Previous rewards received. Thanks for update.
I look forward to your reply.
So at the end of 1 year and 8 months, I still will be putting in £50 a month, will I be able to, after it goes in, immediately withdraw the £50 and any interest earned so I can put that money elsewhere so my account balance never stays at more than £1000? Or would that be breaking a term/condition in there somewhere.
Yes that would be fine.
I’m struggling to see how a 3% interest rate on £600 is £9.88 and not £18 – if possible please could you shed any light on this?
Hi Karl, it’s because it’s a regular saver. You’re not putting £600 in all at once, it’s gradual (max of £50 a month). Here’s more on how these accounts work https://becleverwithyourcash.com/regular-savings-accounts-explained/
I have not tried it but the RBS site is quite clear
“There’s no minimum deposit to open the account, however you’ll need to set up a standing order from your Royal Bank of Scotland current account of between £1 and £50 each calendar month into the account. If you wish to put extra money into the account, the combination of this and your standing order cannot exceed the £50 per calendar month limit. There is no maximum balance limit, however, the higher interest rate will only apply to balances up to and including £1,000.”
With “no minimum deposit” it does sound like you could open with £1,000 then put in £1 per month to get max interest from day one
Hi Andy, I believe it’s possible to transfer the full £1000 in one transaction into the account once opened so you could possibly be receiving 3% on that total amount straight away without drip feeding it in slowly at £50 per month.
Thanks for this Andrew. I’ve checked the terms and conditions and it says the most you can put into the account every calendar month is £50, and anything over this will be moved to your current account. Have you done this?
This is the info I’m trying to find out. Did you manage to do this? Thanks
Unfortunately I haven’t attempted this, but have read on other forums about people who have. I’m more than happy to continue to drip feed the max £50 per month in for now.