Be quick – it won’t be around for long
The best easy access savings rate in 14 years is available – but only for a limited time. Here’s how new and existing Santander customers can get it.
*UPDATE 12/9/23 – New applications for the account will close today – five days earlier than the original deadline*
How does the Santander Easy Access Saver work?
The new account from Santander is called the Easy Access Saver Limited Edition (issue 3). It pays 5.2% interest, but only for 12 months. After this the money will be moved into an Everyday Saver account – which will pay a fair bit less!
It’s a variable rate account which means the rate could well change in the year. Hopefully upwards, but there’s no guarantee it’ll move with future Bank of England base rate increases.
There are no restrictions on deposits or withdrawals, and you can both open and manage the account via the app, online, over the phone or in branches.
The minimum deposit is £1, and the maximum is £2m – but the interest is only paid on balances of up to £250,000. Bear in mind only £85,000 will be protected by FSCS, though that’s doubled for joint accounts.
You’re only allowed to have one of these in your name, whether personal or joint. However you can have previous issues alongside this (though at much lower rates).
When is it available until?
It’s a limited edition account, which means it’ll only be available to open for a short period. Though the official end date for applicants is 17 September 2023, it could be withdrawn earlier – something I think is incredibly likely.
Previous issues of the account with similar high rates (for that time) were also limited edition, and they also ended earlier than the published date. So don’t stick around if you want it.
** Update – the account will close to new applications at 23:59 on Tuesday 12 September 2023 **
Who can get Santander’s 5.2% paying account?
The account is open to everyone, regardless of whether you are already a Santander customer or not.
You do however need to be a UK resident and over 17 years old.
What if you already have a Santander easy access account?
This issue of the Easy Access account is a brand new account. If you have a previous issue it won’t automatically change to this new edition. Instead you’ll need to open up the new one, and then transfer your money across.
Will you pay tax on your interest?
As rates get better and better, there’s an increased chance you’ll pay tax on some of the interest earned. The personal savings allowance (explained here) is either £1,000 or £500, depending on your tax rate. This is how much you can earn before tax is taken on amounts over this.
With a rate of 5.2%, it means you’ll go over the allowance with a balance of £19,231 (as a basic rate tax payer) and £9,615 (as a higher rate tax payer).
How does it compare to other savings accounts?
Santander vs other easy access accounts
When it comes to easy access accounts with no restrictions, this 5.2% rate is clear of the rest by a decent amount. The next highest option (at the time of writing) is My Community Finance at 4.95%. A limited access account is available from Furness Building Society at 5%, but you can only access your money three times a year.
If you have £20,000 to save (and don’t need to access it for six months) you could use a promo code from Chip to get a £50 bonus on top of a 4.84% rate – though the Santander account still edges it based on that rate. You can see all the options here.
Certainly this account means it’s time to ditch the Barclays Blue Rewards Rainy Day Saver – though we can hope it forces Barclays to hike the rates it offers there.
Santander vs Santander’s Edge Saver
However, if you have £4,000 or less you can beat the rate – and that’s also with Santander. Their Edge Saver account pays 7% on balances of up to £4,000. This sounds amazing, but it’s not the whole story.
You need an Edge current account to open an Edge Saver, and that has a £3 monthly fee. Since you also earn cashback on bills you’ll probably find that fee covered in money back on bills, but if not you need to factor that charge in to work out your real return. As long as you have more than £2,000 or so you’ll be getting at least 5.2%. Here’s my full analysis.
Santander vs regular savers
You could also consider a regular saver, with a handful of options paying 5.5% or more. Top of the list is the 7% regular saver from First Direct. You need a current account with the bank to open one, but there’s a £175 switch offer running right now which makes it well worth while. Here’s more on the best regular savers.
Santander vs fixed rate accounts
The big benefit of this Santander account is the easy access – but if you don’t need to get some or all of your cash, then a fixed rate bond will beat it. You can get 6.1% in a nine-month fix and 6.2% in a one year fix. The top paying options are listed in our best buy table.
If you have savings you need to get hold of it’s worth grabbing this while you can. Just remember to move your money after a year (if not before – keep an eye on other rates to see if they beat it).
Santander Easy Access Saver Limited Edition (issue 3)
|Interest Rate||5.2% AER variable (for 12 months only)|
|Max balance||£250,000 (for interest)|
|Requirements||You must be at least 16 years old and a UK resident|
|Applications close||17 September 2023 or earlier|