What is the best savings account for you?

With so many different types of savings accounts, it’s difficult to know the right one for you. This will depend on your individual needs and requirements, including how frequently you can put money away and whether you are likely to want access to your savings. Here’s a quick explanation of the main types of savings accounts we provide.

Popular types of savings accounts are:
  • Cash ISAs
  • Instant access savings accounts
  • Easy access savings accounts
  • Limited access or notice savings accounts
  • Fixed rate savings accounts
  • Lifetime ISA
  • Help to Buy: ISA
  • Regular savings accounts
  • Children's savings accounts

A Cash ISA is an Individual Savings Account and is a tax free* way of saving and is essentially the same as a normal savings account except the interest won’t count towards your Personal Savings Allowance. There are many types of Cash ISAs, such as instant access, notice, or fixed rate. View the range of Cash ISAs that we have available at the moment. To open a Cash ISA you need to be at least 16 years old.

Why choose a Cash ISA?

  • Cash ISAs are tax free and your interest earned does not count towards your Personal Savings Allowance
  • You can open a Cash ISA from the age of 16
  • If you are likely to want to change your ISA provider then ISA rules state that you can transfer money that you have saved in previous tax years into a new ISA without affecting its tax free status. You can also switch ISAs whenever you want to. 

Things to consider with a Cash ISA

  • You can't open multiples of the same type of ISA with different providers in the same tax year
  • You must consider the £20,000 yearly ISA limit as this means that you cannot deposit more than this amount into all forms of ISAs each tax year. You can have more than £20,000 savings in an ISA from a previous tax year but the current tax year ISA limit for 2019/20 is £20,000
  • Some ISAs are not 'flexible' which means that you are not able to withdraw cash from your ISA and then replace it within your £20,000 tax year ISA allowance.
  • If you do decide to switch ISA provider then your current provider may charge you or you could lose interest. Read the terms and conditions of the account before you apply if this is something that you think you may want to do in the future.

View the range of Cash ISAs or find your nearest branch to book an appointment to open one.

Instant access accounts allow withdrawals to be made quickly and easily without notice or immediate penalty. These are similar to the easy access accounts with the only difference being that instant access are within a branch environment and the customer will be able to instantly have physical access to their money as opposed to easy access where the access is instant, but online. So if you think you may need to withdraw some of your savings then an instant access savings account is ideal if you regularly visit a branch. You can find out more about our instant access savings accounts or visit our branch finder

Why choose an instant access savings account?

  • Instant access accounts are great for someone who wants to save and have somewhere to put their money but will also need access to it from time to time. If you want to save but know that occasionally you need to dip into your savings, an instant access account could be a good option for you. 

Things to consider with an instant access savings account

  • Instant access savings accounts are branch based and if you need your cash you will need to be able to visit the branch during opening times to withdraw
  • Instant access savings accounts will usually have lower interest rates than accounts where you cannot access your money as easily 

View the instant access accounts that we have currently or find your nearest branch to speak to us about an account. 

Easy access accounts allow withdrawals to be made quickly and easily without notice or immediate penalty for non branch based accounts where you can't withdraw in cash. These accounts will usually have lower interest rates than accounts that do not allow you to withdraw your money. 

Why choose an easy access savings account?

  • Easy access is great for someone who wants to save and have somewhere to put their money but will also need access to it from time to time, especially if you do a lot of online banking and transactions. If you want to save but know that occasionally you need to dip into your savings, an easy access account could be a good option for you. 

Things to consider with an easy access savings account

  • Easy access savings accounts are usually online and you will have to be comfortable with online banking in order to utilise these easily 
  • Easy access savings accounts will usually have lower interest rates than accounts where you cannot access your money as easily

Instead of having instant access to your savings, with limited access or notice savings accounts you usually have a set number of withdrawals a year and requires a set number of days’ notice before you can withdraw money. This can be 30, 60 or 90 days notice, so these accounts are ideal if you can plan when you will need your money. There is sometimes an option to take out your money immediately, but you will be charged an interest penalty for this. Take a look at our limited access savings accounts.

Why choose a limited access or notice savings account?

  • If you want a deterrent from withdrawing from your savings account then this is an account which can do that as you have to give notice when you'd want to withdraw money. 

Things to consider with a limited access or notice savings account

  • You won't have easy or instant access to your money. 

View our range of limited access accounts or find your nearest branch

Fixed rate savings accounts

A fixed rate account is when the interest rate on your savings account stays the same until a specific date. If you can afford to lock your cash away for a set period of time then a fixed rate savings account can offer you better return on your money. But you can’t usually access your cash during this time, and if you do the penalties can be high. Check out our fixed rate savings accounts.

Why choose a fixed rate savings account?

  • Fixed rate accounts will often pay higher interest rates, increasing the longer the term
  • The interest rate is fixed at the time you open your account, so you have a guaranteed return
  • You'll know what interest rate you will be receiving until a specific date. 

Things to consider with a fixed rate savings account

  • There’s no guarantee that the current difference between our fixed rates and general rates will continue. General interest rates may fall below or rise above the fixed rate
  • If your fixed rate savings account is an ISA then usual ISA limits will apply
  • You will not have easy or instant access to your money and if you do want to access it there may be penalties or charges. 

Check out the fixed rate accounts that we currently offer or find your nearest branch to speak to someone about opening an account. 

The Lifetime ISA is an account that can be opened between the ages of 18 and 39 and is for first home or retirement savings where the Government will top up savings with a 25% bonus up to £1,000 a year. The maximum deposit each tax year is £4,000 and you can continue to save into this account until you are 50, still receiving the 25% bonus but you won’t be able to access the savings until you are 60 unless using for a first home purchase.

Why choose a Lifetime ISA?

  • If you are saving for your first home or retirement and would like a boost in your savings then the Lifetime ISA gives you an extra 25% from the Government on top of your savings
  • You also receive interest as well as the Government bonus
  • The Lifetime ISA has two uses; first time home and retirement savings
  • You can continue to use the account after a first home purchase and save for retirement still receiving the bonus until you are 50 and then earning interest on the funds until you are 60
  • The maximum yearly bonus you could receive is £1,000 and savers can keep adding to their savings until they are 50 years old, so those opening the account at age 18 could save a maximum of £128,000 and receive a bonus of £32,000
  • The Nottingham's Lifetime ISA is available to open in branch and online. 

Things to consider with a Lifetime ISA

  • You must be aged between 18 and 39 to open an account
  • You have to have held the account for 12 months before using your savings and the bonus for a first home deposit
  • To use this account for a first home you must be a certified first-time buyer which is someone who has never owned a property before, including a home outside of the UK. If you've inherited a property, or owned a share of one, you will not be classed as a first-time buyer
  • You must open an account with at least £10
  • The Lifetime ISA can only be used for a first home purchase or withdrawn when you are 60 for your retirement
  • You can deposit a maximum of £4,000 into your Lifetime ISA each year
  • You can save into the account until you are aged 50 but then cannot deposit anything else into the account after this age. You will continue to receive the bonus until you are 50 but then cannot withdraw the money until you are 60. You will still earn interest over these 10 years on the money that is in the account. 

Apply for our Lifetime ISA online here or find your nearest branch

The Help to Buy: ISA, which is a special kind of Cash ISA will also give 25% bonus on top of savings but only to the maximum value of £3,000 which is transferred to you after you have completed on your house purchase. You can open a Help to Buy: ISA at age 16. You can save however much you would like in a Help to Buy: ISA, subject to ISA limits, but you must have at least £1,600 in the account to qualify for the Government bonus and the bonus is only paid on the first £12,000 of savings. Once opened, you can deposit £1,200 in the first month and £200 a month thereafter.

Why choose a Help to Buy: ISA?

  • The Government will top up Help to Buy: ISA savings by 25% for first-time buyers
  • A Help to Buy: ISA can be used as soon as you have at least £1,600 in the account unlike the Lifetime ISA 12 month limitation so this is a consideration if you are wanting to buy a house less than a year after starting to save. Therefore the minimum bonus payable is £400 
  • You also receive interest on this account as well as the Government bonus. 

Things to consider with a Help to Buy: ISA

  • Monthly deposits are limited to £200 after the first month's allowance of £1,200 
  • The 25% bonus is payable after completion of the house purchase and therefore cannot be used for the exchange deposit
  • You must be a certified first-time buyer, as with the Lifetime ISA above
  • The bonus payable with Help to Buy: ISA is on the maximum savings of £12,000 therefore the maximum bonus is £3,000. You can save more than £12,000 into your account but you will only receive the bonus on the first £12,000 of savings
  • The Help to Buy: ISA is being withdrawn from the 30th November 2019 and will not be taking any new accounts from this date
  • The Nottingham's Help to Buy: ISA is only available in branch.

Apply for our Help to Buy: ISA in your nearest branch

Regular savings accounts

This savings account is for those who can regularly put away cash on a monthly basis - a regular savings account rewards savers for putting money aside - regularly! Check out our regular savings accounts here. 

Why choose a regular savings account?

  • These accounts tend to offer higher interest rates but can impose strict rules, such as access to funds.

Things to consider with a regular savings account

  • The maximum amount you can save each month varies from £100 to £500 and withdrawals may be limited, but as a result regular savings accounts may provide higher interest rates
  • While regular savings accounts may offer impressive rates, it’s important to remember that because your money will be building up gradually, your overall return might be more modest
  • You may not have easy or instant access to your money and if you do want to access it there may be penalties or charges 
  • This means that if you have a large amount of money to put away a regular savings account might not be the best choice for you.

Apply for a regular savings account in one of our branches.

Children’s savings accounts

Children’s savings accounts are a great way of encouraging young ones to save from an early age or for parents, grandparents, guardians or friends to save for their future. With our Robin Hood Young Saver account, children can get a series of moneyboxes as they save more.

We also offer a Junior ISA, which is a long-term tax-free savings account for children. You can open our Junior ISA with just £1. To open a Junior ISA the child must be under the age of 18 but if the child is 16 or 17 they can open the account themselves. From ages 0 to 16, a Junior ISA must be opened on the child's behalf by a 'registered contact', which must be someone who has parental responsibility for the child. Find out more about these accounts with our Junior ISA Guide.

Take a look at our children's savings accounts.

Comparing savings accounts can be a tricky business but we've tried to break each of the different accounts down to make it easier to understand. Here's a further breakdown if you have a specific account in mind that you'd like to open. 

Best savings accounts for kids

Getting kids into saving early is a great habit for them to create. We make it easy with our Robin Hood Young Saver paired with moneybox incentives for hitting savings targets. This is an easy access regular savings account based in branch and offers unlimited withdrawals. Great for popping Christmas and birthday money into and keeping those pennies safe. For longer term savings, a Junior ISA could be somewhere to save for your child until they are 18 and the money will then belong to them. This account has limited access and is subject to the Junior ISA limit which for the tax year 2019/20 is £4,368.

Best savings accounts for a baby

Similarly to kids' savings, a Junior ISA is a great place to put monetary gifts that babies may receive when they are born and for regular saving for them for when they are older. Read our Junior ISA guide for more information. 

Best savings accounts for 18 year olds

18 year olds can open all adult accounts that we have available here at The Nottingham. A Lifetime ISA could be a great account to open if they think that they would like to buy property one day. They could receive a bonus for the maximum amount of years as you can save into a Lifetime ISA from age 18 up until age 50. The Help to Buy: ISA would also be suitable if they are thinking about property as this also yields a 25% Government bonus like the Lifetime ISA. But, bear in mind to open a Help to Buy: ISA before 30th November 2019 if it is an account they are interested in. Compare the Lifetime ISA and the Help to Buy ISA here with our handy table and explanations. 

Cash ISAs and other fixed rate accounts are suitable for longer term savings that aren't for first home purchases and instant or easy access accounts would be best for an 18 year old who wants to be able to access their savings when they need to. 

Best savings accounts for couples

Similarly to the above, an ISA suitable for first time buyers could be relevant for a couple if they have not already purchased a house together. Both parties in a couple do not have to be first time buyers to benefit from the Help to Buy: ISA or Lifetime ISA bonus but at least one person in the couple has to be. For example, if one person has bought a house in the past the couple can buy together using the other first time buyer's bonus from the Lifetime ISA or benefit from the post-completion Help to Buy: ISA bonus. 

Alternatively, if a first time house purchase isn't relevant a wedding, holiday or moving home fund could be useful. A regular saver account could be useful for these types of savings as they tend to offer higher interest rates for funds that aren't accessed for a period of time. 

Best savings accounts for house deposits

If you are a first-time buyer and meet the other criteria then the Help to Buy: ISA or the Lifetime ISA are both good house deposit savings accounts as they both offer a 25% Government bonus on savings as well as interest too. If you are not first time buyers then a Cash ISA with a fixed term interest rate will help you to work out how much you will be able to save in a set period of time as you'll know how long your interest rate will be set for. A regular saver may not be the best choice as the monthly deposits may not be as high as you would like to save. 

Best savings accounts for pensioners

A regular saver may be a good option for small, monthly deposits that add up over time. An instant access account may also be a good account if they want to be able to access their money easy in a branch environment. 

Best savings accounts for a lump sum

Lump sum savings would be suitable for fixed rate accounts as you will know how much interest you will roughly be expecting due to the term of the account if you aren't wishing to withdraw from these savings. The Nottingham offer an Easy Access ISA which currently allows a £20,000 deposit. Bear in mind the ISA allowance when depositing lump sums of £20,000 or over. Read our ISA Guide for more information about this. 

  • You will not have easy or instant access to your money and if you do want to access it there may be

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* Interest will be paid free of UK income tax annually. The tax treatment of ISAs may change.

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