How to switch your savings account

Savings accounts

How to switch your savings account

By Chiara Cavaglieri

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How to switch your savings account

Switching your savings account is easy and can boost your interest by hundreds of pounds a year. Here's how to find a new Best Rate savings account.

Compare the best cash Isa and savings rates

The first step to take is to look at what interest rate you're currently earning and how much more you could earn if you switch. 

Which? is here to help. The Which? savings and Isa comparison tables let you search all available savings accounts and Isas from all available providers to choose the best savings rates based on quality of service as well as cost and benefits.

Which? Money Compare tables: Savings accounts and cash Isas - compare hundreds of deals

Decide which type of account you need

Our Best Rate Savings and Isa tables show the top interest rates for savings accounts and cash Isas, whether you want an instant-access account or a fixed-term deal. Bear in mind that interest rates are expected to rise, so a long fixed-term deal might mean you miss out if better rates becomes available in future years.

If you're currently locked in to a fixed-term deal but there's a better rate available elsewhere, it may work out cheaper to wait for the current deal to expire before switching. Even if your provider allows you to cancel early, penalty charges may wipe out any potential gains.

You may also be able to earn more interest if you can commit to regularly putting money away each month into a regular savings account. Remember, many of the best accounts are tied to other financial products, such as current accounts. 

Find out more: Savings accounts explained - explore the different types of account available

Transfer your money to your new account

Once you've opened your new account, it's time to transfer the funds from your old account.

If you're transferring an Isa, there's only one way to do it: fill in a transfer form with your new Isa provider. Many providers allow you to do this online. Once you've sent off the form, your new provider will get in touch with your old provider to make the arrangements. 

The transfer process should be complete within 15 working days.

Find out more: How to transfer your cash Isa - our handy guide explains the process

If you're transferring a savings account, you'll need to check what your options are with your current provider. Some providers allow you to make a BACS transfer straight to your new account. Others will require you to transfer the money to a current account first. It may also be possible for your new provider to initiate a Direct Debit from your old account.

Keep tabs on your interest rate

Once you've switched savings accounts, don't rest on your laurels. If the new savings account has an introductory bonus, make a note of when it ends, as you may need to switch again. 

Your provider may write to you with reassuring language like 'you don't need to do anything' - but if you don't switch, you could be missing out on interest. If it's a variable rate account, keep an eye on your rate to make sure it stays competitive.

Which? Money Compare tables: Savings accounts and cash Isas - compare hundreds of deals

  • Last updated: September 2016
  • Updated by: Chiara Cavaglieri