Top current accounts for savers compared
High street banks are paying current account customers as much as 2% credit interest – better than most savings accounts – and you can open a bank account online in a matter of minutes.
Our first table shows the best deals for credit balances of £1,000 (click 'more info' to find out how to qualify for interest on the accounts). The second table shows the top bank switching offers.
If you want to maximise returns, read our step-by-step guide to opening multiple high-interest bank accounts below.
|Provider||Account name||Interest rate||Min funding per month||Perks|
Recommended providerNationwide Building Society
Nationwide will pay 5% AER on balances up to £1,500 for 12 months if you open a FlexDirect account from 21 June 2022. You will need to pay in £1,000 per month, not counting transfers from other Nationwide accounts or Visa credits. There is also a switching bonus available (£125 for existing customers and £100 for new customers).
5% up to £1,500 in year one (0.25% after a year)
|£1,000||Fee-free overdraft for a year|
|Virgin Money |
This account pays 2.02% AER on balances up to £1,000. When you open this account, Virgin Money will automatically open a linked savings account - the M Plus Saver - paying 1.56% on balances up to £25,000.
|Virgin Money M Plus||63%||2.02% up to £1,000||n/a|| |
No debit card fees abroad
Linked M Plus Saver paying 1.56% on up to £25,000
The 123 rate increased from 0.5% to 0.75% (on balances up to £20,000) from 20 June 2022. The account fee remains at £4 (was £5). You must pay in £500/mth, pay out two direct debits, and cover the monthly fee to earn interest on this account. This is the second rate increase of the year following multiple cuts since it launched in 2012 (the original 3% rate was halved to 1.5% in November 2016; fell to 1% in May 2020; was slashed to 0.6% in August 2020; and the 0.3% in April 2021; before going up to 0.5% in March 2022). Max two accounts per person (one must be joint).
|123||66%||0.75% up to £20,000||£500||1% to 3% cashback on bills paid by direct debit including Santander mortgages (capped at £5 per tier)|
Bank of Scotland
Classic with Vantage pays pay 0.6% AER on balances under £4,000 and 1.5% from £4,000-£5000. You won’t earn interest on any balance over £5,000. Vantage must be added to your account. Must pay in £1,000/mth, stay in credit and pay out two direct debits.
|Classic with Vantage||64%||0.6%||£1,000||Up to 15% cashback on card purchases at selected retailers|
Club accounts pay 0.6% AER on balances under £4,000 and 1.5% from £4,000-£5000. Must pay out two direct debits. Monthly fee of £3 applies in any month you don't pay in £1,500.
|Club Lloyds||66%||0.6%||£1,500|| |
Free annual gift (6 x Vue/Cineworld tickets, or mag subscription, or Gourmet Society membership)
Up to 15% cashback on card purchases at selected retailers
Earn 0.05% on balances up to £85,000. Managed predominantly via a mobile banking app, though it does offer online banking with limited functionality and you can use a Post Office to withdraw or deposit cash.
|Current||85%||0.05%||n/a||No debit card fees abroad|
Your purchases are rounded up to the nearest £1 and the spare change earns interest at 5%. You can’t make additional payments into the savings pot (only through round-ups on debit card payments) and after a year the balance will be automatically transferred to your Chase current account so you won't earn 5% on a large balance. The account has no monthly fee and offers a few other attractive perks: linked savings account paying 1.5% on up to £250,000; 1% cashback on debit card purchases for 12 months (exclusions apply e.g. cryptocurrencies, estate agent fees and gambling transactions); and no debit card fees on transactions or ATM withdrawals abroad. Must be 18+ and have a smartphone as accounts are operated via a mobile banking app and there are no branches. Cannot be opened as a joint account.
5% on 'round-ups'
1% cashback for 12 months
No debit card fees abroad
Linked Saver paying 1.5%
Data correct as of July 2022
Which? Customer Score: Our rating for customer satisfaction, based on feedback from real customers. The score is made up of a customer's overall satisfaction with the brand, and how likely they are to recommend that brand to a friend. We surveyed 4,438 members of the general public in September to October 2021. Our full table includes scores and star ratings for all banks.
Virgin Money M Plus 2.02% on £1,000
The digital banking service known simply as 'B' from Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank has been rebranded as the Virgin Money Current Account, following the £1.7bn takeover in 2018.
The Virgin Money account pays the top rate of 2.02% AER (2% gross) on balances up to £1,000 and you can apply for a linked savings account paying 0.35% AER.
There are also no foreign transaction fees when you pay with your debit card or take out cash abroad – charges can be as high as 3.75% for withdrawals and purchases so this is a big saving for regular travellers.
Unlike most providers, Virgin Money doesn't insist that you pay in a certain amount every month to earn interest and there's no requirement to maintain a minimum number of direct debits.
Find out more: Best and worst banks rated by customers
Nationwide FlexDirect 2% on £1,500 fixed for a year
Nationwide's FlexDirect account pays 2% AER on balances of up to £1,500, fixed for the first 12 months. Thereafter, the rate reverts to 0.25% AER on balances up to £1,500.
If you open a FlexDirect account, you won't pay any interest on any arranged overdraft for the first 12 months, but after this you'll be stung with a rate of 39.9% APR.
You can make payments with your debit card abroad without fees, but ATM withdrawals abroad incur a 2.99% fee.
Using multiple high-interest current accounts to boost savings
Given the poor rates of interest offered on savings accounts, many savers are opening multiple high-interest current accounts to maximise their returns.
The drawback with this type of account is that banks apply restrictions, such as minimum monthly payments.
However, we explain how you can work within these rules to beat the limits and make the most of your cash savings.
Step 1: Find the highest current account interest rates
Our table above shows you the best rates available on current accounts, along with the number of accounts you can open.
Step 2: Check the high-interest account requirements
Banks often set specific account requirements – such as fees, minimum monthly deposits and direct debits – to qualify for interest or to avoid paying a monthly fee on the account.
Each account limits the balance on which you can earn interest but, in most cases, banks will allow you to open a second main or joint account, essentially doubling that amount.
Watch out for accounts with tiered interest (where you get a higher rate for having a higher balance) as you must have a balance within the top tier to earn the top rate of interest. At lower tiers, these accounts become less competitive.
Step 3: Earn instant cash for switching
Before you start moving savings about, there's an easier way to save money.
Banks often offer cash incentives to attract new customers – in some cases more than £100 – and switching should only take seven working days.
Look out for conditions, such as depositing a certain amount, or using online banking services by a specific date.
Step 4: Open multiple high-interest current accounts
The number of accounts you'll need to open depends on how much money you're looking to save.
This is because accounts will only pay interest on balances up to a certain amount – see the notes on the table above. You want to make sure there's no 'excess' money sitting in accounts, but not earning interest.
Step 5: Circulate money between other high-interest current accounts
Most banks also require you to pay a certain amount into accounts each month.
Take a sum from your savings, equal to highest minimum deposit of the accounts you hold. So if you have three accounts, with minimums of £500, £1,000 and £1,500, put aside £1,500.
This sum will be continually circulated between these accounts.
Step 6: Deposit the rest of your savings in the other accounts
Divide the rest of your money between all the accounts, starting with the highest-earning account.
Once you've deposited the maximum sum the account will pay interest on, deposit money into the next highest-paying account and so on.
Step 7: Repeat step 5 each month
The easiest way to do this is to set up standing orders (instructions to your bank to pay a set amount at regular intervals to another account) so that the transfers take place automatically every month.
This means you meet the requirements of all the accounts and earn the most interest possible on the whole sum.
Find out more: Direct debits and standing orders – which is better for regular payments?