With so many savings accounts and cash Isas on the market, and an increasing number of challenger banks launching their own products, it’s hard to tell which savings accounts actually offer not only the best deal but also fantastic service.
To help find out, we asked more than 5,500 people for their opinions on their savings provider, quizzing them on everything from the application process to interest rates and customer service.
Here, we reveal which providers came out on top, along with tips on how to choose the best savings account to suit you.
Best savings providers of 2019
In July 2019, we surveyed 5.536 people about their savings providers to see how they rated them across seven categories. These included how the provider handles complaints, whether they’ve received regular communications and how they’d rank the clarity of statement.
Of the 32 providers we asked people about, 14 scored above average in our survey.
|Marcus by Goldman Sachs||79%|
|RCI Bank UK||75%|
|Coventry Building Society||68%|
|Post Office Money||67%|
|Skipton Building Society||66%|
Save with a Which? Recommended Provider
Only providers that combine high customer satisfaction with products that meet our standards can become a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP).
This year, five brands have been awarded WRP status: Marcus by Goldman Sachs, RCI Bank UK, Paragon Bank, Aldermore and Shawbrook Bank.
In order to qualify a brand must:
- have a customer score of at least 70% in our latest customer satisfaction survey
- have at least one top 10 account
- have an average or above-average product analysis score.
Here’s what’s made the new WRPs stand out from the crowd, and what savings accounts they offer.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Marcus by Goldman Sachs got the highest customer score this year with 79%. Customers praised its application process and statement clarity particularly highly.
Having launched back in September 2018, the online-only Marcus by Goldman Sachs instant-access account has offered customers a consistently competitive rate, and has proved very popular.
This is currently the only account and service available in the UK, but there are rumours that the US financial giant has plans to expand in future.
Bear in mind that the savings account has a bonus rate; the 1.5% AER will drop to 1.35% after 12 months, at which point you may want to switch elsewhere.
RCI Bank UK
RCI Bank UK scored 75% in our customer survey, and was rated highly across most fields including its regular communication and interest rates.
Originally based in France, RCI Bank UK got its UK banking licence in March of this year, meaning savers are now covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This covers you up to £85,000 should the bank go bust, and should give savers extra peace of mind.
Paragon Bank achieved a customer score of 72% in our survey, and received four out of five stars for its customer service and interest rates.
Aldermore’s impressive score of 73% was down to customers rating it highly across all categories – great for those who value customer service and transparent charges.
Among the fixed and variable-rate accounts on offer, it has second-highest rate available on its 30-day notice account at 1.3% AER.
Achieving a high customer score and above-average product score, Shawbrook Bank customers like the rates of interest on offer and the transparency around charges they might face.
Its instant-access savings account offers 1.48% AER, just 0.02% short of the top rate, and it’s also in the top 10 for its instant-access cash Isa that pays 1.43% AER, and its five-year fixed-term savings accounts with an AER of 2.35%.
Things to consider before getting a new savings account
Before making a decision about where to save your money, bear in mind that the best savings account for one person can be very different for another. Here are a few things to consider before opting for a new savings account.
- Does it beat inflation? According to the latest figures, inflation was 2.1% in July – and that’s the interest your savings account should beat to prevent your money from losing value in real terms. You’re unlikely to find this kind of rate with any instant-access accounts, so you may have to consider locking your cash in a fixed-rate account for a few years.
- Are there any tricky terms? Many top-rate instant-access accounts include things like withdrawal restrictions and bonus rates, which mean you may not be able to access your cash as often as you’d like, or perhaps won’t be earning as much as you think. Make sure you check the terms and conditions before you sign up.
- Will there be any tax implications? If you opt for a savings account rather than a cash Isa, you may have to pay tax on the interest you earn if it exceeds your personal savings allowance. This will vary depending on your income; basic-rate taxpayers have an allowance of £1,000 per year, whereas higher-rate taxpayers have £500 and additional-rate taxpayers receive no personal savings allowance
- Does it offer the style of management you want? Tech-savvy savers might be after an online-only account with the latest tricks and features, yet other people may value an account where they can go into a nearby branch and talk to a human about their money. There’s no right or wrong way to take care of your cash, just make sure your provider can give you what you want.
You can search through hundreds of cash Isas and savings accounts with Which? Money Compare.
Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Money Compare is a trading name of Which? Financial Services Limited.