M&S Bank has nearly halved the interest rate on its previously market-leading regular saver account, from 5% to 2.75% AER.
Existing account holders will continue to earn 5% until their 12-month term is up. But other savers looking to build up their savings pots will have to look elsewhere for the best regular savings rate.
Here we explain the best rates for regular savers now and alternative ways to save if you still want a rate of 5%.
The top three regular savings accounts all pay 3%.
|Account||Interest rate (AER)||Min/max monthly deposit||Term||Account opening||Terms|
|Kent Reliance One-Year Regular Savings Account||3%||£25/£500||One year||Branch||Missed payment means account closed and transferred to easy-access savings account.|
|Monmouthshire Building Society Celebration Regular Saver Bond||3%||£20/£300||One year||Branch||No withdrawals allowed. If you close your account before maturity, the account will not qualify for the 3% AER/gross interest rate. Any interest you have earned will be calculated at the variable rate of an Easy Saver account.|
|Saffron Building Society 12-Month Fixed-Rate Regular Saver||3%||£10/£250||12 months||Branch/post||Postal opening available to existing customers only.|
Source: Moneyfacts and Which? Money Compare. Correct as of 19 November 2019.
As you can see, the top rates on regular savings accounts at the moment are limited to being opened in a branch, so you may have to travel if you don't have one nearby.
Regular savings accounts require you to deposit money each month without fail - so they can suit savers who are just starting out.
These types of accounts offer impressive-looking rates, but it's important to remember your money is building up gradually, so the overall return may be lower than you expect.
For example, if you saved £300 a month to build up £3,600 over a year in an account offering 3%, you would earn £58.68 in interest rather than the £108 you might initially expect.
That's because the headline 3% interest isn't paid on the entire sum, as it won't have all been in the account for the full year.
In contrast, if you opened a standard savings account that allowed you to deposit £3,600 in one go, you could earn the headline rate on the lump sum from day one.
You will usually need to pay in a monthly sum and set up direct debits but you can get market-leading rates for your money if you can jump through these hoops.
The top accounts include:
We've set out the market-leading rates across easy-access and fixed-rate bonds and Isas.
Products with links will take you through to Which? Money Compare, where you can find out more details.
|Account type||Savings account||Interest rate (AER)||Minimum initial deposit||Terms|
|Five-year fixed-rate savings account||United Bank UK Five-Year Fixed-Term Deposit||2.36%||£2,000|
|Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa||United Bank UK Five-Year Fixed-Rate Cash Isa||2.01%||£2,000|
|Four-year fixed-rate savings account||Bank of London & the Middle East Four-Year Premier Deposit Account||2.1% (EPR*)||£1,000|
|Four-year fixed-rate cash Isa||United Trust Cash Isa Four-Year Bond||1.75%||£15,000||Transfers in only|
|Three-year fixed-rate savings account||Bank of London & the Middle East Three-Year Premier Deposit Account||2.2% (EPR*)||£1,000|
|Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa||State Bank of India three-Year Cash Isa Fixed Deposit||1.9%||£5,000|
|Two-year fixed-rate savings account||Bank of London & the Middle East Two-Year Premier Deposit Account||2.1% (EPR*)||£1,000|
*Expected Profit Rate. Source: Which? Money Compare. Correct 19 November 2019.
Many of the top deals right now are from Sharia-compliant providers. These firms offer an expected profit rate (EPR) rather than an annual equivalent rate (AER).
The rate is not guaranteed and could be adjusted at any time - although, at the time of writing, we have not heard of an instance where an advertised EPR has not been paid.
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.