What are the best savings account rates in 2018?

We round-up the best savings accounts for the year.

Cash Isa rates are starting to creep up. Leeds Building Society has a new version of its Online Access Isa, which goes into joint first place in the cash Isa savings tables, paying 1.16 per cent. It is joined by Paragon Bank, with its Limited Issue Easy Access Isa also paying 1.16 per cent. 

AA Savings Easy Access cash Isa also pays 1.16 per cent, but the rate includes an initial bonus which runs out after a year when the rate drops to a lowly 0.2 per cent.  

On fixed rate cash Isas Leeds Building Society is now offering 1.45 per cent for one year, followed by Virgin Money, which is paying 1.41 per cent. For two years Aldermore Bank and Leeds Building Society lead the way, paying 1.65 per cent.

On taxable accounts the top easy-access rate is 1.32 per cent from AA Savings. The rate is boosted by an initial bonus of 1.12 percentage points payable for the first twelve months only after which the rate drops to 0.2 per cent.  

Elsewhere, Tesco Bank has raised its rate on its Internet Saver for new customers to 1.3 per cent, including a one-year bonus after which the rate drops to 0.55 per cent.  RCI Bank pays 1.3 per cent on its Freedom Account with no bonus boosting the rate. 

You can earn 1.9 per cent fixed for one year with app-based Atom Bank or 1.8 per cent from internet banks Aldermore, Investec and Oaknorth.  

For two years Atom Bank pays 2.1 per cent.  Family Building Society pays the next best rate for two years at 2.06 per cent. The rate is not fixed, but linked to base rate. If it rises, then so will your return. 

How to beat inflation

To beat inflation, currently running at 3.1 per cent, compromises need to be made as all of the small number of regular savings accounts that pay more than inflation require savers to have a current account with the provider. Our sister publication Moneywise regularly keeps tabs on the savings market and has found there are six accounts that currently beat inflation.

-UK inflation: where’s it heading in the long term?

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