March 2019: what are the best savings account rates?

With interest rates slowly back on the rise, we examine the best savings accounts and Isa accounts on offer in 2019.

Banks and building societies continue to offer new cash Isa accounts.  

The top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa pays 1.78% and is on offer from OakNorth Bank. Following closely behind is Shawbrook Bank at 1.77%, and Charter Savings Bank at 1.75%. 

The average rate on offer on one-year accounts is now 1.37%, up from 1.12% a year ago, research from date monitors Moneyfacts shows. For two years, you can earn 1.95% with Charter Savings Bank.

On easy-access cash Isas, the top rate is 1.5%, which is on offer from both Coventry Building Society and Santander.

With the Coventry account, the rate is boosted by a bonus for 12 months, after which the rate drops to 1.15%. With Santander, the top rate is on offer only to those who have a Select or World 123 account with the bank, and it lasts for only a year. Then, your money is transferred into the bank’s Isa Saver, which currently pays either 0.35% or 0.6%, depending on the size of your balance.  

The best rate without a bonus is via OakNorth Bank at 1.45%, followed by Shawbrook Bank at 1.43%, and Kent Reliance at 1.4%. Virgin Money also pays 1.45%, but it limits you to two withdrawals a year.  

On easy-access taxable accounts, Goldman Sachs’ Marcus account and Virgin Money both pay 1.5%, and The Family Building Society a whisker more at 1.51%.

The Marcus account includes a bonus of 0.15 percentage points for the first year, while Virgin Money’s Double Take online account limits you to two withdrawals a year. The Family Building Society’s Premium Saver has no bonus or withdrawal restrictions, but you can’t put any more money into the account after the cut-off date of 29 March.

The best rate on a straightforward savings account is via Shawbrook Bank at 1.43%, along with RCI Bank and Ford Money, both paying 1.42%.

The most that you can earn on a one-year fixed-rate bond is 1.96% from Close Brothers Savings. For two years, PCF Bank pays a top 2.26%.

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