What is an easy access account?

Easy access savings accounts give you freedom to access your money - they can be subject to withdrawal limits, notice periods or a short wait before accessing your cash.

What are the benefits of an easy access account?

Here are just some of the reasons you might want to consider opening an easy access account:

  • Simplicity
    Easy access savings accounts are straightforward to set up and can be managed online.
  • Low start-up cost
    Some accounts can be opened with as little as £1.
  • Earn tax-free interest
    Save up to £20,000 per year with an easy access cash ISA and any interest earned is exempt from UK income tax.

What is the difference between instant access and easy access accounts?

For an account to be instant access it must offer the following:

  • You can take money out as cash
  • You can make unlimited withdrawals with no charges for taking the money out and there will be no loss of interest, loss of bonus or similar charge
  • There's no limit on how much of your money you can take out at one time

An easy access savings account also offers you the freedom to take your money out with a few differences:

  • There can be limits on the number of times you can take money out
  • There can be notice periods or a short wait when you want to take money out

This will depend on the product you choose.

How does an easy access account work?

You can open a YBS easy access savings account online by depositing as little as £1. Once you’ve opened your account, you can manage it online by making and viewing transactions, as well as checking your balance and interest rate. These can also be managed in a branch, agency or by post. You will be able to withdrawal money from your easy access account, subject to daily withdrawal limits. The features of your account will depend on which product you select, as we’ll cover later in this guide.

Many easy access accounts offer variable interest rates, so the amount you earn in interest depends on wider factors, such as the Bank of England base rate. A savings account with a Variable rate of interest means that the interest rate payable on your account can change and can move both up and down. Often an easy access account pays interest yearly, either on a date that you choose or the date the account was opened. Interest may be paid at different frequencies, check the individual product for more information.

What do 'AER', 'gross' and ‘tax-free' mean?

You might see the terms ‘AER’, ‘gross’ and 'tax-free' when choosing a savings account. Find helpful explanations of these terms and others in our Savings Glossary.

Is an easy access account right for me?

Whether you should take out an easy access savings account depends on your spending habits and future plans. If you’re looking to start saving, but still want the freedom to access your money for unexpected costs – anything from dental operations to car repairs – then easy access accounts provide welcome flexibility. You can deposit money whenever you like, so you can add to your savings over time. But if you have a long-term savings goal in mind, and you’re happy to lock away your money, there are lots of savings options available including a cash ISA or fixed rate bonds.

How do easy access accounts compare to other ways to save?

Easy access savings accounts can be attractive at different stages of life. If you’ve left school or university and you’re living ‘pay cheque to pay cheque’ but still want to save, easy access to funds can be a lifesaver – for example, if you relocate for work and need to pay the deposit on a rented property. What’s more, mid to later life savers can benefit from easy access accounts; you might have paid off the mortgage, or the kids may have left home, and you may suddenly find you’re ready for a round-the-world adventure!

But of course, there is never a bad time to start saving, and you may want to put your money away for longer. 

Take a look at the easy access accounts we have available if you think an easy access savings product could be a good option for you.