From interest rates to access restrictions, there’s so much to consider when taking out a new savings account. Can I make withdrawals? Do I need to give notice on the account? Will I lose interest?

In this blog, we give you the lowdown on easy-access savings accounts. Keep reading to find out if this type of savings account would suit your needs.

Most of us want to make our savings work for us by earning interest. But we also need to have access to some of our money for unexpected expenses like car repairs.

With an easy access savings account you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Your money will be earning some interest and you’ll also be able to make withdrawals if necessary.

Many providers offer these kinds of accounts. It’s just a matter of doing a little research to discover which will suit you best. But, first, here are the answers to some of the questions you might have.

What’s an easy access savings account?

Quite simply, an easy access savings account is one that pays interest on the money that you have in it but doesn’t lock it away for a fixed period. Instead, you can make withdrawals when you need to. Many of these accounts can be opened with as little as £1 as an initial deposit. But the more money you have in one, the more interest you’ll be earning.

How does an easy access savings account work?

You can choose to pay in whatever amount you like as often as you like. Although most accounts do have an upper limit to the money you can hold in the account. You earn interest on the money in the account at the current rate. The total amount of interest is generally paid on the anniversary of when you first opened it.

Some accounts pay the interest monthly, but this is the exception, not the rule.

Making deposits and withdrawals depends on whether it’s an online or in-branch account. If it’s online, you’ll need to digitally transfer money, generally from a current account. Withdrawals are also paid into your nominated current account.

For in-branch accounts, you can also deposit cash or cheques into your account as well as make cash withdrawals.

What are the benefits of an easy access savings account?

The benefits are all explained in the name. It’s a savings account that gives you access to your money if you need it.

They’re generally simple accounts to set up and run. And they’re a good way to get into the habit of saving.

Having money set aside that you can easily access can also save you from having to use potentially more expensive forms of spending like a credit card.

Is there a limit to how often I can take money out of an easy access account?

This depends on the account in question. Some allow unlimited withdrawals without losing interest. Others only allow two or three a year. As a rule of thumb, however, the fewer the number of withdrawals allowed, the higher the interest rate you’ll enjoy.

What are the pros and cons of an easy access savings account?

Because these are generally variable interest accounts, the rate can go up if the Bank of England base rate rises. Equally, there is a risk that it might fall if the opposite occurs.

Also, while they are easy access accounts giving you the freedom to get hold of your money, there can sometimes be a delay of a day or two before a withdrawal reaches you. Not a problem if it’s not urgent, less good if it is.

Finally, if you can afford to tie up your savings, even if it’s just for a year, you will generally get a better interest rate from a fixed-term account than you will from an easy access one.

Need a bit more guidance when searching for the right savings account? Why not read the reviews left by our Smart Money People community?