Review of the week: Top easy access account

If you’re looking for a new savings account then Nationwide Building Society’s MySave Online Plus account could be ideal.

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It’s paying a market-leading rate of 2.99% but there are some catches you need to be aware of. We unpick this account so you can decide whether it’s the right home for your savings.

What is the deal?

MySave Online Plus pays a variable rate of 2.99%. This includes a fixed bonus of 1.45% gross which lasts for 12 months after your initial payment has been received. The boosted bonus rate will be available to both new and existing account holders.

How much do I need to open the account?

The minimum opening balance is £1,000 and, if you are lucky enough to deem it relevant, the maximum investment is £3million. Bear in mind that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will only cover the first £50,000 of your savings per institution – although this will increase to €100,000 (around £85,000) from 31 December this year.

How is interest paid?

Monthly and into a nominated account rather than direct into the MySave Online Plus.

Any catches?

Yes – and one fairly big one. The account only offers savers one penalty-free cash withdrawal every year. Make more than that and you will receive a much lower interest rate of just 0.10% in the month the withdrawal is made.

Even if you don’t make more than the one maximum withdrawal a year, savers will still need to be vigilant and be prepared to move their cash after 12 months when the bonus rate expires and your returns plummet.

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Do I need to be an existing customer with Nationwide to open the account?

No.  This is the first time Nationwide has offered an online savings account to people who do not also hold a current account with the building society.

How does it compare to similar accounts offered by other savings providers?

Very well. MySave Online Plus is sitting top of the easy access savings accounts tables - but bear in mind this it is not as flexible as many easy access deals because of the withdrawal restrictions. If you want to dip in and out of your savings at any time, you’ll need a deal that doesn’t penalise you for it. For example, the Post Office Online Saver is currently offering 2.90% (including an initial 12-month bonus of 1.25%) which allows unlimited penalty-free withdrawals.

Final verdict

MySave Online Plus is perfect for savers who probably won’t need to access their money for the next 12 months, but want an account that permits withdrawals, just in case, and allows them to make additional deposits. If you want more flexibility, this isn’t the best option as your annual return will be significantly lower than the 2.99% advertised rate if you make more than one withdrawal over the next 12 months. For example, if you make four withdrawals the annual return would actually be 2.54%.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct

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