Everything you need to know about notice accounts
Need a high paying savings account but don’t need immediate access to your money? A notice account might suit you. Find out more...
What is a notice savings account?
If you’re looking for a home for your savings and you know you won’t need to get your hands on the cash immediately, a notice account is worth considering.
As its name suggests, a notice account requires you to ‘notify’ the savings provider in advance every time you want to make a withdrawal.
The idea is that, in return, you get a higher interest rate than you would on a standard easy or instant access savings account.
The shortest notice period available is usually 30 days although some notice accounts require as much as 120 days’ notice.
Some notice accounts also restrict the amount of withdrawals you can make in any one year, so read the terms and conditions carefully.
How do notice accounts work?
Notice accounts work in a similar way to other easy access savings accounts – except when it comes to withdrawing your money.
You first choose your account, based on factors such as the interest rate it will pay and the notice period – that is, how long you’ll have to wait if you want to make a withdrawal.
You then sign-up for your chosen account and deposit your savings. There might be an initial minimum deposit, depending on the terms of the account.
When you want to make a withdrawal, contact the account provider and notify them you’d like to take your money – and how much you want to withdraw.
Terms will differ between providers, but once the notice period has elapsed, the money is usually paid into your current account.
You may be able to withdraw your money faster and within the notice period. However, there is likely to be a penalty charge for this, usually in the form of forfeiting interest on your savings.
How long will the notice period be?
It differs from bank to bank. The shortest notice period available is typically 30 days, although some notice accounts require as much as 120 days’ notice. Some notice accounts also restrict the amount of withdrawals you can make in any one year, so read the terms and conditions carefully.
Will I still earn interest during the notice period?
Check the terms and conditions of your account, but usually you will continue to earn interest during the notice period.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of notice savings accounts?
There are a few pros and cons to consider before signing up for a notice account. These include.
Higher interest. This is the main advantage for many notice account customers. The benefit for agreeing to lock your money away and not withdrawing it instantly is a better return on your savings.
Stops impulse withdrawals. A notice account prevents you taking money out on a whim, so if you’re prone to unnecessary impulse purchases it could help your longer term budgeting.
Regular savings. Unlike bonds or some fixed rate accounts which require one initial deposit, with a notice account you can usually continue to deposit money whenever you want. This means you can add more savings and continue to take advantage of the interest rate.
Short initial deals. Introductory offers – such as high interest rates – can expire after a relatively short period, say 12 months, after which time the account interest rate could fall to a low level. At this point you should look to switch your money to a new account.
Hidden terms. Although the terms won’t be ‘hidden’, there might be catches such as having a minimum balance before interest is paid. Read the terms and conditions fully before you sign-up.
Penalty for quick withdrawals. In the event you did need to access your savings – such as in an emergency - you could be penalised through lost interest or be forced to shut down the account. This is why it’s always good to have a notice account alongside other easy access accounts that you can use for day to day spending.
How do I choose the best notice savings account for me?
Before signing up for a notice savings account, consider these factors to help you make the best decision:
The notice periodCheck how much notice you’ll have to give the account provider before you can receive a payout. Make sure you’re comfortable with the rules.
Interest rate Compare interest rates with other savings accounts – not just notice accounts – to make sure you are getting a competitive rate.
Fees and charges While there might not be a fee for opening the account, check how you’ll be penalised if you need access to your money early, and any other restrictions such as the maximum number of withdrawals you can make in a given period. Minimum initial deposit Check if there is a minimum initial deposit requirement to open the account – and that it matches the amount you were looking to save.
Online access Being able to access and manage your account is important, so check it meets your expectations – such as having online access.
What are the alternatives to a notice account?
There are a few alternatives to a notice savings account. These include.
Easy access savings accounts allow you to deposit and withdraw money whenever you need. They might pay a lower interest rate for the easy access, but not always.
Fixed rate bonds
With a fixed rate bond, you agree to lock your money away for a given term and in return receive a fixed rate of interest. As with notice accounts, if you want access to your money before the fixed term ends, you’ll usually face a penalty charge – this typically will be in the form of lost interest.
Regular savings account
A regular savings account requires you to deposit a minimum amount each month for a set period, for example up to a maximum of £250 per month over 12 months. They often pay competitive rates of interest, but they cap the amount you can save each month. Usually you can’t access the money during the term of the deal.
A cash ISA is a savings account in the UK where the returns are paid tax-free. You can pay up to £20,000 into a cash ISA every year and they operate in similar ways to other savings with options such as fixed rates and easy access.
Compare savings accounts with MoneySuperMarket
MoneySuperMarket can help you compare savings accounts all in one place. You can choose to see all accounts, or easy access, fixed rate or cash ISAs from our panel of leading UK providers.
Accounts are ranked by interest rate, but at a glance you’ll also be able to see the minimum deposit, any notice period you’ll have to give, and how you’ll be able to manage the account.
Once happy with your decision just click through to the provider and open the account online.