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Notice accounts may be one of the best places for your savings when you are able to give notice of your intent to withdraw funds. If you would like more information about notice accounts read our guide below.

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A guide to notice accounts

Leanne Macardle

Leanne Macardle

Editor
Published: 30/01/2019

At a glance

  • Notice savings accounts require you to give notice to your savings provider before you can withdraw your funds.
  • They typically pay variable rates of interest, and tend to pay higher rates than easy access accounts.
  • Notice periods typically range from a few weeks to several months.
  • A notice account can offer a valuable compromise between higher returns and short-term access.

What is a notice account?

Simply speaking, a notice account is a type of savings product that allows you to gain access to your savings by giving notice. So, if you are considering a 90-day notice account, you’ll want to know that you can afford to wait 90 days to gain access to your money and plan it so that you contact your provider to ask for access roughly 90 days before your holiday, big purchase or other occasion.

The main reason to get such an account is because they can offer higher interest rates than on an instant access account without asking you to lock your money away for at least a year, as you would generally have to do with a fixed rate bond. Naturally, the returns on these accounts will vary, with a longer notice term usually (but not always) resulting in a higher interest rate.

In the same vein, it may be the case that you can get an easy access account that pays a similar or even better rate, which is why it’s so important to do your research before you decide on a savings account. Note that both easy access accounts and notice accounts tend to offer variable rates of interest, which means the interest that is offered when you open the account may be changed by the provider later on.

Not sure if a notice account is right for you? This guide may help you decide.

Do I always have to give notice to withdraw money?

Looking into notice accounts more closely, you’ll see that some allow you to withdraw your money early, although this typically results in a penalty equal to the number of days’ notice you were supposed to give. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you’ll also find accounts that restrict the number of withdrawals you can make per year, so you won’t just have to schedule in when you want access to your savings but also keep the extra limitations in mind.

As notice periods can vary from 30 days to half a year, savers will have to decide for themselves what the best notice account is for them and if they think they’ll need to withdraw money at shorter notice. Don’t forget to consider how you can manage the account, either, as this will limit how quickly you’ll be able to request access.

How do I get the best notice savings account for me?

As stated, the notice account that’s best for you will depend largely on your personal circumstances. However, there are some questions you can ask yourself to narrow down the search.

First and foremost, you’ll want to ask yourself how long you can afford to wait to gain access to your cash. If you want to set the money aside for an emergency fund, you’ll want the option to not give any notice at all, as you never know when something will break that needs fixing. Because of the notice penalty that is likely to come with this, it might be a good idea to get an account with a short notice period, or even an easy access account for complete flexibility. If you want to use a notice account to save up for your wedding or a holiday, the choice becomes much easier, as you’ll know exactly on what date you’ll need to access the money again.

Second, you could ask yourself how flexible you want the account to be. Are you happy to sign up for an account that doesn’t even allow early access on a penalty, or would you like the option to make withdrawals even if it will cost you?

Other things to watch out for when it comes to account details is to make sure the deposit requirement fits your needs, so you can put away as much or as little as you want, and that you can open and manage the account via the method that is most suitable to your situation. You can find all this information in the above details of your potential account. Once you’ve got your personal criteria figured out, you can simply look for the account that offers the highest interest rate for the notice period you are after.

What happens if I change my mind after giving notice?

If you change your mind, it’s best to contact your provider directly, especially if they only allow a limited number of withdrawals per year.

If I’m withdrawing from a joint account, do both of us need to give notice?

Joint accounts usually consider both savers equal owners of the funds in the account. As such, either one of you should be able to give notice and withdraw funds separately. However, always check with the specific provider to make sure what their particular policy is, as some may require a main account holder to be appointed.

Alternatives to a notice savings account

Notice accounts can be a great way to save without having to give up control of your money completely. However, they won’t be right for everyone.

As an alternative, an easy access account (with or without fixed bonus) is great for that essential emergency savings pot and allows you not to worry about giving notice or being penalised for needing urgent access. Fixed rate bonds, meanwhile, are suitable for large pots of money that you know you won’t need access to for a while and you want to get as high a rate of interest on as is possible.

You could also consider one of the top monthly interest paying accounts, which can be easy access, notice or even fixed rate products. What they all have in common is that interest is paid on a monthly basis, allowing you to gain a steady income from your savings or compound interest throughout the year.

With no restriction on the number of non-ISA savings accounts you can open in a year, you can have all kinds of different accounts. Indeed, it’s probably sensible to have an emergency pot as well as a savings account that can earn you a higher return. Whether the latter will be a notice account, a fixed rate bond or even an ISA will depend entirely on what you need – are you happy with a variable rate, or would you rather lose access to your funds for a while so you can get a higher, set rate?

If you can’t decide, use our general savings search tool to compare all types of savings deals.

You may also be interested in

woman writing in a notebook

At a glance

  • Notice savings accounts require you to give notice to your savings provider before you can withdraw your funds.
  • They typically pay variable rates of interest, and tend to pay higher rates than easy access accounts.
  • Notice periods typically range from a few weeks to several months.
  • A notice account can offer a valuable compromise between higher returns and short-term access.

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