Combining finances in a joint savings bank account is one of the biggest commitments a couple makes to each other.
A bank account may not have the romance of a dream holiday, engagement or setting up home together but it can be a vital component to the logistics and organisation behind such events on a couple’s mutual journey.
The trust and commitment involved can also in many ways be considered just as significant, sometimes more so, than some of the landmarks mentioned.
Why Open a Joint Savings Account?
Joint current accounts tend to be a practicality for couples who live together and have shared monthly bills and other expenses.
Joint savings accounts are more symbolic and will usually have a target such as the deposit on a property, home renovations, funding kids through higher education or simply as a nest egg for the future.
In many ways, they are a longer-term commitment and because savings accounts are usually for the long haul it is also arguably even more important for couples to make the right choice.
While it is not difficult to switch a savings accounts, and holders should review their terms and the market annually to make sure they are not losing out, it is of course preferable to not have to switch too often.
Unlike joint current account offers, savings accounts tend to have exactly the same conditions regardless of if there is a single holder or it is a joint account.
Compare the Best UK Savings Rates
How to Choose the Right Joint Savings Account
The first choice to be made is whether a savings account is to be easy access or savings are locked in for a fixed term. It is not possible to open a joint ISA, as these tax-free accounts are for individuals.
The latter will attract a higher interest rate in most cases but the holders should be confident that they will not need to access the funds before the end of the term as doing so will come with penalties which often negate the superior interest that will have been earned.
One good tip is that depending on how much you are able to save every month, it will often make better financial sense to start saving in a current account.
Up to a certain value and usually for a limited introductory time, current accounts ironically offer better interest rates.
1.) Nationwide FlexDirect Account
This Nationwide account offers 5% interest for the first year on the first £2500, though £1000 per month must paid into it.
However, you can pay £1000 in every month and then simply transfer it out again once your first £2500 is saved.
Alternatively, use the account as your main joint current account but consider £2500 your ‘zero’ balance.
The interest rate drops to 1% after the first year, at which point the £2500, plus interest earned, can be transferred to a more permanent home.
2.) Tesco Bank Current Account
Another option taking advantage of intro rates available on current accounts. The Tesco current account guarantees 3% interest on the first £3000 up until April 2019 as long as a minimum of £750 is paid in each month.
3 direct debits also have to be set up to come out of the account. However, up to 2 accounts can be opened by the same holders so opening two joint accounts, each with a balance of up to £3000 earning interest means that 3% can be earned on £6000 until
April 2019 as long as you don’t mind dealing with the money flow management and standing orders requirement.
3.) Bank of Cyprus UK Savings Account
This online-only account currently offers the best interest rate of any savings account proper, at 1.28% variable. It is a UK subsidiary of Bank of Cyprus so still comes with the full FCA protection of up to £85,000 per account holder.
There is no limit on the value of funds the interest rate is paid on, however, it is a 1-year intro rate which then drops to 0.6% so you should switch after the first year to another account.
Unfortunately, all of the top rates available are for intro periods, usually of a year, so maintaining a good deal on a savings account will necessitate regular switches.
4.) Atom Bank
Atom offers a 2-year savings bond account, available only through mobile app, which pays 2.05%. Savers are locking up funds for two years however so should be confident the cash will not be required in the meanwhile as withdrawing it will result in penalties.
5.) Sensible Savings
Sensible Savings, a brand of Access Bank UK has a 3-year savings bond account which requires a balance of at least £5000 and pays 2.2% interest for savers willing to lock up funds for 3 years.