Can you put aside cash each month? This is the type of savings account for you

Savings rates are still on the rise, with the top easy-access account now paying a decent 1.85% AER. But did you know it's relatively straightforward to bag yourself up to 3.5% interest (fixed for a year), without having to lock away your cash?

So, if you can put aside cash each month, read on to discover how to easily max the interest rate on your savings.

What type of account is good for saving each month?

If you're in a fortunate position and able to squirrel away cash each month, then it's a good idea to explore opening a regular savings account.

These are special types of savings accounts that allow you to feed in cash every month. The headline interest rates on these accounts are usually very juicy, though they sometimes only last a year. Despite this, opening an account can be a painless way of boosting the interest rate on your savings.

Right now, you can earn up to 5% AER interest in a regular savings account - though the top account isn't available to all. That said, it's pretty straightforward to bag yourself a decent 3.5% AER. Compare this to the top easy-access offering (1.85%), and even the top one-year fixed savings account (3.05%) — where you're forced to lock away cash — and it's easy to see the benefits of opening a regular savings account.

How do regular savings accounts work?

Regular savings accounts allow you to save into them each month. The amount you can put in can vary between accounts, though it's typically between £50-£500 per month. Interest is usually paid annually.

While it's not the case with all regular savings accounts, most headline interest rates last a year or so. That being said, you shouldn't necessarily turn your nose up at an account that offers a decent interest rate for 12 months — especially if it's a guaranteed, fixed rate.

Many regular savings accounts allow you to miss monthly payments without penalty. This means that if money's tight one month you're under no obligation to contribute cash into your account.

A large number of regular saving accounts also allow you to withdraw cash at will, though you usually aren't allowed to replace anything you take out in any given month. It's worth knowing that some accounts don't permit withdrawals, however. If you come across an account with such a stipulation you'll have to close your account if you want early access to your money.

What are the best regular savings accounts right now?

Right now, it's possible to earn 5% AER variable (for one year) in a regular savings account via Yorkshire Building Society. You can save up to £500 per month too.

However, there's one big catch. You can only open this account if you're an existing Yorkshire customer, and you've had a savings or mortgage account with the provider for at least a year.

If you don't tick that box, then the highest paying regular savings accounts are available as linked accounts. 'Linked accounts' refer to accounts that can only be opened if you already have a current account with a particular bank or building society.

For example, the First Direct regular savings account pays an impressive 3.5% AER fixed for one year and you can save up to £300 each month. You can't skip payments as you must contribute at least £25 every month. If you close your account early, the rate drops to just 0.1%.

If you aren't with First Direct, then sister banks NatWest and RBS both offer regular savings accounts that pay their existing current account customers 3.3% AER variable. However, this rate is only available on up to £1,000 saved. You can contribute up to £150 per month.

If none of the above are for you, then TSB, Santander, and Nationwide all offer regular savings accounts to their existing customers.

All three pay a decent 2.5% AER variable. TSB allows you to save up to £250 per month, while the others allow you to save up to £200 each month.

What if you don't have a current account with any of the above banks?

If you don't have an exiting current account with either First Direct, NatWest, RBS, TSB or Santander, then you won't be able to open any of their respective regular savings accounts. However, if you're particularly keen, there's nothing stopping you first opening one of their current accounts. Do this, and you'll then be free to open their linked regular saver. (Take a look at our best bank accounts guide if you're looking for a new current account).

If you'd rather not open a new bank account, there are also a few regular savings accounts that are open to everyone. Saffron Building Society leads the pack, with its account paying a decent 2.3% AER fixed for one year. You can also make penalty-free withdrawals from this account and you can save up to £50 each month.

Alternatively, if you live in England or Wales, Monmouthshire Building Society also offers an open-to-all regular savings account that pays a slightly lower 2.25% fixed for one year. Plus, you can save a lot more each month — up to £250. However, if you go with this account be mindful that if you decide to close your account early your interest rate will drop to just 0.2%. Withdrawals from this account are not permitted.

Regular savings accounts change regularly. So, if you're looking to put money away each month, or you just want to boost the interest rate on your cash, take a look at our best savings accounts guide for the full lowdown.