It's harder than ever to get a decent return on your savings, and with inflation rising it means our money has to be in a good place to outpace the cost of living.

It's well worth looking beyond high street savings accounts to the likes of current accounts, particularly since the introduction of the tax-free Personal Savings Allowance.

Let's look at all of these and more to see the top rates on offer right now.

Instant access savings accounts

The top rate of interest on an easy access account is currently 1.01% which you can get from RCI Bank with its Freedom Savings Account. You’ll need £100 to open an account.

Notice accounts

If you give up access to your cash for 90 days you can get a rate of 1.35% from Secure Trust Bank, which you can open with £1,000.

Cash Isas

While the Personal Savings Allowance has effectively made all savings accounts tax-free you should still consider using your tax-free Isa allowance (currently £15,240 for 2016/17) to save.

That’s because any money you put into an Isa will stay tax free, even if the interest you earn grows. With the Personal Savings Allowance the interest you earn beyond the £1,000/£500 limit is taxed at your marginal rate.

The best rate on an easy access Isa is available with Paragon Bank which offers 1.05% on deposits from £1.

Lock your money up for a year with Al Rayan Bank and you’ll get a rate of 1.09%. You’ll need £1,000 to open an account.

Over two years the best cash Isa is from Darlington Building Society which is offering a rate of 1.25% on balances from £1,000.

Leeds Building Society is the top place to stash your cash over three years, paying a rate of 1.30%. You'll need to deposit at least £100.

Virgin Money wins out over five years, offering 1.65% with a minimum deposit of just £1.

Fixed-rate bonds

Atom Bank’s new range of fixed-rate bonds completely blows the competition out the water with some inflation-busting returns.

The one-year fixed rate bond pays 2%, the two-year deal pays 2.1%, the three-year offer is 2.2% and over five years there’s a top rate of 2.4%. 

All four accounts can be opened with a deposit of just £50.

Compare fixed rate savings

Current accounts

Current accounts continue to trump all the top savings accounts at the moment, for smaller balances anyway.

TSB's Classic Plus account pays 3% on balances of up to £1,500, providing you credit the account with £500 a month. There’s also cashback available on contactless payments.

Nationwide’s FlexDirect account pays 5% interest on balances up to £2,500 for the first 12 months. The only condition is you need to pay in at least £1,000 a month.

Lloyds Bank is offering the Club Lloyds account, which pays 2% on balances between £1 and £5,000, providing you credit the account with £1,500 a month and set up two direct debits from it. 

If you don't want to spread your money around, Santander's 123 account pays 1.5% on balances of up to £20,000. You need to pay in £500 a month, and set up at least two direct debits.

There's also a £5 a month fee on the account but you can earn cashback on some of your direct debits for household bills which can help cover that.

The Tesco Bank Current Account also pays 3%, but only up to £3,000. However, the account is currently temporarily closed to new applications.

And Bank of Scotland's Classic Account with Vantage pays 3% on balances of between £3,000 and £5,000 so long as you pay in £1,000 a month and have two direct debits set up. You can have up to three accounts too.

Compare high-interest current accounts