Savers could eke out 2.2 percentage points of extra interest using a combination of notice and regular savings accounts – with providers paying significantly higher rates to those willing to manage their cash.
Most Britons increasingly let their money sit in high-street easy-access accounts where the average annual interest rate is 0.55pc.
But active savers could earn up to 2.79pc using a combination of accounts and overlooked deals where rates are on the rise.
Regular saving accounts pay interest to customers who put in cash every month. Notice accounts are essentially a half-way house between easy-access account and fixed-term deals.
Over the past year the average rate on notice accounts has risen from 1.01pc to 1.13pc, according to research from Moneyfacts, the comparison website. Interest levels on regular savings accounts are much higher than the average, although some banks have started cutting them.
The top regular saver, from M&S Bank, pays 5pc on limited amounts, while the best notice account, from Gatehouse Bank, will pay 1.82pc if savers lock money away for 120 days.
By comparison the best one-year fixed-rate Isa pays 1.51pc and top twelve-month bond deals pay 1.75pc to 1.76pc.
Savers who take an active approach can earn far more using a combination of of the two accounts. However, they will need to open several regular saver deals and set up multiple direct debits.
Telegraph Money has worked out three strategies depending on how much effort a consumer is prepared to put in, but all pay better than mainstream savings deals.
Most effort – 2.79pc
Someone with £20,000 in cash could earn 2.79pc by opening five regular saver accounts.
They would need to put £250 a month into an M&S Bank deal – which would return 5pc – and then £300 a month into a First Direct account returning 2.75pc, £500 a month into a Coventry Building Society regular saver at 2.75pc and £250 a month each into Yorkshire Building Society and Virgin Money deals offering 2.5pc and 2pc respectively.
The remaining £1,400 should be put in the Gatehouse Bank notice account paying 1.82pc.
After 12 months, the saver would have earned £534 from their regular saver deals and £25.50 from their notice account making overall returns of 2.79pc.
There is a lot of time involved with this approach. M&S Bank and First Direct also require savers to have current accounts with the banks to open a regular saver.
In addition, all the regular saver accounts will revert to a lower rate after 12 months so customers would need to shift cash into other deals.
Medium effort – 2.5pc returns
A £20,000 saver could open only two regular saving accounts and still make a 2.5pc return.
Using the M&S Bank and Coventry deals and paying the monthly maximum of £250 and £500 would earn a total of £300 in interest. The Coventry option does not require a current account which would also minimise paperwork.
The remaining £11,000 could be put into a Gatehouse Bank notice account, returning 1.82pc. This time-strapped saver would earn £500, or 2.5pc returns on the £20,000.
Minimal effort – 2pc returns
For the saver who wants to put in as little time as possible but still get above-average returns, picking the Coventry regular saver and the Gatehouse Bank notice account would earn 2pc interest after one year.
This laid-back saver could earn £150 interest from Coventry over 12 months using the £500 monthly allowance.
They could then put the remaining £14,000 in the Gatehouse account and earn £259 after 12 months. Overall, they would earn £409 in interest, or 2pc on their £20,000 savings pot.