Final countdown for best Isa ratesFind the best deal as the Isa deadline approaches

01 April 2011

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Isa deadline is midnight on 5 April 2011

Time is running out for you to submit your Isa application or to top up your existing Isa account for the 2010/11 tax year.

The deadline for people to sort out Isa arrangements for this tax year is midnight on 5 April 2011. Make sure you don't miss the boat if you are intending to add to your savings pot by investing in a cash Isa.

You can still make applications in-branch, by phone or online, but may be pushed for time if you're intending to apply for an account by post - although some Isa providers are accepting postal applications until 5 April.

Branch and online cash Isa deadlines

Although the official deadline for Isa applications is midnight on Tuesday, different companies have different deadlines for potential Isa investors.

If you are planning to pop into your branch, then today is the deadline for HSBC Isa applications. Yorkshire Building Society, West Bromwich Building Society and Santander will all accept applications until 5 April as long as applicants have the correct ID. 

Lloyds TSB and Halifax will allow you to apply for a cash Isa for the current tax year at a branch during normal opening times until 5pm on 5 April.

HSBC has a deadline for online applications of 4 April, while for new applications with Northern Rock the cut-off is 6pm on 5 April. Customers at Lloyds TSB and Halifax have slightly longer, with applications accepted until 11.59pm on 5 April.

The deadline for phone applications also varies among different Isa providers - so it pays to check before you begin the application process.

Best rate cash Isas

If you've still some spare cash to put into a cash Isa before the deadline then shop around - there are several good deals out there. The Which? Best Rate cash Isa tables are updated on a daily basis to capture any new deals.

Top of the pile for instant access cash Isas is Santander, which offers a return of 3.3% (but includes a 2.8% bonus and doesn't allow transfers in from other providers). Barclays comes in second place with an account offering a rate of 3.25% (which also doesn't allow transfers in), while Halifax's cash Isa comes with a rate of 3%.

There are also currently some attractive one year fixed-rate Isa deals from the likes of Dunfermline BS, Coventry BS, Northern Rock, Clydesdale Bank, Skipton BS and Marks & Spencer.

For longer-term fixed-rate Isa rates, read the full Cash Isas review on our website.

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