Hot cash Isa deals, 12 April 2012Which? experts round up the best cash Isa deals

12 April 2012

Hot cash Isa deals

Get the best rate possible on your cash Isas

Which? Money provides its weekly look at the best deals out there to help you invest your new cash Isa allowance for 2012/13.

Cash Isa allowance for 2012/2013

Each year you can deposit your savings into a tax-free cash and/or stocks and shares Isa.

The overall limit for the tax year ending 5 April 2012 was £10,680 and this has gone up to £11,280 for the 2012/13 tax year which started on 6 April 2012. Of the £11,280 overall limit, up to £5,640 can be saved in a cash Isa.

If you're looking to open a new cash Isa to pay your 2012/13 allowance into, or wish to transfer previous years' money, check out the Which? Best Rate Isa tables. Fixed-rate cash Isa deals can provide attractive rates if you're happy to tie your money up for a period of time.

The market's best cash Isas

Instant access cash Isa 

The AA's Internet Access Isa Issue 3 is paying 3.5% (including a bonus of 3% for the first year), the best rate for instant access cash Isas, but does not accept transfers in from other providers. Cheshire BS's Direct Cash Isa also pays 3.5% (including a bonus of 2.5%), but, again, doesn't allow transfers in.

Santander's Direct Isa Issue 9 pays 3.30%, which includes a 12-month bonus of 2.80%, and is the highest-paying Isa to allow transfers in. The minimum deposit for this account is £2,500. 

Marks & Spencer Money's Advantage Isa and Virgin Money's Easy Access Isa/E-Isa are worth noting as they allow transfers in and the headline rates (3.0% and 2.85% respectively) don't include a bonus, so you don't have to worry about the rate dropping off after 12 months.

Notice cash Isa

Notice cash Isa accounts used to pay a higher rate for locking up your money, but don't tend to anymore. The Coventry BS 60 day Notice Isa does pay an attractive rate of 3.25%, but you'll need to give 60 days notice to get at your cash. 

One-year fixed-rate cash Isa

Saga has a one-year fixed-rate Isa that pays 3.60%, but doesn't allow transfers in.

Santander's one-year fixed-rate cash Isa  pays 3.50% and does allow transfers in. The one-year fixed-rate Isas from Marks & Spencer Money and Metro Bank are also competitive with a rate of 3.25%.

Two-year fixed-rate cash Isa

BM Savings' Two-year Fixed Rate Isa offers 4.05% and has a minimum deposit of £500. The two-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal from Santander (4.00%) is also an attractive product if you're happy to tie your money up for two years. Both of these Isas allow transfers in.

Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa 

The Halifax Three-year Fixed Rate Isa Saver account currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table paying 4.25% on initial balances of at least £500. The Cheltenham & Gloucester Three-year Fixed Rate account pays 3.90%.

Four-year fixed-rate cash Isa 

The Halifax Four-year Fixed Rate Isa Saver pays 4.35% and is the only four-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal that qualifies to feature in our tables at the moment.

Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa 

Once again, Halifax leads the way with its five-year Fixed Rate Isa Saver with a rate of 4.50%, a minimum deposit of £500 and allowing transfers in.

BM Savings and Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank Fixed-Rate Isa accounts are currently paying 4.30% and 4.25% respectively. These Isas all allow transfers in from other accounts.

More on this...