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.