With the deadline to put money into your tax-free cash Isa account just days away, Which? provides our weekly look at the best deals out there.
Cash Isa deadline is 5 April 2015
The cash Isa deadline is important as it signifies the end of the tax year. You’ll lose this year’s tax-free savings allowance if you haven’t put money into an Isa before that date.
Each year you can deposit your savings into a cash or a stocks and shares Isa, or both. The overall limit for the tax year ending 5 April 2015 is £15,000 (for both cash and stocks & shares) and this goes up to £15,240 for the new tax year of 2015/16 starting 6 April 2015.
In his 2015 Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced that savers will be able to take out and put money back into their cash Isa without it counting towards their annual tax-free Isa entitlement for that tax year. These changes will be introduced in autumn 2015.
To maximise your tax-free allowance, remember to save in a cash Isa before putting your money in an ordinary taxable savings account.
Here, we take a look at some of the best cash Isa deals currently available to the whole market. For the Best Rate cash Isas, we’ve also included a link to the Which? Money Compare tables where you can find out more details.
Best Rate cash Isas
We have excluded Isas with certain qualifying conditions and restrictions on withdrawals.
Instant-access cash Isa
Currently topping the best instant-access cash Isa tables are National Savings & Investments (NS&I) and Post Office Money, both paying 1.50%. However, the NS&I account doesn’t allow transfers in from other Isa providers. Click here to find out more about this Isa.
Tipton and Coseley BS pays 1.45% and Coventry Building Society offers 1.40%.
Notice cash Isa
Notice cash Isa accounts used to pay a higher rate for locking up your money, but at the moment there aren’t any notice account Isas paying more than the top instant-access cash Isa rate.
Dudley Building Society offers the top rate, at 1.50%, but you’ll need to give around a month’s notice to get at your cash. Click here for more information about this Isa. Beverley BS is next, paying 1.30%.
One-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Julian Hodge Bank and Virgin Money offer market-leading one-year fixed rate cash Isas, both paying 1.65%. The Virgin Money deal requires an initial investment of just £1 at account opening. You can find out more here.
Holmesdale BS offers 1.6%, while Post Office Money follows closely behind, paying 1.55%.
Two-year fixed-rate cash Isa
The two-year fixed-rate cash Isas from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, paying 2.10%, are the best rates if you’re happy to tie up your money for two years. These accounts can be opened and operated in-branch only. Click here for more information.
Post Office Money, offers the next best option, paying 1.95%.
Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Yorkshire BS, Chelsea BS, Barnsley BS, Norwich & Peterborough BS currently top the three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 2.15%. The Norwich & Peterborough Isa can be managed in-branch and online. For more details about this Isa, click here.
The three-year fixed-rate Isas from Leeds BS and Virgin Money aren’t far behind, offering 2.00%.
Four-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Coventry Building Society’s Fixed Rate Isa is offering a rate of 2.25%, which is the highest four-year fixed-rate cash Isa rate at the moment. However, this account doesn’t accept transfers in from other providers. Click here to find out more about this Isa.
Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Virgin Money currently leads the five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 2.35%. More information can be found here.
Leeds BS is next, paying 2.3% from an initial investment of £100.
Which? Money Compare table: Fixed-term cash Isas – compare hundreds of deals
Cash Isa tip of the week
In his 2015 Budget, Chancellor George Osborne introduced a new Help to Buy Isa, in a bid to help would-be first-time buyers save a deposit for their first home.
If you, or someone you know, will want to open a Help to Buy Isa when they’re launched in the autumn, make sure you don’t add any money to a cash Isa within the 2015/2016 tax year.
You can’t contribute to a cash Isa in the same tax year as a Help to Buy Isa – so after 6 April you shouldn’t open a new cash Isa or put any money into an existing one.
The Which? Money Compare tables let you search hundreds of savings accounts and cash Isa deals from providers large and small so that you can find a great home for your nest egg. We also combine this with our unique customer scores that show you how well the provider you pick will treat you in the long run.
- Call the Which? Money Helpline – for any questions on your savings
- How to transfer a cash Isa – for a step-by-step guide to transferring your Isa
- New inheritance rules for Isas – for any questions on what happens to your Isa savings when you die
Which? Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.