Discover the best cash Isa deals currently available with the Which? Money roundup.
Each year, you can deposit your savings into a cash or stocks and shares Isa, or both. The overall limit for the 2016-17 tax year for both cash and stocks and shares Isas is £15,240.
Here, we take a look at some of the best cash Isa rates on the market. We have excluded Isas with certain qualifying conditions and restrictions on withdrawals.
If you’re keen to find out more about any of these deals we’ve also included links to Which? Money Compare, the comparison site which lets you see banks’ customer scores as well as their rates, and where you’ll find more details about each Isa.
No cash Isas can beat inflation
At the moment, you can find better savings rates on non-Isas. In fact there are no cash Isas on the market that pay enough to beat the current rate of inflation (1.8%).
To ensure your money doesn’t lose value in real terms you’ll need to be prepared to tie up your money for at least three years in an ordinary fixed-rate savings account.
Best instant-access cash Isa
The top rate meeting our criteria is offered by NS&I, which is paying 1% AER on its Direct Isa. However, NS&I has announced that it will be cutting this rate to 0.75% as of 1 May 2017.
You can open the NS&I cash Isa with as little as £1.
Mansfield Building Society and Saga offer the next best rates in our table, both at 0.95% AER.
Best notice cash Isa
Notice cash Isa accounts used to pay a higher rate than instant-access Isas, but at the moment this isn’t the case.
The 30-Day Notice Isa from Principality Building Society tops the table, at 0.9% AER.
Aldermore offers the next best rate in our table, at 0.8% AER.
Best one-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Currently topping the one-year fixed-rate cash Isa table is Al Rayan Bank’s Fixed Term Deposit Account, paying 1.09% AER.
Bank of Cyprus UK and Virgin Money offer the next best rates in our table, both at 1.05% AER.
Best two-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Virgin Money offers the next best rate in our table, at 1.15% AER.
Best three-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Aldermore and Virgin Money offer the next best rates in our table, both paying 1.25% AER.
Best four-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Punjab National Bank offers the next best rate in our table, at 0.8% AER.
Best five-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Virgin Money tops our five-year fixed-rate table, paying 1.65% AER. Click on the link for more information about the Virgin Money 5-year Fixed-Rate Isa.
Paragon Bank is next in our table, offering 1.6% AER.
Which? Money Compare table: fixed-rate cash Isas – compare hundreds of fixed-rate deals
Help to Buy Isa – first-time buyers
If you’re saving for your first home, you can open a Help to Buy Isa, which is designed to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.
You can deposit up to £200 a month in a Help To Buy Isa (plus an additional initial deposit of £1,000), with the government topping up these savings by 25% up to a maximum of £3,000 when you buy a home.
Your Help To Buy Isa savings can be used to buy a property worth up to £250,000, or £450,000 in London. And if you’re buying with someone else, you can open separate accounts and jointly earn a bonus of up to £6,000.
Barclays currently offers the best instant-access deal, paying 2.27% AER.
You can’t contribute to a cash Isa in the same tax year as a Help to Buy Isa, so if you want to open a Help to Buy Isa in 2016-17, make sure you don’t deposit new funds into another cash Isa in this tax year.
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 good home for your nest egg. We also combine this with our unique customer scores that show you how well providers are likely to treat you in the long run.