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Cash Isa deals of the week 11 April 2013

Which? experts round up the best cash Isa deals

Which? Money provides its weekly look at the best deals out there to help you invest your new cash Isa allowance for 2013/14.

Cash Isa allowance for 2013/2014

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

The overall allowance has increased to £11,520 for the 2013/14 tax year, which started on 6 April 2013. The limit for cash Isas has risen to £5,760 from £5,640.

If you’re looking to open a new cash Isa to pay your 2013/14 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.

Get the best cash Isas on the market

Instant-access cash Isa

Top of the pile at the moment in the instant-access cash Isa sector is Coventry Building Society’s Poppy Isa account paying 2.60%, which includes a 0.60% bonus lasting 12 months. However, this account does not allow transfers in from other providers.

The best cash Isa deal which allows transfers in from previous years’ Isas is Cheshire Building Society’s Isa Saver Issue 3 account paying 2.30%, which includes a 1.80% bonus payable to 31 October 2014. You will need to review this account once the bonus period ends and switch to a more competitive deal.

Notice cash Isa

Notice cash Isa accounts tend to pay a higher rate for locking up your money but be aware that some accounts don’t pay more than an instant-access Isa. Unfortunately at present, there are no notice accounts which pay more than the best-rate instant access account.

The best rate available is from Which? Recommended Provider – Aldermore Bank. Its 60 Day Notice Cash Isa pays 2.10% from initial balances of £1,000.

One-year fixed-rate cash Isa

At present, there are no one-year fixed rate cash Isas on the market that can beat or even match the best instant-access account, so bear this in mind before deciding to tie up your money.

If you’d still like to lock away your money for 12 months, the best one-year deal at present is offered by Leeds Building Society paying 2.45% (transfers-in are not accepted). The top-paying Isa which will allow tranfers is from Aldermore Bank at 2.25%.

Two-year fixed-rate cash Isa

The two-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal from Halifax paying 2.50% is the best deal if you’re happy to tie your money up for two years. The minimum initial deposit required is £500.

Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa

The Fixed Isa Saver from Halifax currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.00% on initial balances of at least £500. The next best account at 2.60% is offered by Leeds Building Society (a Which? Recommended Provider).

Four-year fixed-rate cash Isa

The best four-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal at the moment is offered by Halifax and pays 3.05% on deposits over £500.

Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa

The Halifax’s Fixed Isa Saver account currently tops our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table paying 3.10%.

Cash Isa tip of the week

If you want to move money from one Isa to another, your old and new Isa providers should arrange the transfer of your funds between them, protecting your tax-free benefits. You’ll need to complete an Isa transfer form, which will include a note to be sent to your existing Isa provider.

The key point is that you shouldn’t just take out the cash from your Isa account to deposit elsewhere – you’ll lose your tax benefits by doing this.

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