Which? Money provides its weekly look at the best deals out there to help you invest your new cash Isa allowance for 2014/15.
Cash Isa allowance for 2014/15
The overall annual limit for a tax-free Isa increased to £15,000 on 1 July. This limit for new Isas, or Nisas, can now be made up cash, or stocks and shares, or a mixture of both.
Under the old rules, you could only place half of your annual allowance into a cash Isa – the remainder had to go into stocks and shares. But from July, savers can now deposit the full £15,000 into cash or the full amount into stocks and shares – or any mix of both cash and stocks and shares.
Go further: See our guide to find out how to make the most of the new Isas, or Nisas.
To maximise your tax-free allowance, remember to save in a cash Isa before putting your money in an ordinary taxable savings account.
The best cash Isas
Instant access cash Isa
Top of the table at the moment in the best instant-access cash Isa sector is Birmingham Midshires paying 1.55%.
GE Capital Direct, Halifax, Nationwide, NS&I, Skipton Building Society and Virgin Money, all offer the next highest rate of 1.50%. However, it’s worth noting that the accounts from NS&I and Skipton Building Society don’t allow transfers in from other providers.
Notice cash Isa
Notice cash Isa accounts used to pay a higher rate for locking up your money, but at the moment, this isn’t the case as there aren’t any notice accounts paying more than the top instant access cash Isa rate.
Bank of Cyprus UK, Charity Bank and Dudley Building Society all offer the top rate, at 1.50%, but you’ll need to give a month’s notice to get at your cash.
One-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Virgin Money currently tops the table with a 1.76% market-leading one-year fixed-rate cash Isas at present.
Two-year fixed-rate cash Isa
The two-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal from Virgin Money, paying 2.10%, is the best product if you’re happy to tie your money up for two years.
Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Aldermore Bank, Nationwide, United Trust Bank and Virgin Money currently top our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, all paying 2.25%. The fixed rate Isa from Skipton Building Society isn’t far behind, at 2.20%.
Four-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Coventry Building Society’s Fixed Rate Isa is offering a rate of 2.75% and is the best four-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal at the moment. However, this account doesn’t accept transfers in from other providers. The best account allowing transfers is offered from Nationwide, paying 2.40%.
Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa
Virgin Money currently top our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3%.
Cash Isa tip of the week
If you’ve already opened a fixed-rate cash Isa this year and want to maximise the higher allowance from 1st July, check our guide to provider deadlines and rules on topping up your Isa.
Many providers have confirmed they will be allowing top-ups throughout July, with some extending the top-up period to the end of the tax year.