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Cash Isa deals of the week 10 July 2014

Mixed reaction to introduction of Nisas

Green piggy bank on grass

Which? Money provides our 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 of cash, or stocks and shares, or a mixture of both.

Under the old rules, you could place only half of your annual allowance into a cash Isa. The remainder had to go into stocks and shares. But savers can now deposit the full £15,000 into cash or stocks and shares, or into any mix of both.

Despite the increase in the tax-free allowance, 13 Isa providers have cut or plan to cut Isa rates by as much as 0.75%. 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for savers, as four Isa providers, BM Savings, Halifax, Sainsbury’s Bank and Virgin Money, have increased their rates by 0.30%, 0.20%, 0.10% and 0.15% respectively. They all sit within the best rate table.

Go further: See our guide to find out how to make the most of the new Isas, or Nisas

The best cash Isas

Instant access cash Isa 

Top of the table at the moment in the best instant access cash Isa sector is BM Savings, 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 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. Britannia follows closely behind with its Isa, paying 1.71%.

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 up your money 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 tops our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.00% on balances starting at an initial deposit of just £1.

Cash Isa tip of the week

If you’ve already opened a fixed-rate cash Isa this year and want to make the most of the higher allowance, you may have to move fast. 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. 

More on this… 

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