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Cash Isa deals of the week 21 August 2014

Introduction of Nisas boosts tax-free allowances

Savers kept in the dark

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.

Find out more: New Isa rules – find out how to make the most of the new Isas

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, Virgin Money and West Bromwich Building Society, 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 account Isas 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 around a months’ notice to get at your cash. 

One-year fixed-rate cash Isa

Yorkshire Building Society currently tops the table with a 2.00% market-leading one-year fixed-rate cash Isa. United Bank UK follows closely behind, with its one-year Isa paying 1.75%.

Two-year fixed-rate cash Isa

The two-year fixed-rate cash Isa deal from Nationwide, paying 2.05%, is the best product if you’re happy to tie up your money for two years.

Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa 

United Trust Bank currently tops our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 2.50%. The fixed rate Isas from Aldermore Bank, Nationwide and Virgin Money aren’t far behind, at 2.25%.

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 

United Trust Bank currently tops our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 2.95%. An initial investment of £5,000 is required at account opening.

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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