This week heralds the start of the new tax year, meaning you have a brand new ISA allowance of £15,240 ready to be used! Why wait to make the most of it? The sooner you start saving, the sooner you can keep your cash out of the taxman's reach, and the more opportunity you'll have to accrue interest.
Of course, you'll need to find the ISA that's right for you, and this could vary depending on your circumstances. We're here to help, so if you want to find the best possible home for this year's allowance, read on to find the top cash ISA deals currently available, whether you're after a long-term account, a short-term deal or easy access alternatives.
Virgin Money's fixed rate ISA is the pick of the bunch if you're after a long-term investment, offering a market-leading 2.35% to those willing to tie up their money for five years. Transfers in are welcome, and further additions are permitted for a limited period, a definite bonus for savers who could have more to invest in the near future. Withdrawals are also allowed, another unusual feature in the fixed rate market, although this early access will result in 180 days' loss of interest.
The top deal for those seeking a three-year ISA is this account from Leeds, paying a competitive 2.20% on a minimum investment of £100. Further additions are welcome for a limited period and previous cash ISAs can also be transferred in. A particularly notable feature of this account is the ability to access the first 25% of the investment penalty-free, offering welcome flexibility. However, savers should note that any further withdrawals will result in a hefty interest penalty, as will transfers away from the account.
If you're not willing to lock your money away for quite as long, what about a two-year deal? This account from Yorkshire Bank tops the charts for its sector, paying 2.10% on a minimum investment of £2,000. Unusually, it gives savers the chance to make further additions, subject to a few restrictions – namely, that only one deposit can be made per tax year, and only if the issue remains open, but it could mean you're able to make a further deposit next April if the issue hasn't closed. It's also possible to access funds prior to maturity, subject to closure of the account and a tiered interest penalty of up to 180 days' loss depending on when the withdrawal is made.
Topping the charts in the one-year sector is Al Rayan Bank, paying an indicative profit rate of 1.90% for savers with short-term goals. It requires a minimum investment of £1,000 and accepts transfers in, and even permits further additions for a limited time. As is common in the short-term market, no withdrawals or early access will be allowed and transfers out are subject to a penalty, so savers will need to be comfortable locking their money away for the full 12 months.
Al Rayan Bank makes its second appearance in our overview with this 120-day notice account, a great choice if you're after an ISA with minimal restrictions but don't mind giving a bit of notice to access your cash. Paying an indicative profit rate of 2.02% AER on a minimum investment of £250 – the top rate in the notice sector – this account allows further additions without restriction, and permits unlimited withdrawals subject to the required notice period being given.
If you're looking for an ISA that doesn't ask for notice to access your funds, this deal from West Brom BS could be just the thing. It pays a highly competitive 1.55% from a minimum investment of £1,000, and permits further additions at any time. Withdrawals are also permitted without notice, but it comes with a caveat – only three will be allowed per account year with a lower rate being paid thereafter, so it'll require careful management.
Alternatively, if you'd rather have access to your cash whenever you wish without any limitations, take a look at this deal from NS&I. Paying 1.50% from a minimum investment of just £1, this restriction-free account permits withdrawals and further additions at your leisure, provided all withdrawals are made through a nominated account. It unfortunately doesn't allow transfers in (unless they're from the same provider) which could be a drawback for some, but it could still be a great choice for those seeking a truly easy access ISA.
Rates and information correct as at 09.04.2015
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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