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Top cash ISA deals

Top cash ISA deals

Category: ISAs

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

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.

Long-term fixed rate

AER Details

Virgin Money
Virgin Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA Issue 115
2.35% AER
  • Rate fixed until 24.04.20
  • £1 minimum investment
  • Transfers in permitted
  • Further additions allowed for up to 30 days after account opening
  • Early access and transfers out subject to 180 days' loss of interest
  • Account must be opened and operated online
  • Interest paid yearly

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.

Three-year ISA

AER Details

Leeds BS
3 Year Fixed Rate ISA Issue 39
2.20% AER
  • Rate fixed until 31.05.18
  • £100 minimum investment
  • Transfers in of cash ISAs permitted
  • Further additions until 31.05.15
  • Penalty-free withdrawals of the first 25% of the investment are allowed, with further withdrawals subject to 240 days' loss of interest
  • Transfers out on 240 days' loss
  • Account can be opened in branch, by post or online, and then becomes branch or postal-operated
  • Interest paid yearly (first interest payment will be made on 31.05.16)

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.

Short-term deals

AER Details

Yorkshire Bank
Cash ISA Fixed Rate Bond (Issue 27)
2.10% AER
  • Rate fixed to 28.04.17
  • £2,000 minimum investment
  • Transfers in permitted
  • No withdrawals
  • Further additions allowed while the issue remains open, but only one payment (including the initial deposit) is permitted per tax year
  • Early access and transfers out on closure only, subject to an interest penalty depending on the days left to maturity (from 45 days' loss for 1-91 days remaining, to 180 days' loss for 273 days+)
  • Account must be opened and operated in branch

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.

AER Details

Al Rayan Bank
12 Month Fixed Term Cash ISA
1.90% AER
  • Rate fixed for 12 months
  • £1,000 minimum investment
  • Transfers in permitted
  • Further additions can be made for 30 days from initial funding
  • No withdrawals or early access
  • Transfers out subject to a reduced profit rate for 90 days
  • Account can be managed in branch, by post, by phone or online
  • Interest paid quarterly
  • Sharia'a compliant account

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.

Notice account

AER Details

Al Rayan Bank
Notice Cash ISA
2.02% AER
  • 120-day notice account
  • £250 minimum investment
  • Transfers in permitted
  • Further additions allowed
  • Withdrawals permitted subject to 120 days' notice being given
  • Transfers out subject to 120 days' notice or loss
  • Account can be operated via all channels (post, phone, branch and online)
  • Sharia'a compliant account
  • Pays interest monthly

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.

Easy access account

AER Details

West Brom BS
WeBSaveR Limited Access ISA
1.55% AER
  • No notice account
  • £1,000 minimum investment
  • Transfers in and further additions permitted
  • 3 penalty-free withdrawals are permitted per account year (6 April to 5 April). Any more will result in a lower rate being paid for the remainder of the year
  • Account must be opened and operated online
  • Interest paid yearly

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.

AER Details

Direct ISA
1.50% AER
  • Easy access account
  • £1 minimum investment
  • Transfers in are not permitted (unless they're from other NS&I ISAs)
  • Further additions, withdrawals and transfers out permitted without penalty
  • All withdrawals must be made via a nominated account
  • Account can be opened and operated by phone or online

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.