6 of the best variable cash ISAs | moneyfacts.co.uk

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Published: 05/04/2018

With a new tax year starting tomorrow, you may want to start thinking about what to do with your brand-new £20,000 ISA allowance. If you're not sure you want to commit your cash just yet, a variable rate ISA could be ideal.

After all, sometimes you want to keep your savings accessible, and variable rate ISAs can offer that kind of flexibility. You won't be tied into a fixed rate deal, but instead have the freedom to add to your savings pot and access your cash should you wish, ensuring you don't have to keep your money locked away for too long.

However, while many variable rate ISAs are easy access, the ones offering the highest rates may ask you to give a bit of notice to make that all-important withdrawal, so it's important to check the terms and conditions of each account before you take the plunge. That said, some form of notice may be a price worth paying for a competitive account, provided you're not looking for an emergency pot.

To help you decide, we've outlined the top six variable cash ISAs currently available. Some offer instant access, whereas others require a bit of notice to withdraw your cash. Either way, you won't have to wait long to get your hands on your money.


Nationwide BS
Single Access ISA

1.30% AER
  • Instant access account
  • £1 minimum deposit
  • Further additions permitted
  • Transfers in accepted from cash and stocks & shares ISAs
  • Only one withdrawal allowed per year (lower rate paid for the remainder of the account year otherwise)
  • Transfers out without penalty
  • Access via nominated current account
  • Account can be opened and operated in branch, online and via smartphone app
  • Interest paid on its anniversary

Taking the top spot is this instant access deal from Nationwide BS, which currently offers the market-leading rate of 1.30% and doesn't require any notice, although you may not want to make more than one withdrawal per account year. It requires a minimum investment of just £1 and allows unlimited additions as well as transfers in and out, so it could be a great choice for those who don't plan to access their money more than once a year.


Coventry BS
30 Day Notice ISA (5)

1.25% AER

  • 30-day notice account
  • £1 minimum deposit
  • Unlimited additions permitted
  • Transfers in accepted from other cash ISAs, but only for this year's additions
  • Earlier access on 30 days' loss of interest
  • Transfers out on 30 days' notice or loss of interest
  • Account can be opened and operated in branch, over the phone, online and by post
  • Interest paid on its anniversary

In second place is this deal from Coventry BS, which pays an impressive 1.25% provided you are happy to give 30 days' notice. That said, it still provides plenty of flexibility as earlier access is possible on a 30-day loss of interest penalty, while the account can be managed via almost all channels and only requires £1 to get started.


Shawbrook Bank
Easy Access Cash ISA - Issue 2

1.25% AER

  • No notice account
  • £1,000 minimum deposit
  • Further additions permitted
  • Transfers in accepted from cash and stocks & shares ISAs
  • Unlimited withdrawals of at least £500 allowed and no penalty for transfers out
  • Access via nominated account
  • Account must be opened online, but can then be managed over the phone too
  • Interest paid on its anniversary

Shawbrook Bank secures a top-three spot with this easy access deal, which also offers a rate of 1.25%, this time on a minimum investment of £1,000. With unlimited access allowed, this may be a great deal for ISA savers who are happy to open an account online.


Al Rayan Bank
Instant Access Cash ISA

1.23% AER

  • Instant access account
  • £50 minimum deposit
  • Unlimited additions and withdrawals allowed
  • Transfers in from cash and stocks & shares ISAs permitted, and no penalty for transfers out
  • Account can be opened and operated via all channels (branch, phone, post, internet and mobile app)
  • Interest paid monthly and must be compounded
  • Sharia'a compliant account

Next up is this highly flexible deal from Al Rayan Bank, which not only allows unrestricted access, but also offers all manner of account management options. It pays an expected profit rate of 1.23% AER (1.22% gross) on a monthly basis, which could be ideal for those who don't want to wait a whole year to see a return on their tax-free savings.


Nottingham BS

Easy Access ISA - Issue 2

1.20% AER

  • Instant access account
  • £10 minimum deposit
  • Further additions and unlimited withdrawals allowed
  • No transfers in
  • Penalty-free transfers out
  • Branch-based account
  • Interest paid yearly and must be compounded

Sitting comfortably in fifth place is this easy access deal from Nottingham BS, which offers an attractive rate of 1.20% to those with a branch in their vicinity. While it does not offer any transfers in, it does allow unlimited withdrawals and further additions, as well as penalty-free transfers away from the account, and all it requires is an investment of £10.


Hinckley & Rugby BS
120 Day Notice Cash ISA Issue 2

1.20% AER

  • 120-day notice account
  • Minimum investment of £500
  • Further additions allowed
  • Withdrawals permitted on 120 days' notice, with earlier access only on a 120-day loss of interest penalty
  • No transfers in accepted
  • Transfers out on a fixed penalty of £25
  • Account can be opened and operated in branch and by post
  • Interest paid yearly

Just squeezing into the top six is this deal from Hinckley & Rugby BS, which pays 1.20% to those willing to give 120 days' notice to access their funds. This account welcomes further additions at any time and permits unlimited withdrawals, subject to the required notice period being given or an equivalent loss of interest. It should be noted that transfers in are not allowed and transfers away from the account come with a £25 penalty charge.

Information & rates correct as at: 05.04.2018


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. Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. Moneyfacts.co.uk will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.


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