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ISAs Explained /

What Exactly Is An ISA?

How does it work
Individual Savings Accounts, more commonly referred to as ISAs, debuted in 1999 and offer tax incentives to encourage UK residents to save. These savings and investment 'vehicles' offer a variety of options and benefits, but they also come with their share of rules and regulations. To ensure you benefit from the full advantages of these accounts, it's important to understand exactly how ISAs work and the rules governing them before you open one.
Selected ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Prudential

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Four unique PruFunds
  • Invest From: £50 p.m. or £500 lump sum
  • Investment Options: Lump sums, regular savings and ISA transfers

Why we like it: Choose from 4 unique PruFund Funds, each one with a different level of risk and managed by Prudential’s in-house experts, and you can keep track of your investments 24/7 using their online valuation service. Open with as little as £50 per month or a one off lump sum of £500. The application process takes around 10 minutes and they also have a simple transfer process if you already have ISAs that you wish to move across. Other benefits include one simple annual management charge and no exit fee.

Investment Income Plan ISAs

FTSE 100 Enhanced Income Plan

from Investec

Allow ISA Transfers
Annual Income 4.35% fixed income
  • Counterparty: Investec Bank plc
  • Term: 5 years

Why we like it: Fixed income, fixed term, monthly payments and your capital back unless the FTSE falls by more than 50%. By offering a high fixed income rather than a variable income based on the performance of the stock market, this plans offers something different to income seekers.

  • 4.35% income paid regardless of the performance of the FTSE 100
  • Monthly income
  • Available for ISA, ISA transfer and direct investment
  • Capital is at risk if the FTSE 100 Index has fallen by more than 40% at maturity from it's initial level, in which case your initial investment will reduce by 1% for each 1% fall
  • Minimum investment £3,000
  • An arrangement fee applies for this plan
  • Product designed to be held for the full term

Important Information: Structured investment plans are not capital protected and are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for default alone. There is a risk of losing some or all of your initial investment due to the performance of the underlying investment. There is also a risk that the company backing the plan known as the Counterparty may be unable to repay your initial investment and any returns stated.

Peer to Peer Lending ISAs

CROWD2FUND

from CROWD2FUND

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
Interest Rate Earn an estimated 8.70% APR on your investments
  • Term: 1 - 5 Years
  • Invest From: £10

Why we like it: Crowd2Fund’s Finance ISA is designed to make it easier for savers to invest while managing a diversified portfolio. You can transfer existing ISAs (Crowd2Fund will help you do this) and earn an estimated 8.7% APR* return tax free.

  • Currently 0% platform default rate
  • Access to your capital
  • EIS, SEIS & IFISA tax relief
  • Balance your level of risk
  • *Capital at risk
  • Peer to peer lending is not covered by the FSCS
Investment Fund Supermarket ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Charles Stanley

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: 1,500+ funds
  • Invest From: £50 per month or £500 single

Why we like it: Invest through an award winning FTSE company, with extensive research and analysis and competitive charges. Choose from a range of investments including shares, funds, gilts, bonds, investment trusts and ETFs.

Fixed Rate Cash ISAs

3 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA

from Aldermore

Interest Rate (AER) 1.25%
  • Term: 3 Years

'Winner' – ISA Provider of the Year for the 5th year running Consumer Moneyfacts Awards 2011-15

  • 1.85% gross/AER fixed for 3 years.
  • £1,000 minimum opening balance

Calculate your interest with this plan

Your savings:
£
You could gain:
£0.00 (per tax year)

2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA

from Aldermore

Interest Rate (AER) 1.20%
  • Term: 2 Year

'Winner' – ISA Provider of the Year for the 5th year running Consumer Moneyfacts Awards 2011-15

1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA

from Aldermore

Interest Rate (AER) 1.00%
  • Term: 1 Year

'Winner' – ISA Provider of the Year for the 5th year running Consumer Moneyfacts Awards 2011-15

Easy Access Cash ISAs

30 Day Notice Cash ISAs

from Aldermore

Interest Rate (AER) 0.80%
  • Term: Easy Access

'Winner' – ISA Provider of the Year for the 5th year running Consumer Moneyfacts Awards 2011-15

  • Early withdrawals are permitted subject to loss of interest equivalent to the notice period
  • Open account with £1000

Calculate your interest with this plan

Your savings:
£
You could gain:
£0.00 (per tax year)

What Exactly Is An ISA?

Understanding the foundation of Individual Savings Accounts

Individual Savings Accounts, more commonly referred to as ISAs, debuted in 1999 and offer tax incentives to encourage UK residents to save. These savings and investment 'vehicles' offer a variety of options and benefits, but they also come with their share of rules and regulations. To ensure you benefit from the full advantages of these accounts, it's important to understand exactly how ISAs work and the rules governing them before you open one.

What is an ISA?

Many financial experts recommend that ISA should be a first port of call to individuals who want to put money into savings or investments. These savings vehicles provide more in the way of tax-efficient benefits than most others types of accounts, giving the account holder a greater rate of return on their initial deposit.

There are two types of ISA - cash ISAs and investment ISAs (also known as stocks and shares ISAs). Cash ISAs offer tax-free interest, while investment ISAs offer returns that are exempt from capital gains tax.

Who can contribute to an ISA?

Any UK resident over the age of 16 can open and contribute to an ISA. However, account holders under 18 are only able to open cash ISAs; stocks and shares ISAs are not available to this age group.

Account holders 18 and older are allowed to open one stocks and shares ISA and one cash ISA each year. As the name suggests, ISAs are individual accounts, which means that joint ownership is not available.

What are the contribution limits?

Because of the tax benefits ISAs provide, the amount you can contribute into an ISA is limited each year. Check the current limit here:

Can money be withdrawn from an ISA?

Money can be taken from an ISA at any time. However, there can sometimes be drawbacks to doing so. Withdrawing money from an ISA does not change the contribution limits for that year. So, if you've invested the full amount allowed in your ISA for the year and then withdraw £1,000, you cannot then put that money back into the ISA during the current taxable year, because you have already reached your contribution limit with your initial deposits.

An ISA can be a sensible choice for savers and investors alike. Whether you're looking for a tax-efficient way to put cash aside for the future, or looking to invest without paying capital gains tax, an ISA may be the perfect option for you.

Read more here: The Comprehensive Guide to ISAs

Cash ISAs

ISAs are a tax-advantageous way to save or invest, check out some of the ISA options below

ISAs Products

Fund ISAs

There are a range of types of fund ISA

Fund ISAs: 

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Types of Stocks and Shares ISA include: 

Stocks and Shares ISAs

Latest News

What is the best investment ISA?

20th June 2017

People often ask: “what is the best investment ISA?” The answer to this question is not a simple one, with the best investment ISA for you depending on a number of factors. 

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