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Best Cash ISAs

Compare the Best Cash ISA Deals

Benefits of a cash ISA

  • Tax-free - you won't be asked to pay any tax on the interest you earn from the cash in your ISA.
  • No need to declare - you don't need to declare your cash ISA on your tax return.
  • Easy access - instant access cash ISAs offer a convenient way to save at a good interest rate while retaining easy access to your cash.
  • Straightforward transfers - you can transfer your cash ISA to a different provider to get a better rate of interest.

Cash ISAs In 2021

After the Bank of England cut UK interest rates following on from the 2008 financial crisis, they have remained at extremely low levels ever since.

The European credit crisis, huge public borrowing and more recently Brexit and COVID-19 have all put pressure on central banks to keep interest rates close to zero.

Indeed, the amount of global debt issuance by investment grade companies paying negative interest rate hit just over 17 trillion USD recently – a new record - although perhaps not one to shout from the rooftops about!

So what kind of returns can I expect on cash ISAs going forward?

The chart below from the BOE gives you a good visual aid on current cash return prospects.

"Looking at this graph
if you are looking to invest for the longer term you have to question the logic of putting money into a standard cash ISA".

Oliver Roylance-Smith, Head of investment & savings.

UK savers who keep money in long term savings accounts or Cash ISAs where returns are historically lower on fixed rate products will be doing very well to keep their money's buying power ahead of inflation.

"Are you one of the 8.5 million adults that subscribed more than £44 billion into Cash ISAs in the last tax year, or maybe you’re part of the £268 billion currently held in Cash ISAs?

Either way, its possible that you are receiving record low returns, with market leading interest rates only offering around 1.0% to 1.10% AER on 3 to 5 year fixed rate ISAs at the moment. So are there any other options to consider?"

Needless to say, investors are left scratching their heads in how to earn any meaningful yield on their money.

3. Alternative Options To Consider

1. Cash ISA Deposit Plan

If you’re prepared to forego a fixed return, Investec Bank’s popular Kick Out Deposit Plan, offers the same capital protection as any other bank deposit, but will pay 2.25% for each year (not compounded), provided the FTSE 100 Index at the end of each year from year 3 onwards, is higher than its value at the start of the plan (subject to averaging).

That’s a potential 6.75% after 3 years, 9.0% after 4 years, 11.25% after 5 years, etc.

Since the plan is also available as a Cash ISA, and accepts ISA transfers, if you’re thinking what else is there that could release greater potential from your cash, this is an option.

The downside is that the return is not guaranteed, so you could receive only your initial capital back.

More information »

2. Active Savings

Lets face it the best fixed cash ISA rates are not as competitive as the best non cash fixed ISA rates.

One of the challenges with cash is that rates are changing all the time and you need to be proactive in moving money when rates fall.

If you are looking for better returns on your cash (money held outside an ISA) & keeping your money in an ISA is less important than earning a top UK interest rate then...

The good news is that there is a new service offered by Hargreaves Lansdown called "Active Savings" where you no longer have the hassle of opening, closing and transferring your savings between different banks and building societies.

Once your account is open, you can pick and mix savings products from a range of banks and building societies, without ever having to fill in another form.

There are a range of products and terms to choose from, and you can have as many as you like.

With Active Savings there are a host of measures in place to help protect your cash. From Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection, to online encryption technology.

More information »

3. Stocks and Shares ISAs

If you are undecided on whether to go for a cash or stocks and shares ISA a key consideration is interest rates.

"Right now interest rates
are about as low as they can get!"

With cash ISA provider instant access and fixed rate products offering sub 1% rates at the time of writing the challenge over time is that the buying power of your money will deteriorate due to inflation. As at July 2020 the Retail Price Index figure was measured at 1.6%.

The average 1 year fixed rate as at September 2020 was 0.44% (Source: Bank of England).

In real terms the average account holder in a 1 year fixed rate bond is losing money in real terms.

If you want to tackle inflation and you are happy to lock your money away for 5 plus years then you should seriously consider a stocks and shares ISA.

Hargreaves Lansdown have produced a useful guide if you are thinking of investing in an stocks and shares ISA.

Get FREE Guide »

Alternatively have a look at the different investment ISA platforms available which allow you to set up an account and then you can decide what you want to invest in.

If you prefer you can opt for a service where the investing is done for you based on different risk profiles. E.g. Both Legal and General and Fidelity offer a ISA stocks and shares service where you can leave the investing to them.

Important information - please keep in mind that the value of investments can fall as well as rise, so you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.

Choosing the best deal for you

There are several factors to consider when choosing a cash ISA:

Do you want easy access to your money? An instant access ISA might be the right choice for you, as long as you're willing to accept a slightly lower rate of interest.

Are you happy to lock away cash for a set period of time? Fixed-rate cash ISAs might be a better option as they have the potential to offer a greater return long-term.

Do you have a lump sum to invest, or are you planning to make small regular payments? Different ISA providers offer different minimum deposits ranging from just one pound to several thousand pounds.

There is no single 'right' cash ISA choice for everyone - it's a case of weighing up the different factors and considering which product and provider best meets your overall needs. Use our cash ISA rates tables to compare different providers, research your options, and ensure you get a good savings rate.

How much tax will I save through a cash ISA?

Using your cash ISA allowance saves you money by allowing you to keep 100% of any interest you earn. Compare this to the usual tax rates on savings:

  • Saving rate taxpayers - you would usually pay 10% tax on interest earned from your savings. In a cash ISA this savings interest is tax-free.
  • Basic rate taxpayers - you would usually pay 20% tax on interest earned from savings. In a cash ISA this savings interest is tax-free.
  • Higher rate taxpayers - you would usually pay 40% tax on interest earned from savings. In a cash ISA this savings interest is tax-free.
  • Additional higher rate taxpayers - you would usually pay 50% tax on interest earned from savings. In a cash ISA this savings interest is tax-free.

The above information gives you a general idea of what you could save - remember that it depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.


Can I transfer my cash ISA to a new provider for a better deal?

You are free to transfer your cash ISA at any time, making it easy to move your money around providers and ensure the most competitive rates. Bear in mind that if you try to do this by withdrawing your cash and then opening another ISA, you will lose all your tax-free benefits. To transfer an ISA without losing out, speak to your new provider, who will arrange the transfer of funds from your old cash ISA provider.

HOW YOU COULD GROW YOUR MONEY, FREE OF UK TAX

Your simple guide to ISAs

If you're thinking about saving or investing, an ISA (Individual Savings Account) is a great place to begin.

This simple guide will give you all the information and resources you need to get started. You'll learn:

  • What an ISA is, and how it works
  • The different types of ISAs available
  • How many ISAs you can have
  • How much you can put in an ISA

Get FREE Guide »

Lifetime ISAs

Save for your first home and retirement

Compare Lifetime ISAs

Junior ISAs

Invest for your child’s future

Compare Junior ISAs: 

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Invest tax-free in stocks and shares 

Compare Stocks and Shares ISAs:

Latest News

5 Considerations for Your Next Investment ISA

15th March 2021

You've decided to invest your savings into a Stocks and Shares ISA. You'll be using your tax-free ISA allowance for this year before the deadline, while also investing your money for your future. But what do you need to consider before opening an account? We've put together a list of our top five considerations for you to think about before you click "apply". 

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