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Best ISA Accounts

Invest up to £20,000 per individual for 2021/2022

Investment ISAs put your capital at risk & you may get back less than you originally invested

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Nutmeg

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Fund Choice: Nutmeg offer 4 diversified portfolios with ETFs, using technology to keep charges low.
  • Invest From: Min. £500 single

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Hargreaves Lansdown

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 2,500 funds, shares, investment trusts and more to build your portfolio.
  • Invest From: £25 pm

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Fineco

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Fund Choice: A complete multi-currency platform with low fees. Premium trading without premium prices. Choice of worldwide asset managers.
  • Invest From: £100

Stocks & Shares ISA

from AJ Bell

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Wide range of stocks and shares, over 2,000 funds (unit trusts and OEICs), investment trusts and ETFs. Capital at risk.
  • Invest From: £25 pm

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Shepherds

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Invest in the Shepherds With Profits Fund which offers medium to low risk investing, with the aim of growing your money in a smooth manner over the long term.
  • Invest From: £30 pm

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Interactive Investor

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Access 40,000+ UK, US and international shares on 17 global exchanges. Choose from over 3,000 funds.
  • Invest From: £25 pm

Share Dealing ISA

from IG

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Trade From (frequent trader rate): £3.00
  • Trade From (standard trader rate): £8.00

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Fidelity

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 4,000 investment options, including one of the widest fund ranges in the UK.
  • Invest From: £25 pm

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Moneyfarm

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose your risk profile and have it matched to an investment portfolio expertly built and managed.
  • Invest From: £1,500

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Wealthify

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose your risk profile and have an investment Plan built and managed for you.
  • Invest From: £1

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Beanstalk

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Fund Choice: Choose from two funds: a cash fund that aims to provide returns in line with money market rates and a shares fund that aims to track the performance of global stock markets.
  • Invest From: £10

Best ISA Accounts

With such a wide range of ISA accounts available to invest in, it can be daunting to navigate through the options and work out what type of ISA is right for you. Once you’ve settled on the type of ISA you need, you’ll also need to choose a provider to go with, which can also be a time-consuming process.

This guide will help you understand the different types of ISAs available, the pros and cons of each, and the things to look out for when trying to find the best ISA account for your savings plan.

What are the different types of ISA accounts?

  • Cash ISA - A Cash ISA is a tax-efficient savings account that provides either a fixed interest rate for a specific term or a variable interest rate with the flexibility to withdraw at any time. Any investments into a Cash ISA can only be held as cash, and so their monetary value cannot decrease. However, with the best 1-year fixed Cash ISA interest rates sitting at around 0.7%, your money may actually be worth less over the long term due to inflation outweighing the interest you gain.
  • Stocks And Shares ISA – A Stocks and Shares ISA has the same tax benefits as a Cash ISA, which means you can avoid paying capital gains tax on any investment growth. You also won't need to pay income tax on any interest or dividends generated from the underlying investments in your savings account. A Stocks and Shares ISA allows you to invest in the stock market within your account, and so you will need to either pick the investment(s) yourself or speak to a financial adviser who can make a suitable recommendation. Unlike with a Cash ISA, your invested capital could decrease or increase in value.
  • Lifetime ISA (LISA) – A LISA is designed to help with a house deposit or supplement your retirement. They can be held as either a Cash LISA or a Stocks and Shares LISA, and HMRC will add 25% on top of all the contributions you make.
  • Junior ISA (JISA) – As with a LISA, a JISA can also be held as Cash or Stocks and Shares and has the same tax benefits as normal ISAs. It is opened for children and operated by a parent or legal guardian until they reach the age of 18, at which point it transfers into a standard ISA in the name of the child solely.
  • Innovative Finance ISA – Instead of investing in Cash or Stocks and Shares, an Innovative Finance ISA allows you to invest in peer-to-peer lending companies whilst still wrapping the investments with the tax benefits of an ISA. Peer-to-peer lending companies enable you to invest directly to borrowers without the need for either party to go through a bank. The borrowers you’ll lend to will typically require loans for purposes such as home developments, business loans, car financing or medical expenses. The risk is higher compared to a Cash ISA and your investments could fall in value, but the investments may outperform cash considerably over the long term.

The type of ISA you choose will depend on your circumstances and for what reasons you are saving. If you are saving for a first house purchase, for example, it may make sense to open a Lifetime ISA as

HMRC will add 25% on top of your contributions. However, if you make withdrawals that aren’t for a house purchase you will be charged 20% and so effectively lose the 25% government top up. If you don’t buy a property, the other option to avoid this charge is waiting until age 60, but that’s five years later than getting access to your pension and so you need to be aware of the restrictions.

Should I invest in a Cash ISA or a Stocks and Shares ISA?

There are some essential factors to consider when comparing these two types of savings accounts:

  • Both Cash and Stocks and Shares ISAs have exactly the same tax benefits.
  • The monetary value of Cash ISA investments cannot go down and so you should always get back at least what you put in when you come to withdraw your funds.
  • However, if inflation rates are high and interest rates are low as they are currently, your investments will struggle to compete with the return of a well-invested Stocks and Shares ISA over the long term.
  • If you’re investing in a Stocks and Shares ISA, you will need to think about the underlying investments held within it. You can invest in Unit Trusts, ETFs, Shares, Investment Trusts, managed portfolios, and many more products, but you may wish to speak to a Financial Adviser for a professional recommendation.
  • Investing in Stocks and Shares is higher risk, and so it's a good idea to diversify your portfolio. By spreading the risk, if one of your investments performs poorly it won’t be as detrimental to the value of your broader portfolio.

What charges will I pay for an ISA?

Typically, a Cash ISA will not have any charges, unless for example you have a fixed term and make any early withdrawals before that fixed interest term is up.

However, each Stocks and Shares ISA provider will have varying charges, and this is an important factor to consider when choosing the best ISA for you. Here is a list of the types of charges you may come across when opening an ISA account:

  • Account Opening Charge
  • Ongoing Administration Charge or Annual Management Charge
  • Withdrawal Fees
  • Account Closure or Transfer Out Fees
  • Dealing Charges
  • Underlying Investment Charges

Most ISA providers won’t charge an initial fee, but their ongoing charges are worth paying attention to. Some providers’ ongoing charges will differ depending on whether you are holding equities (investments that trade on a live stock exchange) or Unit Trusts or OEICs, which typically only trade once per day.

You may also find that some ISA accounts will have a tiered fee structure, meaning that you will pay a smaller annual percentage for funds over a certain value threshold.

While it is more challenging to build up considerable wealth in an ISA compared to a regular investment account due to the contribution limits, if you are transferring and consolidating your existing ISAs, they may add up to a considerable value, so a tiered fee structure could be an attractive option for you.

An ISA’s charges will be available through the product literature and terms and conditions for the relevant savings account.

Can I transfer my existing ISAs into a better ISA?

If you’ve found an ISA that you like, then you may be wondering if you can transfer your ISAs from previous years into it. Most ISA providers will allow you to do this, and you will simply need to complete a form with your new ISA provider.

It’s important to bear in mind any transfer out or exit fees with your old provider before doing this, but the benefits of a more appropriate, consolidated ISA may outweigh any fees incurred.

How do I apply for an ISA?

The easiest way to open an ISA is online through the provider’s website. We’ve compared some popular ISA products above, and you’ll be able to navigate to each company’s website to get some more information. Once you’ve decided which ISA is right for you, you can open an account in minutes.

You can either contribute a lump sum of up to £20,000 with a debit card payment or cheque, or set up a monthly direct debit contribution to start building your savings over time.

You can also open an account over the phone with a debit card payment, or with a postal application form for the relevant provider along with a cheque or Direct Debit instruction.

Oliver Roylance-Smith
Edited by Oliver Roylance-Smith - ISA.co.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

The annual ISA allowance is set by HMRC each year, and the current limit is £20,000 per person for the 2021/22 tax year.

£4,000 per person for the 2021/22 tax year.

£9,000 per child for the 2021/22 tax year.

For Cash or Stocks and Shares ISAs, yes, although some Cash ISAs may charge a fee or void your interest if you surrender your policy before the fixed term has ended.

For a LISA, you will be charged 20% of your withdrawal if it is not for a deposit on a first home or over the age of 60. This is to counteract the 25% bonus that HMRC will have initially added.

Funds cannot be withdrawn from a JISA until the child is 18, at which point it will convert to a standard Cash or Stocks and Shares ISA in the child’s own name, and withdrawals are permitted as usual.

No, ISA stands for Individual Savings Account and must be solely owned for tax purposes.

A Flexible ISA allows you to withdraw money from your ISA whilst keeping your ISA allowance for that tax year.

For example, if you were to contribute £20,000 to an ISA but then withdraw £5,000 in the same year, you would normally not be able to contribute that £5,000 again in the same tax year as you have already used your full allowance, but a Flexible ISA will let you do this.

Most providers will allow you to withdraw from your ISA online, via a mobile app, telephone, or by written instruction in the post.

Yes, you can transfer from your Cash ISA to a Stocks and Shares ISA at any time. However, do check you won’t lose out by transferring, as some Fixed Rate Cash ISAs may charge a fee or void your interest if you surrender your policy before the fixed term has ended

Yes, but your transfer will be treated as a contribution and deducted from your annual £4,000 LISA allowance and so you’ll need to be careful not to accidentally contribute over the limit.

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:

  1. What an ISA is, and how it works
  2. The different types of ISAs available
  3. How many ISAs you can have
  4. How much you can put in an ISA

Get your FREE Guide »

Important Risk Information:

The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website aims to provide information to help you make your own informed decisions. It does not provide personal advice based on your circumstances. If you are unsure of how suitable an investment is for you, please seek personal advice.

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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