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Compare Flexible ISAs

Choose the best flexible ISA to make the most of your tax free allowance this year.

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 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 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

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Hargreaves Lansdown

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 3,000 funds, shares, investment trusts and more to build your portfolio. Capital at risk.
  • Invest From: £25 pm or £100 lump sum

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Best Invest

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Over 2,500 funds, UK shares, investment trusts and ETFs or choose Ready Made & Managed Portfolios
  • Invest From: No minimum

Stocks & Shares ISAs

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. With online guidance tools and expert fund ideas to help you choose. Capital at risk
  • 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
See Deal Zero Platform Fees - Until the end of the 2022/23 tax year if you open your ISA by 30 April 2022. 0.25% max when promo ends.

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 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 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
See Deal Up to £400 for all new users that create an account until the end of April

Stocks & Shares ISA

from InvestEngine

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Offering commission-free DIY investing or low-cost, professionally managed income or growth portfolios built for you
  • Invest From: £100

My Choice ISA

from Scottish Friendly

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: A choice of 10 funds so you can pick those that best suit your needs, whether that is just one, a mixture of all 10 or somewhere in between.
  • Invest From: £10pm

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

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Willis Owen

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Choose from a wide range of funds, shares, investment trusts and ETFs. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future.
  • Invest From: £25

Investment ISA

from Barclays Smart Investor

Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Fund Choice: Invest in over 2,000 funds, plus Exchange Traded Funds, Investment Trusts, Shares and more. 5 Ready-made Investment funds if you’re not sure where to invest. Capital at risk.
  • Invest From: Any amount

What is a flexible ISA?

A flexible ISA, or flexi-ISA, is a type of ISA that lets you re-use your ISA allowance when you make a withdrawal in the same tax year that you’ve made a contribution.

It provides an added layer of flexibility to Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs.

In a non-flexible ISA, any withdrawals you make from your account after you’ve used your ISA allowance result in you losing that portion of your allowance permanently.

However, a flexible ISA allows you to add that money back in after withdrawing, even if you’ve used your full allowance for that tax year.

Here are some examples of using a flexi-ISA and a standard ISA to explain how they compare.

Non-flexible ISA example:

  • You contribute £20,000 to your ISA at the beginning of the tax year, using your entire ISA allowance
  • You make a withdrawal of £5,000 later in the tax year to fund an urgent payment
  • Later in the same tax year, you have £5,000 ready to put back into your ISA
  • But as it’s not a flexi-ISA, you can’t put it back in as you’ve already used your full £20,000 ISA allowance, leaving you with only £15,000 of ISA wrapped savings for the tax year

Flexible ISA example:

  • You contribute £20,000 to your ISA at the beginning of the tax year, using your entire ISA allowance
  • You make a withdrawal of £5,000 later in the tax year to fund an urgent payment
  • Later in the same tax year, you have £5,000 ready to put back into your ISA
  • As you have a flexi-ISA, you are allowed to add the £5,000 back in to get back to your total £20,000 of ISA savings for the tax year

With a flexi-ISA, you don’t have to worry about making ad hoc withdrawals from your ISA account throughout the tax year as you can add it back in if your circumstances change without it affecting your allowance.

How do I know if my ISA is flexible?

If you already have an ISA account, you can check with your ISA provider whether it is classed as a Flexible ISA.

How to check if your ISA is flexible:

  1. Look at your account opening documents or e-mails
  2. Look at your ISA provider’s website under the ISA account details or the FAQs section
  3. Give your ISA provider’s customer service team a call, or send them an e-mail

How much can I withdraw from a flexible ISA?

You can withdraw as much as you like from a flexible ISA. However, only your current tax year’s ISA subscriptions are flexible and so this aspect is capped at £20,000.

For example, if you withdrew £100,000 from your ISA account, you could only put up to £20,000 back in.

What are the different types of Flexible ISAs?

Flexible ISAs come in the form of Stocks and Shares ISAs and Cash ISAs – which one you choose to invest in depends on your personal investment preferences and circumstances.

Stocks and Shares ISAs invest in shares listed on the stock market or funds managed by investment professionals. Cash ISAs, on the other hand, invest only in Cash and return a rate of interest on your savings.

Stocks and Shares ISA investments can fall in value as well as rise, but the potential for returns is much higher.

Cash ISAs have typically low returns as interest rates are currently at record lows in the UK; however, your savings cannot go down in value so they are a lower risk option for many investors.

Who provides flexible ISAs?

There are many different flexible-ISA providers that offer a range of flexi-ISA products.

Many banks and building societies provide flexible Cash ISAs, while investment platforms and some banks provide flexible Stocks and Shares ISAs.

The biggest choice you need to make is between a Stocks and Shares flexi-ISA and a Cash flex-ISA.

Once you’ve decided this, you can compare providers for each one and make your selection.

Top tips for comparing flexible ISA providers:

Charges

  • Cash ISAs do not charge an ongoing fee, but Stocks and Shares ISAs have a platform charge
  • Check the annual management charge for each ISA provider
  • Check dealing fees, account closure fees and any other ad hoc charges that may apply

Research

  • Many Stocks and Shares ISA providers offer exclusive research and investment tips
  • Review the quality of this research and think about whether it is worthwhile for your investment strategy
  • Think about how much of this content is only available to account holders and how much is free for everyone

Customer Service

  • ISA providers with higher fees may have better standards of customer service
  • This could be quicker response times, shorter telephone hold times, and customer service agents that have better training and more experience
  • Think about whether customer service is important for you – are you a new investor with a lot of questions, or will you be trading a lot and be likely to experience account issues?

Account Features

  • Some Stocks and Shares ISAs provide trading tools with their platforms
  • These can include share price notifications, stop losses and limit orders, and currency exchange services
  • Think about whether you need these features and if you’re willing to potentially pay more for them

What does it mean if an ISA is not flexible?

If your ISA account is not a flexible ISA, you cannot withdraw from your ISA without your money losing its ISA status.

For more information, read the flexible and non-flexible ISA examples at the top of this page.

What should I do if my ISA is not flexible?

If your ISA is not a flexible ISA there’s no need to panic. Non-ISAs are perfectly good investment accounts, but they just don’t give you as much flexibility over your allowance as flexi-ISAs do.

If you think you’ll be utilising your full ISA allowance most years but might need to dip in for withdrawals, then you can consider transferring your non flexi-ISA to a flexi-ISA.

Should I transfer my non flexi-ISA to a flexi-ISA?

If you want to get the benefits of a flexible ISA then you can transfer your existing ISAs to a flexi-ISA account.

How to transfer a non flexible ISA to a flexible ISA:

  1. Check with your current ISA provider if you’ll be charged for transferring out
  2. Obtain an ISA transfer form from your chosen flexible ISA provider
  3. Complete and return the transfer form to your new provider
  4. Your ISA provider will administrate your ISA transfer for you and notify you when complete

Note: Make sure you follow the above steps to transfer your ISA to a flexible ISA. If you withdraw your ISA and add it into a fresh ISA from your bank account you will be restricted to your annual ISA allowance of £20,000, which might not be enough to fit all of your ISA funds back in.

How do I open a flexible ISA?

Once you have decided on the best flexi-ISA for you, you can open an account in a matter of minutes via the following methods:

  1. Online
  2. Via a mobile App
  3. Over the phone
  4. Posting an application form and a cheque
  5. You can also contribute via monthly direct debit to your flexible ISA to build up your ISA savings gradually.

Flexible ISA application checklist:

  1. Have your National Insurance Number to hand
  2. Have your Debit Card details to make a lump-sum payment
  3. Have your bank details to hand if you want to contribute via Direct Debit
  4. You must be over the age of 18 for a Stocks and Shares ISA or 16 for a Cash ISA
  5. You must be a UK resident 
Oliver Roylance-Smith
Edited by Oliver Roylance-Smith - ISA.co.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

No. You can switch providers with an ISA transfer if you wish. You can also contribute to other ISA providers in separate tax years.

ISA accounts are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that all ISA providers are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for up to £85,000 if they go out of business.

Please note that this may not apply to the underlying holdings within a Stocks and Shares ISA, and will not cover standard investment losses. 

You can lose money in a Stocks and Shares ISA if your investments go down in value. You cannot lose money with a Cash ISA.

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

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.

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

Most ISA withdrawals will complete in approximately five working days, but they could take longer depending on the assets you need to sell.

The annual ISA allowance is set by HMRC each year, and the current limit is £20,000 per person for the 2022/23 tax year.

The annual ISA allowance runs in line with the normal tax year, which is 6th April to 5th April the following year. Your ISA allowance will refresh on 6th April each year.

A Stocks and Shares ISA provider will charge an ongoing, annual platform fee as well as some ad hoc charges.

A Cash ISA could also charge if you withdraw money before the end of a fixed-term investment.

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.