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Compare ISA Providers

Find the best ISA provider to make the most of your yearly tax free allowance

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 an ISA account?

An ISA account is a savings account that has several added tax benefits granted by HMRC.

With a standard savings account, you need to declare any interest and dividends you receive from your investments on your tax return. Depending on how much personal income you have from other sources, you could be required to pay a substantial amount of income tax on these investments.

However, any investments that you hold in an ISA account are completely tax-free.

In addition to this, you can also avoid paying any capital gains tax (CGT) on the gains that your investments make in an ISA. If you are a higher-rate taxpayer, you would need to pay 20% tax on any investment gains held outside of an ISA account, so this represents a considerable saving opportunity.

ISA accounts come in two different types: Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs. You can also open Junior ISAs, which are specifically designed for children’s investments, and Lifetime ISAs, which are designed to save for a house purchase.

What is a Cash ISA?

Cash ISAs are usually offered by banks and building societies, and they can only hold cash investments. They will generate an interest rate that is set by your Cash ISA provider. There are two types of interest rates: fixed rates, and variable rates.

Fixed-Interest Cash ISAs:

  1. Will have a set term, ranging from one to five years
  2. Guaranteed interest rates for this period
  3. Higher interest rates than variable rates
  4. You are locked into the term, meaning that you will be charged for withdrawing early

Variable-Interest Cash ISAs:

  1. Interest rates will fluctuate over time
  2. Interest rates are generally lower than fixed-term products
  3. You can withdraw funds at any time, free of charge (easy access)

What is a Stocks and Shares ISA?

A Stocks and Shares ISA allows you to invest your ISA money in the stock market. Instead of being limited to interest-based cash savings, you can invest in a broad range of stocks and shares.

This gives you access to greater potential investment growth and investment income, but your investments will be at risk of losing money.

There are many investments you can hold within a Stocks and Shares ISA, and we have created a list of the most popular products:

  1. Managed Funds (OEICs, Unit Trusts and Investment Trusts)
  2. Shares
  3. ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds)
  4. Corporate & Government Bonds
  5. Managed Portfolios

You can invest in a mixture of all of the above assets provided that your ISA provider permits for holding all these investments.

Some investments focus on generating income in the form of regular dividends or income payments, whereas others are tailored towards investment growth over the long term.

Most investments in a Stocks and Shares ISA can go down as well as up in value, and so you should make sure you are comfortable with the risks involved.

What are the best performing ISAs?

When comparing Cash ISAs to Stocks and Shares ISAs, performance usually falls on the side of Stocks and Shares ISAs.

This is because of the broad range of investments you can hold in a stock ISA, and the potential for these to gain significant value.

Cash ISAs will be limited to interest rates. While you can have a guaranteed interest rate with a fixed-term Cash ISA, the chances that this investment will outperform a Stocks and Shares ISA are slim.

However, if you open a Stocks and Shares ISA and your investment perform poorly, you could end up losing money and being worse off than you invest in cash. This is particularly true for short term investments, as stocks and shares can be volatile over shorter periods.

Generally, stock markets go up over time, and so if you are investing for the long term then opening a Stocks and Shares ISA is worth considering.

Managed Portfolios vs Self-Select Platforms

Many Stocks and Shares ISA providers are known as investment supermarkets because you need to pick your investments yourself from the many selections available.

Finding the best fund or share to invest in can be a difficult task given the unpredictability of the stock market. Here are some top tips to consider when choosing your own investments:

  • Diversify your portfolio – avoid putting all of your money in one fund or share so that your risk is spread across multiple companies.
  • Diversify by sector and geography – as well as spreading your money across multiple companies, having exposure to lots of different sectors and geographical areas will make your investments more resilient to market fluctuations.
  • Research the best funds and shares – most investment platforms will provide research and insight into their top fund picks. You can also look at a company’s shareholder information and quarterly results online, as well as the Key Investor Information Documents (KIIDs) for funds.

If you are not comfortable in picking your investments yourself, then you may wish to invest in a Managed or Ready-Made ISA portfolio.

These portfolios are created and managed by professional portfolio managers, and so you have the peace of mind that the underlying investments are of the highest quality.

However, the drawback of these products is that you will pay higher charges. These charge an annual percentage of the value of your portfolio.

The portfolio managers will take an ongoing fee from your investment. This will be on top of the standard fees that include your ISA provider’s fees and any underlying fund manager’s fees where applicable.

Which is the best ISA provider?

The best ISA provider for you will depend on your savings goals and investor experience. We have put together a list of some of the crucial factors to consider when weighing up the options:

Charges

  • Cash ISAs will not charge an ongoing fee, but Stocks and Shares ISAs will have a platform charge
  • Check the annual management charge that your ISA provider will take each year
  • Check if this charge is tiered, or has any other limits or exceptions that may make it cheaper
  • Look at dealing fees, account closure fees and any other ad hoc fees that may apply

Research

  • Many Stocks and Shares ISA providers offer exclusive research into funds and shares available through their platform
  • Review the quality of this research and consider if it is worthwhile for your investment strategy
  • Assess how much of this content is exclusively available to account holders

Customer Service

  • Particularly relevant with Stocks and Shares ISAs compared to Cash ISAs
  • Consider that ISA providers with higher fees may have better customer service as a result
  • Better customer service ratings indicate quicker response times and a greater chance that any account issues you have will be resolved
  • Think about whether customer service is important to you – it could be more essential for novice investors, but also can be vital for regular traders who are more likely to experience dealing or account issues

Account features

  • If you pick a Stocks and Shares ISA investment platform, consider the trading tools it offers
  • These include features like share price alerts, currency exchange services and stop losses and limit orders
  • Weigh up which features are important for your investment portfolio, and whether these might be worth paying higher charges for

Account Types – Lifetime ISA or Junior ISA

  • If you are investing for your child, then a provider offering a JISA might be best for you
  • If you are saving for a house purchase, then you should consider looking for the best LISA provider for you, as HMRC will add 25% free to your contributions

Can I have ISAs with different providers?

Yes, you can. However, there are some rules and limitations to be aware of:

  • You cannot contribute to more than one Stocks and Shares ISA, or more than one Cash ISA, in the same tax year
  • You can contribute to both a Stocks and Shares ISA and a Cash ISA in the same tax year, provided you do not exceed the combined ISA allowance of £20,000
  • You can hold more than one Cash ISA and contribute to them in different tax years
  • You can hold more than one Stocks and Shares ISA and contribute to them in different tax years
  • You can transfer a Cash ISA into a Stocks and Shares ISA, and vice versa

How do I invest in an ISA?

Once you have decided on the best ISA provider for you, you can open an account easily, in as little as five minutes. You can open an account in the following ways:

  1. Online
  2. With a mobile App
  3. Over the telephone
  4. Posting a form and cheque

You are usually required to make a minimum contribution of at least £100; however, this amount can be lower if you contribute via a monthly direct debit. In this case, the minimum will be around £25 per month.

You will need to have a few things handy when you apply and there are some general requirements to be aware of:

  1. Have your National Insurance Number handy
  2. Have your Debit Card details to make a lump-sum contribution
  3. Have your bank details if you wish to contribute via Direct Debit
  4. You must be over the age of 18
  5. You must be a UK resident
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 2022/23 tax year.

You can withdraw money from a Stocks and Shares ISA at any time provided that you sell the underlying investments first.

You can withdraw from a variable-rate Cash ISA at any time.

Withdrawing from a fixed-rate Cash ISA may incur charges if you do so before the end of the specified fixed term.

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

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

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

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.

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. 

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.