Best Cash ISA Rates – 2017 (UK)


Following up on our recently posted comparison review of the best Individual Savings Account (ISA) rates in the UK, AdvisoryHQ News has published the below list, ranking, and comparison of the best cash ISA rates (2017) available to UK residents. 

First, let’s cover a few FAQs before diving into the details of the best cash ISA rates and a comparison of the top cash ISA accounts.

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Which Is Better – a Cash ISA or a Stocks and Shares ISA?

That depends!

If you are extremely risk averse and don’t have the appetite for dealing with the volatility that stock markets present, then cash ISAs may be right for you.

However, if you are not satisfied with the ISA interest rates that many fixed and variable cash ISA products offer, then stocks and shares ISAs may be what you want.

Note, though, that while cash ISAs generally offer account protection, investing in a stocks and shares ISA may result in you losing some/all of your principal.

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Will I Lose the Ability to Access My Money in a Cash ISA?

Not necessarily!

There is a common misconception that money deposited into a cash ISA is untouchable. There are a number of top cash ISAs that allow you easy access to withdraw your money as and when you need it.

Be aware, though, that certain cash ISA allowance rules do apply. For instance, if you invest your entire ISA limit into a cash ISA in the current tax year and then make a withdrawal, you are not allowed to top up the account the same tax year. That’s because you will be deemed as having utilized your cash ISA allowance for 2015–2016 to the maximum allowed.

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List of Top Cash ISAs with High Interest Rates

See the section below this table for a detailed comparison.

Sorted: highest to lowest ISA rates

Bank

Account Name

AER*

Nationwide

Flexclusive ISA

1.60%

Nationwide

Inheritance ISA

1.40%

Barclays

Instant Cash ISA Issue 1

1.00%

RBS

Instant Access ISA

1.00%

NatWest

Instant Access ISA

1.00%

Santander

Direct ISA Saver – 1|2|3

1.00%

Santander

Direct ISA Saver

1.00%

Nationwide

Champion ISA

0.80%

HSBC

Premier

0.50%

HSBC

Advance

0.50%

Santander

Easy ISA

0.50%

Lloyds Bank

Cash ISA Saver

0.25%

Halifax

ISA Saver Variable

0.25%

TSB

Cash ISA Saver

0.20%

* AER: Standard AER/Tax-Free



Best Cash ISA Rates and Accounts – Comparison

In the table below, we provide a brief comparison of the top cash ISAs offered by various providers across the UK.

The information has been organized with the banks/products offering the best cash ISA rates/AERs listed towards the top of the table.

Sorted: highest to lowest ISA rates

Bank

Account Name

R*

 Details

Nationwide

Flexclusive ISA

1.60%

  • UK residents aged 16+ are eligible to open a Nationwide Flexclusive cash ISA account
  • Save up to £15,240 from your ISA allowance for the 2015–2016 tax year
  • Interest is tax-free
  • Open and manage an ISA account online, via a mobile banking app or in-branch
  • Allows unlimited pay-ins to the maximum of your available ISA allowance for 2015–2016
  • Enables unlimited withdrawals
  • Account may be closed or transferred to another institution at any time without any penalties

Nationwide

Inheritance ISA

1.40%

  • A Nationwide Inheritance ISA account may be opened in the event of the death of a spouse or civil partner who held a cash ISA with Nationwide or held another ISA with other providers
  • Allows you to withdraw up to £500 a day in cash in-branch
  • Open  the account with a £1 initial opening deposit 
  • Provides instant access over the Internet, via a mobile banking app or in-branch
  • Larger amounts may be withdrawn via cheques
  • Amounts within an unused inherited ISA allowance may be replaced
  • Any interest that is earned will not count towards your own ISA allowance for 2015/16

Barclays

Instant Cash ISA Issue 1

1.00%

  • Earn 1.00% AER on balances of £30,000+
  • Additionally, balances between £1 to £14,999 and £15,000 to £29,999 will get you 0.80% AER and 0.90% AER respectively
  • Take advantage of a simple 3-step process to transfer in an existing cash ISA from another provider
  • You’ll get instant access to your money as/when you need it

RBS

Instant Access ISA

1.00%

  • Earn 1.00% AER on balances of £25,000+
  • Balances from £1 to £24,999 qualify for 0.50% AER
  • You can access your money anytime, with no withdrawal penalties
  • Pay in a lump sum, in convenient instalments when you want or via regular standing order
  • Use your ISA allowance for 2015/16 and save up to £15,240 by 5 April 2016
  • Interest is calculated daily, using some of the best ISA rates, and paid once a year
  • Manage your account in-branch, online, via mobile banking or by phone

NatWest

Instant Access ISA

1.00%

  • Earn 1.00% AER on balances of £25,000+
  • Receive 0.50% AER on savings between £1 and £24,999
  • No withdrawal penalties apply when you access funds in this cash ISA
  • Convenient pay-in options include: lump sum deposits, instalment payments or regularly scheduled standing orders
  • Use your ISA allowance for 2015 and save up to £15,240 by 5 April 2016
  • Supports an ISA transfer to consolidate all of your cash ISAs under a single institution
  • Interest is calculated daily, using some of the best ISA rates, and paid once a year
  • Manage your account in-branch, online, via mobile banking or by phone

Santander

Direct ISA Saver – 1|2|3

1.00%

  • Open an account with £500
  • Open your account online, in-branch or via telephone
  • Save from £1 up to your annual ISA allowance
  • You can have a £0 balance if using an ISA transfer to move balances of £500+ from another institution
  • Balances over £1 will entitle you to earn 1% AER annually
  • Manage your account online, using a mobile app or by telephone

Santander

Direct ISA Saver

1.00%

  • Earn 1% on balances of £10,000+ and 0.50% on balances between £1–£9,999 when this cash ISA account auto-converts to an ISA Saver account after 12 months
  • Prior to that, you’ll be entitled to earn the best cash ISA rate of 0.80% AER annually on a balance of £1+ for 12 months
  • Open an account with as little as £500
  • You can open the account online, in-branch or via telephone
  • Start saving from £1 up to your annual ISA allowance
  • You are allowed to have a £0 balance if you transfer in £500+ from an ISA account at another institution
  • Manage your account online, using a mobile app or by telephone

Nationwide

Champion ISA

0.80%

  • Allows savings of up to £15,240 (depending on your available ISA allowance) for 2015/2016 to grow tax-free
  • Account may be opened and managed in-branch, online or via a mobile banking app
  • Supports unlimited pay-ins at a branch, online or via a standing order
  • Unlimited withdrawals can be made
  • Offers one of the best ISA rates, based on a monthly average rate of the 5 best branch-based cash ISA competitor rates
  • Allows you to close or use an ISA transfer to move the balance to other ISA providers anytime you wish

HSBC

Premier

0.50%

  •  Up to Jan.  10, you’ll receive one of the best ISA loyalty rates of 1.50% (1.49% tax-free) and a standard rate of 0.50% AER/tax-free
  • Rates from Jan 11, 2016: a loyalty rate of 1.30% AER (1.29% tax-free) and a standard rate of 0.50% AER/tax-free
  • To qualify for the loyalty rate, all you need to do is deposit at least £1 each year into your account
  • Start your ISA account with as little as £1
  • Loyalty rates expire one year from the date of your last deposit
  • Deposit each month or in a lump sum
  • Manage your account in-branch, online or via phone

HSBC

Advance

0.50%

  •  Until Jan 10, you’ll receive a loyalty rate of 1.50% (1.49% tax-free) and a standard rate of 0.50% AER/tax-free
  • Rates from Jan 11, 2016: a loyalty rate of 1.20% AER (1.19% tax-free) and a standard rate of 0.50% AER/tax-free
  • To qualify for the best ISA loyalty rate, all you need to do is deposit at least £1 each year into your cash ISA account
  • Loyalty rates expire one year from the date of your last deposit
  • Start your ISA account with as little as £1
  • Deposit each month or in a lump sum
  • Manage your account in-branch, online or via phone

Santander

Easy ISA

0.50%

  •  Open this ISA account online, via telephone or in-branch
  • Manage your account via mobile app, online or by telephone
  • Earn 0.50% on balances of £40,000+
  • Balances of £27,000+ will entitle you to earn 0.30%
  • You’ll receive 0.10% for any balances over £1+
  • Interest is paid annually

Lloyds Bank

Cash ISA Saver

0.25%

  •  Earn 0.25% tax-free/AER variable on all balances 12 months after opening your ISA account, when it automatically converts to an Instant Cash ISA
  • Prior to that, you’ll earn 0.75% on balances between  £1 to £39,999 and 0.80% on balances of £40,000+
  • This ISA account can be opened with just £1 and allows you to save up to your available ISA allowance for 2015/16
  • Allows you instant access to your money, enabling withdrawals from just £1
  • Accounts can be managed via online banking
  • Unlimited pay-ins are permitted either as lump sums, in smaller, more frequent payments or via a standing order
  • Interest is deposited tax-free into your cash ISA account annually on 31 March

Halifax

ISA Saver Variable

0.25%

  •  You’ll earn 0.80% tax-free/AER for 12 months after you open your cash ISA account
  • Subsequently, this ISA account is auto-converted into an Instant ISA Saver account, earning 0.25% tax-free/AER variable
  • Open your account with a minimum balance of £1
  • There are no restrictions placed on withdrawal
  • In addition to offering the best ISA rates for transfers, transfer-ins from other institutions – if they are free to move – will earn you interest while the transfer is in progress
  • You can open and manage your account in-branch, online or through the phone

TSB

Cash ISA Saver

0.20%

  •  Open your ISA account online with as little as £1
  • Balances of £1+ will qualify you for a variable rate of 1.00%, including a 0.80% bonus rate for a 12-month period
  • In addition to the best ISA rates, you’ll get instant access to your money with no fees or charges
  • Withdraw as little as £1, with no withdrawal fees
  • Unrestricted pay-ins means you can deposit as much or as often as you like – subject to your available ISA allowance for 2015

R*: Standard AER/Tax-Free

Here is another FAQ:



Wouldn’t it be simpler to just cash in my ISA and move the money to another institution?

Absolutely not!

Doing so will cause you to lose all of the tax-free benefits that you may have accumulated so far.

Transferring is the best way to move your account from one provider to another while still benefiting from the best ISA rates offered at the receiving institution.

A transfer is easily accomplished by providing your existing provider with the appropriate instructions and filling out a simple form.

Please review our ISA disclaimer for the rates and accounts presented in this article.

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Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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