Best Cash ISAs for the 2018/19 tax year


Updated on 11 April 2018 | 3 Comments

The new tax year is only a month away so if you haven't already, make sure you use up that ISA allowance. Here's a look at the best Cash ISAs on the market for 2018/19.

The 2018/19 tax year is upon us, meaning it's time to consider getting a new ISA.

This year's ISA subscription limit is sitting at £20,000 and won't be changing next year – it can be invested in Cash, Stocks and Shares and/or using an Innovative Finance ISA.

You can only set up one new ISA a year, so it's important to pick the best one for your situation. 

Are Cash ISAs still worthwhile?

You might think there’s no point in saving into a Cash ISAs anymore.

Though rates are rising, they still aren't great. However, the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) means you can earn up to £1,000 tax-free interest from any savings or current account, effectively negating the ISA's unique selling point.

However, the humble Cash ISA still holds two attractive features for long-term savers.

First, it doesn't count towards your PSA, meaning there's no limit to the amount of tax-free interest you can earn each year. 

Second, it's open to all savers – unlike the PSA, which isn't an option for additional-rate taxpayers and is capped at £500 for higher-rate taxpayers.

Of course, you could potentially earn a far better return and keep the tax-free benefits by investing in a Stocks and Shares ISA instead.

However, not everyone is happy taking on the risk of investing in the stock market. Others might prefer a combination of the two.

That means that the Cash ISA can still play a part in your long-term savings plan.

Getting the best deal

To get the best Cash ISA rates, there are a couple of things you should know.

The top deals tend to be available to people who already have products with a financial institution, so have a good look at what your bank and its competitors are offering to suss out what you could be eligible for. 

This is the case with the recently launched Nationwide Building Society Single Access Cash ISA. It pays a market-leading 1.3% variable and you only need £1 to open the account. But if you're an existing Nationwide customer, you can get an even better 1.4%. You need to be a customer for a year before you apply, so now quick fire sign-ups to get in on the deal.

As you might have gathered from the name, you can't withdraw funds more than once a year otherwise the rate will drop to 0.5% – that applies to both accounts.

If Nationwide's offering isn't for you, we've rounded up the best instant access, notice and fixed-rate Cash ISA accounts that are widely available.

Compare Cash ISAs

Top instant-access Cash ISAs

These are the top rates on offer if you want to easily get your hands on your cash at any time.

ISA

Rate

Minimum deposit

Bonus

Notes

Access

Nationwide Building Society Single Access ISA

1.30%*

£1

None

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online, in-branch

Shawbrook Bank Easy Access Cash ISA - Issue 2

1.25%

£1,000

None

Transfers and new subscriptions

Online, phone

Al Rayan Bank Instant Access Cash ISA

1.23%** £50 None Transfers and new subscriptions. Online, phone, post, in-branch

Nottingham Building Society Easy Access ISA - Issue 2

1.20%

£10

None

New subscriptions only

Branch

*0.5% if you withdraw funds more than once a year

**Expected profit rate

Top notice Cash ISAs

Some accounts require you to give a little warning before you take money. However, note that you can get better interest rates for instant-access ISA accounts and avoid any hassle when withdrawing your money. 

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Bonus

Notes

Access

Coventry Building Society 30 Day Notice ISA (5)

1.25%

£1

None

Transfers and new subscriptions.

30 days’ notice required for withdrawals.

Online, phone, post, in-branch

Hinckley & Rugby Building Society 120 Day Notice Cash ISA Issue 2

1.20%

£500

None

New subscriptions only.

120 days’ notice required for withdrawals.

In-branch, post

Melton Mowbray Building Society 60 Day Notice Cash ISA

1.15% £25 None

New subscriptions only.

120 days' notice required for withdrawals.

In-branch, post

Top fixed rate ISAs

Let's move onto fixed-rate Cash ISAs, where you put your money away for a certain period of time.

Here are the best buys ordered by interest rate.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Length of fixed rate

Notes

Access

Halifax ISA Saver Fixed 2.25% £500 Five years Transfers and new subscriptions. Online, in branch, phone

United Bank UK 5 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA

2.21%

£2,000

Five years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Post, in-branch

Furness Building Society 5 Year Fixed Rate eSavings Cash ISA (Issue 4)

2.20%

£1,000

Five years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online

Principality BS 5 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Issue 189

2.08%

£500

Five years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online, in-branch

Virgin Money Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA Issue 321

2.05%

£1

Five years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online

*Expected profit rate

The longer you lock your money away, the better your rate will be. The only risk you run is missing out on a potential rate rise before your fixed-rate period is up.

ISA options

You can save some or all of your annual ISA allowance in a Cash ISA and earn interest tax-free.

But you also have the option of putting some or all of your allowance into a Stocks and  Shares ISA. If you're new to this, read: Beginner's guide to Stocks & Shares ISAs.

You can also put money in an Innovative Finance ISA or IFISA which lets you keep returns on investments made via peer-to-peer loans tax-free.

There are also other options, for example if you want to save for your child's future or want to set money aside for retirement. Take a look at: The ultimate guide to ISAs for more.

Compare Cash ISAs

This article is regularly updated with the latest rates

More on ISAs and savings:

Top Cash ISAs for transfers

5 Lifetime ISA flaws – and how to fix them

Beginner's guide to stocks & shares ISAs

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