The best Cash ISAs for the 2016/17 tax year

If you want to use some or all of your ISA allowance for this tax year, here are the top Cash ISAs right now.

It’s a new tax year and that means a brand new ISA allowance to take advantage of. Between now and 5th April 2017 you can stash up to £15,240 in an ISA and earn returns tax-free.

Typically at the start of a new tax year ISA providers launch better rates to entice savers. That hasn't really happened this year and going against tradition providers are withdrawing and cutting deals rather than introducing better ones. 

Despite all that, you can still land a decent deal if you know where to search.

To get the most out of your ISA, there are a couple of things you should know before we begin. The top ISAs tend to be available to people who already have products with a financial institution or live in certain geographic areas, so have a good look at what your bank and its competitors are offering to suss out what you could be eligible for. 

If you're thinking about a stocks & shares ISA for the first time, have a read of Beginner's guide to stocks & shares ISAs.

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

For those who want to stick with Cash ISAs, we've rounded up the best instant access, notice and fixed rate accounts to get you started.

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

Punjab National Bank Variable Cash ISA

1.65%

£1

None

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Branch, post

Coventry BS Easy Access ISA (2)

1.40%

£1

None

New subscriptions only.

Online, branch, post, phone

Skipton BS Bonus Cash ISA Issue 5

1.40%

£1

0.40% for the first 12 months

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online, branch, post

Yorkshire BS Triple Access ISA Saver

1.35%

£100

None

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Maximum of three withdrawals a year.

Branch, post

As you can see, some instant-access accounts come with temporary bonuses. We’ve got no problem with fixed bonuses. They mean that your interest rate can’t fall below a certain level for a set period. That's not the case with a variable rate bonus though.

Just remember that the interest rate on your account will almost certainly crash once the bonus expires.

Top notice Cash ISAs

At the moment giving a little warning before making a withdrawal gets you a slightly higher interest rate with the top notice ISAs.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Bonus

Notes

Access

Al Rayan Bank Notice Cash ISA

2.02%*

£250

None

Transfers and new subscriptions.

120 days’ notice required for withdrawals.

Online, branch, post, phone

Teachers Building Society Cash ISA Notice 90 (Issue 5)

1.50%

£100

None

Transfers and new subscriptions.

90 days’ notice required for withdrawals.

Post

*Expected profit rate

Top fixed rate ISAs

Let's move onto fixed rate ISAs, which lock up your money for a certain period of time.

With the Bank of England indicating that interest rates aren't likely to rise rapidly in the short term, it might be worth opting for a one- or two-year fixed rate in order to get a better return with the option to exit in the not too distant future.

Here are the best buys ordered by interest rate.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Length of fixed rate

Notes

Access

Punjab National Bank Fixed Rate Cash ISA

2.5%

£1,000

Five years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Branch, post

Punjab National Bank Fixed Rate Cash ISA

2.35%

£1,000

Four years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Branch, post

Punjab National Bank Fixed Rate Cash ISA

2.30%

£1,000

Three years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Branch, post

Punjab National Bank Fixed Rate Cash ISA

1.90%

£1,000

Two years

Transfers and new subscriptions only

Branch, post

Al Rayan Bank 12 Month Fixed Term Cash ISA

1.90%*

£1,000

One year

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online, branch, post, phone

*Expected profit rate

Even though they have significantly higher interest rates, beware of the risk that come from five-year bonds. The danger with locking your money away for longer is that rates may rise in just a couple of years' time, leaving you stuck with an uncompetitive account.

Compare Cash ISAs

This article is regularly updated with the latest rates

More on ISAs and savings:

Top Cash ISAs for transfers

The top fixed rate savings bonds 

Beginner's guide to stocks & shares ISAs

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