The best Junior ISAs

Updated on 27 October 2016 | 5 Comments

We highlight the top Junior ISAs, which can give you a return of up to 4%.

Junior ISAs (JISAs) are a great way to usher your kids into the savings habit early in their lives.

Launched almost five years ago, they allow funds to be paid into a tax-free savings account held in the name of an under-18 by a family member.

Like regular adult ISAs, JISAs come in cash as well as stocks and shares varieties.

Up to £4,080 can be invested in one or both types of JISAs (although the combined amount can't be over that limit) in the current tax year and the funds cannot be withdrawn until the child turns 18 – when the account turns into a regular adult ISA.

Previously, one downside with these ISAs is that they weren’t available to any child who held or was eligible for a Child Trust Fund, the Government-backed savings scheme that closed to new business in 2011.

But the rules have changed and CTFs can now be transferred into Junior ISAs.

So what are the best JISAs around at the moment? First up, the cash variety…

Coventry Building Society’s 3.25% Smart Junior ISA

Coventry Building Society has the top-paying Cash JISA with a variable rate of 3.25% and you can start with a tiny deposit of £1. 

Anyone - parents, grandparents, other family members and friends can pay in by cash, cheque, electronically or by money transfer. Cash can be transferred in and out of the account.

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Other cash options

But if you’re not up for taking a worse rate on your savings to secure the best rate for your child, here are some other leading Junior Cash ISA accounts you could go for instead:

Account

Interest Rate (AER)

Minimum Deposit

Transfers in allowed?

Transfers out notice period

Access

Nationwide BS Smart JISA

3.00%

£1

Yes

No notice

Branch or online

Halifax Junior Cash ISA

3.00%

£1

Yes

No notice

Branch or online

TSB Junior Cash ISA

3.00%

 £1

Yes

No notice

Branch 

Tesco Bank Junior Cash ISA

3.00%

£1

Yes

No notice

Online, phone

Darlington BS Junior Cash ISA

3.00%

£1

Yes

No notice

Branch, post

Stocks and shares Junior ISAs

Stocks and shares Junior ISAs will usually offer a better return than Cash JISAs, but they are riskier. There is obviously the potential that you could lose money – a threat that is not there with the Cash ISA.

Picking a stocks and shares JISA is slightly trickier than choosing a cash account.

Think about your attitude to risk, although bear in mind that this investment could be for up to 18 years so you should have time to ride out any rough patches.

Make sure you shop around on management charges and fees. And beware of companies offering incentives such as free shopping vouchers in an attempt to blind you to high charges and poor performance.

Although, of course, past performance is no indicator of what might happen in the future.

Take a look at our Beginner's guide to stocks & shares ISAs and don’t be afraid to ask a question on our Q&A board to get tips from other, more seasoned, investors.

But remember, if you don’t use your or your child's annual ISA allowance by the end of the financial year – April 5 – you’ll lose it!

Have you got one?

Have you – or more accurately, your kids – got a Junior ISA? Let us know about your experiences in the comments box below.

This article is regularly updated to reflect changes in rates

Compare savings accounts with loveMONEY

More on ISAs

The best Cash ISAs

Top Cash ISAs for transfers

Beginner's guide to stocks & shares ISAs

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