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This week’s best cash ISA accounts

This week’s best cash ISA accounts
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

There is continued value to be found in cash ISAs for savers, with prices ‘significantly better’ than in 2019.

According to finance expert Rachel Springall, the rates will only improve as many providers review their ranges for 2024.

Springall said: “Those savers who locked into the top one-year fixed ISA this time last year will be pleased to see they can earn 1.00% more in the equivalent cash ISA.

“If consumers prefer to invest over the longer term, they will find the top five-year fixed ISA pays significantly more than the equivalent back in 2019. Over the years, cash ISAs have been an essential way for consumers to protect their savings returns from tax, and they are still worth taking advantage of today.”

In a week with little movement among the best providers, here are the leading cash ISA accounts, according to Moneyfacts.

Easy access accounts

For another week, the Moneybox Cash ISA boasts the leading rate of 5.09% AER paid on anniversary, plus a bonus worth 0.94% for the first 12 months of the account opening.

This app-only account requires at least a £500 deposit, and a lower price of 0.75% AER is applied if more than three withdrawals are made in 12 months.

In second place again is another app-only offer from Zopa’s Smart ISA – Access ISA, with a rate of 5.08% AER. Savers need a minimal deposit of £1, but need to open a Smart Saver account using the Smart Saving Hub to get going on the account.

Completing an unchanged trio on the easy access podium is Coventry Building Society. Its Four Access ISA (Online) pays 5.05% AER either monthly or on anniversary. This online account also needs £1 as a deposit and allows four withdrawals each year with no penalty. However, any more than that incurs a loss of interest worth 50 days.

Fixed-rate bonds

Virgin Money continues to lead the fixed-rate market, with a 5.25% AER on the 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Exclusive Issue 10. This is exclusive to existing customers with a Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank, or B current account or are a new or existing Virgin Money customer from 4 December 2019. Early access will see a 60-day loss of interest and further deposits are permitted. Returns are received on the account maturity on 31 January 2025, while interest is compounded in the interim period.

To secure a rate for longer, consider Zopa’s Smart ISA – 2 Year Fixed Term ISA, which is now the leading provider with a rate of 4.70% AER. A deposit of £1 will open the account, but a Smart Saver in your name is also mandatory. It needs to be managed using the app, while additions are permitted for 30 days after account opening.

Early access to your funds must be the full balance, after which the account will be closed, and 180 days’ loss of interest added.

UBL UK tops the three and five-year market, due to its 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA and 5 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA deals, offering 4.35% AER and 4.16% AER respectively. The Sharia Law-compliant account can be opened in a branch, by post, using the app, or on the phone.

The accounts are flexible in one sense, as interest is paid either monthly, quarterly, on maturity, or anniversary. However, a larger minimum deposit of £2,000 is needed to open.

As is the nature of the fixed-term sector, early access to your funds leads to account closure and a loss of interest penalty (270 days for the three-year fix and 365 for the five-year).

Notice accounts

Once again, Aldermore’s 30 Day Notice Cash ISA Issue 12 rate of 4.50% AER is the top rate for a shorter notice period. Interest is paid either monthly or on anniversary, and a deposit of £1,000 is needed to secure the deal, but additional funds are accepted with no penalties too.

In one of few changes in this week’s round-up, West Brom Building Society’s WeBSave 60 Day Notice ISA (Issue 2) now tops the 60-day notice tree.

The online-only deal pays 5.06% AER and interest is paid monthly or yearly, while a nominal £1 deposit will open the account. While further funds can be added without a penalty, early access to the investment will receive a 60-day loss of interest.

Keeping the best rate for a 90-day notice account is Furness Building Society’s 90 Day Notice Cash ISA (Issue 1). This account can be opened in a branch or by phone and needs a larger deposit of £1,000 to open, while further investments are also free with no penalties.

The Aldermore and Furness accounts will charge 30 and 90 days’ loss of interest to access your funds earlier than the respective deal’s notice period.