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This week’s best cash ISA accounts

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

Virgin Money and Metro Bank are battling it out to lead the best buy ISA tables this week, offering market-leading rates for cash savers.

Metro Bank continues to hold the top spot in the easy access ISA product category, while Virgin Money’s one-year ISA has leapt to first place with the interest rate available to savers.

With data from Moneyfacts, here’s a run-down of the best payers right now:

Easy access accounts

The Metro Bank Instant Access Cash ISA retains the top spot for the third consecutive week, offering 5.11% AER.

But to get this rate, you need to deposit a minimum £500 within 28 days. This is because it comes with a bonus rate of 3.46% for 12 months. If you deposit a lower amount, you’ll earn just 1.65% AER.

You’ll also need to visit a Metro Bank branch to open the account, though it can be managed online, by phone, app and in person.

The app-only Moneybox Cash ISA offers 5.09% AER on a minimum £500. As with Metro, it also pays a bonus (0.94%) for 12 months. But this account isn’t truly ‘easy access’ as if more than three withdrawals are made in 12 months, your interest will drop to just 0.75%. Further additions can be put into the account and transfers are accepted.

In third place is the Zopa Smart ISA – Access ISA which is also an app-only challenger. The account requires £1 to open and comes with a rate of 5.08% AER paid monthly. However, to get this rate, you’ll need to open a Smart Saver account through the Smart Savings Hub. There are no restrictions on withdrawals but transfers aren’t permitted.

Fixed-rate bonds

Virgin Money has secured first place this week with its 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Exclusive Issue 9 which pays 5.50% AER. Customers can open the account online but it can be managed in branch, online, mail, phone and mobile. Early access is permitted but expect 60 days’ loss of interest on the amount withdrawn.

You also need to hold a current account to get the linked product. For Virgin Money customers, this means having a current account from 4 December 2019, though those with Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank can also get the deal.

For those looking to put money away for two years, Zopa’s Smart ISA – 2-Year Fixed Term ISA, Secure Trust Bank’s 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA and Metro Bank’s 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA all pay 5.01% AER.

The differences come with interest payments and how to open this selection of two-year fixed terms. Zopa’s option pays interest monthly and should you opt for Metro and Secure Trust, interest is paid yearly.

Metro’s deal requires the account to be opened in branch but is more flexible in managing transactions, which can be done online or over the phone. Secure Trust’s ISA needs the account to be opened online but can be managed by phone, while Zopa’s account is app-only.

Sharia law banks have tended to offer eye-grabbing rates and this week is no exception. UBL UK offers the top rates for both three-year and five-year products with its Fixed Rate Cash ISA options. The three-year fix is priced at 4.87% AER whereas the five-year account is 4.81% AER. Both accounts can be opened online, by branch, app or post and managed by phone too. Savers will need £2,000 to open the account and no further additions are permitted.

Early access is only permitted on closure and anything earlier is subject to 270 days’ loss of interest for the three-year or a year’s worth of interest lost for the five-year alternative.

Notice ISA accounts

Aldermore’s 30-Day Notice Cash ISA Issue 12 still leads the way, paying 4.50% AER monthly or on anniversary, with customers needing at least £1,000 to get started. It’s an online account and further additions and early access are allowed, but withdrawing early will lead to a charge of 30 days’ loss of interest.

There’s also no movement in the best 45 day notice account, which is still Harpenden Building Society’s 45-day Notice ISA Account (Issue 1) which pays 4.55% AER and needs at least £1,000 to open. Early access isn’t permitted but further additions are accepted. This account can be managed in a branch, by post or online.