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This week’s best easy access, fixed and notice ISA rates

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The new tax year has sparked a sudden rush of activity in the cash ISA market, according to Moneyfacts’ analysis.

Savers now have a brand new £20,000 ISA allowance for the 2023-24 tax year, and there’s plenty of choice about where to put the cash.

The market-leading easy access rate has now risen to 3.35% AER, offered by Yorkshire Building Society.

Easy access ISAs

Yorkshire Building Society has upped the rate on its Limited Access ISA, and its online counterpart, the Limited Access Saver e-ISA from 3.1% to 3.35%. Both accounts can be opened with a minimum of £1, and both pay interest yearly.

But while Moneyfacts classes these products as “easy access”, as the product names suggest, access is actually limited. While withdrawals are allowed from each account, they can only be made on one day per year based on the anniversary of account opening.

If you want access to your money more easily, Coventry Building Society is paying 3.25% on its Limited Access ISA (Online) (4) and the HL Active Savings – Limited Access ISA (2), the latter only being available via Hargreaves Lansdown.

Both accounts allow six penalty-free withdrawals each year, with further withdrawals subject to 50 days loss of interest.

The Hargreaves Lansdown account prohibits transfers in from pre-existing ISAs, while the account accessed directly through Coventry Building Society allows you to transfer in funds from a range of different ISAs.

Several providers, including Paragon, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Teachers Building Society and Saga, are paying 3.2% AER on their easy access ISAs.

Fixed rate cash ISAs

One-year fixed

Santander remains at the top of Moneyfacts’ one-year chart with its 1 Year Fixed Rate ISA paying 4.15% AER.

As with its easy access counterpart, you’ll need £500 to open this ISA, which pays its interest yearly until maturity. Earlier access to your funds is allowed but will result in a 120-day loss of interest penalty and closure of the account.

You can choose to make further additions to cash in your account up to 30 April 2023, while requests to transfer in from external ISAs must be received within 14 days of account opening. Internal transfer requests can be made up until 30 April 2023.

Two-year fixed

Virgin Money leads the way with its 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA Issue 561 paying 4.26% AER either monthly or yearly.

Moneyfacts notes that not only is this rate higher than the market-leading one-year fixed-rate, but it pays more than the most competitive three- and five-year fixed ISAs as well.

Accounts can be opened online with an initial deposit of only £1 – a figure which can be added to for a further 30 days from opening. Meanwhile, you can gain earlier access to your funds in exchange for 90 days’ loss of interest.

Three-year fixed

Leeds Building Society’s 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA (Issue 137) now tops Moneyfacts’ three year chart as Gatehouse Bank has withdrawn its competitive fixed rate Woodland Cash ISAs.

This account pays 4.20% AER on a yearly basis once opened with an initial deposit of £100 or more. Additions to your pot can be made until the end of this month, while earlier access to your funds is permitted subject to 240 days’ loss of interest.

Leeds Building Society also has a 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA (Issue 176), offering the same rate of 4.20% AER for a year’s shorter fix. This account comes with largely the same criteria as the three-year counterpart, though the loss of interest penalty for earlier access is slightly shorter at 150 days.

Five-year fixed

In Moneyfacts’ five-year table, State Bank of India now sits in top position with an interest rate of 4.15% AER paid on its 5 Year Cash ISA Fixed Deposit.

To open this account, a minimum of £5,000 is needed as well as a State Bank of India current or savings account. Further additions are not permitted. Earlier access, however, is allowed if you provide 30 days’ notice although this will result in account closure.

Be aware that no interest will be paid if you close your account before its first anniversary, while you’ll face 1% loss of interest if closed any time after. Otherwise, interest is paid on maturity despite being compounded annually.

Notice ISA accounts

Buckinghamshire Building Society now provides the best rate for accounts needing 30 days or less notice, paying 2.60% AER on a monthly or yearly basis.

A minimum deposit of £100 is needed to open its 30-Day Cash ISA, but funds cannot be transferred in from any existing ISAs.

To access the money in your account, as the name suggests, you’ll need to provide 30 days’ notice or face a 30 days’ loss of interest.

Furness Building Society continues to top the table for accounts that require a notice period of 60 days or less. Its 45 Day Cash ISA, a flexible ISA, pays 3.30% AER yearly. After opening this account with a minimum of £1,000, to gain access to your funds you’ll need to provide 45 days’ notice, otherwise you’ll be landed with a 45-day loss of interest penalty.