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

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Competition in the ISA market is settling down after the excitement of ISA season and the start of the new tax year, according to analysis by Moneyfacts.

The market-leading easy access rate remains at 3.35% AER, offered by Yorkshire Building Society. Virgin Money has launched two new fixed rate ISA products, with its three-year deal topping the chart.

Easy access ISAs

Yorkshire Building Society tops the easy access table with its Limited Access ISA, and its online counterpart, the Limited Access Saver e-ISA both paying 3.35%. Both accounts can be opened with a minimum of £1, and both pay interest yearly. The only difference between the two accounts is how they’re opened and managed.

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.

The next best easy access rate is 3.3% by Leeds Building Society on its Limited Issue Online Access ISA (Issue 58). This account offers greater flexibility to access your money than the market-leading options, as it allows unlimited withdrawals via a nominated account. However, it does require a larger initial deposit of at least £1,000 and can only be opened and managed online.

Cynergy Bank’s Online ISA (Issue 34) pays slightly less at 3.28% AER but with a minimum deposit of just £1. To access online banking with Cynergy, you’ll need to have the Cynergy Bank Authenticator App downloaded or use a Digipass.

Fixed rate cash ISAs

One-year fixed

Gatehouse Bank continues to top Moneyfacts one-year fixed rate charts with its one-year Woodland Cash ISA paying an expected profit rate of 4.20% AER, rather than an interest rate, as the bank follows Islamic finance principles.

A minimum of £1,000 is needed to open the account and further additions aren’t permitted. Earlier access is allowed, though subject to a 90-day loss of profit penalty.

Profit can either be paid monthly or on maturity. As an added incentive, Gatehouse Bank promises to plant a tree in the UK for every Woodland account opened and funded.

Two-year fixed

In the two-year table, the best rate available is offered by Paragon Bank, Shawbrook Bank and Close Brothers Savings, which all pay 4.28%.

Paragon’s 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA requires a minimum deposit of £500 and you can continue to make further additions or transfer in funds from cash ISAs or stocks and shares ISAs for a further 28 days.

Though a 180-day loss of interest penalty will be applied for any earlier access, with this flexible ISA, you’ll be able to replace any funds withdrawn without it counting towards your annual ISA allowance.

Shawbrook Bank’s 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA Bond Issue 69 needs a slightly larger opening amount than Paragon Bank, at £1,000. While earlier access will cost you 180 days’ loss of interest, further additions and transfers into this account can be made without restriction.

Close Brothers’ 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA has a £10,000 minimum deposit. Within 10 days of account opening, you can make further additions and transfer in funds from other ISAs. However, despite imposing the shortest loss of interest penalty out of the three providers with the same rate at 150 days, earlier access will also result in account closure.

Three-year fixed

Virgin Money takes top position on the three-year chart after launching its new 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA Issue 566 paying 4.26% AER either monthly or yearly.

This account can be opened online with £1. Further additions to your pot can be made for 30 days from account opening, but to gain earlier access to your cash will cost you 120 days’ loss of interest.

Despite an increase, the market-leading three-year rate is still less than the best two-year rates available, meaning it’s possible to get a higher interest rate for a shorter term.

Five-year fixed

Gatehouse Bank continues to top the five-year fixed rate charts with its Woodland Cash ISA, paying an expected profit rate of 4.20% AER.

A minimum of £1,000 is needed to open either account but, as further additions aren’t permitted, you’ll need to carefully consider your initial deposit.

Earlier access is allowed, though subject to a 365-day loss of profit penalty.

Notice accounts

For accounts that require 30 days or less notice, Aldermore still offers the best rate on its 30 Day Notice Cash ISA Issue 12 which pays 2.80% AER and has a minimum deposit of £1,000.

To gain access to the money in your account, you’ll need to provide 30 days’ notice or face a 30-day loss of interest penalty. Further additions are allowed without restrictions, while transfers in are permitted from cash ISAs, stocks and shares ISAs and Help to Buy ISAs.

Furness Building Society continues to offer the market-leading rate for accounts needing 60 days or less notice. Its 45 Day Notice Cash ISA, a flexible ISA, pays 3.55% AER yearly. To open, you’ll need an initial deposit of £1,000, while to access your cash you’ll need to provide 45 days’ notice. Earlier access without serving this notice period will incur a 45-day loss of interest penalty.