Can you access money in an ISA?

Being able to access you savings when you need them is a must for many savers. So can you benefit from an ISA and still access your money if you need to? Here's the answers.

Updated on 20 May 2015.

Boy hammer smahing piggy bank

Can you access money in an ISA?

Can I withdraw money in an ISA?

There are no extra restrictions placed on how and when you can withdraw your cash simply because you've saved or invested in an ISA.

Instead, this will depend on the provider and the account your ISA savings or investments are held in. 

As with any other account you can choose to tie your money up for a set period of time.

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You can protect you savings from tax and maximise your returns with an ISA. Compare cash ISAs alongside other savings accounts to find the right home for your savings.
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There are a wide choice of fixed rate Cash ISAs available if you want to keep your savings as cash. 

These range from 1-5 year fixed terms during which access to your money is likely to be restricted.

It is also worth remembering that Investment ISAs, like the majority of investments are meant to be a long term investment and withdrawing your money early could mean any profits you earn are negated by the account fees.

Can I move my ISAs to a different bank?

You can move your ISAs to a different bank or building society in search of a better rate or a different investment opportunity, although you do need to be careful how you do this if you want to protect your money's tax-free status.

Not all providers and all accounts will accept ISA transfers so you'll need to check which do and don't when looking to move your money.

How do you make an ISA transfer?

To move money from an ISA with one bank or building society to another you will need to contact your ISA provider to arrange the transfer.

Under no circumstances should you withdraw the money in cash or transfer it online in person, doing this will remove your savings from the ISA wrapper and mean you lose that part of your ISA allowance.

For more help making an ISA transfer read our guide: Cash ISA Transfers: How to Manage & Maximise Your Money.

How long should an ISA transfer take?

The amount of time your ISA transfer will take is likely to vary from provider to provider, however under rules introduced in 2011 any transfer should now be completed within 15 working days.

If your ISA takes longer than this time you will need to complain to your ISA provider and seek reimbursement of any lost interest, for more help read our guide: How to Complain About Financial Services.

Is there a limit to the number of ISA transfers you can make in a year?

No, there's no limit on the number of ISA transfers you can make each year so you can move your money in Cash and Investment ISAs as many times as you wish.

Do I have to move all the money in my ISA each time I make a transfer?

If you are transferring money that you paid in to an ISA during the current tax year then you must transfer the balance in full, otherwise it will be as if you have paid into more than one Cash or Investment ISA.

If you are transferring money in ISAs from previous tax years then you can split the money as you wish. This could be between several accounts and with the same or different providers as you see fit.

Can I transfer several old ISAs into one account?

You're able to amalgamate ISAs from previous tax years into a single account. This can either be the same account you invest your current year's ISA allowance in, or a different one.

Providing the new ISA doesn't limit or restrict the number of transfers in there are no rules limiting the number of accounts you can transfer into a single ISA.

Can I transfer my ISA to someone else?

No, ISAs are an individual benefit that cannot be shared or transferred to another person.

Can I move money in a Cash ISA into an Investment ISA?

Yes, you can transfer any money held in a Cash ISA into an Investment ISA using the standard ISA transfer procedure.

Can I move money in an Investment ISA to a Cash ISA?

As of July 1st 2014 this is now possible. The overall limit for a cash ISA and an investment ISA is a collective 15,240 which can also now be used fully in either cash or investment ISA.

If I transfer my current year's Cash ISA savings to an Investment ISA, can I add to the Cash ISA again this tax year?

Yes, once you transfer money to an Investment ISA from a Cash ISA they are treated as if they were originally deposited there.

This means you can then pay more money directly into your current year's Cash ISA - assuming you have sufficient allowance remaining.

Can I transfer an ISA and open a new one in the same year ?

Yes, you can transfer a previous year's ISA and open a new one in the same year.

This is because transferring an ISA does not count as paying into a new ISA as long as you arrange the transfer through your ISA providers.

You can transfer previous years' ISAs as many times as you like without impacting you current year's allowance.

For more information read our guide: Can You Transfer an ISA and Open a New One in the Same Year?

Written by at money.co.uk

Compare Savings Accounts
You can protect you savings from tax and maximise your returns with an ISA. Compare cash ISAs alongside other savings accounts to find the right home for your savings.
Compare Savings Accounts

Further reading...

Can you transfer an ISA and open a new one in the same year?

ISAs are a great way of getting more from your money, but with the tax man looking over your shoulder you have to play by certain rules in your quest to avoid plummeting interest rates. Here are your ISA transfer questions answered.

What are flexible ISAs?

Soon you will have much more freedom when you save in a cash ISA after George Osborne announced the introduction on a new flexible ISA. So what are Flexible ISAs, and how does it differ from the current rules?

What is your new tax-free personal savings allowance?

95% of savers will no longer have to pay tax on their interest after George Osborne unveiled a new personal savings allowance in the 2015 budget. We examine if this change helps you, and how much extra you will earn.

How the Help to Buy ISA can get you on the property ladder

Saving up to buy your first property can be difficult, but a new Help to Buy ISA for first time buyers could soon make it a little easier. We explain how it will work and how it could help you get your new home sooner.