Investment ISAs are tax-efficient wrappers for long term investments. You may get back less than you pay in as your capital isn't guaranteed and charges may apply. Your personal circumstances will determine how much tax you pay on your investments and returns; tax laws may change.

This comparison includes all cash ISAs and a selection of investment ISAs.
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Nationwide Regular Saver ISA
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1
Interest Rate
1.9% AER variable until 31 Mar 2016
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
not accepted
Aldermore 3 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1,000
Interest Rate
1.85% AER fixed for 3 years
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Aldermore 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1,000
Interest Rate
1.75% AER fixed for 2 years
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Halifax ISA Saver Fixed - 2 Year Term
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£500
Interest Rate
1.5% AER fixed for 2 years
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
No withdrawals allowed except on early closure subject to the loss of 180 days tax-free interest.
Nationwide Instant ISA Saver (Issue 3)
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1
Interest Rate
1.4% AER variable
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Halifax ISA Saver Fixed - 1 Year Term
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£500
Interest Rate
1.4% AER fixed for 1 year
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
No withdrawals allowed except on early closure subject to the loss of 90 days tax-free interest.
NatWest 2 Year Fixed Rate ISA Issue 129
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1,000
Interest Rate
1.4% AER fixed until 10 Aug 2017 on £25,000+
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Interest will be paid at the rate of 1.40% AER/Gross (fixed) p.a. until the Fixed Rate ISA maturity date - 10th August 2017.
RBS 2 Year Fixed Rate ISA Issue 129
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1,000
Interest Rate
1.4% AER fixed until 10 Aug 2017 on £25,000+
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Interest will be paid at the rate of 1.40% AER/Gross (fixed) p.a. until the Fixed Rate ISA maturity date - 10th August 2017.
Aldermore 30 Day Notice Cash ISA (Issue 5)
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1,000
Interest Rate
1.25% AER
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
NatWest 1 Year Fixed Rate ISA Issue 128
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1,000
Interest Rate
1.25% AER fixed until 10 Aug 2016 on £25,000+
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Interest will be paid at the rate of 1.25% AER/Gross (fixed) p.a. until the Fixed Rate ISA maturity date - 10th August 2016.
RBS 1 Year Fixed Rate ISA Issue 128
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1,000
Interest Rate
1.25% AER fixed until 10 Aug 2016 on £25,000+
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Interest will be paid at the rate of 1.25% AER/Gross (fixed) p.a. until the Fixed Rate ISA maturity date - 10th August 2016.
NatWest Cash ISA
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1
Interest Rate
1% AER variable on £25,000+
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Earn tax free interest of up to 1.00% AER (variable) on balances of at least £25,000 and earn up to 0.50% AER (variable) on balances below £25,000.
RBS Instant Access ISA
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1
Interest Rate
1% AER variable on £25,000+
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Earn tax free interest of up to 1.00% AER (variable) on balances of at least £25,000 and earn up to 0.50% AER (variable) on balances below £25,000.
Halifax ISA Saver Variable
Account Type
Cash ISA
Open With
£1
Interest Rate
0.8% AER variable inc. 0.30% fixed bonus for 12 months
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
0.80% tax free/AER variable including 12 month fixed bonus of 0.30%.
Scottish Friendly Assurance My Fund Select (ISA)
Account Type
Investment ISA
Open With
£10/month
Interest Rate
-
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Receive a £50 My Rewards Card once your first premium has been collected. Terms apply. Capital at risk.
AXA Self Investor Smart + ISA
Account Type
Investment ISA
Open With
£500 or £50/month
Interest Rate
-
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Low 0.35% p.a. ISA account charge. Fund manager charges apply. No fees for buying, selling or switching funds.
Capital is at risk. AXA does not give financial advice.
AJ Bell Youinvest Youinvest Investment ISA
Account Type
Investment ISA
Open With
£500 or £25/month
Interest Rate
-
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
Deal online from just £4.95 & never pay more than £9.95. No account charge.
Interactive Investor ISA
Account Type
Investment ISA
Open With
Any amount
Interest Rate
-
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted
£20 per quarter fee gets you two £10 trades & a Stocks & Shares ISA for free. T&Cs apply.
SunLife My Smarter (ISA)
Account Type
Investment ISA
Open With
£100 or £10/month
Interest Rate
-
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
-
Invest from £10 a month. You could get back less than you paid in. Provided by Scottish Friendly. Apply online today & claim £25 M&S vouchers. T&Cs apply.
F&C Investment Trust ISA
Account Type
Investment ISA
Open With
£500 or £50/month
Interest Rate
-
Protection Scheme
FSCS
ISA Transfers In
accepted

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ISA Savings Explained

Find out how you can use your ISA allowance to save thousands each year tax free and how you can be sure you have the best ISA deals all year round.

What is an ISA?

As an incentive to save, the government provides each UK resident over the age of 16 with a tax free investment allowance every tax year (this runs from 6th April to the 5th April the following year, the latter of which represents the annual ISA deadline).

These are known as ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) and funds can either be invested as cash or in stocks and shares.

How much can you put in an ISA?

For the 2015/16 tax year the total ISA allowance is 15,240, all of which can now be saved in a Cash ISA or Investment ISA. 

You are free to save as much or as little in cash or investments as you see fit.

How to secure the best ISA savings rates

Most banks and building societies offer a range of Cash ISA accounts so you have plenty of options when it comes to finding the best rates.

Cash ISAs operate similarly to ordinary, taxable savings accounts with both fixed term Cash ISAs and instant access Cash ISAs available.

The main difference, aside from the ISA rules which make things a little more complicated, is that any interest you earn on your money is paid in full - you don't have any tax deducted whatsoever, unlike ordinary savings accounts.

This tax free interest benefit can make your savings even more profitable providing you keep your money in the best interest rate possible.

This means carrying out a Cash ISA comparison at the start of every new tax year to find the best ISA interest rates around so you make the most of your new ISA limits. However, that's not all you need to do.

Cash ISA providers often reduce the interest rate they pay on ISA savings considerably after the first 6 months to a year. As such even the best ISA accounts can end up paying you minimal interest if you're not careful.

To combat this almost guaranteed decline in even the best interest rates you need to keep an eye on the return your money is earning, carry out an ISA interest rates comparison as soon as you see that the rate has started to drop, and then choose the top ISA available to transfer your savings to.

The exception to this is fixed rate Cash ISAs which will pay a fixed interest rate throughout the agreed term. After this period ends the rate is likely to drop significantly so you'll need to look at carrying out an ISA transfer to take advantage of the new rates available. Read our article on ISA transfers for more information.

Cash ISAs tend to be most suited to savers looking for guaranteed returns and those who need access to their money over the short term.

How to compare ISAs for investments

Investment ISAs tend to be more suitable for those looking to invest over a longer period and, as with any investment in the stock market, they do involve an element of risk as returns are dependent on the performance of the stock you invest in.

However, it is possible to mediate this risk by spreading your investments using vehicles such as fund ISAs.

When you carry out your Investment ISA comparison it's important to check what you'll be investing in, how much you're able to invest both as a lump sum, and over time and what the ISA manager will charge you in the way of annual management fees and charges if you decide you want to transfer savings to a different provider. Doing so is the only way to make sure you get the best ISA account for your circumstances.

How to understand ISA savings rules

During a tax year you are allowed to invest your Cash ISA and Investment ISA savings allowance with different providers. Although you are only able to pay into a single Cash ISA account (held with a single provider) and a single Investment ISA each tax year. You can however hold different ISA accounts that house previous years' allowances with a number of different providers.

Any money you invest in an ISA gains its tax-free status immediately so you start to reap the tax-free benefits right away. However, it's important to remember that after you use your full allowance for a tax year (whether this be the 15,000 maximum) you are unable to pay in any more funds.

Despite this, you can transfer ISAs between providers, although it is vital that you do this by requesting an internal transfer rather than by simply withdrawing the money.

As with previous years' allowances you are able to transfer funds held in a Cash ISA with one provider to an equivalent Cash ISA held by another provider, similarly with Investment ISAs.

Whether you decide to use your allowance wholly to invest in the stock market or prefer to have keep some available as cash, the only important thing is that you use as much of it as possible each tax year as ISA allowances don't roll over, so if you don't use them, you lose them.

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