Virgin Money launches market-leading Cash ISAs

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Virgin Money Cash ISA

Virgin Money has launched a raft of market-leading fixed rate Cash ISAs and competitive fixed rate savings bonds.

Cash ISAs
The Cash ISAs top the best buy tables for one-year, three-year and five-year periods.

The one-year E-ISA pays 1.91%, which means it just edges ahead of Bath Building Society and the Post Office's ISAs, which pay 1.90%.

Here are the top five one-year fixed rate ISAs right now.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Open to transfers in?

Access

Virgin Money One-Year Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA

1.91%

£1

Yes

Online

Bath BS 12-Month Fixed Rate ISA

1.90%

£1

No

Branch, post

Post Office Fixed Rate Cash ISA

1.90%

£500

Yes

Branch, post, phone

Aldermore One-Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA

1.85%

£1,000

Yes

Online, post, phone

Britannia Fixed Rate Cash ISA

1.85%

£5,760

Yes

Branch, post


Meanwhile, Virgin's three-year ISA pays 2.40%, which is better than many four- and five-year ISAs, although it shares top spot with Bank of Scotland.

Here are the top five three-year ISAs now.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Open to transfers in?

Access

Virgin Money Three-Year Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA

2.40%

£1

Yes

Online

Bank of Scotland Fixed Cash ISA

2.40%

£500

Yes

Online, branch, phone

Skipton BS Three-Year Fixed Rate ISA

2.30%

£500

Yes

Online, branch

Lloyds Bank Three-Year Fixed Rate ISA

2.30%

£3,000

Yes

Branch, phone

TSB Three-Year Fixed Rate ISA

2.25%

£3,000

Yes

Online, branch, phone


Virgin's five-year E-ISA also shares top spot, this time with Skipton Building Society, although rates for this length have fallen in recent weeks as market-leading ISAs have swiftly filled up and then been withdrawn.

Here are the top five five-year ISAs now.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Open to transfers in?

Access

Virgin Money Five-Year Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA

3.00%

£1

Yes

Online

Skipton BS Online Five-Year Fixed Rate ISA

3.00%

£500

YesOnline

Principality BS Five-Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA

2.90%

£500

YesOnline, branch, post

Newcastle BS Fixed Rate Options ISA

2.90%

£500

YesOnline, branch, post

Nationwide Five-Year Fixed Rate ISA

2.50%

£1

Yes

Branch


The good thing about the Virgin ISAs is you can open one with just £1. Another good point is you can transfer in ISAs from past tax years. However, as the E-ISA name suggests, you can only access them online.

Fixed rate savings
Virgin's new fixed rate savings bonds also come in one-year, three-year and five-year varieties.
The one-year bond pays 1.91%, which puts it just behind the BM Savings one-year bond at the top of the best buy table. Here are the top five one-year bonds.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Access

BM Savings One-Year Fixed Rate Bond

2.00%

£1

Online, phone

Virgin Money Fixed Rate Bond

1.91%

£1

Online

Post Office Growth One-Year Fixed-Rate Bond

1.90%

£500

Online, phone, post, branch

Islamic Bank of Britain Sharia-Compliant 12-Month Fixed-Term Deposit*

1.90%

£1,000

Online, phone, post, branch

First Save One-Year Fixed-Rate Bond

1.90%

£1,000

Online

The three-year bond at 2.40% is quite a way off the best buys for that length of time. Here are the top five.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Access

Shawbrook Bank Three-Year Fixed Rate Bond Issue 12

2.65%

£5,000

Online, post

SecureTrust Fixed Rate Bond Three-Year Term

2.61%

£1,000

Online

Coventry BS Poppy Bond (26)

2.60%*

£1

Online, post, phone

Raphaels Bank 36-Month Fixed Rate Bond

2.60%

£5,000

Branch, post

Vanquis Bank Three-Year High Yield Bond

2.56%

£1,000

Online


The five-year bond paying 3.05% is more competitive and is just outside the top five.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Access

Secure Trust Bank Fixed-Rate Bond

3.11%

£1,000

Online

Vanquis Bank Five-Year High Yield

3.10%

£1,000

Online

Shawbrook Bank Five-Year Fixed-Rate Bond

3.10%

£5,000

Online, post

FirstSaver Five-Year Fixed Rate Bond

3.05%

£1,000

Online

Tesco Bank Fixed-Term Bond

3.05%

£2,000

Online, post


Getting a better rate
If these interest rates look pretty mediocre, there are other options you can look at.

Several current accounts are paying interest rates far in excess of the top instant access savings rates, while also offering no restrictions on you withdrawing your money.

Nationwide's FlexDirect account is paying 5% interest for a year on balances up to £2,500, providing you pay in £1,000 a month. Meanwhile, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks' Current Account Direct are paying 4% on balances up to £3,000 until March 2015, providing again you pay in £1,000 a month.

Santander's 123 account, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank's Classic Account with Vantage, and TSB's Classic Account with Enhance all pay interest of 3% up to certain balance limits and funding requirements.

If you're prepared to take on more risk, you could look at peer-to-peer companies. You can earn returns of over 5% by locking your money away for five years. Just be aware these companies are not regulated (yet) and your money isn't protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if a company goes under.

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