Cash ISA rates rise again: where to find a good deal

Cash ISA rates rise again

ISA rates are on the up, with rates increasing by as much as 42% since December 2016.

The 2017/18 ISA subscription limit has jumped to £20,000 and can be invested in Cash, Stocks and Shares and/or using an Innovative Finance ISA.

If you're interested in investing part or all your 2017/18 ISA allowance in cash, we've gathered the best rates available.

Are Cash ISAs still worthwhile?

You might think there's no point in saving into a Cash ISAs anymore.

The rates on offer aren't great, and the new Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) means you can earn up to £1,000 tax-free interest from any savings or current account, effectively negating the ISAs unique selling point.

However, the humble Cash ISA still holds two attractive features for long-term savers.

First, it doesn't count towards your PSA, meaning there's no limit to the amount of tax-free interest you can earn each year.

Second, it's open to all savers – unlike the PSA, which isn't an option for additional-rate taxpayers and is capped at £500 for higher-rate taxpayers.

Of course, you could potentially earn a far better return and keep the tax-free benefits by investing in a Stocks and Shares ISA instead.

However, not everyone is happy taking on the risk of investing in the stock market. Others might prefer a combination of the two.

So, the Cash ISA can still play a part in your long-term savings plan.

Getting the best deal

To get the best Cash ISA rates, there are a couple of things you should know.

The top deals tend to be available to people who already have products with a financial institution, so have a good look at what your bank and its competitors are offering to suss out what you could be eligible for.

To help you get started, we've rounded up the best instant access, notice and fixed-rate Cash ISA accounts that are widely available.

Top instant-access Cash ISAs

These are the top rates on offer if you want to easily get your hands on your cash at any time.

ISA

Rate

Minimum deposit

Bonus

Notes

Access

Virgin Money Defined Access E-ISA Issue 14

1.01%

£1

None

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online

Post Office Money Online ISA - Easy Access Issue 10

1.01%

£100

0.76% for 12 months

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online

Ford Money Flexible Cash ISA1.00%£1NoneTransfers and new subscriptions.Online, phone

Tesco Bank Instant Access Cash ISA

0.97%

£1

0.47% for first 12 months

Transfers and new subscriptions

Online, phone

Top notice Cash ISAs

Some accounts require you to give a little warning before you take money out of the account.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Bonus

Notes

Access

Al Rayan Bank 120-Day Notice Cash ISA

1.21%*

£250

None

Transfers and new subscriptions.

120 days' notice required for withdrawals.

Online, phone, branch, post, app

Hinckley & Rugby Building Society 120 Day Notice Cash ISA Issue 2

1.20%

£500

None

New subscriptions only.

120 days' notice required for withdrawals.

Branch, post

*Expected profit rate

Top fixed rate ISAs

Let's move onto fixed-rate Cash ISAs, where you put your money away for a certain period of time.

Here are the best buys ordered by interest rate.

Account

Interest rate (AER)

Minimum deposit

Length of fixed rate

Notes

Access

Virgin Money Fixed Rate Cash E-ISA Issue 258

2.00%

£1

Five years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online

Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank Cash ISA - Fixed Rate Bond (Issue 41)

2.00%

£2,000

Three years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online, branch

UBL Bank UK 2-Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA

1.36%

£2,000

Two years

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online, post, branch

Bank of Cyprus UK Fixed Rate Cash ISA

1.22%

£500

One year

Transfers and new subscriptions.

Online

If you lock your money away for longer, you'll get a better rate. The only risk you run is missing out on a potential rate rise before your fixed-rate period is up.

ISA options

You can save some or all of your annual ISA allowance in a Cash ISA and earn interest tax-free.

But you also have the option of putting some or all of your allowance into a Stocks and Shares ISA.

You can also put money in an Innovative Finance ISA or IFISA which lets you keep returns on investments made via peer-to-peer loans tax-free.

Lending Works recently launched the first one at an impressive 4.5%. You can also get an IFISA from HNW Lending for 7%-15%, depending on how much risk you want to take.

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This is a free shopping app, which lets you scan barcodes when you're shopping, and the app will do a price comparison for the same products in local shops and on websites. You can even buy it online through the app.

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This is a clever site which is designed to help you get a cheap deal on Amazon.co.uk. It has a few features, which you can use together to make sure you always get a good deal from the site.

The first is the price history charts, which show how the price has changed over time, and how the current price compares. If the price is comparatively low you can just buy at that price. Alternatively, if it has risen recently, you can set a price alert, where you input a price you would be happy to pay, and you will receive an alert when the price drops to this level.

If you use a lot of data on your smartphone, onavo extend will help you dramatically cut the data you get through.

It is a compression app, which works in the background on services like sending and receiving emails, checking maps and browsing the web, and ensures it all uses less data (although it doesn't work on things like Skype or streaming video). It works by ensuring that before any data is sent to your device, it goes through the company's servers and is compressed.

It can cut the amount of data you use by up to 50%, which can help you keep within data limits and save you a fortune. It will also monitor how much data you actually use which will help you pick the most cost-effective plan.

When you call 0800 numbers from your mobile it's not free, and it's usually not counted as part of your monthly inclusive minutes, so you'll be charged extra for the call.

If you install the free 0800 Wizard app, you type in the 0800 number, and it will automatically re-route your call to an 01, 02 or 03 number instead. These cost the same as a standard local call, so will be part of your monthly package. If you don't have any minutes left it will be charged as a standard geographic number.

This website is designed to let you shop around without leaving your home. You can use it in whatever way suits you best. For the dedicated bargain-hunter, you can input everything you want to buy, find the supermarket where each item is cheapest, and spend the absolute minimum.

For those who need a bit more convenience, you can fill your trolley as normal through the site (and use the swap and save button to see if you can save by buying a different size or brand). A basket icon on the right hand side of the screen will show you the cost of the same shop at alternative supermarkets, so you can switch the whole lot over at the click of a button. And there's even a vouchers button you can use before you checkout to see if you can save more. The site claims that you'll save an average of £17 every time you shop using the site.

There are lots of voucher apps and websites out there, but one which is worth a look is vouchercloud. Whether you're shopping, eating out, going to the cinema or going for a drink with friends, you can use the location function of this app to find the best deals on offer near to where you are. 
This site has been around for a while, but remains a vital tool. You can search for the cheapest petrol in your area - or the area you are visiting - so you can pay less for your fuel without going out of your way. It's free to sign up and you get 20 free searches a week. There's also a PetrolPrices Pro app, so you can check prices when you're on the road.
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