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TAX-FREE ISAs

save up to £20,000 per year tax free

Find a great new ISA 

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What is an ISA?

Individual savings accounts, or ISAs, let you save up to £20,000 each tax year without paying any tax on the interest you earn or on your investment returns.

There are different types of ISAs including cash ISAs, stocks and share ISAs and, if you’re eligible, Lifetime ISAs.

You must be at least 16 years old to save in an ISA - with the exception of a Junior ISA (which has a £9,000 annual allowance).

 

How do ISAs work?

It’s easy to get started with a new ISA. Just follow these steps:

  • Choose your ISA

    Whether you opt for a cash ISA or stocks and shares ISA, compare available accounts and decide which one best suits your needs.

  • Deposit your money

     Click through to the provider to open the account. You may be asked to deposit a minimum amount to start saving. You can save up to £20,000 each tax year.

  • Start saving tax-free

    Cash ISAs pay interest while the return on a stocks and shares ISA depends on the value of the assets. Remember, stock markets can go down as well as up.

What types of ISA can I open?

There are different types of ISAs available depending on your circumstances and requirements. Cash ISAs and fixed-rate ISAs are savings accounts with minimal risk. Stocks and shares ISAs are investment ISAs where your capital is at risk and the value could go down as well as up. So what’s on offer:

  • Cash ISAs

    Cash ISAs let you protect your savings from the taxman and earn interest. Depending on the type of cash ISA you open you’ll often be able to access your money easily.

  • Fixed-rate ISAs

    A fixed-term ISA also offers tax-free savings, but you are likely to get higher interest rates if you lock the money away for a given period.

  • Stocks and shares ISAs

    A stocks and shares ISA gives you tax-free returns on investments. Investment decisions are made by a fund manager or the ISA provider based on your attitude to risk. 

  • Lifetime ISAs

    Lifetime ISAs are for people aiming to buy their first home or save for retirement. You can save up to £4,000 a year until you're 50 and the government will add a 25% bonus.

  • Self-select ISAs

    A self-select ISA works in a similar way to a stocks and shares ISA, however you’ll choose the shares to hold in your ISA rather than a fund manager

  • Innovative finance ISAs

    Innovative finance ISAs, also known as an IFISA, lets you earn tax-free interest on peer-to-peer loans you make. These tend to be higher risk investments.

What is the difference between a risk and non-risk based ISA?

A risk based ISA is usually an ISA where your money is invested in the stock market and the value of the funds and shares you own can go up and down.

A non-risk based ISA is typically a cash ISA which works in a similar way to a savings account. You receive interest – either a variable or fixed rate - on the money.

While risk based ISAs might offer the chance of better returns, they could also lead to you getting out less than you put in if stock markets fall at the point you want your cash.

How do I choose the best ISA?

Choosing the best ISA comes down to your personal preference and then shopping around for the best deals. Remember to consider...

  • Your appetite for risk

    A cash ISA can guarantee your deposits are safe and in some cases give you a fixed return. A stocks and shares ISA might be higher risk, but could achieve better returns over the long term..

  • Minimum investment

    Some ISAs will require you make a minimum initial deposit to get started – or that you save a minimum amount each month. Check you’re able to meet this before proceeding.

  • Where and how you invest

    Stocks and shares ISAs can be managed in different ways. You can select your own investments or have a fund manager do this on your behalf. You may want to consider ethical funds.

  • Fees and charges

    Check if there are any costs associated with managing the ISA or transferring money in and out of the ISA. This will depend on the type of ISA and terms of the provider.

How to compare ISAs with MoneySuperMarket

  • magnifying glass icon

    Browse our ISA providers

    You’ll be able to see available ISAs from our leading panel of providers

  • filter icon

    Filter and sort

    You can choose from different ISA types and filter by interest rate, for example

  • clipboard icon

    Click through to provider

    Once happy with your choice, click through and complete the application online

Reporting ISA scams

We’re aware that some fraudsters are trying to use the MoneySuperMarket brand to trick consumers into handing over money or financial details, by offering fake ISA products with eye-catching rates.

How do I report an ISA scam?

 

Check out our tips on how to keep you and your family safe from scams.

Phone Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report fraud

You can have any number of ISAs open at the same time, but keep in mind that after the first year the interest rate you receive on your cash ISA might be significantly lower.

 

It will depend on how your bank or building society lets you manage the account, but in general you should be able to deposit money by:

  • Using your bank’s mobile phone app

  • Logging into your account on a web-browser

  • Phoning your bank directly to organise a cash transfer 

 

Most banks and building societies will let you withdraw money from your account to transfer it into another account you hold – however make sure to check whether you might lose your allowance or tax-free bonus as a result.

A Junior ISA is an account you can open on the behalf of a child that offers tax-free returns in much the same way as a standard ISA – however the child to whom the account belongs won’t be able to access the money until they’re 18. At this point it becomes a full adult ISA and they’ll take full control of the account.

Help-to-buy ISAs are no longer available to new customers, however if you opened one before 30 November 2019 you’ll still be able to use it and take advantage of the bonus it offers until November 2029.

They essentially offer a government bonus of £50 for every £200 you save towards a new home – up to a maximum of £3,000. 

Flexible ISAs allow you to withdraw cash from your ISA at any time and return it by 5 April (so within the same tax year) without losing any of your allowance.

Your ISA will only be able to hold pound sterling currency in the UK.

Yes – in fact this is recommended for the reason mentioned above. If you transfer funds from previous ISAs into your current one you’ll be able to take advantage of the better interest rate. Be aware that some ISA providers don’t accept transfers in – this can be particularly common for the top paying interest ISAs.

We’ve been made aware of a number of ways in which fraudsters are trying to use the MoneySuperMarket brand to try and trick consumers into handing over money, or financial details, by offering false ISA products.

If you think you’ve been contacted by a fraudster, please stop all communication with them and report it to Action Fraud. If it’s someone impersonating MoneySuperMarket, please contact our customer services team.

 

Explore more

10 ISA need-to-knows - How does the Lifetime ISA work? - All you need to know about Help to Buy ISAs - What is the personal savings allowance?

Can't find what you're looking for? Try looking at our news, views and in-depth savings guides

Savings guides - Savings news

You can compare savings accounts using a number of factors. These include the interest rates they offer as well as how long the rate will last, the amount you might need to deposit in order to open the account, and how you can access the account. Once you’ve decided which account you want, simply click through and you’ll be taken to the provider’s website.

Not sure what type of account to go for? Our Savings Decision Tree can help you decide.

 

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