Best cash Isas 2019: Where to get the best cash Isa rates and deals

Every little helps: Savings rates might be low but at least an Isa means interest is tax-free

Every little helps: Savings rates might be low but at least an Isa means interest is tax-free

Our assistant editor Lee Boyce picks his five favourite cash Isas for savers in 2019 – essential reading to help you choose a top savings account for your money.

This top Isa round-up has keeping our readers updated on the best savings deals since 2014 – and is kept up-to-date throughout the year – bookmark it for the very latest developments.

How an Isa works and why you should have one

Each year in April, savers are given a fresh Isa allowance that qualifies for tax-free interest. 

For the 2019-20 financial year, which began on 6 April 2019, the limit is £20,000. 

You can transfer Isa money whichever way you wish between an investment account to savings account, whereas previously you could only shift it from saving to investments.

Although cash Isas don’t currently offer fantastic rates, it is still worthwhile opening one to shield money away from the taxman.   

Isa rules state you can only contribute to one Isa per tax year.

You can also transfer an old Isa for better returns. Here’s a quick guide to Isa saving.

It is possible to switch your current year’s cash Isa if you move the entire amount, but it is far simpler to get your choice right in the first place.

Rates are low and that makes the best Isa more important

Banks and building societies should be apologising to savers for the slim pickings on offer here.

Savings rates really are dire at the moment and unfortunately, institutions are doing little to shelter savers from the assault of the low interest rate environment.

The cut to 0.25 per cent for the base rate, launch of a new funding scheme to pump cheap money to banks, and expansion of quantitative easing, has made things even worse. 

Many now ask themselves why bother?

Yet when rates are low it becomes even more important to make sure you are getting as much as you can from your savings. 

We also think an Isa is still worth having, despite the new tax-free savings interest allowance of £1,000 a year for basic rate taxpayers and £500 for higher rate taxpayers. 

It’s tough to get that much interest now, but one day rates will rise. 

Money sheltered in an Isa will deliver a tax-free income, even above that £1,000 level and if you are building up a long-term pot, you may one day be very grateful for that.

And who knows if the personal savings allowance will be around forever – it is much more likely to disappear than the Isa wrapper.

You may also want to look into stocks and shares version of an Isa – how to choose the best (and cheapest) DIY investing Isa.


Lee Boyce: This is Money's savings expert

Lee Boyce: This is Money’s savings expert

Our five favourite Isas round-up is a permanent feature of This is Money.

It comes complete with an explanation detailing why we’re happy to pick each account.

This page will be kept updated as and when new deals pop up or old ones get scrapped.

Our team work tirelessly to stay on top of the latest rate changes, but banks and building societies can pull deals without telling us. 

If you spot a deal here that is not longer available please email us at

Remember, you can open an Isa or transfer (provided you’re not tied to a fixed-term) at any time during the year.

Note that we don’t just copy the best rates from the savings tables – we scour the market for all-around winners. 

This is a taster of the top deals. For the best rates, visit our savings rates tables, which are comprehensive and independently compiled.

Our five favourite Isas:  

Coventry Building Society, limited-access, 1.46% [full details]

– Facts: £1 to open

– Transfers in: Yes

– This is Money says: This best buy can be opened online, by post, by phone or in-branch and is offered by the UK’s second-largest mutual, which has FSCS protection. 

Charter Savings Bank cutting its rate means this is the best non fixed-rate deal on the market now, but it comes with a bonus rate of 0.29 per cent until the end of January 2021, and  only lets you make three withdrawals a year

Oaknorth Bank, one-year fix, 1.51% [full details]

– Facts: £1 to open

– Transfers in: Yes

– This is Money says: Cynergy Bank has the best non-Sharia short-term fix. It is FSCS-protected, and can only be applied for online. It is worth noting Oaknorth’s deals can sometimes last only a short time as it is one of a new breed of smaller challenger banks, so fills up its coffers quickly when it unveils a best buy account. 

This deal is a much better one than its two and three year options, which pay only a small premium in return for you locking money away for longer. Elsewhere you can get a 1.60 per cent deal from Sharia bank Al-Rayan, or a 1.5 per cent offer from Coventry Building Society. 

Al-Rayan Bank, two-year fix, 1.8% [full details]

– Facts: £1,000 to open

– Transfers in: Yes

– This is Money says: Al-Rayan offers the top two year rate. There are a clutch of other providers that offer 1.75 per cent over 24 months. It is worth noting that as Al-Rayan is a Sharia-compliant provider, it does not pay interest, rather it pays an expected profit rate, which it monitors on a daily basis. It is FSCS-protected

Virgin Money, easy-access*, 1.45% [full details]

– Facts: £1 to open

– Transfers in: Yes

– This is Money says: This account from Virgin is the second best on the market, and doesn’t come with a bonus period. However, it isn’t strictly easy-access – savers can only make two withdrawals per year. There is also a Manchester United version of the account, where you can win prizes – it offers the same rate of interest. 

Metro Bank, five-year fix, 1.85% [full details]

– Facts: £1 to open

– Transfers in: Yes

– This is Money says: This is the best rate you can get on an Isa – but it requires fixing for five years. It can be opened in one of Metro’s brightly coloured branches, or over the phone if you hold a current account with the bank.

What you need to know about Isas

Listen to our special Isa podcast – we tackle the basics and have tips for those who are experienced Isa savers or investors.

We also look at why investing is the best way to get inflation-beating returns over the long-term, how savers can eke some precious extra interest from accounts, and why an Isa is worth having.

 Press play to listen to the show above, or listen (and please subscribe if you like the podcast) at Apple Podcasts, Acast and Audioboom or visit our This is Money Podcast page.  


Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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