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Compare the best cash ISA rates

Cash ISAs let you earn interest tax free - but you can only pay into one each year. Discover how to make the most of your money with a cash ISA
Stocks and shares ISA image version 2
Last updated
January 18, 2023

What is a cash ISA?

If you are looking for a safe place for your savings with some added benefits, then a cash ISA is a good option. 

ISA stands for Individual Savings Account and it was first introduced by the government in 1999 as a way of encouraging people to save. The government said that this type of savings account would avoid any income tax, but there would be a limit on how much you could save in one each year. 

For example, in the 2022/23 tax year you can put up to £20,000 in a cash ISA. You’ll then be able to earn interest on this savings pot without paying any tax. 

A cash ISA is a type of savings account where you'll never pay tax on the interest you earn."

fscs-logo
Is my money safe?
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) guarantees that the first £85,000 you have saved with a registered bank or building society (or first £170,000 for a joint account) will be safe even if the business goes bust.

Is a cash ISA worth it?

Pros
You can access your money if you need to make a withdrawal
Your savings are protected by the FSCS (up to £85,000 per bank)
You keep all the interest you earn as an ISA is tax-free
Cons
High inflation means that your money could lose value
You can earn up to £1,000 interest tax free with an ISA if you are a basic taxpayer
You are limited by how much you can save in an ISA (£20,000)

The best cash ISA deals

We’ve compiled the best cash ISA deals currently on the market so you can see which provider might best suit your needs.

Editor’s pick
One of the highest interest rate for instant access cash ISA
Card
Earl Shilton Instant Access Cash ISA
Open with
£10
Interest rate
2.55% AER variable
Term
Instant access

No notice, penalty, or charge applies.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Age
Unlimited
Minimum Initial Deposit
£10
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Rate Tiers
Gross rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
2.55%2.55%
AER rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
2.55%2.55%
Editor’s pick
One of the highest interest rate for notice cash ISA
Card
Marsden Branch Cash ISA 120 (Issue 4)
Open with
£1,000
Interest rate
3.4% AER variable
Term
Notice

Withdrawals permitted subject to 120 days' notice. Closure permitted subject to 120 days' notice or 120 days' interest penalty.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Age
Unlimited
Minimum Initial Deposit
£1,000
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Rate Tiers
Gross rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
3.4%3.4%
AER rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
3.4%3.4%
Editor’s pick
One of the highest interest rate for 1 year fixed-rate cash ISA
Card
Barclays 1 Year Flexible Cash ISA Issue 36
Open with
£1
Interest rate
4% AER fixed
Term
1 year

3 withdrawals, each up to 10% of the current balance available in the account over the term with no charges for withdrawals. Closure permitted subject to 90 day interest penalty.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Age
Unlimited
Minimum Initial Deposit
£1
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Rate Tiers
Gross rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
4%4%
AER rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
4%4%
The editorial team regularly checks and evaluates the top picks on this page, updating them at least fortnightly.

Types of cash ISA

Easy access cash ISA
Easy access cash ISA

This account is useful if you wish to deposit and withdraw money whenever you wish. You won’t have to deal with any fines but remember you are limited to adding £20,000 each year no matter how much you take out.

Notice cash ISA
Notice cash ISA

This account does what it says on the tin, as you’ll need to give notice before withdrawing money from your account. However, this normally means you get a higher interest rate.

Regular saver cash ISA
Regular saver cash ISA

With a regular saver, you’ll need to determine how much money you can add to this account each month and you’ll be rewarded with a good interest rate.

Fixed-rate cash ISA
Fixed-rate cash ISA

If you don’t need to access your money for a while, a fixed-rate cash ISA could work for you. You’ll need to lock it away for a specific period, normally between one and five years, but you’ll then get a competitive interest rate.

Junior cash ISA
Junior cash ISA

Cash ISAs are also available for your children and you can open an account on their behalf. A junior cash ISA has its own allowance and the money can’t be touched until your child’s 18th birthday.

Lifetime cash ISA
Lifetime cash ISA

A lifetime cash ISA is worth considering if you are keen to buy a house or save for retirement. You can put up to £4,000 in this ISA between the ages of 18 and 50 and then the government will add 25%.

Types of cash ISA
Easy access cash ISA
Easy access cash ISA

This account is useful if you wish to deposit and withdraw money whenever you wish. You won’t have to deal with any fines but remember you are limited to adding £20,000 each year no matter how much you take out.

Notice cash ISA
Notice cash ISA

This account does what it says on the tin, as you’ll need to give notice before withdrawing money from your account. However, this normally means you get a higher interest rate.

Regular saver cash ISA
Regular saver cash ISA

With a regular saver, you’ll need to determine how much money you can add to this account each month and you’ll be rewarded with a good interest rate.

Fixed-rate cash ISA
Fixed-rate cash ISA

If you don’t need to access your money for a while, a fixed-rate cash ISA could work for you. You’ll need to lock it away for a specific period, normally between one and five years, but you’ll then get a competitive interest rate.

Junior cash ISA
Junior cash ISA

Cash ISAs are also available for your children and you can open an account on their behalf. A junior cash ISA has its own allowance and the money can’t be touched until your child’s 18th birthday.

Lifetime cash ISA
Lifetime cash ISA

A lifetime cash ISA is worth considering if you are keen to buy a house or save for retirement. You can put up to £4,000 in this ISA between the ages of 18 and 50 and then the government will add 25%.

Interest earned on £1,000 over 2 years in different cash ISAs
Comparing the average interest earned if you had £1,000 in your bank

Source: Defaqto and Uswitch. Updated: December 13

What is the difference between a cash ISA and a normal savings account?

Generally, a cash ISA is very similar to a standard savings account but there are three things  you should consider before signing up. 

  • The money you make in interest in tax-free 

  • You can only pay into one cash ISA each year, but that doesn’t have to be the same account as you opened last year 

  • There is a limit on how much you can pay into the account, for example this tax year it’s £20,000 per person. 

It's important to remember an ISA works around the tax year, not the calendar year. This means the amount of money you can put into an ISA resets on April 6.

The percentage of active ISAs that were cash ISAs in 2020[1]
75%

Discover Raisin UK

Raisin UK* is a free and easy-to-use service that allows you to view and manage your savings in one place. It has a variety of partner banks offering fixed rate bonds, notice accounts and easy access savings accounts, with different term lengths and features. 

The whole process of finding the right savings account is simple with Raisin UK, so you can sit back, relax and watch your money grow.

*We have a paid partnership with Raisin so we may receive a small commission if you click on a deal and then purchase it.

Cash ISA FAQs

How does Uswitch choose its editor’s picks?

We know that the best deals are always changing, so the editorial team at Uswitch regularly checks the rates on this page and updates them at least fortnightly. To find the best deals we compare products by taking various factors into consideration, like the interest rate (AER), the balance needed to get the highest interest rate, minimum initial deposit, withdrawal conditions and the term of the account as applicable. These factors change subject to the category.

We use this system for the whole of the market covering nearly all, so you can get an overview of what the banks and credit unions are typically offering in the UK. All the banks featured are FSCS protected, so you can be reassured that your money is safe, provided it’s within the defined limits and regulations. To find out more about how FSCS looks after your money, visit fscs.org.uk.

What is the best ISA rate for 2022?

The best ISA rates are always changing, so we’ve looked at the market and compiled some top picks on our best savings accounts page. 


Are cash ISAs worth it?

Yes, a cash ISA is still worth looking at as it provides a safe and convenient way of saving money tax-free. 


Is my money safe in a cash ISA?

Yes, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is in place to ensure that your money is protected up to £85,000. For extra peace of mind, it’s best to check with your bank that they are covered by FSCS. 


How many ISAs can I have?

You can only pay into one type of each ISA in a single tax year. So you can have one cash ISA, one stocks and shares ISA and one lifetime ISA if you wish - but don't forget your limit across all your ISAs can't exceed £20,000.

Are my finances checked when I open a savings account?

Banks don't take your credit score into account, so this means you can still open an ISA if you have bad credit. 


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About the author

Lucinda O'Brien
Lucinda O'Brien has spent the past 10 years writing and editing content for regional and national titles. She applies her industry knowledge to ensure readers can make confident financial decisions.
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References
1. Gov.uk annual savings statistics: 75% of active ISA were cash ISAs (2020)