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Compare the best junior ISAs

Search for the best junior ISA rates, compare deals and save for your child's future tax-free
Junior isas image
Junior stocks and shares ISA accounts put your capital at risk, and you may get back less than you originally invested.
Last updated
January 31, 2023

What is a junior ISA?

A junior ISA is an individual savings account specifically for anyone in the UK who is under 18. A junior ISA works in the same way as a normal ISA, as it is a tax-free savings account with a limit of how much can be saved in it each year. The allowance is slightly different for a junior ISA at £9,000 compared with £20,000.

Parents or legal guardians can pay into a junior ISA, and when the child turns 18 it automatically converts to an adult ISA. This retains its tax-free status as well as any interest you’ve built up throughout the years. On the child’s 18th birthday the money can then be accessed by them and spent as they wish. 

The junior ISA allowance is reviewed every year by the UK government." 

Why should I open a junior ISA for my child?

A junior ISA is a great way to start saving money for your child’s future. The money is locked away until they turn 18, so view this account as a long-term saving plan. Therefore, it could be used as a way to pay for university or a deposit for their first house. 

However, the fact they can't access the money until they turn 18 might mean it isn't suitable for your child. The good news is there are other children's savings accounts available.

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.

The best junior stocks and shares ISA deals

We’ve compiled three of the best junior stocks and shares ISA deals currently on the market, so you can see which provider might best suit your needs.

Editor’s pick
One of the best with a low initial and monthly investment requirement and a wide choice of funds.
Card
Aegon Asset Management Junior ISA
Invest From
£1 lump sum or £1 a month
Invest in
5,000 funds
Transfers in
Accepted

Capital at risk.

Show Details
Eligibility
Minimum Initial Deposit
£1
Minimum Monthly Investment
£1
Minimum Lump Sum Stocks & Shares ISA Investment
£1
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Protection scheme
FSCS
Editor’s pick
One of the best with a low initial and monthly investment requirement and a wide choice of funds.
Card
Chelsea Financial Services Chelsea FundStore Junior ISA
Invest From
£10 lump sum or £10 a month
Invest in
2,500 funds
Transfers in
Accepted

Capital at risk.

Show Details
Eligibility
Minimum Initial Deposit
£10
Minimum Monthly Investment
£10
Minimum Lump Sum Stocks & Shares ISA Investment
£10
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Protection scheme
FSCS
Editor’s pick
One of the best with a low initial and monthly investment requirement and a wide choice of funds.
Card
Willis Owen Junior ISA
Invest From
£25 lump sum or £25 a month
Invest in
2,300 funds
Transfers in
Accepted

Capital at risk.

Show Details
Eligibility
Minimum Initial Deposit
£25
Minimum Monthly Investment
£25
Minimum Lump Sum Stocks & Shares ISA Investment
£25
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Protection scheme
FSCS
The editorial team regularly checks and evaluates the top picks on this page, updating them at least fortnightly.

The best junior cash ISA deals

We’ve compiled three of the best junior 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 children's easy access junior cash ISA
Card
Bath Building Society Junior Cash ISA
Open with
£1
Interest rate
4.8% AER variable
Term
Easy access

Withdrawals and closure are not permitted before the investor's 18th birthday. Transfers out are permitted without notice or penalty.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Age
17 years
Minimum Initial Deposit
£1
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Rate Tiers
Gross rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
4.8%4.8%
AER rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
4.8%4.8%
Editor’s pick
One of the highest interest rate for children's easy access junior cash ISA
Card
Coventry Building Society Junior Cash ISA (2)
Open with
£1
Interest rate
3.8% AER variable
Term
Easy access

No withdrawals permitted until the investor's 18th birthday. Transfers are out permitted without notice or penalty.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Age
17 years
Minimum Initial Deposit
£1
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Rate Tiers
Gross rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
3.8%3.8%
AER rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
3.8%3.8%
Editor’s pick
One of the highest interest rate for children's easy access junior cash ISA
Card
Darlington Building Society Junior Cash ISA (2)
Open with
£1
Interest rate
3.9% AER variable
Term
Easy access

Withdrawals and closure not permitted before the investor's 18th birthday. Transfers out are permitted with no notice or penalty.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Age
17 years
Minimum Initial Deposit
£1
Permanent UK Resident
YES
Rate Tiers
Gross rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
3.9%3.9%
AER rate
Including bonusExcluding bonus
3.9%3.9%

The pros and cons of junior ISAs

Pros
The growth in savings is tax-free
When your child turns 18 the account becomes a regular ISA
There are different types of junior ISAs to suit your needs
Cons
The money is locked away until your child is 18 years old
Your child will then have access at 18 and can spend it however they wish
A junior ISA has a savings limit - you can only save a maximum of £9,000 each year

Types of junior ISA explained

There are two types of junior ISAs available for you to choose from. Bear in mind that you can only open one junior cash ISA and one junior stocks and shares ISA each year. 

1. Junior cash ISAs 

These are cash-based deposit savings accounts. Any money you save for your child is protected against dropping in value. In comparison to the junior stocks and shares ISA, this offers variable interest rates. Your child's money will always grow in value as long as the interest rate is above 0%.

2. Junior stocks and shares ISA 

This offers the potential for a greater return, but your child's money could also fall in value, so there is some risk attached. It also doesn’t offer variable or fixed interest rates. Instead, it offers you a return based on current stock market performance.

The number of junior ISAs subscribed in 2020[1]
971million
Junior stocks and shares ISA accounts put your capital at risk, and you may get back less than you originally invested.

How do I set up a junior ISA account?

You can open a junior ISA account with your bank, building society or via an investment platform, but the best way to ensure you are getting the top rate is to compare deals from different providers.

It's a good idea to open a junior ISA for your child as soon as you can, as the earlier you start to save for your child, the longer the money has to grow.

How much you could save in a junior cash ISA for your child when they reach 18
What saving a different amount each month adds up to by the time your child turns 18.

Average interest added for junior cash ISA (2.86%). Source: Defaqto and Uswitch. Updated: December 11

Junior ISAs 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.

Can I withdraw money from my child’s junior ISA?

Unfortunately not. The account will not be accessible until your child turns 18 and then it becomes a standard ISA in their name and the money can be withdrawn. 


Can I save for more than one child in a single junior ISA?

You can only open a junior ISA on behalf of one child.

Can I open a junior ISA for one of my friend’s children?

No, only a parent or legal guardian can open a junior ISA on behalf of their child. However, anyone can pay into a junior ISA if they wish to contribute to your child's future.

What is the difference between a junior ISA and Child Trust Fund?

All children born between September 2002 and January 2011 had a Child Trust Fund (CTF) opened for them on their behalf with £250 added by the government. A CTF works differently from an ISA as the allowance runs from the child’s birthday to the next, rather than the tax year. The fees were also higher and the government topped up the parental contribution in a CTF, but they don’t do this for an ISA.

Can I have a junior ISA and a Child Trust Fund?

You can’t have both for your child, so if you would like an ISA instead you’ll need to transfer the existing CTF. In general, a junior ISA offers greater flexibility and there are lower charges.

Can I have more than one junior ISA in a year?

You are only allowed to open one junior cash ISA and one junior stocks and shares ISA each year.

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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 £971 million was subscribed to Junior ISA accounts in 2019 to 2020, around 61% of which was in cash.