ISA guide: everything you need to know for the 2024/25 tax year

In our ISA guide, we explain everything you need to know about ISAs: how they work, how much you can pay in, what investments you can hold, and how to transfer one.

ISA guide: a 3D abstract background of piggy banks
(Image credit: Eugene Mymrin)

Easy access and notice ISA rates are now at their highest since 2009 as providers look to bring in new customers ahead of the new tax year.

The average easy-access ISA rate stands at 1.96%, according to Moneyfacts, and some easy access accounts are offering as much as 3.2%.

The Bank of England’s latest interest rise means providers are not holding back when it comes to increasing these rates - which is good news for savers looking to park their cash into the tax free wrapper.

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While MW readers know too well a stocks and shares ISA may serve you well for long-term savings, for anyone looking to hold on to cash for the short-term or held back by the market volatility, a cash ISA may make good sense.

You can also park your cash within your investment ISA, but MoneyWeek recently revealed that interest rates on these platforms can be dismal, so grabbing a higher rate on cash ISA can be a good idea if you have yet to make use of this year’s £20,000 allowance.

To help you, we have rounded up the best cash ISA rates on the market today.

The best cash ISAs: easy access

Easy access cash ISAs do what they say on the tin, letting you access your savings without penalty.

Account

AER

Minimum investment

Flexible Isa?

Notes

Cynergy Bank Online ISA3.62%£1NOnline account

Leeds Building Society3.55%£1,000Y

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Open online. If the balance falls below £1,000 the interest rate falls to 0.05%.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs3.50%£1N

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Open online or in-app.

Shawbrook Bank Easy Access Cash ISA3.45%£1,000NOpen online.

Charter Savings Bank Easy Access Cash ISA

3.25%

£5,000

Y

Open Online

The best cash ISAs: one-year fixed rate

If you’re happy to lock your cash away without any withdrawals for a year, then you can earn a higher rate – in most cases, you’ll also need at least £1,000 to open these ISAs. Here are the best one-year fixed-rate ISAs available now.

Account

AER

Minimum investment

Notes

Paragon 1 Year Fixed Cash ISA4.40%£500Open online or by post

Natwest 1 Year Fixed ISA4.40%£1,000

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Open online, by phone or in branch

UBL 1 Year Fixed Cash ISA4.35%£2,000Open online, by post or in branch

Virgin Money 1 Year Fixed ISA4.33%£1

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Open online

Shawbrook 1 Year Fixed Cash ISA4.32%£1,000Open online

Close Brother Savings 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA4.32%£10,000

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Open online or by post.

The best cash ISAs: two-year fixed rate

If you have savings you’re happy to lock away for at least two years, you’ll find rates on cash ISAs above 4%.

Account

AER

Minimum investment

Notes

Natwest 2 Year Fixed ISA4.50%£1,000Open online, by phone or in branchVirgin Money 2 Year Fixed ISA4.40%£1Open onlineNewcastle Building Society 2 Year Fixed Cash ISA4.40%£500Open online or in branch.

Shawbrook 2 Year Fixed Cash ISA4.40%£1,000

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Open online.

Close Brother Savings 2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA4.40%£10,000Open online.

The best cash ISAs: three-year fixed rate

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AccountAERMinimum investmentNotes
Virgin Money 3 Year Fixed ISA4.41% £1Open online
Shawbrook 3 Year Fixed Cash ISA4.37%£1,000Open online
Secure Trust Bank 3 Year Fixed Cash ISA4.35%£1,000Open online
Leeds Building Society 3 Year Fixed ISA4.25%£100Open online, by post or in branch
Gatehouse Bank 3 Year Fixed Term Woodland Cash ISA4.20%£1,000Open online

What you need to know about the best cash ISAs

When choosing a cash ISA there are two main factors to look out for: how long you are comfortable locking your cash up for and the interest rate.

  • Easy access ISA accounts allow you to withdraw funds without incurring a penalty.
  • Fixed-rate cash ISAs offer a fixed rate of return – usually higher the longer you are prepared to lock your money away. But note: if you withdraw money before the end of the term, then you are likely to be penalised, usually with a reduction in the rate of interest.

Generally speaking, the longer you leave the money untouched, the more interest you can earn. Many ISAs are classed as ‘flexible’, meaning you can replace any funds you withdraw in the same tax year without affecting your annual ISA allowance – which is currently £20,000.

Ruth Emery
Contributing editor

Ruth is an award-winning financial journalist with more than 15 years' experience of working on national newspapers, websites and specialist magazines.

She is passionate about helping people feel more confident about their finances. She was previously editor of Times Money Mentor, and prior to that was deputy Money editor at The Sunday Times. 

A multi-award winning journalist, Ruth started her career on a pensions magazine at the FT Group, and has also worked at Money Observer and Money Advice Service. 

Outside of work, she is a mum to two young children, while also serving as a magistrate and an NHS volunteer.