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How to choose the best ISAs for 2022-2023

·4-min read
ISA
If you want to make the most of the tax protection of an ISA then it makes sense to seek out the product with the highest interest rate. Photo: Getty

If you want to make the most of the tax protection of an ISA then it makes sense to seek out the product with the highest interest rate.

Here are some of the best buys on the market.

Paragon Bank

Paragon Bank is currently offering some of the best rates on Cash ISAs but they do come with strings attached.

The one year fixed rate Cash ISA has an AER of 1.2% whilst the five year fixed rate goes up to 1.6%. But with interest rates rising it might not make sense to be fixing your cash in for several years.

"With interest rates edging up, fixing now runs the risk you'll lose out on better rates and more interest. Though it's never certain, it looks like we'll see additional base rate increases this year which you'd hope will drip down to savings accounts," said Andy Webb, finance expert at Be Clever with your Cash.

Paragon also offer a triple access Cash ISA of 0.8% AER which allows up to three withdrawals per year. The rate drops substantially to 0.25% on your fourth withdrawal which is in line with their easy access Cash ISA.

By comparison the Cash Lifetime ISA offers just 0.5% but this does come with a 25% government bonus.

Cynergy Bank

The online Cash ISA offer of 0.76% AER is only available to existing Cynergy Bank customers. This product can be opened with just £1. One major drawback is the lack of flexibility with customers unable to replace any money they withdraw within the tax year.

The Cash ISA open to non-existing customers is fixed for a minimum of one year with 0.66% AER rising to 0.95% for a three year fixed rate, the longest period Cynergy offers.

Yorkshire Building Society

There are multiple options available at Yorkshire Building Society including the Internet Saver ISA Plus which is a three tiered Cash ISA. The rate varies from 0.6% to 0.82% AER depending on the account balance.

Existing members can take advantage of Loyalty Six Access Saver ISA which also has three tiered interest rates from 1% to 1.15% AER. To be eligible you must have been a member of the building society for at least a year prior to applying.

Their suite of fixed rate ISA include one, two and three year fixes with interest rates of 1.15%, 1.4% and 1.5 respectively. These all allow transfers from another provider.

Moneybox

This banking app is leading the way when it comes to Cash Lifetime ISAs with a current interest rate of 0.85% AER.

An account can be opened with just £1 once you have downloaded the app. There are a number of tight restrictions surrounding Lifetime ISAs so make sure you understand what these are before opening one.

Shawbrook Bank

There is a lot of choice with Shawbrook Bank who offer eight different types of Cash ISA. The easy access account has just 0.66% AER but if you are prepared to lock your money in for a long period then the seven year fixed rate offers 1.89%.

Other options are fixed rates at six months, one year, 18 months, two year, three year and five year. They all have a minimum deposit of £1,000 and a maximum balance of £250,000.

Alternative savings

The personal savings allowance means that all basic tax rate payers can earn £1,000 in interest on their savings tax-free meaning an ISA may not be necessary.

Most basic tax payers would be better off putting their savings in a high interest account which currently have better AER than Cash ISAs.

Virgin Money offer up to 5.02% on their M Plus current account but this rate is only paid on the first £1,000

"Most savers don't need an ISA. We've got it in our head they're better as the interest earned is tax free, but actually the bulk of interest earned in any account won't be taxed thanks to the personal savings allowance. You'd need a lot of cash to even get close to the £1,000 interest limit available to basic rate tax payers. It's better you go for the highest paying account," advised Webb.

Another option is Stocks and Shares ISAs particularly if you can afford to save for the longer term.

"If you don't need the money soon you can get a far better return from stocks and shares but you have to be okay leaving it alone as there are risks that it will fall. If you need money in next few years there is a bigger risk of it dropping in value when you need it, so in that instance it is better in cash," advised James Andrews, senior personal finance editor at money.co.uk.

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