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Cash NISAs

If you have ANY money to save, you can earn interest TAX FREE in an ISA.

These are now known as NISAs (or Super ISAs) and they allow you to save up to £15,240 in any combination of cash and stocks and shares

If you have cash that you may want to access quickly a NISA is better than a simple savings account


Need to know

  • NISA stands for New Individual Savings Account. A Cash NISA is a low risk investment, as safe as putting your money into a standard savings account

  • In the past, every person got a Cash ISA allowance each year. For the 2014-15 tax year it was £5940 however, the NISA allowance is £15,000 and you can invest in any combination of cash and stocks and shares
  • However, you cannot PAY IN more than this, even if you’ve taken the money out during the year.  But any money paid into an ISA from previous years can go into a NISA and still earn tax free interest
  • If you do not use your NISA allowance each TAX year (between 6th April and 5th April the following year) then you LOSE it.  Your NISA allowance cannot be carried over to the next year

  • Each new tax year you can open a new NISA or continue with your current provider. You can always transfer previous years ISAs to a new provider so that you get the best rates. Watch out as some providers don’t allow transfers, and others have maximum limits on transfers in

  • When changing providers for existing NISAs, you MUST fill in a transfer form from your new provider or you will lose the tax benefits. It takes on average 15 days to complete a transfer

  • There are LOADS of types of NISAs so finding one is easy once you’ve decided how you want to save
  • Cash NISAs are often flexible with high introductory rates or bonuses BUT be ready to transfer your NISA into a better account when your deal ends


  • The most flexible cash NISA is an easy access account where you can move money in and out with no penalty fees

  • Interest rates will either be fixed or variable and they may include a bonus rate. To get the bonus, you have to keep the cash saved until the bonus date, often the anniversary of you paying in.

    • Variable rate cash NISAs can change interest rate at any time but if your rate stops being competitive then you can look for a more competitive deal and transfer into a new NISA

    • Cash NISAs with great short term bonus rates are brilliant if you want to earn maximum interest BUT many have sneaky tricks like limited withdrawals and transfer penalties so check the terms and conditions before you invest

    • We are not huge fans of fixed rate NISAs for longer than 2 years. They can leave you stuck on an uncompetitive rate for a long time, with penalties if you withdraw the cash during the fixed rate period

  • Some cash NISAs have a minimum investment amount for opening the account or save their best rates for those people who invest in one lump sum

  • If you want to save each month, then look for a cash NISA which rewards this

  • If you find a better rate, you are able to switch /transfer into a new cash NISA, as long as the provider is able to accept transfers.  Remember you MUST transfer using the right forms to keep your tax benefits

  • Carefully read all the terms & conditions before applying for a Cash NISA


Best Cash NISAs


The inside track

  • The limit for a NISA is £15,240 so you could choose to invest in a Stocks and Shares (Equity) ISA as well
  • Some of the best cash NISA deals are saved for existing customers. Sometimes it pays to take out an account to get the best interest rates on your NISA
  • As well as large banks and building societies, look at cash NISAs from smaller building societies as they often have very competitive rates and great customer service

  • Cash NISAs are low risk meaning that the returns are lower. If you want the chance to earn more interest, then you could consider a stocks and shares NISA.  However, the risk is much greater
  • Anyone over the age of 16 can open an NISA.  If you want to invest for your child then you should consider a Junior ISA
  • If you can tie your money up for a few years, an alternative to NISAs is a lending site like Zopa. You can earn a higher rate of return even after tax and there isn't a cap on how much you invest
  • Consider whether investing money in your pension fund or repaying some of your mortgage might be a better way of making your money go further

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