Our savings picks: This is Money's five favourite best buy cash Isas for 2017

Every little helps: Savings rates might be low but at least an Isa means interest is tax-free

Every little helps: Savings rates might be low but at least an Isa means interest is tax-free

Our savings correspondent Lee Boyce picks his five favourite cash Isas for savers in 2017 - essential reading to help you choose a top savings account for your money.

This page is kept up-to-date throughout the year - bookmark it for the very latest developments.

How an Isa works and why you should have one

Each year in April, savers are given a fresh Isa allowance that qualifies for tax-free interest.?

For the 2017-18 financial year, which began on 6 April 2017, the limit has increased from £15,240 to £20,000.

You can transfer Isa money whichever way you wish between an investment account to savings account, whereas previously you could only shift it from saving to investments.

Although cash Isas don't currently offer fantastic rates, it is still worthwhile opening one to shield money away from the taxman.???

Isa rules state you can only contribute to one Isa per tax year.

You can also transfer an old Isa for better returns. Here's a quick guide to Isa saving.

It is possible to switch your current year's cash Isa if you move the entire amount, but it is far simpler to get your choice right in the first place.

Rates are low and that makes the best Isa more important

Banks and building societies should be apologising to savers for the slim pickings on offer here.

Savings rates really are dire at the moment and unfortunately, institutions are doing little to shelter savers from the assault of the low interest rate environment.

The cut to 0.25 per cent for the base rate, launch of a new funding scheme to pump cheap money to banks, and expansion of quantitative easing, has made things even worse.?

Many now ask themselves why bother?

Yet when rates are low it becomes even more important to make sure you are getting as much as you can from your savings.?

We also think an Isa is still worth having, despite the new tax-free savings interest allowance of £1,000 a year for basic rate taxpayers and £500 for higher rate taxpayers.?

It's tough to get that much interest now, but one day rates will rise. Money sheltered in an Isa will deliver a tax-free income, even above that £1,000 level and if you are building up a long-term pot, you may one day be very grateful for that.

And who knows if the personal savings allowance will be around forever - it is much more likely to disappear than the Isa wrapper.

You may also want to look into stocks and shares version of an Isa - how to choose the best (and cheapest) DIY investing Isa.


Lee Boyce: This is Money's savings expert

Lee Boyce: This is Money's savings expert

Our five favourite Isas round-up is a permanent feature of This is Money.

It comes complete with an explanation detailing why we're happy to pick each account.

This page will be kept updated as and when new deals pop up or old ones get scrapped.

Our team work tirelessly to stay on top of the latest rate changes, but banks and building societies can pull deals without telling us.?

If you spot a deal here that is not longer available please email us at [email protected]

Remember, you can open an Isa or transfer (provided you're not tied to a fixed-term) at any time during the year.

Note that we don't just copy the best rates from the savings tables - we scour the market for all-around winners.?

This is a taster of the top deals. For the best rates, visit our savings rates tables, which are comprehensive and independently compiled.

Our five favourite Isas:??

Tesco Bank, easy-access, 1.16%?[full details]

- Facts: £1 to open

- Transfers in: Yes

- This is Money says:?This account from Tesco Bank is the current best buy easy-access deal in our tables - and allows transfers in. It has a bonus that falls away after 12 months, meaning the account will pay 0.65 per cent. The account can be opened online.?

Charter Savings, one-year fix, 1.36%?[full details]

- Facts: £1,000 to open

- Transfers in: Yes

- This is Money says:?Challenger bank Charter Savings currently offers the best short-term fix. It also offers a 'mix and match' Isa which means you can split your tax-free cash into different accounts with the firm. Account is opened and run online. ?

Charter Savings, two-year fix, 1.72%?[full details]

- Facts: £1,000 to open

- Transfers in: Yes

- This is Money says:?The challenger bank is also offering the top two year fix by a considerable distance in our table. It allows transfers in and it can only be opened online.

Shawbrook Bank, easy-access, 1.1%?[full details]

- Facts: £1,000 to open

- Transfers in: Yes

- This is Money says:?Another challenger bank in the best buy tables. This offers slightly less than the Tesco easy-access above, but this one doesn't come with a bonus. Account is opened and managed online.?

Coventry BS, five-year fix, 2.15%?[full details]

- Facts: £1 to open

- Transfers in: Yes

- This is Money says:?This is the highest rate available to tax-free savers, but it means fixing until 2022. It allows transfers in and can be opened over the telephone, by post, online or in branch.

*Rate drops to 0.8% after a year. For current account rewards and interest conditions may apply eg. using provider's full switching service, min deposits and direct debits. For savings, access maybe limited, min/max deposits may apply. See T&Cs. Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).


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