Interactive Investor

Savings rates crunch: where to find good Cash Isa rates

9th September 2019 15:17

Stephen Little from interactive investor


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Savings rates are falling but there are still some good deals out there

Things are not going well for savers at the moment with lenders currently slashing rates across the board and withdrawing products.

We have recently seen National Savings and Investments (NS&I) drop a number of its bonds and cut interest rates for its 1.5 million account holders.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs, which has been at the top of the easy-access best buy accounts for the past year, has seen its rate cut down to 1.45% from 1.50%. Virgin Money has also dropped its easy-access rate from 1.50% to 1.43%.

More woe is potentially on the horizon, with most experts predicting that the Bank of England will cut interest rates in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

This could possibly be up to 0.75%  in the worst-case scenario and is likely to be passed on to savers who are already getting below-inflation returns.

One-year Cash Isas

One-year Cash Isas are good for savers looking to get a return on their money whilst not having to lock it away for a great length of time.

The current best buy Cash Isa from Al Rayan Bank pays 1.61% and requires an initial £1,000 deposit.

It beats the 1.56% from on offer from Cynergy Bank which requires a £500 deposit.

When Moneywise first published this article on Monday 9 September, Charter Savings Bank had a best buy one-year deal of 1.62%, but in less than 24 hours since publicising the account the bank had to pull it, demonstrating just how much demand there is for a top rate at the moment. 

Andrew Hagger, a personal finance expert at Moneycomms, says: “Unfortunately, Isa rates have mirrored the wider savings market with rates drifting lower during the last couple of months.

“Mortgage competition is fierce with banks and building societies lowering borrowing rates to stay competitive - the bad news for savers is that deposit rates have also been cut as a result, in order to preserve profit margins.

“Standard savings rates are still more attractive than Isa rates so unless you are in danger of exceeding your Personal Savings Allowance then Isa's aren't the best home for your cash.

“The best one-year savings bond from Gatehouse Bank pays 1.95% - that's an extra £66 per year income on a £20,000 balance.”


If you don’t want to lock away your money you might want to consider an easy-access Cash Isa.

However, while you will be able to make withdrawals they generally come with lower rates.

Coventry Building Society has launched a market-leading Cash Isa at a rate of 1.44%. The rate includes a fixed bonus of 0.29% paid until 31 January 2021.

It beats the rate of 1.43% on offer from Shawbrook Bank and Virgin Money.

However, with Coventry’s Cash Isa you can only make three withdrawals per calendar year, whereas with Shawbrook’s Isa you can get hold of your money whenever you want. With the Virgin product you can make two withdrawals a year.

Beating inflation

For those who want a Cash Isa above the current rate of inflation of 1.9%, you are going to have lock your money away for five years.

The current best buy five-year Cash Isa is from Metro Bank and gives you a return of 2.1%.

Just below this, Family Building Society and Hodge Bank both have rates of 2% for their five-year Isa products.

For regular updates on the best savings accounts and Cash Isas, Moneywise maintains weekly-updated lists of the best buy products selected according to rates and other features of the accounts.

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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