Thursday, 15 March 2012

2012 Cash ISAs - My Picks

Please note that the following is just my opinion, for "expert advice" I'd recommend Google and checking out the ThisIsMoney page which is regularly updated.

So here are the ISAs which have pipped my interest recently...

Santander Fixed 1 Year ISA - 3.5% [including 3% bonus]
(minimum £2500 opening balance - including transfers in)

This is probably the best option for people with existing ISAs and will leave their money untouched for a year. Santander allow you to manage the account online on top of all this as well.

Note that after a year the ISA will mature and you really should transfer it (interest rates will plunge to 0.5%). Also you cannot make extra deposits into this ISA after a set time period (middle of April I think).

AA Internet Access ISA - 3.5% [including 3% bonus]
(minimum £2500 opening balance - transfers in not allowed)

Literally found out about this as I was writing this. AA are offering a brand new rate of 3.5% on their "easy access" ISA. This means you can deposit and withdraw your money anytime, although transferring money in from other ISAs is not allowed.

As the name suggests, it is accessed online which is always a good thing. The opening balance on this ISA is a little steep considering the fact that you aren't allowed transfers in!

Again note that after a year, the interest rate will nose dive so ensure you make plans to transfer it.

Santander Direct ISA - 3.3% [including 2.8% bonus]
(minimum £2500 opening balance - including transfers in)

Another Santander ISA which this time is an "easy access" ISA. The main attraction of this ISA over the Santander Fixed ISA is the ability to make further deposits, so you can build up to your maximum allowance throughout the 2012/2013 tax year.

If you aren't looking to transfer an ISA in, I'd recommend you consider the AA one over this one though!

Again bonus, so transfer it it runs out!

Virgin Cash ISA - 2.85% [no bonus]

Finally just to mention Virgin's offering. This ISA has a relatively low rate but unlike most other ISAs, it doesn't include a bonus! This means the rate will be 2.85% for years to come... unless Virgin slash the rate.

Another reason for considering Virgin is that they may offer some lucrative benefits in the future??? (train, flights, broadband and TV) Obviously this is just pure speculation!

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