How to compare the best ISA rates on the market

How to compare the best ISA rates on the market main image

Whether you want to buy a house, save for the holiday of a lifetime or prepare for your retirement, ISAs are an excellent vehicle for preparing for your financial future as they offer great tax benefits on your investment returns and the interest on your savings.Of course, as with any product or service it’s essential to shop around to get the best ISA deal and one that’s right for you. Here’s how to compare the best ISA products and services on the market…

Do your own research

Want to make sure you get the right ISA for your needs? Then why not do your own research? There are many ways to go about this from checking out individual companies online to phoning relevant departments for information – just make sure you ask a range of common questions and note down all facts and figures so you can compare them at a later date.

Use comparison and information sites

If you’re short of time or don’t have the desire to trawl through multiple financial services websites, scrolling through comparison and information sites like or could be the easier option. Companies like these will do the hard work for you, displaying all important information in a way that’s easy to compare and contrast. Perfect. 

Moreover, if you want to open a stocks and shares ISA you should compare do-it-yourself services such as Strawberry Invest and AJ Bell Youinvest with those that offer a fully-managed investment service such as Nutmeg. The choice is entirely yours and it depends on exactly what you’re looking for and what you’re comfortable with but here’s an overview of three top-players that we think offer excellent ISA deals…


The multi-award winning investment manager Nutmeg was the first online discretionary management company in the UK. Nutmeg stands out within the financial industry by offering a stress-free service to all clients – you can start an ISA with Nutmeg with just £1,000 and it takes only 10 minutes to set up online. 

Essentially, all you need to do is answer a few questions about your attitude to risk and Nutmeg will make the crucial financial decisions for you, developing a diverse and intelligent portfolio of investments that help spread your risk and the opportunities for getting good returns on your money. Their costs are transparent and they also now have a new personal pension service. It really is that simple. 

Here’s what a selection of their customers have said:

• "I'd given up ever finding professional support I could have faith in again until I came across Nutmeg." — Nilmini, senior manager

• "I don't see the value in independent financial advisers. I don't have time to stay on top of the markets. So Nutmeg is the perfect solution." — @jilldesmo

• "Refreshingly new approach to #investment by @thenutmegteam - definitely the ones to watch out for!" — @chveiga

• "Nutmeg really called out to me. I felt it could offer a better return on my investment, in a way that suited me." — Darren, business consultant

Virgin Money

Virgin Money is a financial services brand used by three independent licensees worldwide which rapidly expanded as a bank in 2012 when they purchased Northern Rock. They offer a wide range of products to customers across the globe including a highly-competitive stocks and shares ISA which comes with a choice of three funds which can be held in an ISA account including: The FTSE Tracker Fund, the Climate Change Fund and the Bond & Gilt Fund – you can even make mixed investments between the three.

Here’s what some of Virgin Money’s customers thought:

• “The staff are excellent. The branch is so friendly that I can pop in for a coffee if I want to. I can chat to them anytime over the phone or in person, and I know they are always there for me.”

• “Accessibility, good selection of accounts, friendly staff.”

• “I have had accounts with virgin money for over 15 years and I will continue to do so.”

Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown is an award-winning financial services company based in Bristol that sells funds, shares and related products via its website and through the post to retail investors in the UK. They offer a wide range of services including competitive stocks and shares ISAs which allow you to buy and sell shares in your ISA from £11.95 per trade online (with frequent dealers paying as little as £5.95 per trade). There are over 2,500 funds, shares, Exchange Traded Funds, corporate bonds, gilts and more and you can even choose from a range of super low-cost funds. 

Here’s what some customer reviews said:

• “Very happy with the pricing and ease of service provided. Will certainly use again, much cheaper than Barclays.”

• “All so easy.”• “Prompt service with excellent support during implementation period.”• “Clear website and simple online procedures make for a very slick professional operation.”

• “No problems at all with Hargreaves Lansdown. In fact I wish I'd started my Sipp years ago with them. As for my Fund & Share account, everything is fine.”

This article was written by Nutmeg who are authorised & regulated by the Financial Services Conduct Authority

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