Virgin and Sainsbury's up easy-access rates

Pound coins

Virgin Money has raised its easy-access cash Isa rate to 1.5% tax-free for new savers. The move co-insides with the introduction of the new Super Isa on 1 July, which allows savers to put up to £15,000 a year into cash Isas. The move was quickly followed by Sainsbury's Bank which raised its rate to 1.45%.

The Virgin 1.5% puts it among the best deals. The top deal comes from Cheshire & Derbyshire building societies, both part of Nationwide, at 1.6%. National Savings & Investments and Nationwide pay 1.5%.

Only Virgin, Nationwide and Sainsbury's Bank will let you transfer your existing cash Isas into their accounts.

Virgin Money has also raised the rate on its one-year fixed rate deal to a top 1.76%.

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Fixed-rate deals

Fixed-rate deals on taxable accounts are also edging up, with the top one-year rate at 1.88% before tax (1.5% after tax) from internet bank FirstSave.

Virgin Money has launched a new one-year fixed rate deal at 1.76% (1.41% after). Other competitive deals include the 1.75% (1.4%) from BM Savings, part of Halifax, Kent Reliance Banking Services and Investec Bank.

Leeds BS pays a higher 2% (1.6%) fixed until 31 January 2016, while the best two-year deal comes at 2.3% (1.84%) from FirstSave. Virgin Money pays 2.1% (1.68%), while Kent Reliance raised its rate for new savers to 2.16% (1.72%) on Friday.

On easy-access taxable accounts the top rate is 1.65% (1.32%) from Britannia, part of Co-op Bank, but you can only make four withdrawals a year.

Tesco pays 1.35% (1.08%) with no withdrawal restrictions on its Internet Saver, but this includes a 0.6 (0.48) percentage point bonus, which is only paid for the first 12 months.

Virgin Money and Sainsbury's Bank pay 1.3% (1.04%) with no short-term bonus and no withdrawal restrictions.

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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