NS&I and Skipton BS top cash Isa tables

Piggy banks

You have just a few days left to use your £15,000 Isa allowance for this tax year which ends on Sunday. Top easy-access deals include National Savings & Investments Direct Isa at 1.5% tax-free.

The Post Office Premier Isa and Skipton Building Society Bonus Cash Isa Issue 4 also pay 1.5%, but both include a short-term bonus. The Post Office rate drops to 0.65% after 18 months and Skipton's to 1% after 12 months.

On fixed-rate deals, Virgin Money pays a top 1.65% for one year while both Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks pay 2.1% for two years.

The Virgin account is available online or in branches but the Yorkshire and Clydesdale deals are only available on the high street. The top rate online for two years is 1.85% from Kent Reliance.

If you are happy to tie your money up for three years Chelsea Building Society pays 2.15% on an account available online. The same deal is on offer through Yorkshire Building Society's branches.

Find the best cash Isa or savings account for you

Best taxable rates

On taxable easy-access accounts, the top rate at 1.41% before tax (1.13% after tax) comes from Virgin Money Defined Access account but you are limited to making three withdrawals a year.

You can earn 1.25% (1%) with no withdrawal restrictions from Kent Reliance, Skipton Building Society, Charter Savings Bank and State Bank of India. Virgin Money pays a slightly lower 1.21% (0.97%) with no withdrawal restrictions.

Best deals on fixed-rate bonds come from Charter Savings Bank at 1.8% (1.44%) for one year, Shawbrook Bank at 1.9% (1.52%) for 18 months or 2.2% (1.76%) for two years.

Hinckley and Rugby BS pays a top 3% (2.4%) for one year but the account is only available to those who became members of the society before 30 November last year and the maximum you can put in is £5,000.

Hold-off on pensioner bonds?

Those aged 65 or more can earn 2.8% (2.24%) for one year and a top 4% (3.2%) for three years with National Savings & Investments. The maximum you can put into each bond is £10,000 and they are on sale until 15 May.

If you delay buying the bonds until the new tax year starts on 5 April, you can use the new £1,000 personal savings allowance to offset tax on your interest.

This allowance, which comes in on 6 April 2016, lets basic-rate taxpayers earn their first £1,000 of savings interest without paying tax on it. For higher-rate tax payers it's £500.

As the interest will not be added to your account until the 2016-2017 tax year, it will automatically be paid before any tax is taken off and can be set off against your new allowance.

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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