Last-minute Isa freebies and bargains

Published by Sam Barrett on 22 March 2016.
Last updated on 10 March 2017

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Financial freebies

Several providers are offering financial incentives if you use them.

Santander is offering up to £100 cashback to both new and existing customers investing into its stocks and shares Isa direct. Customers can earn 0.5% cashback on the amount invested between now and 16 June 2017, up to the £100 limit.

Virgin Money is offering existing customers £50 cashback when they open a stocks and shares Isa on its website and invest at least £150 per month for six consecutive months, or £5,000 lump sum. Customers must enter the promo code “MVMISA” when opening the account. This is an ongoing offer but could be withdrawn at any time.

Open a new Isa or Junior Isa with Orbis Access and they will match your first investment, up to the value of £100. This runs until 30 April.

 

Opening an account using a cashback site can also earn you rewards. New customers can earn up to £250 by opening a Shepherds Friendly stocks and shares Isa through Top Cashback. To get the full bonus applicants must pay in £900 per month, but smaller sums are paid to users investing £30 a month or more.

You can also earn £157.50 by opening a Nutmeg stocks and shares Isa through the same cashback site. This bonus will be paid to customers who make an initial investment of £500 or more, plus £100 per month if your balance is below £5,000.

Top Cashback is also offering £105 to consumers who open a Forester Life Isa and pay in more than £80 a month. None of these offers through Top Cashback have any end date.

At Quidco you can earn £100 for opening an Isa and make an initial deposit of £5,000 with Fidelity. You’ll have to act fast with these deal, however, as it expires on Sunday 12 March 2017.

Remember that you should also consider ongoing platform fees as it may be cheaper to use accounts other than those listed above if the fees are lower. Some providers charge a percentage fee while others charge a flat rate – such as Interactive Investor, Moneywise’s parent company.

You can find our more information about fees and charges by using the Moneywise investment Isa comparison tool to search the market.

Feeling lucky?

Rather than give everyone a freebie, some of the platforms are looking to whip up end-of-year business by entering new Isa customers into a prize draw, in some cases giving them the chance to win cash or double their money if their Isa account is pulled out of the hat.

Both Fidelity and Hargreaves Lansdown run such offers. At the former, you need to invest a lump sum into a stocks and shares Isa before 31 March 2017; you will then be entered into a prize draw with four chances to win your initial investment back in cash.

At Hargreaves Lansdown, the prize draw is available for any investment made before 7 April into its Vantage stocks and shares Isa, Junior Isa, Sipp, or fund and share accounts.

One winner will receive a lump sum equal to whatever you invested between 3 February 2017 and 7 April 2017, up to a maximum value of £50,000.

Extra tax treats

For higher-rate taxpayers, investment manager Downing is looking to appeal to those seeking to reduce another tax - inheritance tax (IHT) - with its Aim Isa.

This invests in a portfolio of at least 20 Aim-quoted companies; after two years, and providing you hold it until death, your investment will be exempt from IHT.

Another provider hoping to attract more Isa investors looking for IHT planning opportunities is Octopus Investments. Like Downing, its Octopus Aim IHT Isa invests in Aim-quoted companies to take advantage of the business property relief that's available after two years.

Cash crash

If you're looking for an Isa home for your savings, you may be a little disappointed by what's on offer.  There continues to be poor interest rates across the board. If you’re looking for easy access cash Isas then the Paragon Bank Limited Edition account pays 1.05% and can be opened with £1, up to £100,000. The account is available online only. Transfers in from other cash Isas are permitted.

If you’re willing to lock your cash away then slightly better rates are on offer. Principality Building Society pays 1.3% on its three-year fixed rate cash Isa. Balances must be more than £500 and the account can be operated in branch, by phone and online.

In the five-year fix market, Paragon's Isa returns 1.75%. This account is available online only and allows transfers in from existing Isas. Minimum balance is £500

 

 

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