Our ISA range

ISAs explained

What is an ISA?

An ISA (Individual Savings Account) is a tax-efficient way to save or invest.

Usually, when you have a savings account, you pay income tax on whatever interest you earn. But the interest on a cash ISA isn't taxed, so all the interest you earn, you keep.

Stocks & Shares ISAs also have tax benefits which we've explained in more detail in the tab below.

If you're starting to think about saving, ISAs are a great place to begin.

What is the ISA allowance?

Each tax year, which starts on 6 April, you get a new ISA allowance. This year's a bit different, because the Government announced some changes to the allowance part way through the tax year.

From 1 July 2014, your annual ISA allowance has increased to £15,000, which, if you are over 18, you can split however you want between a cash ISA and Stocks & Shares ISAs.

Find out more about the changes

ISAs made simple

Cash ISAs

Stocks & shares ISAs

Types of ISAs available

Cash ISAs

Cash ISAs have similar features to savings accounts, but the interest you earn is tax-free. You're allowed to save up to your annual ISA allowance each tax year.

What's your allowance?

Up until 1 July, the annual cash ISA allowance for the 2014/2015 tax year was £5,940.

From 1 July your ISA allowance increased to £15,000 for the 2014/2015 tax year, and for the first time you’ll be able to save all £15,000 of the annual allowance in a cash ISA.

What are the features of a cash ISA?

  • Choose from a range of different ISAs designed to meet different needs:
    • Instant access - great if you need to be able to get to your money quickly
    • Regular savings - designed to help you save every month
    • Fixed rate - pays a tax-free interest rate that won't change over your chosen term, great for people who have a lump sum to save
  • Choose to have a branch based, or online based ISA
  • They don't end when the tax year does. So your money will continue earning you tax free interest as long as you've got the ISA

What do I need to know?

  • You can open a cash ISA if you are aged 16 or over and are a UK resident
  • Each tax year, you can only subscribe to one ISA provider to have cash ISAs with
  • You can split your allowance between Nationwide's full range of cash ISA products
  • If you take money out of your ISA, you can only add more up to your unused ISA allowance
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Find out more - Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Did you know...

During last ISA season (2013) 24p in every £1 was saved with Nationwide

Junior ISAs

Junior ISAs are tax efficient accounts designed to help you save or invest for your child's future. They encourage both parents and children to save, and the money is not available to the child until their 18th birthday.

Both junior cash ISAs and junior Stocks & Shares ISAs are available. Nationwide offers a junior cash ISA called the Smart Junior ISA.

What's your allowance?

Up until 1 July, your annual ISA allowance for the 2014/2015 tax-year was £3,840.

From 1 July your junior ISA allowance increased to £4,000 for the 2014/2015 tax year.

What are the features of a junior ISA?

  • Allows parents to open a tax efficient account to save or invest for their child as soon as they're born
  • The child can't access the money until they're 18, which could be used to save towards a house deposit or university fees

What do I need to know?

Children are eligible to open a junior ISA if:

  • They're under 18
  • They're a UK resident
  • They don't hold a Child Trust Fund - they can have either a Child Trust Fund or a junior ISA, not both
  • They don't already hold another junior ISA
  • If the child is under 16, a parent or legal guardian must open the ISA for them
  • If a child is 16 or 17, they can open their own Nationwide Smart Junior ISA

Did you know...

It now costs around £8,499 a year for full time tuition fees at university (Source: Office for Fair Access June 2014)

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISAs are a tax efficient way to invest.

A Stocks & Shares ISA allows you to invest into range of investments, such as government and corporate bonds, property and stocks & shares as part of your ISA allowance. Because they are held in an ISA, any gains you make are tax efficient, helping you to save some tax depending on what investments you have and what levels of tax you pay. There's more on this in our guide to Stocks & Shares ISA.

What's your allowance?

Up until 1 July, your annual ISA allowance for the 2014/2015 tax-year was £11,880.

From 1 July your ISA allowance increased to £15,000 for the 2014/2015 tax year.

What are the features of a Stocks & Shares ISA?

  • The potential returns can be higher than cash equivalents with the current low interest rates. However, investing should be a long term plan and you should be comfortable with aiming to invest for a minimum of 6 years, and prepared to accept the higher risk of investing
  • Any gains you make are protected from capital gains tax, and for higher rate tax payers, you'll pay less income tax on any dividends you may get

Please note that the value of your investment can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you invested.

What do I need to know?

You can open a Stocks & Shares ISA if you are aged 18 or over and you are resident in the UK.

You can open one Stocks & Shares ISA in a tax year.

From July 2014, you'll be allowed to transfer money held in a Stocks & Shares ISA in to certain cash ISAs.

Did you know...

If you have more than £50,000 in savings and investments, or earn £50,000 or more per year you could get investment advice from our Financial Planning service.

Our Financial Planning service - Did you know...

Changes from 1 July

Top up your ISA

Transfer your ISA