Cash ISA range

ISAs explained

What is an ISA?

An ISA (Individual Savings Account) is a tax-free way to save or invest. If you're starting to think about saving or investing, ISAs could be a good place to begin.

On other savings accounts, you may have to pay income tax* on the interest you earn. The interest on a cash ISA is free from tax, 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.

*Many savers no longer pay tax on the interest they earn on non-ISA accounts. More about the Personal Savings Allowance.

What is the ISA allowance?

Each tax year, which starts on 6 April, you get a new ISA allowance. For the tax year 2018/19, the ISA allowance is £20,000. You can choose from cash, Stocks & Shares and Junior ISAs (Junior ISA has an annual allowance of £4,260). You can also save into an Innovative Finance ISA or Lifetime ISA, although Nationwide doesn’t offer these products.

What is ISA flexibility?

ISA flexibility means you can withdraw and pay in funds (in line with product terms and conditions) from a cash ISA product without this counting towards your annual ISA allowance.

Here’s an example to explain this:

  • You open a cash ISA at the start of a tax year and make a deposit in your account, using up some of your ISA allowance for that year.
  • At the start of the following tax year, your annual ISA allowance re-sets.
  • You then take out £100 from your ISA. Later in the same tax year, you pay £100 back in.
  • What you’ve taken out and paid in just takes you back to your start-of-tax-year balance – you haven’t used any of your annual ISA allowance for that year, so you can still save against it for the remainder of the tax year.

There are restrictions with some of our products, so it’s important to check your account terms and conditions.

For example:

  • Help to Buy: ISA has a limit on how much money you can put in each month. Any money you take out will affect how much you can save that month. Check your terms and conditions for details.
  • ISA flexibility does not apply to our Smart Junior ISA.
  • If you have a fixed-rate cash ISA, you can only withdraw your money if you close your account or if you’ve come to the end of your term. If you close your account early, there will be an early withdrawal charge.
  • With our Inheritance ISA product: if you withdraw funds and wish to replace them in the same tax year, you can only replace these funds in another cash ISA product with us.

Types of ISA available through Nationwide

ISAs made simple

ISAs made simple

ISA flexibility

ISA flexibility

ISA flexibility

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Stocks and Shares ISAs

Stocks and Shares ISAs made simple banner

More about ISA flexibility

Transfer/manage a cash ISA

Stocks & Shares ISAs