Best Investment Rate ISA

ISA remain one of the best ways to save money. You can add up to £10,680 a year into an ISA account (as of 2011-2012 rates) for all returns to be tax free. The best investment ISA accounts will offer the best interest rates for your money, but you also need to consider every other option on the market. What you're saving for, how much you want to contribute annually and how often you want to access your money will all influence what you get from your ISA account.

Take the example of saving for hard financial times. You put a bit of money away in an account in case you need cash in an emergency, but you opt for the highest interest account on the market. As a high interest account, it's unlikely to have an instant access option. When an emergency does occur you find yourself with more than enough money in your account, thanks to the handy interest rate, but you have to wait 30 days to take this money out and may be charged a fee. It's all well that you got the best interest rate on the market, but as far as your savings account goes it turned out to be pretty useless.

There's a vast diversity of options on the market for you - given the above example, you should really think carefully about which account you choose, as the "best" account will only be what's suitable for your individual circumstances.

In terms of the best investment ISA accounts you have two options: a cash ISA, which is basically putting money into a savings account, or a stock and shares ISA, which has the ability to provide greater return but comes with more risk. You can deposit £5,340 into a stocks and shares ISA alongside the maximum £10,689 cash ISA, but you can't have two cash ISA accounts.

If you're sure you want a cash ISA account with a high interest rate and are willing to risk losing an instant access function, opt for Santander who offer the best ISA investment account rate of 3.3% on the market - or, if you're feeling particularly adventurous and disciplined, try the Coventry BS 5 year fixed rate ISA at 5% interest. If you're not sure about either of these accounts or are looking for something more, don't be afraid to go to your local branch, use price comparison websites or speak to an independent financial advisor.

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