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Best Junior ISA Rates

A Junior ISA is the most tax efficient way for parents to save for their children. It allows savings of up to £9,000 this tax year and the money can’t be accessed until the child turns 18.

In my fully updated guide, I’ll look at the cost, customer service, and performance of the junior ISAs on offer so parents can make the best possible decisions for their children.

Best overall JISAs at a glance

The following junior ISA providers offer some of the best rates for 2022.

Shepherds Friendly Society Logo

NEW

Shepherds Friendly Society

  • Open a Junior ISA from just £10 per month
  • Save for your child’s future
  • Friends and family members can pay in too

Capital at risk.

Bestinvest logo

Bestinvest

  • Transfer your ISA or child trust fund for free
  • Fees from as little as 0.2% on ready-made portfolios
  • No set-up fees and share dealing for just £4.95 a trade

Capital at risk.

Beanstalk App

Beanstalk

  • The family app that invests in your kids
  • Fee: 0.5% – Lower than other JISAs and child trust funds
  • A great way for grandparents to save for their grandchildren

As with any investment the value can go down as well as up. Past performance is no indicator of future performance. The tax treatment of ISAs depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

Wealthify logo

Wealthify

  • Start investing for your child from £1
  • Invite your friends & family to contribute
  • Annual fee: 0.6% plus an average annual investment cost of 0.16% for Original or 0.7% for Ethical Plans

As with all investing, your money is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you put in. The tax treatment of your investment will depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future. You should seek financial advice if you are unsure about investing.

Moneyfarm logo

BEST STOCKS & SHARES JISA

Moneyfarm

  • Save up to £9,000 a year for your child
  • Start with just £500 and invest from £10 per month
  • Annual average investment fund fee: 0.2%*

Capital at risk.

Junior ISAs avoid tax by forcing you to relinquish control of the money. Once your money goes into a Junior ISA account it can only be accessed by your child when they reach 18 years of age. At this point your child can withdraw some, or all of the money in their ISA accounts.

There are two main types of Junior ISAs:

  1. Junior Stocks and Shares ISAs – A tax free investment account that will grow in line with the performance of the stocks and shares your money is invested in. This has the greater potential for growth, as well as the greater potential for risk.
  2. Junior Cash ISAs – A tax free savings account where the child will earn interest on any cash within the account. This is the least risky option, offering complete security, however money held within this account may not grow at the same rate as inflation and thus lose value over time.

In this guide I look at ways of distinguishing how you find the best Junior ISA account for you, including an indepth look at both best Junior Stocks and Shares ISAs (otherwise known as an investment ISA) and best Junior Cash ISAs for tax free savings.

Junior stocks and shares ISAs

There are two main ways that you can invest money for growth within a Junior stocks and shares ISA:

1. Self-invested stocks and shares junior ISA

This provides scope for you to choose your own investments in a do-it-yourself ISA

2. Ready-made stocks and shares junior ISA

For less experienced investors this allows you to select a fully managed portfolio that suits your level of risk.

Unless you are knowledgeable about the market, and have the time to study and analyse its ebbs and flows, you may want to opt for a ready-made portfolio where you can ‘set it and forget it’ and leave the self investment ISAs until you have built more confidence in the market.

Be aware that your capital is always at risk when you invest in the stock market.

Best self-invested junior stocks and shares ISAs

For those that enjoy the greater control of self-invested ISAs, here is my round up of the best providers available based on cost and ease of use among other entities.

It is important to note that the value of your investments can go up as well as down and you should keep a careful eye on your portfolio and ensure you understand movements in the market.

AJ Bell Youinvest logo

AJ Bell Youinvest

Best cost for small and medium portfolios

  • Minimum investment: £25 lump sum or £25 per month
  • Annual charge: 0.25%
  • Dealing charge: £1.50 per deal online

AJ Bell Youinvest has a clean, easy to use app to enhance your junior investment ISA trading experience and I found the customer service experience to be excellent.

Of course with AJ Bell they do offer a range of funds within their Junior investment ISA that allow you to take a back seat and let their experts do the hard work for you, however, if you would like to manage your portfolio yourself they do offer plenty of guides, as well as a well researched list of over 70 active and passive funds to get you started including ethical and overseas markets.

Importantly AJ Bell Youinvest works out as one of the cheapest options for a Junior investment ISA and has no fees for account set up, inactivity, cash holding, and withdrawals.

Capital at risk.

Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments

Best for zero service fees

  • Minimum investment: £1,000 lump sum or £25 per month
  • £10 share dealing charge, free to deal funds
  • 3,000 funds available

Fidelity Investments has an excellent Junior investment ISA although whilst they have waived the charge for buying and selling funds they can still work out expensive for dealing shares.

For self invested account holders they offer guides in three formats:

  1. Navigator: Fidelity collects information about your priorities and utilises this to provide you with fund options for your consideration.
  2. Select 50: This is a collection of 50 of the Fidelity experts favourite funds.
  3. Investment Finder: A powerful search tool which can filter thousands of investments on offer to help you find the most suitable one for you.

Capital at risk.

Hargreaves Lansdown logo

Hargreaves Lansdown

Best for low cost share dealing

  • Minimum investment: £100 lump sum or £25 per month
  • Annual charge: 0.45%
  • Share trades £5.95 each

With low cost dealing charges, this is the perfect platform for parents who expect to trade regularly on behalf of their children.

In terms of investment options you couldn’t want for much more as they offer over 3,000 funds from both the UK and overseas including investment trusts, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Hargreaves Lansdown employs a team of analysts to create a Wealth Shortlist of funds that have been scrutinised to identify the greatest long-term performance potential to help you create a well diversified portfolio within your Junior ISA.

Capital at risk.

Interactive Investor logo

Interactive Investor

Best for large portfolios

  • Minimum investment: Any lump sum or £25 per month
  • Free with a £9.99 a month trading account or ISA
  • Dealing charge: £7.99 per trade, first monthly trade is free

For investors who already have an account with Interactive Investor, this can work out as the cheapest Junior ISA available as there are no charges for existing ii account holders.

Interactive Investor also have an award winning web and mobile trading platform with an option for ethical investing which is gaining momentum as a socially responsible and profitable way of investing.

Capital at risk.

Best ready made junior stocks and shares ISA

Here is my selection of the best ready made junior stocks and shares ISAs where the investment portfolio has been created and managed for you by the platform.

This gives you a hands off approach, often based on your risk profile.

Please note that my selection is based on cost and ease of use among other entities but is not an indication of the performance of the fund as this is impossible to predict.

Vanguard logo

Vanguard

Best for low cost and well performing funds.

  • Platform charge: 0.15%
  • Fund management charge: 0.22%

If you’re looking for low cost, ready-made Junior ISA investment solutions then Vanguard boasts one of the lowest platform and fund management charges available.

They have also been awarded the Which Recommended Provider for their Junior ISA and are one of the only platforms that are owned by investor funds.

The Vanguard LifeStrategy funds include readymade investments that would suit both novice and passive investors and with 6,000 to 20,000 shares and bonds from across the globe, this is a good option if you are looking to reduce your exposure to risk.

Capital at risk.

Wealthify logo

Wealthify

Best for ethical investments

  • Platform charge: 0.6%
  • Average investment costs: 0.16%
  • Average investment costs ethical portfolio: 0.7%

Wealthify took the top spot as winners of the Best Junior ISA at the Personal Finance Awards for 2019/20 and 2021/22.

If you are looking to invest ethically then this is my top pick for you as the Wealthify SRI Ambitious Portfolio was one of the best performing robo advisor ISA portfolios for the past 3 years.

Wealthify also offer a very user-friendly app which lends itself well to teaching children about their investments and friends and family are all welcome to contribute to your child’s ISA.

Capital at risk.

Nutmeg logo

Nutmeg

0% portfolio management fees for the first 6 months.*

  • Platform charge: 0.45%
  • Fund management charge: 0.17 *

Nutmeg are currently the UK’s largest digital wealth manager and they offer parents saving for their children the opportunity to invest in their children’s future by offering a socially responsible portfolio that focuses on companies with environmental, social and governance standards.

The Nutmeg’s Socially Responsible portfolio is one of four investment styles to choose from including:

  • Fully Managed: All expertly managed and continually tweaked to ensure maximum performance.
  • Smart Alpha: Managed in house by JP Morgan
  • Socially Responsible: Portfolio that focuses on the environment and society whilst being fully managed by an experienced investment team
  • Fixed Allocation: A low cost option that is designed to perform without any intervention

Capital at risk. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.

Moneybox logo

Moneybox

Best for ease of use

  • Platform charge: 0.45%
  • Fund management charge: 0.132% – 0.2530%

For investors who are comfortable using an app to manage their account, Moneybox offers a separate app for their Junior ISA which links to your bank account making deposits a breeze.

They also have a neat little rounding up feature available to help make saving into a Junior ISA as painless as possible.

Capital at risk.

What are junior cash ISAs?

Cash junior ISAs allow people to save for children whom they have parental responsibility for without having to pay any income tax on the interest earnt.

Outside of cash junior ISAs, children are taxed at the same rates as adults. Within cash junior ISAs the money you save is as safe as it would be with any other savings account and you are guaranteed to get back what you have deposited plus any interest earned on that amount.

Cash junior ISAs are the most tax efficient way to save for your child.

The interest rates on a junior cash ISA vary from provider to provider so it is prudent to compare rates before opening an account.

The best cash junior ISA rates

When choosing a cash junior ISA account, the most important consideration is the interest rate. Listed below are the best ISA rates available today on Junior cash ISAs at UK banks and building societies.

Please note that interest rates do fluctuate and these figures may change.

Cash Junior ISA Provider AER Interest Rates*
Darlington Building Society 2.65%
Coventry BS Junior ISA 2.25%
Tesco Bank 2.25%
Halifax 2%
Family Building Society 1.65% – 2.40%

* Rates checked 22nd February 2022

As previously mentioned, ISA rates can change and it would therefore be prudent to check interest rates on a regular basis and transfer money between Junior Cash ISAs where appropriate.

Also consider: Will ISA rates go up?

Should you open a cash junior ISA or a stocks and shares junior ISA?

We have already established that a cash junior ISA will attract interest as laid out by the provider, and a stocks and shares junior ISA will attract investment growth. So how do you distinguish which of these options is better for you?

According to HMRC, the majority of parents are still choosing to open a cash junior ISA for their children. However, this may not be the best option despite offering the least risk. This is because interest rates are historically low, whilst inflation continues to rise at a rate which will erode away at your child’s savings over time.

Within a stocks and shares junior ISA your deposits are invested on the stock market with the aim to grow your cash tax free over time.

Historically stocks and shares junior ISAs do better than a cash junior ISAs long term, providing you with a greater return on your investment tax free. However, this is not without some degree of risk and your capital can go down as well as up with the volatility of the stock market.

Advantages and disadvantages of opening a junior ISA

Advantages

  • Effective saving tool for parents who have already maxed out their own ISA allowance.
  • Helps children to learn about saving and investing.
  • Provides a nest egg for your child.
  • Means for reducing your inheritance tax bill.

Disadvantages

  • Money is released to the child on their 18th birthday, at which time they can do with it as they wish.

Is a child trust fund better than a junior ISA?

Child Trust Funds are tax free savings accounts that attracted a contribution of up to £500 from the government.

The Child Trust Fund (CTF) was available to children born between 1 September 2002 and 2nd January 2011 after which the initiative was scrapped and replaced with junior ISAs.

Advantages

  • Effective saving tool for parents who have already maxed out their own ISA allowance.
  • Helps children to learn about saving and investing
  • Provides a nest egg for your child
  • Means for reducing your inheritance tax bill

Differences

However, there are also important differences between the two schemes including:

  • Contribution tax year for a CTF runs from the child’s birthday to their next birthday but for junior ISAs the contribution tax year runs for each tax year.
  • Whilst junior ISAs are available to everyone, only children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011 can have a Child Trust Fund.
  • A child can have one or the other account but never both. This isn’t much of an issue as the Child Trust Fund is no longer available and anyone looking to set up a saving account for their child now can only open junior ISAs or a child saving account.
  • Unlike the Child Trust Fund, parents can open more than one junior ISA for their child, a cash junior ISA and a stocks and shares ISA, however the annual junior ISA allowance will have to be split between the two. It is also worth noting that you can only open one junior Cash ISA and one junior stocks and shares ISA per tax year.
  • Child Trust Funds received a contribution from the government of between £50 and £500. In contrast to this junior ISAs are not subject to any government contributions and rely solely on parents or guardians to contribute towards the money held.

Whilst the junior ISA does not take receipt of the government contributions there are a number of ways in which it could be considered a superior product to the Child Trust Fund including:

How children are taxed

It’s important to know that children are taxed in exactly the same way as adults. This is why the tax relief available in the junior ISA is worth taking advantage of.

This may seem like a confusing prospect given that children don’t usually have jobs or earn an income, however, they are still taxed on any income they earn from savings interest over and above £18,500. This figure represents the £12,500 personal allowance + £5,000 starting savings allowance + the £1,000 personal savings allowance which I have gone into in more detail below.

If you are reading this you could be forgiven for wondering why you need an ISA given the amount of savings that they can earn tax free. However, the issue arises when the money is a gift from a parent or guardian, at which point any interest earned that is in excess of £100 per year will be taxed at the rate that the parents are taxed at.

This is to prevent parents from depositing cash into banks and building societies for their children in order to avoid paying tax themselves. This is where the junior ISA comes in, as a way of locking away money for the child, without it being subject to tax on the income earnt. It is also worth considering that once a child turns 18, the junior ISA will be converted to an adult ISA, at which point it will continue to earn an income tax free.

What if your Child falls below the taxable income?

A Junior ISA isn’t always the best solution, and if you are looking to open a Cash ISA for a smaller amount each month then you may be better off with high interest savings accounts. Currently the highest interest available on a BS junior Cash ISA is 2.95% tax free, however, Halifax are currently offering 4% AER on their kids regular saver and lets you save up to £100 a month.

Before you open a junior ISA it is worth having a detailed look at whether that is in fact the best option as while it may be tax free, once your money has been deposited in a junior ISA, they can’t be accessed until the child’s 18th birthday.

Should you wish to open a junior ISA with another provider, then there is the option to transfer some or all of the money across.

Junior ISA rates FAQs

 

How can junior ISAs help teach children about saving?

The very process of opening a junior ISA account, with your child, can help get them started in the world of finance and teach them valuable lessons about saving.

As they learn to take their time to find the best provider and then watch their pot grow, they will be less likely to spend the money when they turn 18 and more inclined to continue with an adult ISA which could lead to a nest egg as substantial as a house deposit.

What is the junior ISA allowance for 2021 – 2022?

The annual junior ISA allowance limit for the 2021 – 2022 tax year has remained the same as the previous tax year at £9,000.

If the amount deposited into a junior ISA exceeds this amount in the 2021 – 2022 tax year, the excess will be held in the bank’s savings account in trust for the child. It’s important to remember that this excess cannot be returned to the donor at any time.

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