Advantages Internet operated, good rates
Disadvantages site can be slow to load
I have had a Smile mini cash ISA for over a year now, and have been very impressed with the product and the service. Smile is the internet arm of the Co-operative bank, and the ISA accounts are operated on-line, although you can phone as well. You pay in money by direct debit from existing accounts, or you can pay in cheques by post or put money in at the post office.When I opened the ISA the interest rate was the highest around at 7.25%. Even now that savings rates have dropped in line with cuts in the Bank of England base rate, the Smile ISA is continuously top of the savings ratings given in the money sections of the newspapers, and it is still paying out 6%. Interest is added at the end of the tax year in April.
Signing up for the account on-line in the first place was very simple, although the fact that we had recently moved meant that there was a delay of a few days while I sent off utility bills to confirm our new address. Since the account has been up and running we have moved twice more, and each time the details have been swiftly updated with no hassle - if only all banks were as efficient!The site is totally secure, and has extra facilities that not all on-line finance sites offer, such as the ability to send totally secure emails to bank staff. We have always had prompt responses to enquiries. The statements are clear and transactions appear on online statements very soon after they are made.
The ISA account is instant access, and you can have your money transferred into your current account. However, it is worth remembering that if you take money out of an ISA that you can't ever pay in more than the limit for the year. For example, if you put £3000 in your cash ISA at the start of the tax year, which is the limit for the 'cash' part of the ISA allowance, and then after three months you withdraw £1000, you cannot pay in any more money until the start of the next tax year, even though there is now only £2000 balance in the account.One other benefit of Smile that is not often mentioned is the fact that the Co-operative Bank, which runs it, is an ethical bank. They follow clear ethical guidelines when loaning bank money to corporations, and will not invest in tobacco companies, animal testing, oil exploration and many other ethically dubious activities. This alone makes Smile worth considering, and its other benefits mean that I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for a simple mini cash ISA.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment