Junior ISAs turn 8 – What is a Junior ISA and how does it work?

2 min Read Published: 01 Nov 2019

what is a junior isa and how do they work Junior ISAs were first introduced in November 2011 and provided a replacement to the short-lived Child Trust Fund.

The Junior ISA celebrates its 8-year anniversary on 1st November 2019 and based on the maximum contribution limits, had you opened an account back in November 2011, you could have saved £31,552 of tax-free cash. This, however, could have been slightly more or less based on the type of Junior ISA you opened.

What is a Junior ISA

A Junior ISA is a tax-efficient way of building a savings pot for your child. There are two types of Junior ISAs, a Junior Cash ISA or a Junior Stocks and Shares ISA. The lump-sum accrued over time can be accessed by your child at the age of 18.

Junior ISA features:

  • In the 2019/20 tax year, a maximum of £4,368 per child can be invested in a Junior ISA and rises to £9,000 in 2020/21 (any unused allowance cannot be carried forward)
  • A Junior ISA can only be opened by parents or legal guardians of the child
  • Anybody can contribute to a Junior ISA once it is opened
  • A child can have both a cash Junior ISA and a Stocks and Shares Junior ISA but the annual allowance must be spread between the two accounts
  • Once your child turns 18 they can access the money or they can transfer it into an adult ISA

Best Cash Junior ISAs - Comparison Table

The below table shows the best cash Junior ISAs as of October 2019:

Junior ISA Provider Junior ISA AER interest rate
Coventry BS 3.60%
Danske Bank 3.45%
Santander 3.25%
TSB 3.25%
Darlington Building Society 3.25%
NS&I 3.25%
Tesco Bank 3.15%
Halifax 3.00%
Barclays 3.00%
Family Building Society 2.75%
Cumberland Building Society 2.75%
Mansfield Building Society 2.70%
Lloyds Bank 2.50%
Wesleyan Bank 2.25%

Best Stocks & Shares Junior ISAs

The below table shows the best Stocks and Shares Junior ISAs as of October 2019:

Provider Minimum investment Annual charge Dealing charge
Wealthsimple* No minimum investment 0.7% (As a Money to the Masses reader, The first £10,000 of your money is managed for free) Nil
Charles Stanley Direct £500 lump sum or £50 per month 0.35% Nil for funds
AJ Bell Youinvest £25 lump sum or per month 0.25% £1.50 per deal online
Hargreaves Lansdown* £100 lump sum or £25 per month 0.45% Nil
Bestinvest £100 lump sum 0.40% £7.50
Fidelity £1,000 lump sum or £50 per month £25 pa flat fee for less than £7,500, or 0.35% pa Nil
Interactive Investor* £25 lump sum or per month £120, £168 or £240 pa (charged monthly) £7.99 per trade, reduced if selecting £168 or £240 pa options
Vanguard Investor £500 lump sum or £100 per month 0.15% (max £375 a year) Nil


For more information on the above tables and the best providers for Junior ISAs you may find the following articles useful:


If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following links can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses - Wealthsimple, Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor