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

4 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


Looking for a financial adviser near you?

Do you need financial advice? An independent financial adviser can show you how to make the most
of your money. Find your nearest qualified and regulated adviser using this VouchedFor search tool.