Opening a new Cash ISA (Zopa)

I like to get paid interest on the 1st of the month to better manage my finances, and this means I need to open an account on the 1st of the month. I was wondering what the process is like for opening a Cash ISA?

Are they the same as opening a savings account but with NI number and other bits? 

Would there be any delays?

Comments

  • refluxer
    refluxer Posts: 2,533
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    The Smart ISA is essentially just another 'pot' within their Smart Savings Hub and you need to open a Smart Saver account first in order to gain access to the hub and open the Smart ISA pot.

    Officially, according to Zopa... 'interest is 'paid into your ISA pots monthly on the calendar day you opened your Smart Savings Hub, unless that date is the 29th, 30th or 31st of a month. In these cases, interest payments will be made on the 28th of every month'.

    So... interest for the Smart ISA gets paid on the same day as the Smart Saver which means if you want to get interest for the ISA paid on the 1st of the month, then it's the date you open your Smart Saver (and not the ISA itself) that counts.

    I opened my Smart Saver on the 9th of the month last year and get interest for both the Smart Saver and the Smart ISA (that I opened more recently) credited on the 8th month, despite the fact that the Smart ISA was opened on a different day of the month. 
    What I don't know though, is at what time of the day that interest is actually credited as the time isn't stated - it may be that it gets credited at 23.59pm on the 8th and doesn't actually show up in the app until the 9th.

    With that in mind, if you want your interest available to withdraw on the 1st of the month then I reckon your best bet is to open a Smart Saver and Smart ISA pot on 1st December. If, however, the date it is credited to the account is more important to you, then you could open it on the 2nd December and (based on my experience at least) it'll get credited on the 1st going forwards. Note that the interest rate on the Smart Saver isn't particularly competitive at the moment, but leaving £1 in (the minimum balance) should keep it open.

    If you've already got a Zopa Smart Saver account then you'll get your interest for the Smart ISA credited on the same day you get your interest for the Smart Saver.

    You'll need your NI number to open the ISA pot 
    - when I opened mine, the account was ready for funding pretty-much immediately, IIRC. 
  • refluxer
    refluxer Posts: 2,533
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    A few things to note about the Zopa Smart ISA...

    1. They don't accept transfers-in, so you can only pay in new subscriptions from the current tax year. This means that if you've paid anything into a different cash ISA since 6th April this year, you won't be able to open a Zopa Smart ISA.

    2. While you can spread your ISA allowance over different Smart ISA 'access' and 'fixed term' pots, these all form part of one Smart ISA (with one reference number) and partial transfers out aren't allowed. This means that if, for example, you split your allowance over different easy access and fixed term pots, the only way you'd be able to transfer to another provider in the future without paying a penalty would be to wait until the longest fixed term pot had matured. If you only intend to make use of the (flexible) easy access pot then this is less of an issue, but it does mean that if you want to transfer to a different provider in the future, you'll have to transfer the whole balance.
  • Maple08
    Maple08 Posts: 81
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    Thank you for that information.

    I've actually already got their Smart Saver which pays interest on the first day of the month, so I might just open the account this weekend, and get on with it.
  • refluxer
    refluxer Posts: 2,533
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    Maple08 said:
    Thank you for that information.

    I've actually already got their Smart Saver which pays interest on the first day of the month, so I might just open the account this weekend, and get on with it.
    Cool - in which case, there's no need to wait to open it and you should get your ISA interest from the 1st Dec onwards.
  • Zaul22
    Zaul22 Posts: 315
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    If it works like the normal pots then you could pay some of interest on any day you want by closing a pot and merging it into another pot. 
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