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How to top up an ISA

If you’re looking to make the most of your tax-free allowances, topping up an Individual Savings Account (ISA) is an easy way.

You can top up a cash ISA whenever you want during the tax year – up to a £20,000 annual limit in the current tax year.

How are ISAs changing in the 2024 / 2025 tax year?

Cash ISA age limit

From 6 April 2024, there are changes to how old you need to be to open a cash ISA.

To open a new cash ISA, you need to be either:

  • 18 years old or over, or
  • Covered by the transitional arrangements for those aged 16 or 17 (as of 5 April 2024), which is in place until 5 April 2026.

ISA providers aren't obliged to offer the transitional arrangements. HSBC won't allow customers under 18 to open a new cash ISA from 6 April 2024, but will consider changing this in the future.

Subscribing to more than one of the same type of ISA

If you're aged 18 or over, you'll now be able to subscribe to more than one of the same type of ISA in the same tax year – subject to staying within the overall annual limit.

For example, you could subscribe to a cash or stocks & shares ISA with one ISA provider and and also subscribe to one with a different provider.

This change doesn’t apply to Lifetime ISAs, where it's still only be possible to subscribe to one Lifetime ISA in a tax year. HSBC doesn't offer Lifetime ISAs.

ISA providers aren't obliged to allow subscriptions to more than one ISA of the same type, in the same tax year, with themselves. This isn't available with HSBC from 6 April 2024.

Other optional changes that not all providers are implementing

If you've gone a whole tax year without making a subscription to an existing ISA, you can now restart subscriptions without needing to complete a new application.

It’s also now possible to make a partial transfer of subscriptions made in the current tax year.

These changes are not available with HSBC from 6 April 2024. We'll update our website if we make any changes to our ISAs in the future.

Moving money into your cash ISA

How you top up will vary depending on your ISA provider.

If you’re an HSBC customer, you can move money into a cash ISA the same way you’d move money into another type of current or savings account. You can do this online, or through our mobile banking app.

You can also transfer money – or an existing ISA – from another bank into your HSBC ISA using our online HSBC Loyalty Cash ISA transfer in form.

To help ensure you meet your savings goal and maximise your tax-free allowance, you may want to consider a standing order. This will mean you’re making regular payments into the ISA.

What if you haven't topped up your cash ISA in a while?

If you haven’t made a payment – also referred to as a ‘subscription’ – into your cash ISA in the previous tax year, you'll need to make a fresh application if you want to make any further subscriptions. 

If you’re an HSBC customer, you can reactivate an ISA by using our online HSBC Loyalty Cash ISA reactivation form.

If you want to reactivate your ISA before the end of the tax year to make the most of your allowance, make sure you allow a few working days for us to process your application.

Why use your cash ISA?

Cash ISAs are an effective way to save, and you won’t need to pay tax on the interest you earn.

And if you’re saving for something in particular, like a holiday, or a home, every little bit counts. Even if you don’t have a particular goal in mind, the more money you save, the more financially secure you could become. So, it’s worth taking advantage of your tax-free allowance. 

Your allowance will reset when a new tax year starts. The start of a new tax year could also be a good time to look at any savings accounts you currently have to see if they’re still helping you meet your financial goals.

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Things to keep in mind: The value of the tax benefits described depends on individual circumstances. The tax treatment of ISAs could change in the future. Tax free means free of liability to UK Income Tax, or Capital Gains Tax.