Plum: Cash ISA review

Plum promises a top ‘easy-access’ ISA rate of 5.17%  

If you’re a fan of money apps, you’ll probably like Plum. 

It’s designed to help you save, budget and invest and it’s currently offering a market-leading Cash ISA that pays a variable rate of 5.17%. 

But what else should you know? 

What is Plum?

Founded in 2016, Plum is a money management smartphone app that offers savings, investments and a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). It also has ‘autosaving’ features which automatically move money from your bank to your Plum account. It does this in three ways:

  • Automatic
  • Round Ups
  • Pay Days

You can read all about Plum’s autosaving and other features in a review by our editor-in-chief Andy.

As Plum is not a bank, you’ll need to link it to your accounts via Open Banking. This gives Plum read-only access to your account.

Plum offers a number of subscriptions at different monthly costs. Its Basic plan is free, and gives you access to most features such as round-ups, automatic deposits and a selection of US stocks. More advanced plans come at a cost, as below:

  • Pro (£2.99 a month) 
  • Ultra (£4.99 a month)
  • Premium (£9.99 a month)

Personally, I wouldn’t bother with the paid-for options, and as you can open Plum’s Cash ISA on the free Basic tier, we won’t be exploring the other subscriptions in this review. 

Plum’s Cash ISA explained

At the moment, Plum’s Isa pays a top rate of 5.17% – no other easy-access Cash ISA beats it. However, it’s variable so could change at any time. 

There are also a number of catches to be aware of. 

Firstly, the top rate is only available for the first 12 months. It includes a 0.88% bonus so if the standard rate remains the same, you’ll earn a lower rate of 4.29% in the second year. 

The 5.17% is also only paid on new ISA deposits. Transfers from existing Isas will earn just 4.29%, which can be beaten by loads of providers in our Cash ISA best buy table, including Cynergy Bank, Family Building Society and Principality Building Society. 

I also think it’s a bit cheeky of Plum to call it ‘easy-access’ as that implies you can access the money whenever you want with no impact on your interest rate. In reality, your rate will drop to 3% if you make more than three withdrawals in a year. 

You also need to keep more than £100 in the account at all times or you’ll only earn 3%. You can open the account with £1.

Plum’s Cash ISA is not flexible, which means if you withdraw money and replace it, it’ll take up more of your allowance. 

ISA basics

You can save £20,000 into one or a mix of ISAs every tax year and all your returns will be tax-free. You can read more about it in our ISA allowances guide.

Cash ISAs are just one option. You’ve also got Stocks and Shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs and Innovative Finances ISAs. You can have more than one and each ISA works a bit differently.

You have to be over the age of 18 and a UK resident to open an ISA. If you have children, you can open a Junior ISA on their behalf and contribute up to £9,000 a year.

When is interest paid?

Interest is paid monthly and you’ll get it into your account on the first working day of the month.

If you withdraw your money before the interest is paid into your account, the interest will be lost. So if you need to make a withdrawal, do so after you’ve received the interest.

How to get Plum’s Cash ISA

To open Plum’s Cash ISA you need to download the app and select the Pockets category. Tap on the Cash ISA tile and follow the instructions. To move money into the ISA, tap on the deposit button. The money will take about one working day to appear in your account. 

Is Plum’s Cash ISA any good?

Yes! If you’re in the market for a new Cash ISA, are comfortable with a digital provider and don’t need much access to your money, Plum’s is a go-er. It offers a market-leading rate that even beats the top fixed Cash ISAs

However, if (like me), you like a provider with a phone line, you may find Plum’s customer service a bit frustrating. I couldn’t find a phone number for Plum anywhere. 

If you need to contact Plum, it has an online chat service on its website. Initially, it tries to send you to its Help Center to get answers yourself. It then presents you with fixed topic options and appears to send back answers based on its FAQ pages. 

If your query falls outside of this it says one of its ‘teammates’ are always three to four options away. However, when I typed in my question I was still waiting hours later. 

Agents are available between 6.30am and 8.30pm, Monday to Friday, and between 8am and 6.30pm at the weekend. 

You can also contact it at [email protected] or via its social media channels. 

If you’re still considering which Cash ISA is best for you, check out our ISA round-up.

Is Plum’s Cash ISA safe?

Money in Plum’s Cash ISA is held with Plum’s banking partner, Citi Bank, and is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means if the bank fails, your money is protected, up to £85,000.

What are customers saying?

Plum scores 4.94 out of 5 on our sister site, Smart Money People, with over 12,000 reviews. Customers love the design, user-friendly platform and decent savings rates. 

Smart Money People advert


Plum Cash ISA

Interest rate:5.17% (including 0.88% bonus for first 12 months)
Min deposit:£1 (although £100 is required to get the bonus rate)
Withdrawals:Up to three, otherwise the rate drops to 4.29%
Transfers:Permitted, but the rate will drop to 4.29%
Flexible: No

2 thoughts on “Plum: Cash ISA review

  1. Thanks for pointing out that the bonus rate only applies to new deposits. As I have a fixed term ISA that is maturing soon, this is a key issue. Guess that’s Plum off the shortlist then! To be honest, it hadn’t previously crossed my mind that a cash ISA provider would pay different rates for new deposits and transfers, although I probably would have noticed in my final due diligence. At least Plum makes it fairly clear that this is the case on their website. I will be going through the terms & conditions of other candidates with a fine-tooth comb before committing.

  2. Elitist……….how do us ‘oldens’ who can’t afford smart phones get the QR code on our lowly iPads. Can not get the app without one.


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