Help to Buy: ISA

A tax-free cash ISA for first time home buyers, eligible for a government bonus of 25%

Help to Buy ISA

What you can get?

  • 1.75% AER/tax-free (variable)
  • 25% government bonus for balances from £1,600 up to £12,000


  • You‘re a UK resident aged 16 or over with a valid National Insurance number
  • You’re a first time home buyer purchasing a UK property with a mortgage. You must not have owned a property anywhere in the world.

Account name

Help to Buy: ISA (Issue 3)

help to buy ​​​​​​

What is the interest rate?

AER/tax-free (variable)


Help to Buy: ISA (Issue 3)

Help to Buy: ISA (Issue 3) for 1|2|3 World or Santander Select customers 





Interest is calculated daily and added to this account annually in March. Interest payments don’t count towards the monthly deposit limit, but do count towards the bonus calculation.


Government bonus

To be eligible for the government bonus you must be a first time buyer purchasing an eligible UK property with a mortgage, and have saved into a Help to Buy: ISA. The government bonus of 25% of the balance held on closure in your Help to Buy: ISA is paid to your conveyancer when purchasing your first UK residential property that you intend to live in.

Opening a Help to Buy: ISA does not automatically entitle you to a government bonus. It is only paid on balances (including interest) from £1,600 up to £12,000. Maximum bonus of £3,000 on a balance of £12,000 and minimum of £400 on a balance of £1,600 per person applies.

The government bonus will be available on home purchases of up to £250,000 outside of London and up to £450,000 in London*. 
For any shared and joint ownership property purchases the price caps apply to the full sale price of the property, not to the percentage value being purchased, e.g. a 50% shared ownership purchase of a property of total value £300,000 outside of London would remain ineligible due to the £250,000 price cap. If you are unsure, you should speak to your conveyancer and they will be able to advise you on whether the property you are purchasing is within the price limit and if it is eligible for a government bonus.


Claiming the government bonus

  • To be eligible for the government bonus, you must appoint a conveyancer to make the claim for you and receive the bonus on your behalf.
  • Your bonus must be claimed before completion of the property purchase when it’s certain that the transaction will go ahead, and within 12 months of the date you close your account.
  • The government bonus cannot be used for the deposit due at the exchange of contracts, to pay for solicitor or estate agent fees or any other indirect costs associated with buying a home.

Can Santander change the interest rate?

Yes, the rate can go up or down e.g. in response to industry and market conditions. If the rate goes down, we’ll let you know around 14 days before the rate changes.

What would the estimated balance be after 12 months based on a £1,200 deposit and 11 monthly deposits of £200?

Account name 

Interest earned 

Balance after 12 months

Help to Buy: ISA (Issue 3)



Help to Buy: ISA (Issue 3) for 1|2|3 World or Santander Select customers 




Estimates assume the account is opened and £1,200 deposit is made on 1st March and £200 is deposited on the 1st of every month thereafter, no change to interest rates and 25% government bonus payment excluded.
These illustrations are only examples and don’t take into account individual circumstances.

How do I open and manage my account?

To open the account you must be:

  • a UK resident, account can only be held in single name;
  • aged 16 or over and have a valid National Insurance number; and
  • a first time home buyer purchasing a UK property. You must not have owned a property anywhere in the world (for more information on what a first time home buyer means please visit

If not a permanent resident in the UK you may still qualify if:

  • you are married to, or in a civil partnership with a person who matches the above criteria or;
  • you have general earnings from overseas Crown employment subject to United Kingdom tax within the meaning given by section 28 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003.

To be eligible for the higher interest rate you must be a 1|2|3 World or a Santander Select customer at point of opening.

You can only pay into the Help to Buy: ISA if you are a first time buyer and you have not received a Help to Buy: ISA government bonus previously, unless the full amount of that bonus has been repaid to the administrator.

You can only hold one Help to Buy: ISA at any time per customer rather than one per home so those buying together may both be eligible for a government bonus.

By opening a Help to Buy: ISA you will not automatically qualify for any other financial product, service or Help to Buy scheme/programme. 



  • Online and Mobile.
  • Visit any Santander branch.


ISA transfers

Cash ISA (including Help to Buy: ISA) transfers in and out are allowed at any time.



A subscription is any deposit (or payment) made by you into an ISA.
There is no minimum deposit. You can make an initial deposit of up to £1,200 in the first calendar month of funding and up to £200 per calendar month thereafter. For example, if you open the account in June and make your first deposit of £500 in August, you can pay another £700 until 31 August (totalling £1,200) and then pay a maximum of £200 a month thereafter.

You can make any number of payments and you don’t have to make a deposit every month. The amount can vary each month, provided the monthly limit isn’t exceeded.

It is important that your payments reach us by the end of the calendar month. If they don’t they will count towards the following month’s allowance.

  • Standing order payments: will only be sent Monday to Friday.
  • Transfers from bank accounts: can take 2-4 hours and are sent Monday to Friday.
  • Cash/cheque deposits: will count towards the monthly deposit allowance determined by the date you pay them in.

If your deposit takes you over the monthly limit of £200 or the initial deposit limit of £1,200 it will be rejected in full and the bank you sent it from may charge you for taking it back.

If you’ve transferred in a Help to Buy: ISA from another provider you won't be eligible for the initial deposit of £1,200.

The Help to Buy: ISA is a cash ISA. You can subscribe your ISA allowance into a cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA, an innovative finance ISA and a lifetime ISA or a combination of the four each tax year. Santander do not offer innovative finance ISAs or lifetime ISAs.

For example, if you subscribe to this Help to Buy: ISA you won’t also be able to subscribe to one of our other cash ISAs (including fixed rate ISAs, variable rate ISAs and Help to Buy: ISA) this tax year.

A tax year runs from 6th April in one year to 5th April the next.

This product doesn’t accept additional permitted subscriptions


Manage the account

  • Online and Mobile Banking, branch and telephone.
  • A certificate or email confirmation will be issued after account opening.
  • Statements are issued annually in March. We provide you with information about transactions on your account by posting them to Online Banking for you to view at any time. You can also request this information in branch or by calling us on 0800 9 123 123.

Can I withdraw money?

Yes, withdrawals can be made over the telephone or within a branch and won’t count towards the bonus. Withdrawals can’t be future dated.

Any money that you withdraw yourself from your Help to Buy: ISA will lose its tax-free status and if repaid back into the Help to Buy: ISA, will count towards your monthly deposit limit and your annual ISA limit.

We aren’t offering additional flexibility on ISAs but some providers are offering this feature. Those providers may allow you to replace funds that you have withdrawn with them without affecting the ISA limit.

You should consider the impact of withdrawing funds before closing your Help to Buy: ISA, as the bonus is paid on the closing balance.

Additional information

The Help to Buy: ISA will be available to open until 28 November 2019. Any Help to Buy: ISA open by this date can still be paid into until 30 November 2029. If you’re eligible for a government bonus you must claim it by 1 December 2030.

You can cancel the account within 14 days of opening and your money will be returned in full with interest.

The tax treatment of ISAs depends on your circumstances and may change in the future. 

The Help to Buy: ISA is subject to availability and may be withdrawn from sale at any time without notice. Rates and information correct as at  4 November 2019.

*Houses in the following Boroughs will be defined as ‘London’ for the purposes of the scheme; The City of London, Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, the City of Westminster, Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton and Waltham Forest.

Help to Buy: ISA transfer in

To transfer in a Help to Buy: ISA held with another provider to Santander, you must transfer your balance in full at the point of account opening. 

help to buy

Non Help to Buy: ISA transfer in

Non Help to Buy: ISAs can be transferred in at any time. We don’t accept transfers into this Help to Buy: ISA from stocks and shares ISAs, or innovative finance ISAs, or lifetime ISAs. 

Funds paid into a cash ISA in the current tax year must be transferred in full. If you have current year subscriptions totalling £1,200 or less in another cash ISA you will be able to transfer these funds into the Help to Buy: ISA in the same tax year, subject to the Help to Buy: ISA monthly limits.

Any funds paid into a cash ISA in previous tax years can be transferred to your Help to Buy: ISA in full or part subject to Help to Buy: ISA monthly limits.

If you transfer a cash ISA in full to your Help to Buy: ISA and have built up previous tax year flexible allowances with your current provider, you will lose that allowance when you move to Santander. If you wish to use the flexible allowance you should re-deposit into your existing ISA before you transfer to Santander. 

Santander will not charge you for transferring your ISA to us, however other providers may. Please check with your existing ISA provider.


Take a look at the Help to Buy: ISA transfer summary

To transfer from an existing cash ISA (including Help to Buy: ISA) held with another provider to a Help to Buy: ISA with Santander, please fill in our transfer form


Any money withdrawn from your cash ISA rather than transferred will be considered a withdrawal and will lose tax free status. If you replace the money back into an ISA it will count towards your current tax year ISA limit.

Everything you need to know before you apply

We recommend reading the information in the documents below before you apply. You may like to save or print them so you can refer to them in the future.

This account also comes with

Online and Mobile Banking with text and email alerts
Access to the Santander branch network
Telephone Banking