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Hot bargains, deals & steals

Hi. Many sales are short lived. So we put all the latest, plus deals, guides & loopholes in the free, spamless weekly email.

Ensure you don't miss out. Join the 8m who get it emailed each week

This is a regularly-updated list of top short-lived bargains. They're all checked with the company's press office where possible (unless stated).

Before you get seduced by the deals, first follow this checklist. 1. Check for vouchers: See the Shopping vouchers guide. 2. Benchmark prices: Use the MegaShopBot to compare prices. 3. Will you use it: If you won’t use it, or can’t afford it even sales goods aren’t worth it. Read our tips for safer shopping.

DOs:

  • For safety, pay by credit card if over £100
  • Protect purchases under £100

DON'Ts:

  • Use unfamiliar sites without checking
  • Let your antivirus run out
Full DOs and DON'Ts

The latest hot bargains

Nectar logo
Double your Nectar point stash value at Sainsbury's*On selected departments at larger Sainsbury's stores. Min 1,000 points

19 days left

From Wed 23 Apr to Tue 13 May, Nectar* card holders with at least 1,000 points can exchange them at larger Sainsbury's stores for a voucher worth twice the usual value. Spend the voucher on selected categories (choose the category when you exchange), but make sure you spend your voucher in one go though, as you won't get change. 

1,000 points would normally get you £5 off your shopping, but during the double-up, you'll get £10 off the categories below.

You can only use one voucher per person, per category (collect at customer services), up to a maximum of £40 (4,000 pts) per category by Tue 20 May.

What can I spend it on?

There are a fair few exclusions, but within the categories, here are some examples of what's included:

  • Tu Clothing: Womenswear, menswear, children's wear, shoes, accessories & more. 
  • Electricals: Laptops, iPods, tablets, TVs, DVD players, radios, speakers, mobile phones and more.
  • Beauty: Make-up, nail care, bathing, shampoo & conditioners, beauty gift sets, skincare and more.
  • Home: Tableware, glassware, cookware, bakeware, cutlery, bathroom accessories and more. 
  • Magazines: Fashion, celebrity, home, lifestyle and interest.


See the full list of included and excluded items within each category.

How good is this?

If you’ve been hoarding a stash of points, now’s a good time to spend them. As the maximum amount is £40 per category, if there's an item you've had your eye on, such as a TV, compare prices first so you're getting the best value for your points.
 

Free 1,000 Nectar points (worth £5 - £10).

Register on any First Group train website by Sun 27 Apr and you'll get 200 free points. As there are five sites, you can get up to 1,000 points, worth £5 to spend at eBay, Homebase, Argos or possibly £10 at Sainsbury's. See the 1,000 free Nectar points deal just above for more info.  

More info

Excludes Sainsbury's Local, convenience stores, petrol stations and online. 

Nectar logo
Urgent 1,000 free Nectar points (worth £5 - £10)Register at five different train companies to get up to 1,000 free Nectar points

3 days left

MSE Update 9.30am, Thu 24 Apr: Nectar has informed us there will be a change to the amount of points you'll get. We'll update you here once we have confirmation of what the change will be and how many points you'll get.

You can get up to 1,000 Nectar points, worth £5 to spend at eBay, Homebase, Argos and possibly £10 at Sainsbury's, and all you need to do is register with five First Group train sites by Sun 27 Apr (you can't have registered with them before).

Each of the five sites currently give you 200 points (the ongoing deal is usually 100 each) when you sign-up at the following:


Possibly get £10 voucher to spend at Sainsbury's...

Until 13 May Sainsbury has a double your Nectar points value deal on.  So if you get the points and redeem in time, your 1,000 points could be worth £10 not £5 there.

Officially they tell us the points can take up to 28 days to be added to your account. But, when we tried this last Fri, the points were ready to spend on Sun. So there is a chance you’ll make it in time. 

Tesco is selling a Cussons Mum & Me Congratulations gift pack for £1 in-store and online - the cheapest we've seen elsewhere is £6. In the set you get bath soak (50ml), baby bath (50ml), hand gel (50ml) and a muslin cloth. 

The really good bit

You can buy this Cussons gift set* online for £1 – delivered to a Tesco store free, which is a great deal by itself. Inside are three Cussons coupons, including one which is £1 off any product in the Cussons Mum & Me Bump range, valid till 31 Jul 2014. 

This means you can buy one gift set for £1 and then use the £1 off voucher inside to get the next pack free. Then in that free pack, you can use the £1 off voucher inside to get another free pack... and so on and so on until the end of July.

We asked Cussons press office if you could definitely use the £1 off voucher on ANYTHING in the range, and it said yes. 

(The other two coupons are 50p off any product in the New Mum range, and 30p off any product in the Baby range.)

The bad bit

You can’t use the voucher online, so to get your second one (and third, and fourth, etc) for free you need to do it in-store. Many Tesco stores don’t stock it, so you'll need to go on a treasure hunt if you want to keep rebuying. 

Of course, you can just pop into your local (it's likely to be mainly in bigger stores), or if you want, give Tesco a call on 0800 50 55 55 before making a trip. Give customer services this barcode number: 5000101119835.

When we rang Tesco, the closest to MSE Towers was in Woolwich, one of the biggest stores in the country but a good 10 miles across London from us.

Please let us know if you have any luck on the Cussons forum thread.

MSE Charlotte says:

If you do happen to be in Tesco and don’t spot any on the shelf, take advice from our forum user Diamond Mon:

"Two of the stores in my area had none on the shelves, but I asked the sales assistant and both times they went to the stock room and got them for me, so if you don't see any it is worth asking."

Oxfam logo
Oxfam up to 70% offOnline sale. Includes cheap designer goods

Ongoing

Not got the time or the eye to find those brilliant designer bargains in charity shops? Well, fear not! You can buy second hand finds at Oxfam - even better, it's currently running an up to 70% off sale. It's an opportunity to get some seriously expensive items for a fraction of the price. 

Bargains we found include a £22.50 Burberry coat (was £75, costs around £500 new), a £22 Aquascutum London suit jacket (was £75, costs around £400 new) and £25.50 Dolce & Gabbana shoes (were £85, costs around £400 new).

Obviously, these are unique items and once they're gone, they're gone, but the site is constantly updated with donated items, so keep checking back. It also has new 'seconds' from stores such as French Connection and Whistles. Let us know what you find in the Oxfam thread.

Categories include women's, men's and kids clothing and accessories, as well as books, vinyl, CDs and DVDs. Once you've clicked on the category you like, make sure you highlight the 70% off box to get the really good discounts. Delivery’s usually £3.95. 

More info

The sale doesn't include vintage or bridal items. Delivery charges may be higher for high value or bulky items. 
 

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Debenhams logo
FREE £4.50 meals for kids EVERY DAYNo adult purchase necessary

3 days left

Kids (up to 13yrs) can get a totally free meal at Debenhams Cafe or Restaurant worth £4.50 EVERY DAY, ANYTIME till Sun 27 Apr. There's no limit on the number of kids in a group, though an adult has to be there. Crucially, Debenhams has confirmed the adult doesn't need to buy an adult meal, or spend any money in-store. 

As it's one meal per child, per day, theoretically (from Wed 16 April), you could visit 11 times before it expires. That's £50 worth of food for one kid!

What do you get? Any kids'-sized meal. Examples include a four piece breakfast, fish and chips, a mini-carvery or a packed lunch (this includes a drink).

Why is Debenhams doing this? We think Debenhams hopes by the time adults get the kids through the store, they'll spend some cash or at least have a cuppa. But you don't have to!

The offer is nationwide. 

MSE Charlotte says:

The only kids' meals we saw advertised in our local Debenhams were fish and chips and a sandwich which includes a drink (see pic). When I asked the sales assistant if anything else, a half-sized carvery or sausage and mash was also offered. So make sure you ask staff what the options are. 

Tesco logo
Can you find 'em? £49 Beats headphonesLimited clearance stock, in-store only

Clearance stock

Tesco is selling off Beats by Dr Dre Solo HD headphones in-store for £49 (usually £99). It's also selling Beats by Dr Dre Studio headphones for £99. Tesco has told us these are the previous model to the current 2.0 range (these usually range from £180 - £270). Beats are seldom discounted, and rarely by that amount - so if you do find them, you've grabbed yourself a bargain.

The offer is nationwide but won't be in every store (we couldn't find any in our local). As it's selling off old stock, Tesco told us there will be a range of colours, but it'll totally depend on the store you go in. When they're gone, they're gone, so it's worth calling ahead to check stock.

Read the customer reviews on Tesco (although you can no longer buy these online).

If you manage to grab a pair, please report your find on the Beats forum thread.

Waitrose logo
3x £10 Fairy Liquitabs for £12 (liquid washing powder)*90 washes! Available in-store and online

5 days left

With a bit of savvy knowhow, you can combine two Waitrose offers to get £30 worth of fancy Fairy Liquitabs (liquid washing powder) for £12. Here's the full how-to:

1. Fairy Liquitabs 30pk - three for £18 in-store & online at Waitrose

A decent price in itself, as they are usually £10 each - that's a £12 saving. Available in-store and online at Waitrose* till Tue 29 Apr.

2. 20% off on all household products at Waitrose with a loyalty card

Waitrose has a totally free loyalty card, so if you have one, flash your MyWaitrose card in-store before Tue 29 Apr, and you'll get 20% off all household products. What's more, the 20% comes off the full price, so this'll knock £6 off your total.

Not got a MyWaitrose card?  Don't worry - pick up a temporary one in-store and use it right away. We tried it, and it worked for us.

Combine both promotions, and you're getting a £18 price reduction and taking away three boxes for £12.

Although Waitrose has confirmed both offers above, the three for £18 promotion wasn't advertised in-store - we had to show staff the online offer on our phone. But once the Liquitabs were scanned through three times, it worked.

MSE Charlotte says:

Obviously, this is the expensive stuff, so how does it compare to an own brand washing powder? You get 25 washes for £3 with Tesco's own brand, so to get the same amount of washes it'll cost you £10.80. In my opinion, a really good price for a wash is 10p or under. If you get the cashback, you'll be hitting the 8p mark which is amazing, especially as Fairy Liquitabs are so posh. Oh, and don't forget to pick yourself up a free tea or coffee while you're there.

Now TV logo
£5 M&S voucher with Sky Entertainment pass*MSE Blagged. Pay £5 for a month's Sky entertainment + get a £5 M&S vch

6 days left

If you've never had one before, sign up for a Now TV Entertainment Month pass* by Wed 30 Apr and enter the blagged code AFFENTMARKS5 to get a £5 M&S voucher. You can get this offer if you've ever had a Now TV Sports or Movies pass, but not if you've ever had an Entertainment one.

The pass is £4.99 a month and gets you access to 10 channels, including Sky Atlantic, Sky 1, Comedy Central, Gold and more, allowing you to watch shows you can't get on Freeview, such as Game of Thrones, and giving you access to whole series from the beginning, such as 24 and Modern Family

Within 14 days of signing up, you’ll be sent an email with details on how to claim your £5 M&S voucher (you have 12 months to claim your voucher, but the voucher itself doesn’t have an end date). The M&S voucher and online code will then be posted to you (allow up to 28 days for delivery).

There's no contract, so you can cancel your Now TV subscription at any time. You only need to sign up for one month to get the voucher.

What is Now TV?

It’s Sky's web-streaming service; a kind of pay-as-you-go scheme (there’s no subscription, but it will automatically renew every month unless you cancel) to watch sports and movies via your broadband connection.

More info

You must be 18+ to get this offer. Now TV is available on these devices.

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Amazon logo
Students get Amazon FREE next day del for six months*You must be a UK student aged 18+

Ongoing

Students can get six months' FREE Amazon next day deliveries, (usually £79/year via Prime) when you sign up on this Amazon Student* link trial. After the trial ends, you can get 50% off full Prime membership (£39/year).

While the trial is free, this is a subscription offer, so you'll need to enter card details and diarise to cancel or you'll be charged once the trial ends. There's no obligation to continue with the paid subscription. Details on exactly how to cancel are below in the 'more info' section.

The Amazon Student trial, while giving Amazon Prime free delivery, doesn't give you access to Prime Instant Video and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. You'll only have access to this once you pay for membership.

Who counts as a student?

You must be a UK student aged 18+, with an .ac.uk email address. Or if you've not got one of those, send an email from the address that's linked to your Amazon account to: amazon-student-verification@amazon.co.uk giving proof of enrolment. See the full T&Cs. Even if you've already had an Amazon Prime or Amazon Family free trial, you can still take up this offer.

Once you graduate or after four years (whichever's first) the price for Prime will jump to £79/year.

What are the potential savings?

If you're a regular Amazon shopper, the savings can add up. There's no minimum spend for the free delivery with Prime. Next day delivery costs between £3.95 and £7.99. One delivery a week for six months could cost between £100 and £200.

Is it worth paying for Prime?

Amazon Prime isn't usually worth your dough once the trial runs out, unless you're a regular shopper. It's better to be organised and order early.

More info

What do you get with Amazon Prime?

Previously, the good thing about shopping at Amazon was its free home delivery option. But last year it started to charge for items under £10. Although there was a sneaky loophole when you bought a CD or book, that's recently been stopped.

With Amazon Prime you get free unlimited one-day delivery, on most offers, including those under £10. But not everything on the Amazon site is eligible for Prime delivery, so look out when orderingThe main exclusions are items sold via Amazon Market Place.

After the six months, you'll be automatically upgraded to Prime membership (which costs £39 for the year for students), but you can cancel at any time. To do that, just log into your Amazon account, or follow the 'Manage Your Prime Membership' link from the Amazon Student page.

What do you get with Amazon Student?

1) Unlimited one-day delivery on seven million items.
2) Discounted express and evening delivery.
3) Student offers.

TK Maxx logo
Crocs footwear £6 - £13In-store only

Ongoing

TKMaxx is stocking Crocs just in time for summer, starting from £6 for kids and £10 for adults.

It couldn't tell us if the Crocs are in all stores, as no two are the same. We checked out two stores in central London, and there was a good selection in both, but it may be worth ringing ahead to check your nearest store stocks them.

You can get them online as well, but stock is limited and we couldn't find as many bargains as in-store. 

We found a limited number of adult sizes for £9.99 (RRP £19.99). The majority were standard adult Crocs for £12.99 (RRP £29.99), but we've seen them for £14 elsewhere online. Children's Crocs started at £5.99 (up to £14.99 elsewhere) with a decent selection of styles and sizes in our local store.  

 

ToucanBox logo
3,000+ FREE £5 kids' craft packs*Use code to get first craft box free then cancel if you don't want to subscribe

3,000+ avail

ToucanBox is a subscription service that delivers arts and crafts kits to children aged 3-8 years old, either fortnightly or monthly. Prices start from £3.95 + 98p P&P.

Toucan craft box

Yet we've a code that allows new users to get their the first box free, and then you've the option to cancel at no cost.

You'll need to create an account and enter your card or PayPal details to get one, but you WON'T be charged if you cancel within SEVEN days after the freebie's being dispatched (don’t do it earlier or you might not get your freebie).

The boxes include activities and craft materials such as stencils, pens and paper (though the contents vary, so you might not get these particular items).

There are 3,000+ boxes available and the deal is available while stocks last, one per household.

How do I get it?

  1. Follow this special ToucanBox* link and enter the code 892M23X in the coupon code box.

  2. Enter your details, your child's details (remember you'll only get one freebie, so only enter details of one child) and your address.

  3. Submit your card/PayPal details (these are needed for future boxes, unless you cancel).

  4. Check your confirmation email to see what date your box will be delivered.

 

Reminder! As ToucanBox is a subscription service, you pay for each until you cancel. You can stop the subscription by going to "change my box" in the "your account" section.

If you only want the free box, it's worth noting down the dispatch date from your confirmation email and setting a reminder to cancel the day after.

F&F Clothing logo
£1 clothes at Tesco (incl £60 cashmere)Can you find 'em? In-store only

Ongoing

After lots of people in our forum found many F&F clothing items (men', women's, kids' and accessories) have been reduced to £1, Tesco told us selected lines have indeed been reduced to £1.

As it didn't say too much more, we can only go on what forumites told us, as when we tried we couldn't find anything at this price. 

Here are some corkers our forumites found (see the Tesco £1 clothes thread):

  • £60 cashmere lounge pants - £1
  • £48 cashmere cardigan - £1
  • £22.50 sparkly stilettos - £1
  • £22 polka dot chiffon skirt - £1
  • £12.50 children's school shoes - £1
  • £10 jeans - £1
  • £8 Disney slippers - £1
  • £4 reindeer booties - £1

 

As a useful aside, many told us the £1 clothes are either on a special rack (sometimes with a big £1 sign on them, sometimes not) or had 'reduced' stickers on them which were more than £1, but actually scanned at £1 at the till. So it's worth giving sale items a scan, and you can always choose not to buy it if too expensive. 

You'll need to be quick (or just be in the right place at the right time) as we're hearing reports of people taking whole racks of items. It's a bit of a jungle...

You'll only find F&F at larger Tesco stores with a clothing department. 

If you're hunting for £1 bargains, we'd love to hear how how you've got on. Post your feedback in our £1 Tesco clothes thread.

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Cineworld logo
£10 for two cinema tix, popcorn and soft drinksWatch a new popular film every Thursday. Book online

Ongoing

At almost every Cineworld, you can get its Take 2 Offer, which means you and a friend can see popular films with the full cinematic experience for £10, including two drinks and popcorn.

Book online through mycineworld.com and join its free members club to get it for £10. Otherwise, you'll have to pay £11.10 if booked in a cinema (or online without joining its free members club).

These tickets go quick, so it's best to book in advance.

With tickets usually £8-£10, two small drinks £3 each and a regular popcorn to share for £6.50, you could save up to £12.50.

The only downside is you can't pick which film to watch. And you must go on a Thursday. Here's what's coming up:

  • The Wolf of Wall Street - Thu 24 Apr
  • Non-stop - Thu 8 May
  • The Book Thief - Thu 15 May

 

More info

Available in all cinemas nationwide except Haymarket and Chelsea in central London, Queens Links in Aberdeen and The Screening Rooms in Cheltenham. You can't use your Unlimited Card with this offer.

Sainsbury
£13 Trunki - can you find 'em?In-store only

Ongoing

If you've been in an airport in the last five years, there will be no doubt you've spotted kids scooting about on animal-shaped(ish), suitcases, or you've tripped up on one. They're  incredibly popular and they're also pricey since they appeared on Dragon's Den.

Sainsbury's is discontinuing the Frieda Trunki (a cow - currently £38 at Argos) and Tipu Trunki (a tiger - currently £38 at Halfords) so they're reduced to £12.99 in-store. Stock is pretty limited and they won't be in every Sainsbury's, so call ahead if you're making a special trip. 

The models are two of the more popular Trunkis in the range, so if you do find one, you'll have nabbed yourself a bargain.

Kobo logo
Kobo Mini e-reader £30 (usually £60)*Stock's currently limited online, but plenty in-store

Ongoing

From Thu 13 Mar, get a Kobo Mini e-reader for £29.99 (usually £59.99) from your nearest WHSmith store (mostly larger stores with a Kobo counter so not the smaller travel and airport locations).

Stock's very limited online so you've more chance of getting one in-store. And once there, you'll likely only pick up the white model as the black version's nearly all gone. It's worth calling ahead to check with the store.

What’s it like? With a 5in touchscreen, it's a lot smaller than other e-readers, meaning it can fit snugly in your pocket. It has a 2GB capacity and can hold approx 1,000 books. There's in-built wifi too. 

MSE Paloma says:

This is a great price for an e-reader. While the Kobo's not as well-known as Amazon's Kindle, it's a competitively-priced alternative.

Poundworld logo
Hidden branded £1 chocs - mystery SOLVEDIn-store only - cut price Cadbury/Quality Street

Ongoing

About 75% of what we do (OK, maybe just MSE Charlotte) is browsing shops for bargains and looking for/eating chocolate. While browsing the confectionery aisle in Poundworld the other day, a mysterious bag stood out  - Turner's Chocolate Assortment.

It promised "An assortment of high quality mis-shape chocolate" - all for £1. Brill! There were three types of chocolates in our bag (see pictures below):

  • Four Cadbury (notice the 'C') chocolate caramel pieces.
  • Seven barrel-shaped chocolates with a Cadbury Creme Egg fondant filling.
  • We couldn't figure out what the 11 hard, rectangular toffee ones were. But the chocolate tasted like Cadbury's...

The chocolates were a bit bashed up, but still tasted great.

We asked Poundworld about this chocolatey mystery. It said: "The chocolates are in date, just slightly mis-shaped mixed Quality Street, Roses etc." Mystery solved - we've better detective skills than Columbo!

 

More info

A bag of the mystery chocolate at 250g is £1. The cheapest box of Quality Street at Asda is £3 for 350g at Asda - 250g is £2.14, so that's the sort of discount you'll get. The excitement of the mystery is free.

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Poundworld logo
£1 posh Brio toys - can you find 'em?In-store only, limited stock

Ongoing

The toy brand of choice for the yummy mummy, Brio, can now be found in Poundworld (it's so posh, apparently it supplies toys to Swedish royalty!)

There are two products available for a quid: a Brio Pull Along Seal (currently £5 on Amazon, down from £15), and a Brio SUV wooden car (next cheapest is currently £5 on Amazon, down from £7).

Poundworld says there are 5,000 items spread across all 232 stores, available while stocks last - so go quick if you want one.

Greenredeem logo
£5 off £25 M&S food/Jojo Maman BebePromise to go green and be rewarded with discounts

Ongoing

You can currently get £5 off £25 on M&S food, wine and flowers, £5 off £25 at mother and baby brand Jojo Maman Bebe (branches in England, Scotland and Wales) and 25% off Rush hair salons (all in SE England). The catch? You have to pledge to be eco-friendly - try reusing a carrier bag, cleaning with lemon juice rather than chemicals or growing your own veg.

For each green action you take, you'll be rewarded with points to exchange for the discounts.

How do I get my discount vouchers?

1) Sign up at Greenredeem (it's free) and you'll automatically recieve 100 points.

2) For every pledge you make or quick you take (see the 'earns' tab) you'll get extra points into your account. Pledges and quizzes change each week, so you can continue to make different promises to build up your bank of points.

3) Check the 'rewards' section of the site to see what discounts are available (65 is the minimum number you can redeem).

There's a £5 off £25 at M&S food, wine and flowers voucher on at the moment, and they don't come around often. To get it, you only need 100 points, which will just take two minutes' work. When you redeem your points for a voucher, it'll be either delivered to you by post (it takes a few days) or you can show the voucher on your phone.

The M&S voucher's valid till 31 Jul 2014.

The aim of giving out such vouchers is to encourage you to be greener.  So please, if you are going to pledge to do lots of things, do your best to live up to it.

Other ways to cut energy bills / be greener

Cheap Energy Club | The Green Deal Mythbuster | Free insulation and boilers | Energy Saving Myths

More info

Depending on which reward you go for, you'll either be able to use it online or in-store. Each reward will have individual T&Cs so check these before you use it. The M&S voucher excludes Lunch to Go, food to order, restaurants, deli bars, M&S Cafe, all branded groceries, branded household goods, branded toiletries and reduced food products. One voucher per person.

Poundland logo
Can you find 'em? £1 beauty bargainsIncl Mark Hill hair care, OPI nail polish and Hard Candy glitter

Ongoing

Marilyn Monroe said "a smile is the best make up any girl can wear". After reading this to the girls on the deals desk, the general feedback was "RUBBISH!" So if your smile isn't quite making you as beautiful as Marilyn, you could try popping into a pound shop and picking up some £1 branded beauty bits. The bonus is, you'll be so pleased with your bargains you'll be positively grinning!

What we found in-store at Poundland...

  • Revlon, Neon nail art (next cheapest we found £8 at Boots)
  • Sally Hansen, Salon Effect nail polish strips (we found them in 'Glitz Blitz and Kitty Kitty) (next cheapest we found £8 at Boots)
  • Sally Hansen, Sugar coat nail polish (next cheapest we found £7 at Boots)
  • Calvin Klein, Sheer creme eyeshadow (next cheapest we found £3.98 at Fragrance Direct)
  • Collection 2000, Glam Crystals gel liner (next cheapest we found £2.99 at Superdrug)
  • NYC, Liquid eyeliner (next cheapest we found £2.49 at Superdrug)
  • Mark Hill, De-Frizz Shine shampoo 75ml (these particular products are discontinued, but  similar 50ml Mark Hill items cost between £2 and £6)
  • Mark Hill, Heat Protection conditioner 75ml
  • Mark Hill, straightening cream 75ml
  • Mark Hill, straightening balm 75ml
  • Mark Hill, shine moisturising conditioner 75ml
  • Mark Hill, Beautiful Blonde conditioner 75ml

 

What we found at Poundworld...

  • OPI, Shatter nail lacquer (we found three shades) (next cheapest we found £8 at Fragrance Direct )
  • Hard Candy, eye shadow stick (two in pack) (next cheapest we found £8 together at Fragrance Direct)
  • Elegant Touch, Metallic fake nails (next cheapest we found £6 at Superdrug)
  • Hard Candy, Fortune sweet and shiny lip gloss (next cheapest we found £3.50 Fragrance Direct)
  • Sally Hansen, Magnetic nail colour - (only sold in-store at Walmart in the US)
  • Hard Candy, Gliterarzi eye gel (only sold in-store at Walmart in the US)
  • Hard Candy, Show Girl loose glitter (only sold in-store at Walmart in the US)

 

 

We've not been able to get exact stock levels for all of the items, so don't be surprised if you can't find certain items in your local store.

More info

Poundshops have loads of hidden branded gems. They are often discontinued stock, out of season, or from different countries - but all still good!

Can cosmetics go off? The British Skin Foundation says:

"Cosmetic products will remain safe to use provided they are stored under suitable conditions and not subjected to extreme temperatures."

"To ensure the maximum durability of cosmetic products, they should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and with the lids firmly closed."

It also said the use by date on cosmetics, is from when you open the product. So if it says 18 mths on the box, it should last for 18 months from when you open it, provided it's been stored correctly.

Free Postcode Lottery logo
FREE daily cash prize drawRegister your email address & postcode for a chance to win cash EVERY DAY

Freebie

This is a fun free daily competition we thought we’d let you know about as the MSE Deals team are big fans (we even have a winner in our midst).

Register your email address and postcode online at Free Postcode Lottery and check it each day from 12 noon for your chance to win a cash prize. Plus, you get a bonus of 1p every day you check the site, which is added onto your winnings (if you're ever lucky enough to win). It's for over-18s only.

How does it work?

It selects one registered postcode at random at 12 noon each day. Only registered postcodes are drawn (around 40,000), so there's always at least one eligible winner.

The prize starts at £30, and if unclaimed, goes up by £30 each day (your bonus doesn't roll over). The biggest prize claimed since the site started is £240.

How does it make money?

From Google Adsense adverts (that appear on the website and nowhere else) and via links to other free competitions and survey sites. The site owner, Chris, NEVER passes your email address on to third parties and you never need to enter your card details.

Am I likely to win and what happens if I do?

The more times a postcode has been registered, the more likely it is to win (ie, if it's been registered twice, it appears in the list twice, so is twice as likely to win).  If multiple winners claim, the pot is split and if no one claims by noon the following day, it rolls over.

If your postcode comes up and you check the site that day, a big "collect" button appears. Press it, and your winnings will be paid to your PayPal account, or you can opt for Amazon vouchers instead.

You can also opt to "double & donate" to double your prize and donate it to charity.

Will I get spammed?

Absolutely not. You automatically get opted in to receive a reminder email each day, but you can unsubscribe at any time (click "unsubscribe" at the bottom of the email). Or you can leave the lottery at any time via this unsubscribe link.

Links to other sites (surveys, competitions and charities) and user comments that appear on Free Postcode Lottery are all checked out before they appear. Even so, it's always worth checking sites before entering any details and reading the full T&Cs for yourself.

MSE Debs says:

The MSE Deals team loves this site, especially MSE Deborah who won £20 in Amazon vouchers just 42 days after joining. Poor MSE Michael's not been so lucky... He's currently on £6.36 bonus (which means he's checked it 636 times without winning!).

More info

One registration per person. The site owner reserves the right to withhold winnings if he can't be sure the entry is legitimate.

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Poundland logo
£1 stand-up comedy DVDsIncl Michael McIntyre, Lee Evans, Peter Kay and Billy Connolly

Ongoing

Of all the days you could do with a laugh, it has to be Valentine's Day.  All that pressure to spend lots of cash can wipe the smile off any MoneySaver's face.

But in Poundland, you can get stand-up comedy DVDs for a quid each. So you can stay in and stick on a DVD - no cash wasted!

We found in our local store:

  • Billy Connolly, You Asked For It [2011] (cheapest elsewhere £3.75)
  • Andy Parsons, Gruntled Live [2011] (£2.99)
  • Jason Manford, Live [2011], (£2.19)
  • Ross Noble, Nobleism [2009] (£6)
  • Lee Nelson's, Well Good Show [2011] (£2.93)
  • Peter Kay, Live [2011] (£4.75)
  • Lee Evans, Access All Arenas [2009] (£2.64)
  • Chris Addison, Live [2011] (£3.14 elsewhere)
  • Russell Kane, Smokescreens and Castles [2011] (£3.43)
  • Michael McIntyre, Hello Wembley! [2009] (£2.87)

 

We've been in touch with Poundland, which told us the DVDs are available nationwide and it has over 60,000 in stock.

Lego logo
FREE £5 Lego for kids EVERY MONTHWith in-store Lego workshop

Ongoing

Right. Lego's definitely the best kids' toy, and we know a few adults who are fans too. We won't hear any arguing that it's Barbie, Playdoh or Xbox - Lego wins it hands down (OK, OK, that's just my opinion - MSE Charlotte).

But there's an issue which we can't block out - Lego can be SO expensive. So hopefully this deal will help you out.

If you're between six and 14 (sorry grown-ups, this one isn't for you, so please let your kids know!), go into your nearest official Lego store (there's more info on where below) on the first Thursday of every month between 4-6pm to take part in the Lego Mini Build.

Get there as soon as you can, as stock is limited to 200-300 models per store (depending on size and location), and it's first come, first served. Staff  will  show your kids how to make the model, which Lego told us is worth around £5 (but it's not for sale). Once it's been made - it should take about 10-15 mins - the kids can take it home for free.

The models are different each month, and you don't know what you're going to get till you get in there. But Lego's given us a heads-up on the next three:

 

  • March - Happy Tree

 

  • April - Dragon

More info

Participating stores include: Bluewater, Brighton, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester Arndale, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Sheffield Meadowhall, Watford and both London Westfield centres.

Nasa logo
Hitch a FREE round trip to the asteroid BennuOn the Osris-Rex spacecraft. Well... maybe just your name on a microchip!

Ongoing

Got the January blues? Fed up with the Apollo-ing weather? Diet gone wrong? Put down that Mars bar, suck yourself out of that black hole and take yourself to Bennu - our favourite Asteroid (the others had no atmosphere). Kids will love it (let's face it, adults too!), we're over the moon with this deal, it's just out of this world.

Nasa is sending a spacecraft (Osiris-Rex) to the asteroid Bennu in 2016 to collect a sample of its surface. You can get your name etched on a microchip that's carried on it. The robotic mission (and your name) will spend more than two years near the 1,760ft-wide asteroid.

Just visit The Planetary Society, fill in your details and print out your certificate (which will have your unique number on it). You can go back later to print it if you prefer.

It's our star deal -  you'd be a luna-tick not to sign up.

 

MSE Charlotte says:

If you're on Twitter or Facebook, make sure you 'follow' or 'like' the mission (you'll see the option when you enter your details). You'll get updates on where your name is in space from launch until the craft returns to Earth in 2023.

More info

Image provided by Nasa/Goddard/Chris Meaney

Prostate Cancer UK logo
Free 50p donation to Prostate Cancer UKComplete questionnaire & fill in your details

50k max donations

Complete a five-question test for Prostate Cancer UK and Iceland will donate 50p on your behalf.

Iceland will donate a maximum of £50,000. You can also get a free pin badge - just tick the 'get a free pin badge' box at the end.

Prostate Cancer UK says it will use the answers and statistics from the questionnaire for future awareness campaigns and media stories and WON'T store your answers on a database, link them to your name and contact details or pass them on to third parties.

Forumites have been completing the questionnaire and sharing it on Twitter and Facebook. Read the full Free 50p donation to Prostate Cancer UK discussion thread.

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Co-op Food logo
10% off groceries at Co-op for studentsJust flash your NUS Extra card at the checkout

Ongoing

If you're a student with an NUS Extra card, you can get 10% off food and drink (exceptions are listed below) at more than 2,800 participating Co-operative Food stores. The Co-op says it has a store in every UK postal area, so you should be able to find one close to you. Just show your card at the checkout to get the discount. Please be Drinkaware.

The NUS Extra card is available to all students aged over 16 years (including distance learners and vocational students). It costs £12 and is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. With your NUS Extra card, you can get discounts at loads of stores, including Asos, Warehouse and Domino's. This is the first time an NUS Extra card can get you discounts on groceries.

MSE Charlotte says:

Co-ops are convenience stores, so it won't always be as cheap as the supermarket giants, however you'll often find some really good offers - especially if you combine them with coupons.

More info

Excludes baby milk, stamps, saving schemes, National Lottery, Health Lottery, gift vouchers, phone cards, continuity programmes, in-store concessions, PayPoint, cigarettes and tobacco, newspaper delivery and electrical goods.

O2 logo
O2 Priority Moments for EVERYONE!Not an O2 customer? We've found a loophole

Ongoing

O2 Priority Moments is a deals app for O2 smartphone users. It tends to run bespoke offers, which we think are subsidised from O2's marketing budget, so it sometimes has deals you can't get elsewhere.

O2 users can download the app free from Apple's App Store, Android Marketplace or Blackberry. If you're not on O2, there's a trick for you to get it on your smartphone too - read on for more.

What type of offers are available?

Deals may not be the same for everyone, as they're often based on your location. At the time of writing, deals on offer in central London include a free £7.99 Richard and Judy spring book club title for WHSmith, and a year's Evernote Premium organisation app (RRP £35).

Over the past year, it's had free packs of Christmas cards (normally £10), free £5 at The Body Shop, Hotel Chocolat freebies, £10 off Fragrance Shop, 40% off Odeon cinema tickets, and many more.

Not on O2? How to get it

O2 says anyone with an O2 mobile – including Pay and Go, Pay Monthly and business customers – is eligible to get it. So if you've ANY unlocked phone, it's easy.

1. Order a free Pay & Go Go Go Sim card from O2. Insert the Sim into your smartphone and activate it free (you need an unlocked mobile handset).

2. Connect to wi-fi, and download the Priority Moments app (Android, iOS/Blackberry).

3. Insert the Sim everytime you want to check for new deals. While the app is meant to disappear if you insert other Sims, but we've tried it on a few unlocked handsets, and the app's stayed and is still usable.

John Lewis logo
John Lewis FREE tea/coffee and cake every monthSign up to free John Lewis loyalty card in-store or online

Ongoing

Get a free John Lewis loyalty card and you can get FREE tea/coffee and cake, every month! Here’s what you need to know to get it:

  • John Lewis has recently introduced a free loyalty card, which you can use online and in-store at its 39 shops in England, Scotland and Wales. It doesn't work like the usual ones where you get loyalty points - instead, you’re entered into prize draws and get rewards.
  • Either sign up online on the John Lewis website (click 'create an account now' in the pop-up box) or apply in-store for your loyalty card.
  • Once registered, you'll be sent a welcome pack containing vouchers - each voucher is valid in the month stated on the front. (We think it'll take up to four weeks to get your vouchers.)
  • One of these rewards is free tea (any hot drink) and cake EVERY MONTH. A pot of tea's £1.90, coffee's £2.25, cakes range from £1.75 - £3.50. You can go at any time (once a month).
  • It's available at John Lewis Place to Eat, Espresso Bar, Mall Café, Café and coffee shops. It can't be redeemed at other firms' food outlets within John Lewis, nor is it valid at Waitrose branches, apart from the Waitrose Café in Ipswich.

 

MSE Charlotte says:

WARNING! Gratuitous pictures of cake coming up...

When we first wrote this, we didn't have all the cake-based info. We don't do things by halves here at MSE, so even though it was a terrible inconvenience, I trudged all the way (at least a five-minute walk) to 'research' what was on offer.

My card STILL hasn't arrived yet - c'mon John Lewis! (It must be busy making super-cute Christmas adverts...) So I got some tea and cake and put it on my expenses instead. The things we do for you!

Here are some pics of what I found and what they cost.


Chocolate cake - £3.50

Scone, cream and jam - £3.60

Victoria sponge - £3.50

Muffins - £2.50

Amazon logo
Reclaim (and listen to) lost Amazon music*Stream old CDs/vinyl or turn them into MP3s for free

Ongoing

Buy CDs/vinyl from Amazon and its Autorip service* means you now get the MP3s free. Yet this also works for anything bought since 1999. So know what you are doing and you can recover years worth of music, maybe from CDs you may have lost, damaged or thrown away - or re-download MP3s.

How do I check?

Just check 'your music' in Amazon Cloud Player to see if you have any albums or songs from your past, you can then stream or download your music. Simple.

It can take a while for it to find the music. The biggest musical treasure trove in MSE Towers belonged to MSE Darryl, who had 150 albums going back 13 years, which took 10 minutes to get.

MSE Charlotte says:

We discovered this after I was chatting with MSE Shrey about music storage (we're very interesting) and he told me he recently signed up to Amazon Cloud Player* and found more than 30 albums he'd bought hard copies of years ago.

I asked the rest of the MSE team if they had any music lurking about from their past. To our surprise a load of us did (feel free to judge):

  • MSE Zorica found CDs from her teenage years including Janet Jackson, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pink.
  • MSE Henry found a lot of Brian Eno (very cool).
  • MSE Dan found Vampire Weekend, Radiohead, and Arcade Fire albums. He also got a Bat for Lashes album he bought for his brother, so sort of got two for one.
  • MSE Dan L found The Hobbit soundtrack (snigger).
  • MSE Debs B found a lot of Christmas carols.
  • MSE Darryl found 13 years of music, including the band Da Lata - a (probably) brilliant Afro-Brazilian/London fusion band, as well as 'normal' music such as Portishead, The Streets and The XX.
  • MSE Jenny found the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack.
  • MSE Shrey found lots of Cheryl Cole because he's her greatest fan.
  • MSE Becca found Sugababes, Blondie and Jack Johnson albums, which was lucky because she recently had to throw one out because it was scratched.

Found music you didn't realise you had? Let us know in the Reclaim lost music forum thread.

More info
The odd CD or vinyl album might slip through the net. But Amazon currently has 350,000 titles and is expanding its MP3 collection.

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Spotify logo
Millions of FREE music tracks on your mobile / tabletYou can now use Spotify FREE on mobiles (with ads). Used to cost £10/mth

Ongoing

Previously, to get online music streaming service Spotify on your phone or tablet, you had to pay £9.99 a month for Spotify Premium. Now that's changed - you can get it on these devices for free.

How it worked before:

1. You could get it free when online (with ads) on your desktop computer, but NOT at all on mobiles and tablets (EVERYONE found this really frustrating).

OR

2. You could pay £9.99 a month for Spotify Premium, for your desktop, tablet and phone. This meant you could download music to listen to offline and have no ads.

What's changed?

You can now create a free account (it'll have ads, but it's not that bad) to use on your desktop AND on your mobile and tablet on Android and iOS, via the free app. You can only listen to tracks and playlists when you're online (only Premium users can download and listen offline).

If you're subscribed to Premium and now prefer the free version, you can cancel at any time.

MSE Charlotte says:

Spotify has all the music you could imagine (unless you're into Oasis and The Beatles).

However, it's recently added Led Zeppelin's back catalogue, making it the only music streaming service to include the Rock Gods. I've a Whole Lotta Love for that (genuinely really sorry...).

Waitrose logo
Waitrose free tea/coffee EVERY dayJust get its free loyalty card to take your pick of daily hot drinks

Ongoing
Sign up for a MyWaitrose loyalty card (click 'Join myWaitrose now' on the left-hand side-bar) and get a free regular tea or coffee in-store every day. Choose from Americano, cappuccino, latte, tea, mocha or espresso (decaf options are also available in some stores).

If you sign up online, it takes up to 5 weeks for the card to be posted to you, so it's quicker to sign up for a temporary card in-store, and that way, you can get the offer straightaway.

There's no minimum spend, simply walk in and show your card. See the full list of participating Waitrose stores.
More info
One free drink per member, per day. Offer excludes hot chocolate and isn't valid at Costa concessions, petrol filling stations, Shell and Welcome Break. Can't be used with other cafe or hot drink offers, or the cafe loyalty card.

Show your card at a manned till or scan it at a quick pay station.

Dogs Trust logo
Free microchipping for dogsBook an appointment in advance at any of its 19 venues

Ongoing
Get your pooch microchipped by booking an appointment (subject to availability) at one of the Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres. Any breed, two months old or over can be microchipped and have the details stored on the database. If you can't get an appointment at your local branch, check out ChipMyDog.org for free microchipping events happening all over England and Wales.
MSE Paloma says:

While this is a great freebie for dog owners, the Dogs Trust is a charity, so donations are gratefully received.

More info
There are no restrictions on how many dogs can be microchipped per owner, as long as you book an appointment in advance at one of the 19 Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres.

Your dog gets a free microchip, the size of a grain of rice, inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades. Vets usually charge around £30 for the procedure. Owners also get their details stored on the microchip database for free.

The tiny implant includes a unique ID number which means if your dog goes missing, it's easier to trace as the code can be read by radio-wave scanners. The process takes about 10 minutes. For more information, see the Dogs Trust Microchipping page.

British Red Cross logo
Free British Red Cross 'Baby & Child First Aid' appAvailable for Apple and Android devices

Ongoing
The British Red Cross has launched a new, free Baby & Child First Aid app after findings showed that more than 85% of UK parents haven’t attended a first aid course for children. It's available for Android and Apple devices and will remain free indefinitely.
MSE Debs says:

The Baby and Child First Aid app is the first of its kind and contains clear instructions on what to do in many emergencies. Handily, most of the information and videos are stored on the app, meaning no internet connection is needed for viewing, although some features (such as the nearest hospital finder tool) do require you to go online. The bite-sized videos make it easy to learn about first aid while juggling childcare demands.

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Millie
£35 for 144 Millie's cookies (usually 99p each)Use 12 vouchers throughout the year

Ongoing

Go to your nearest Millie's Cookies store and get a gift box for £35. Inside you'll find 12 vouchers, each for a box of 12 cookies. This is called "year's worth of cookies for £35" offer - but we couldn't see any ads for the promotion in our local store, and had to ask for it by name.

You can take the vouchers to any Millie's Cookies throughout the year.

MSE Charlotte says:

We think you need a few more cookies for a year's worth! Millie's says you can't use more than one voucher at the same time at the same store. But you could spread your cookie-buying out across different days, or use all the same vouchers on the same day but at different stores.

But confusingly, the staff at our local branch said we can use our vouchers however we want - even all at once. So it's worth asking your nearest store.

More info
Only original vouchers will be accepted. Not to be used in conjunction with any other discount or voucher.

Morrisons logo
Morrisons free petrol? Big spenders' extreme couponingBuy selected gift cards in-store, get 1p/L off fuel for every £10

Ongoing
This is an awesome bit of extreme couponing. It’s fiddly and only works if you’re already planning to make a big purchase at one of the 38 retailers included, such as PC World, Homebase and Currys.

As the discount's stackable, buy £50 of gift cards and you'd get 5p/litre off. But play it to the max (ie, buy £1,400 of gift cards) and you could potentially get a free tank of petrol. The discount is also stackable, so buy £50 of gift cards and get 5p/litre off.
More info

How it works

Morrisons' Fuel Saver deal gives 1p/litre off petrol, diesel or LPG for every £10 of gift cards bought in-store.

There are 38 retailers to buy gift cards for, including Homebase, Debenhams, Currys, PC World, Next, House of Fraser, Halfords, and iTunes, plus new retailers TK Maxx, Oasis, Warehouse and Waterstones. The offer's ongoing, but doesn't include Morrisons' own gift cards.

If there's a large purchase you are going to make anyway - eg, £500 on a computer at PC World or a garden shed at Homebase - get it via buying the gift cards and you'll bag 50p/litre off.

If you bought £1,400 of gift cards, it'd effectively make a £1.40/litre tank FREE. Morrisons has also told us there's no limit per transaction on the gift cards, and you can split any amount above this into a second purchase to get a voucher for a second fill-up. Petrol vouchers are valid for 63 days from the issue date.

Use gift cards quickly

Gift cards are non-refundable, and it isn't a good idea to put money on the card to drip-spend over six months. Though most of those mentioned here are big, safe companies, if the firm goes bust you'll probably lose the cash, so ensure you minimise the time between buying and redemption.

It's also worth noting third party retailers (Morrisons in this case) don't have any responsibility to refund you if a gift card's retailer goes into administration. See the Beware gift vouchers MSE News story. Gift cards are generally valid for about two years, but always check.

Full terms on the Morrisons website. Find your nearest Morrisons.

Poundland logo
£1 HDMI cables at PoundlandThey're just as effective as £20+ ones

Ongoing
Go to your nearest Poundland store and hunt for the £1 cables. Poundland says they are available all year round in all of its 400 stores. The Poundland HDMI cable is 1m long and can be used to connect your PC to your TV, so you can watch online content on your big screen.

MSE Becca says:

There's no point spending £20+ on a HDMI cable when tests have shown there's no difference in picture between the most expensive cables and the cheapest - techy website Cnet and The Gadget Show agree.

More info
For more info on how to connect your PC to your TV, read the Online Movie Streaming guide.

Let us know if you manage to nab a £1 HDMI cable. Report back in the forum.

Amazon logo
Free Amazon Discount Finder toolUse it to uncover Amazon's secret bargain basements

Ongoing

Go to the Amazon Discount Finder and choose your department. Next, pick your discount and price range and choose whether you want free delivery. The tool will then generate a bespoke page full of discounts which fit your search terms.

Amazon often offers 75% and better reductions, yet it directs people to other areas, sending them to higher profit margin products instead. This tool manipulates Amazon's web links to display all heavily-reduced bargains.

More info
Though the Amazon Discount Finder is great for finding hidden bargains, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the cheapest you can get them. Read the Amazon Buying Guide below the tool before buying.

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St John Ambulance logo
Free St John Ambulance first aid Apple appWas £2.39 - you can get it for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Ongoing
Download the free iTunes app, which gives instructions on how to treat a wide range of major and minor injuries, such as choking, drowning, heart attacks, hypothermia, frostbite, diabetes, colds, bites and stings, allergic reactions, fainting and more. A printed version is available - see more info.
More info
If you don't have a compatible device, you can fill out this free first aid guide form and St John Ambulance will send a paper copy to you in the post. However, it only covers five life or death situations, so isn't as extensive as the app. Allow up to 28 days for delivery.

Our new Local eBay Deals Mapper lets you find bargains if you're prepared to pick them up. eBay sellers often specify items must be collected in person which means fewer bids. But you can't normally search 'collection only' so put your postcode in and how far you're prepared to schlep and watch the gems pop up.

More info
It’s an automated tool, so always compare prices elsewhere (try the Megashopbot) to check it's really worth it.

NHS logo
Free Smokefree kitSimply order online - but only if you're in England

Ongoing
Order the kit online or find your nearest pharmacy on the NHS Smokefree website. It includes: a Smokefree calendar, stress toy, quitting planner, health/wealth wheel to help you calculate how much you're saving, plus information and tips to help smokers go smoke-free.

Section 75Free protection for all shopping!

There's a secret phrase that turns any credit card into a financial self-defence superhero. "Section 75" laws means your plastic must protect anything you buy over £100 for free, so if there's a problem or the company goes bust you can still get your money back.

Although Section 75 doesn't apply to debit cards there is something else to fall back on if you paid on a Visa debit or electron card, or Visa credit card under £100 (otherwise go for Section 75). Known as Visa Chargeback, this is part of Visa's internal rules and not a legal requirement. Full details of Section 75, chargeback and how to claim in the Section 75 Refunds guide.

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You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.

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Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

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