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LATEST MONEYSAVING EMAIL

LATEST MONEYSAVING EMAIL

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Nov 26

This week: Over 50 ways to save, incl... energy mythbusting, potholes compensation, Tesco Wine 1,000pts, 6.4% for life, £108 beauty £23

Quick message from Martin - Get this emailed

"Hi. This free, spam free weekly email is the key way to save. We put all the latest deals, guides and loopholes in, yet many close within hours. Don't miss out, join the 10m who get it each week."

This week

The top 10 shopping tricks
Your pothole damage rights - a major new MSE campaign
Shift debt to 6.4% FOR LIFE, no fee
Should you keep heat on all day?
Fight the payday loan scourge - what EVERYONE needs to know
MSE Black Friday alert service
Free Santa letter & video
£108 branded beauty bundle £23
Ralph Lauren 25% off code
Free insulation + free £25 J Lewis
Flybe.com 20% off flights code
Tesco Wine 1,000 pts on £60 code
Buy £25 Xmas tree get £20 Ikea vch
Lastminute.com 15% off hotels code
Shoe deals: 20% Soletrader Outlet, Hi-Tec extra 50%, Kurt Geiger 20%
20,000 'free' Megabus coach tix
Ocado 25% off £40 + a year's delivery pass code
'Thanks, I'm getting 3.2% on savings'
Free pension & retirement IFA help
Free Fri London tube, train & bus
Codes & Vchs: 25% F%F & Habitat, Aldi £5 off £40, Snapfish 50% off
Payday firms 'financial grooming'
Year's digital Telegraph £25
Stella Creasy: 'Rip-off estate agents'
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs

MARTIN'S QUICK BRIEFING: For more tips, alerts & awful puns, follow Martin on Twitter

The 10 top tricks for shopping magic
Incl our Christmas Deals PREDICTOR - when to pounce for max discounts

It's Black Friday, this, er well, Friday - the day after US Thanksgiving, when traditionally stores there begin their Christmas push. To kick-start it retailers offer short-lived codes and discounts, and - like Halloween - this trend is moving across the pond. Below, in the main body of this email, we've all the best of them.

Yet shopping isn't just about individual deals - if you know what you want it's about tactics & techniques too. Our 40 Cheap Online Shopping tricks will help, but here are 10 magic wands to start...

1. New. The Christmas Deals Predictor 2014. A year ago we launched our prediction of what deals big retailers would come up with in the Christmas season, with 72% of the deals we predicted running on the day we said they would. This year it's back and bigger with 32 predictions - view the Christmas Deals Predictor 2014. Examples include:

- Later this week: Selfridges 20% off code & vch
- Dec week 2: Boots half price Soap & Glory set
- Dec week 3: M&S to cut 50% off Christmas gifts and wrapping
2. Online shoppingBag hidden local eBay bargains as gifts. eBay sellers often specify items, from bikes to PS4s, as 'collection only' - they get fewer bids so prices are lower. You can't search for them on eBay, so we built the Local eBay Deals Mapper, eBay Deals iPhone App & eBay Deals Android App to find 'em.

Forumite Jen_Jen1985 said: "I had been looking for a double buggy for my two nieces, most of them ended up selling for around the £40 mark. I found one via the eBay Local Bargain Finder and ended up winning it for £1.24."
3. URGENT Grab 5% off ALL Xmas shopping. Cashback credit cards pay you each time you spend. So do normal spending on them, ensuring you repay IN FULL each month (pref by direct debit) to avoid interest, and you're quids in. Some are £100s up by the time the cashback's paid, usually after a year.

- Top pick right now is the Amex Plat Everyday* card (eligibility calc). It pays a HUGE 5% (max £100) on ALL spending in the first 3mths, then up to 1.25%. So apply now, it'll usually arrive within a fortnight, and so the big cashback covers the high-spend Christmas and New Year sales period. Fail to repay in full and it's 19.9% representative APR.

- For those with poorer credit scores, the Aqua Reward* (eligibility calc) gives a £20 Amazon voucher after two months and 0.5% cashback a year. It will accept some with older defaults/CCJs. Just ensure you repay in full though or it's a huge 34.9% rep APR.

To find which cards you're likely to get, use our free Cashback Card Eligibility Calculator. Full help: Top Cashback Cards (APR Examples)
4. Use shopbots to find the cheapest online prices. A shopbot, or shopping robot, is a comparison site that searches a range of e-tailers to find the cheapest price, incl del, in the same time it takes to search at just one e-store.

As different comparison sites are good for different things, we've designed MegaShopBot.com to help you instantly find the right shopbots, whether comparing prices for books, games, gadgets, perfumes or owt else.
5. The UK's first Giving Tuesday. If you don't know what to buy, and are just doing it out of a tick box-type obligation, STOP. #GivingTuesday is 2 Dec, it's happened in other countries but it's the first time for the UK.

So this Christmas instead of doing tit-for-tat giving (which means most people end up with tat), simply tell your list of extended family and friends you're making a donation instead. Or we've compiled a list of top Charity Gift Catalogues, options include buying a £5 Xmas dinner for someone homeless, adopting an animal or the awesome Good Gifts.
6. Search web outlets' up to 80% off deals, incl Argos, M&S & Tesco. Many big name retailers flog unsold lines at up to 70-80%+ off via online outlets. Our Outlet Store Discount Finder searches 50+ outlets for huge toy, clothing & other discounts - and people will never know.

Current hotties incl £11 delivered women's sequin dress (was £96), £9 delivered men's chino trousers (was £49), and £9 delivered men's canvas shoes (was £49).
7. Don't spend Tesco Clubcard vouchers on Christmas food. Many save up and use 'em for festive fodder, but that's a waste - you can get far better value on them on other things, so use them for that, and cash for your dinner. Here's the three key points...

a) First, Reclaim Lost/Unused Tesco Vouchers (can go back two years).
b) See Top 10 Tesco Rewards, which can up to quadruple vouchers' value.
c) Tesco's new Christmas Double-Up lets you double value in stores & online, including toys, console games, Xmas decorations, electricals & more.
8. Find Amazon 75%+ off bargain basements. Our Amazon Discount Finder uses web wizardry to manipulate Amazon links to build bespoke pages.
It's not perfect, but it can unearth bargains. Our new Christmas top picks tab has lots of searches that may help, eg, Xmas decs 30% off*, watches 50%+ off*, jewellery 80%+ off* and handbags 75%+ off*. Remember to check elsewhere (use the MegaShopBot above) to see if they're cheap though.
9. Free petrol big spenders' extreme couponing. Be wary of giving gift vouchers or cards as presents because a) if the firm goes bust, they're worthless, b) some run out of date and c) people lose them. But there's a clever trick which makes them useful, more for you than as a gift though.

If you're planning a big spend at any one of 50+ retailers (incl Halfords, Homebase, Debenhams, PC World), buy the gift card in Morrisons and you get 1p/litre off fuel per £10 spend. So £100 gets 10p off, £1,250 gets a free tank. Buy the card, and after a few days you can go straight to the shop to spend it yourself (minimising the time to reduce risk). See Petrol Gift Voucher Trick.
10. Ban unnecessary Christmas presents. Christmas is a hugely pressured time financially for many. For yourself, always do a budget, yet for others remember the most generous thing may be to agree a Pre-Nupp (a pre Christmas No Unnecessary Present Pact) so you don't obligate them to spend their cash buying back for you.

I've campaigned on this for many years, and it's a more detailed theory than it at first appears - see my full ban unnecessary Christmas presents blog.


The Martin Lewis Money Show Black Friday Special - Friday 8pm ITV1

This Friday, the 4th series of my show starts - a Black Friday special. I'll be running through the top deals, a TV version of the Christmas Deals Predictor and techniques to make free cash in time for Xmas, and even introducing my alter ego 'Dame Right' (oh no you didn't - oh yes I did) to test your consumer rights knowledge. Want to watch it with me? I'll be live tweeting during it at @MartinSLewis - use the hashtag #itvMLshow.

Blagged for MoneySavers

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MSE News

Top story: RBS fined £56m over IT meltdown
Price hike looms for Post Office home phone customers
Virgin Media customers to be hit with 5.9% price rise from February
Amazon to deliver to Post Office branches
People over 40 'denied mortgages'
Saved cash? Shout it from the rooftops.
If this email's ever helped you, please forward it to friends and suggest they get it via moneysavingexpert.com/tips
Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 26 Nov 2014

STOP PRESS: MSE 'Black Friday Weekend' Deals Alert Service: From Fri expect short-lived hot discounts at major retailers. Most are secret in advance, so check our Black Friday & Cyber Mon Deals Alert page & the @MSE_Deals twitter.

Your POTHOLE damage rights - a major new MSE campaign
New. There are 2m+ potholes a year on UK roads. If your car or bike's damaged, are you entitled to compensation?

It's thought potholes cause up to £700m-worth of damage to vehicles across the UK each year. Whenever we ask what you'd like us to campaign on, huge swathes say "potholes, potholes, potholes". So today, in time for winter road issues, we're launching our new 10,000-word (you don't need read it all) Pothole compensation guide. Here are a few nuggets:

  • Pothole rightsWhat is a pothole? The legal definition is a defect in the road over 4cm deep (roughly the diameter of two 20p coins) that causes an immediate risk or hazard.
  • 'I claimed £530 from the Highways Agency.' If the authority in charge of the road (eg, council, Highways Agency, TfL) was negligent - in other words if it didn't fix a reported pothole quickly enough or spot it within time limits - it should pay for your repairs. Over to David on our forum... "I hit a pothole on the M20 motorway on my journey home from work, and suffered a cut to a tyre. I claimed from the Highways Agency and got £530."
  • You must prove it was the pothole wot dunnit. Just saying your car was damaged isn't enough, you will need to get your mechanic to vouch for this. Our step-by-step guide explains how to report a pothole, check if you're eligible, gather the evidence and make a claim. Be warned, claiming will often take time and can be tricky.
  • The moral question - is it fair to claim? It's important to understand you can only claim if the authority was negligent. So you've no claim anyway if a cannonball drops off a truck, causing a pothole, which two minutes later damages your car. Even when you are eligible, our guide helps explain your rights, but you must decide whether to act on them.

    Some argue compensation deprives authorities of much-needed cash to fix roads, others that the more people pursue their rights, the more incentive there is for authorities to improve roads rather than deal with claims.

Full info in our new Pothole Damage Claims guide. Pls remember this is the guide's 1st incarnation. We've spent months researching it but not put it into practice yet, and to constantly improve it we need your Pothole damage guide feedback.

Free Santa letter & video (incl for blind children). Santa and his elves at the Post Office & RNIB will reply free (stamp needed), and he's even doing personalised videos too. Info here: Free Santa Letters.

All boxed Up beauty bundle £23 (£108 separately) | Body Shop £30 (£76 separately). We've valued the 8 products in each box. All Boxed Up is multi-brand incl Elemis, L'Occitane, Nails Inc. Great for gifts or self. Beauty Bundles

Ends Wed. Ralph Lauren 25% off code. MSE Blagged. Incl sale items, eg, polo shirts £32ish. Ralph Lauren

Get FREE £25 Argos/J Lewis vch with FREE loft/cavity wall insulation. MSE Blagged. Anyone (even non custs) in a suitable home can get free British Gas insulation worth up to £700 (not NI, sadly). Get Free Insulation.

Flybe.com 20% off flights code. MSE Blagged. Works on almost all flight routes between 7 Jan-28 Mar. Code ends Tue 2 Dec. Flights from Ldn City, Manc, Cardiff, B'ham, Edin & more. Excludes hold luggage & other add-ons. Flybe Code

Tesco Wine code: Spend £60 get 1,000 Clubcard pts (worth up to £40). MSE Blagged. Incl 50% off cases. We've blagged 6,000 codes for new & existing Tesco Wine* custs to use, just enter XXRYH4 by Sun (or till codes run out if sooner). The 1,000 points are worth £10 in stores or up to £40 on Tesco rewards. Info: Wine Deals. Pls be Drinkaware.

New. Shift debt to 6.4% FOR LIFE with no fee (or get 34mths 0%)
Top deal lets you lock in your credit card debts at a low rate for the long term - great if you need time to repay

If you've credit card debt, a balance transfer means you get a new card that repays your existing one(s), so you owe it instead. Normally they're 0% short-term, but a new cheapest is perfect for those who need long-term cheap rate certainty.

  • New. 6.4% for the LIFE of the balance, no fee. If you KNOW you can repay in a certain time, 0% deals win. If not, long-term certainty is safer. The new top card of this ilk is Lloyds* (eligibility calc). Accepted new cardholders can shift debts from other cards to it within 90 days at 6.4% rep APR, no fee - around 1/3 of a typical card's APR.

    Is the rate fixed?
    Not technically, it's variable, but the rate jacking rules mean the bank can't raise it in year one, and after, if it tries, you can reject as long as you keep repaying & don't borrow more. So in effect you can lock in the debt you shift at this cheap rate until the balance you've shifted is repaid.
  • Up to 34mth 0% if you can repay quicker. Shifting to interest-free, even with the fee, is far cheaper if you can clear the card or shift the debt again within the 0% period. Here are the current top picks:
TOP PICK NEW CARDHOLDER 0% BALANCE TRANSFER DEALS
Aim for the LOWEST FEE possible, provided you're sure you can repay in that time
Card Intro offer One-off fee (1) Rep APR after
Barclaycard* - Longest 0% card 34mths 0% (2) 2.99% 18.9%
Lloyds* - Long lower fee 28mths 0% (2) 1.5% 18.9%
Nationwide* - Low fee & good length 15mths 0% 0.65% 17.9%
Tesco* - NO fee 0% 12mths 0% None 20.6%
Full info/options: Best Balance Transfers (APR Examples) 1) % of amount transferred. 2) Some get a shorter 0%.
  • The Balance Transfer Golden Rules. It's not just about picking the right card, it's about using it the right way...

    a)
    The Balance Transfer Eligibility Calc shows cards you've the best odds of getting, protecting your credit score.
    b) Never miss the min monthly repayments, or the bank is allowed to hike the rate or kill your 0% deal.
    c) With 0% cards, ensure you clear the card or transfer again before the 0% ends or the rate rockets.
    d) Don't spend/withdraw cash on these. It usually isn't at the cheap rate & cash withdrawals hit your credit file.
    e) Unsure what to pick? Use our Which Card Is Cheapest? tool. Full help in Best Balance Transfers (APR Examples).

Buy £25 full-size Xmas tree at Ikea, get £20 voucher. Starts Fri. An offer many pine for. See Ikea Tree Deal.

4,000 Lastminute.com 15% off hotels codes (incl secret hotels). Ends 10am Thu. Corking deal as it's usually cheap anyway, so can be a way to bag one of 150,000 hotels (some chains excluded) super-cheap. See all Hotel Deals.

Big shoe discounts (the discounts are big, the shoes are standard size)
Extra 20% off outlet code, eg, £25 Converse, £84 Uggs. MSE Blagged. Thu-Mon. Soletrader Outlet
Hi-Tec extra 50% off shoes & boots, eg, kids £10. MSE Blagged. Early access to sale. Hi-Tec Deals
Kurt Geiger 20% off. Shoes and accessories, incl Ugg, Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs - ends Sun. Kurt Geiger.

20,000 'free' Megabus tix (50p booking fee). Jan and Feb trips in Eng, Wales, Scotland & Europe. Coach Deals

Is it cheaper to leave the heating on all day?
Energy mythbusting. It's getting colder quickly, yet don't waste cash listening to old wives' tales

The cold's finally here. To keep the heat higher and the bills lower, see our Energy Mythbusters guide, including...

  • Energy mythbustingIs it cheaper to leave the heating on all day? Many tout leaving it on, even if you only need it mornings & evenings. Yet according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), that's a mistake, just turn it on when needed. See the Leave the heating on? debate.
  • Does painting radiators black help them keep warm? Another myth, says the EST.
  • Do turned-off but plugged-in appliances use power? Some. Watch out for vampire power.
  • Can you really save by switching energy firms - aren't they all the same? We're no fan of energy firms, but to say "they're all the same" isn't true. There are HUGE differences in: 1) Price. Someone with typical dual fuel usage pays £1,180 a year on a standard tariff, but could pay just £960 switching to the cheapest. 2) Service - in our Aug poll 82% rated Ovo great, while 71% rated Npower poor. Use our Cheap Energy Club Top Pick Deals Comparison to find your overall winner.

Ocado 25% off £40 & free 1yr £70 midweek delivery pass code. MSE Blagged. Excl Xmas del. Ocado newbies

Success of the week: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"After reading about bank accounts that pay savings interest, I opened two on top of my Halifax Reward & Santander 123 accounts. Now on £28,000 savings I receive approx £60/mth interest after tax [effectively 3.2% interest]. Thanks."
For full info on how, see our 5% savings loophole guide.

Free pension check/financial planning IFA surgery. To celebrate the rivetingly named Financial Planning Week, you can get a free 30-60 min pension & retirement check with a local independent financial adviser (IFA) through VouchedFor*. Or the IFP is offering a free financial planning surgery. Book by Fri. Full info: Is An IFA For Me?


Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
34mths 0%, 2.99% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

Low fee 0%: Lloyds*
28mths 0%, 1.5% fee

(18.9% rep APR)
Get quotes in this order...

MoneySupermarket*
Gocompare*
Direct Line*
Aviva*
Admiral MultiCar*

Santander* (£5k - £7.5k)
5.3% rep APR



Sainsbury's* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.8% rep APR


BM Savings 1.55% AER
Min £1, incl bonus
Postal. Transfers allowed


Coventry BS 2.4% AER
Min £1. No transfers
Loophole: Fixed till Nov 2018


See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Free Friday London tube, train & bus travel if you've a contactless Mastercard. It's back - pay TfL train, tube or bus fares with the card on Fri and you'll be refunded up to £21.80. Don't use PAYG Oyster on Friday

MORE CODES AND VOUCHERS: F&F Clothing and Habitat 25% off, Aldi £5 off £40
F&F Clothing 25% off code from Wed, automatic from Thu | Aldi £5 off £40 voucher in 55p newspaper on Thu
Habitat 25% off Code Wed-Thu, in stores Thu | Snapfish 50% off mugs & prints code MSE Blagged | All codes and vouchers

Fight the payday loan scourge - what EVERYONE needs to know
Regulations aren't in force yet - with Xmas coming, we all need to know how to dissuade those who are tempted

It's thought 1.4m will take out high-cost, potentially crippling payday loans this Xmas, before the cost cap starts on 2 Jan. We hope regular MoneySavers will know to avoid them (if not read on). Yet even if you'd prefer to French kiss a skunk than get one, please gen up below, so that if a friend's contemplating this last resort, you can help ensure they've choices...

  • Payday loansFive reasons to avoid payday loans: See full Payday Need-To-Knows incl...

    1)
    They cost more per month (c£30 per £100) than high-cost credit cards' interest a yr.
    2) If you need longer to pay one back you'll pay the same again, meaning more debt.
    3) Lenders collect cash using continuous payment authorities, so they're in control.
    4) If you can't pay on time, you could face huge charges & extra interest.
    5) Using a payday loan can hit your ability to get a mortgage/overdraft in future.
  • Five payday loan alternatives. Payday loans are meant to be repaid within a month. Ask yourself what'll improve your finances so much you can afford to repay then? Far better not to borrow at Xmas and just go cold turkey, so to speak, and cut back. If not, to find spare cash, can you flog stuff, do a money makeover or keep to a tight budget? If you still 'need' to borrow, then see our full list of Cheaper Payday Loan Alternatives including...

    1) Govt-backed interest-free loans/grants. These are sadly less common than they used to be, but if on benefits you can apply for a budgeting loan and anyone in financial crisis can apply for help from their local council.
    2) Your local credit union (or community finance initiative). Many of these offer small, lower interest loans; find one.
    3) 3mth 0% poor credit card. Barclaycard's 3mth 0% lets you spend & borrow at no cost (don't withdraw cash on it) for 3mths, even with a poor credit score. That's far longer than a payday loan, just clear it, cancel & cut up after.
    4) Freeze a credit card. If you've used payday loans a lot, get a bad credit credit card, freeze it in a bowl of water, so it'd need smashing to use (gives thinking time). If used & repaid in a month, unlike payday loans, it's interest free.
    5) Can you get, or extend, an overdraft? Busting your overdraft limit can be even costlier than a payday loan, yet if you can extend your authorised overdraft limit it may give you respite. See Full overdraft help.
  • Need debt help. If you're struggling get free non-profit 1-on-1 debt advice or fight unfair payday loans help.

Payday loan ads are financial grooming - there's a chance to stop it. Read Martin's ban ads before 9pm blog.

From Fri. 1yr digital Telegraph subscription £25 (norm £100). Incl Ipad and smartphone editions. Telegraph

Stella Creasy wants to tell you about her 'rip-off letting & estate agents' campaign. Last week it was David Cameron, this week Labour Shadow Consumer Minister Stella Creasy's blogging for us on fighting rip-off letting agents.


Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines
Compare, switch & get cashback

Cheap Energy Club
£30 dual fuel

Energyhelpline*
£17 per switch

MoneySupermarket*
£30 dual fuel


First Direct*
£125 bonus and top cust service


Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)
Get quotes in this order...

Confused.com*
Comparethemarket
Direct Line*
Aviva*

Direct Save Telecom*
with weekend calls
£9.95/mth (pay a yr upfront)



Post Office*
with weekend calls
£10/mth (pay a yr upfront)
Do a Money Makeover Budget Planner MSE car sticker £13 Travel Insurance
Show Vouchers and Top Deals

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA
Should I give my employer the flight delay compensation?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... On a recent work trip overseas my flight was delayed and I was stuck on the tarmac for around seven hours. I've since made a flight delay claim, but if I'm successful, who should get the money? Me, as I had to endure the delay and made the delay claim? Or my employer, as it paid for the flight? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Who should get the flight delay compensation? | Suggest an MMD | View Past MMDs

THE GREAT HUNT
What was your biggest Xmas waste of money?
What have you bought for past Christmas celebrations that gave you a serious case of buyer's remorse? We want to tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge on the worst things you've spent your cash on during the festive season. What money-suckers would you advise others to avoid? Share yours/read others': What was your biggest Xmas waste of money? Past topics: View all

THE GREAT HUNT... REVEALED
Best ideas for Secret Santa gifts

We asked for your ideas on getting good gifts for colleagues or family members on a Secret Santa budget. You said the usual gifts of wine, chocolates and toiletries could be surprisingly unsuitable, but were at least less controversial than buying goodies from Ann Summers
. Interestingly, some of you have adopted extreme MoneySaving when it comes to Secret Santas and dropped the maximum spend to just £1, while others have adapted the idea slightly to a £1 lucky dip.

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK
Had money taken from your account without permission?
We've been asked by the FCA and the Financial Ombudsman Service to help them investigate the issue of funds being taken unexpectedly and without permission from people's bank accounts. Share your stories in the MSE forum.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances

27 November
Good Morning Britain, ITV, 7.40am.
Deals of the Week/ Black Friday special.
28 November
This Morning, time TBC.
Martin's 90 Second Savers.
28 November
The Martin Lewis Money Show, ITV, 8pm-8.30pm.
Black Friday and Christmas MoneySaving.
1 December
Radio 5 Live, 12pm-1pm.
Consumer Panel.
Subscribe to podcast.

MSE team corner

Discussion of the week

Thirty-year-old Christmas virgin

Playing host for family and friends at Christmas can be a daunting task, especially for a first-timer. Join our forumites as they share their top tips for keeping the masses happy over the festive period in the Thirty year-old Christmas virgin discussion.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 125.01 112.50
US Flag $ 155.31 139.77
Turkish Flag TL 340.00 294.60
Rates correct at 2pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Should a man take paternity leave instead of a woman?

From next April, maternity leave can be transferred to men for the first time (or the other partner in a gay relationship). We thought we'd test how desired this actually is.

So please choose the option closest to how you would WANT to do things in your case:

Poll results

Which firms have you haggled with in the last year?
Sky toppled the AA this year to become the easiest company to haggle with, with 86% of those who tried reporting success cutting their costs. Of those who tried other firms:

- 84% won with the AA
- 82% with Plusnet
- 73% with Vodafone

7,134 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

I've paid money by bank transfer into the wrong account - what are my rights on getting it back? I've heard the rules have changed when it comes to fixing errors made when sending money. Greg, via email

MSE Eesha’s A: It's much simpler thanks to a new code of practice which the majority of banks follow that was put in place in May 2014, but there's still no certainty you'll get your money back. Contact your bank and let it know you've made a mistake. Then your bank has two working days to start the retrieval process, and up to 20 working days to let you know of the outcome.

Unfortunately, there are still circumstances in which you won’t get your money back (for example, if the recipient refuses because they've spent it unknowingly), but if this is the case then your bank will let you know what your next steps are. For example, you may need to take the recipient to court. For full information on your rights, read the Sent money to the wrong account MSE news story.

 Nick's free game of the week: Cyclo Maniacs

Do you earn more or less than others in your area?

That's it for this week, but before we go, have you ever wondered how your earnings compare with everyone else? This handy tool shows you average earnings by local authority.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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What you need to know

  • This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances - and remember we focus on rates not service.

  • We don't as a general policy investigate the solvency of companies mentioned, how likely they are to go bust, but there is a risk any company can struggle and it's rarely made public until it's too late (see the section 75 guide for protection tips).

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More about MoneySavingExpert and Martin Lewis

What is MoneySavingExpert.com?

Founded in February 2003, it's now the UK's biggest consumer help website with over 10 million people getting this email and more than 15 million using the site every month. In September 2012 it became part of the MoneySupermarket Group PLC. Its focus is simple: saving cash and fighting for financial justice on anything and everything. The site has more than 75 full-time staff, many of whom are researching, analysing and writing to continually find ways to save money. More info: See About MSE

Who is Martin Lewis?

Martin set up and runs MSE, and still writes this email each week (unless it says so). He's an ultra-focused money-saving journalist and consumer campaigner with his own ITV prime-time show The Martin Lewis Money Show and weekly slots on Radio 5 Live, This Morning and Good Morning Britain, among others. He’s a columnist for publications including the Telegraph and Woman magazine. More info: See Martin Lewis' biography

What do the links with a * mean?

Any links with a * by them are affiliated, which means get a product via this link and a contribution may be made to MoneySavingExpert.com, which helps it stay free to use. You shouldn't notice any difference; the links don't impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things we write) isn't changed due to it. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it's still included in the same way. More info: See how this site is financed.

As we believe transparency is important, we're including the following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for content too:

Unaffiliated web-addresses for links in this email

americanexpress.com, aquacard.co.uk, amazon.co.uk, tesco.com, lloydsbank.com, barclaycard.co.uk, nationwide.co.uk, vouchedfor.co.uk, lloydsbank.com, moneysupermarket.com, gocompare.com, directline.com, aviva.co.uk, admiral.com, santander-products.co.uk, sainsburysbank.co.uk, energyhelpline.com, uswitch.com, firstdirect.com, confused.com, comparethemarket.com, directline.com, postoffice.co.uk.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Note

Referring people to insurers or insurance intermediaries can in some circumstances constitute an FCA regulated activity. For this reason, pages with links which take you to the sites of insurers or insurance intermediaries are hosted by MoneySavingExpert.com Limited on behalf of MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC. MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 303190). The registered office address of both MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC and MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited is MoneySupermarket House, St. David’s Park, Ewloe, Chester, CH5 3UZ.

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