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LATEST MONEYSAVING EMAIL

LATEST MONEYSAVING EMAIL

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Oct 29

This week: More than 50 ways to save, incl... £8 champers, Vax 80% code, car ins warning, Sky TV 50% code, free £125 M&S, Odeon tix, Tesco pts boost

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 8m who get it each week."

This week

BIG WINTER SWITCH EVENT: Cheaper than cheapest energy deals
Reclaim & BOOST Tesco points
Warning: car insurance 10% rise
Sky TV newbies 50% off & £50
Can you defend yourself online?
Vax 80% off clearance code
£8.50 champagne trick
Odeon 5 cinema tickets £20
Free £125 M&S bank switch ending
10% off 100,000 world hotels
M&S festive wine case code
'Free' Nails Inc varnish in £2 mag
Student payday lender reported
£18 Lastminute.com spa code
Sainsbury's Tu 25% off everything
Buy pumpkin get up to £3 cashback
Crabtree & Evelyn 20% off + freebie
Codes: Matalan £5 off £25, M&S £5 off £30 lingerie, French Conn 20%
J Lewis & HoF 30% off brands sale
Free £2ish Vitamin D for kids
Deadline Fri for paper tax returns
Paid MSE money writer internship
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 DAY Big Winter Switch Event
We've negotiated cheaper than the cheapest energy
using the power of this email's 9m recipients & 1m Energy Club members

This is a huge opportunity to beat the market's cheapest gas and/or elec deals before turning up the heat for winter. In the past I've struggled to support collective switches - where a 'trusted intermediary' (such as a council or us) runs an auction for energy firms to bid to provide special deals for its members.

My problem was most were more expensive than the market's cheapest. Yet now it's coming of age, so we've used our enormous user base - 9m email recipients and 1.2m Cheap Energy Club members - to make it come up trumps. Watch my three-min video explaining how the collective switch works.

1. How to grab one of these tariffs: It's ONLY ON FOR TEN DAYS, ending 5pm Fri 7 Nov, and collective switch rules mean it needs to be via our free Cheap Energy Club. Fill in your details (it's better if you've bills, but if not it can estimate) then it'll...

- Show your exact price for the tariffs and compare them to ALL tariffs on the market (unlike other comparisons we do this by default).

- Give £30 cashback - on dual fuel if you switch (£15 elec only).

- Monitor that it stays cheap. You set a 'trigger saving', eg, of £50, then we monitor your rate and alert you when you can save that amount switching again. This is great for fixed deals where cheap rates only last a year or two and takes the hassle out of being an energy tart.

Know someone overpaying? Spread the word to help cut energy bills.
   
2. MSE Big Winter Switch Event Winner 1: The CHEAPEST tariff. Our winner's this E.on MSE collective 12mth fix for both dual fuel and elec only. It's usually the cheapest tariff for most, the rate won't rise for a year and it has far lower early exit fees than the next best deals.

PLUS you get £30 cashback via the Energy Club (£15/fuel) and it offers 1,500 E.on points, which can be converted to a £15 high st voucher or 1,500 Tesco Clubcard pts (worth up to £60 on rewards, see below).

How it compares
(avg price for typical dual fuel direct debit user)

Winner: E.on 12mth fix (ie, Nov 15). £950/yr — £5/fuel exit penalty
Next cheapest: Extra fix till 31 Oct 15. £976/yr — £25/fuel exit fee
Typical cost: On a big 6 energy firm standard tariff: £1,180/yr

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE for it (and full market comparison)


- Good for you if: You just want the lowest price and don't mind moving tariffs regularly as it's only definitely cheap for a year.
- Not for you if: You're moving home soon (it's not portable), or if you just want to get a cheap deal you can forget about for a longer term.

Customer service feedback for E.on: It's mid-way, with 43% of voters saying it's "great" and 17% "poor" in our Aug customer services poll.
3. MSE Big Winter Switch Event Winner 2: The cheapest LONG fix. Our winner's this Scottish Power MSE collective 3-yr fix. This long dual fuel or elec-only fix ensures no price hikes until Dec 17 and is typically £40 cheaper than the next cheapest over that period. PLUS... you get £30 cashback via the Energy Club (£15/fuel).

How it compares
(avg price for typical dual fuel direct debit user)

Winner: Scottish Power fix till 31 Dec 17. £1,099/yr — £30/fuel exit fee
Next cheapest: First Utility fix till 31 Jan 18. £1,136/yr — £30/fuel exit
Typical cost: On a big 6 energy firm standard tariff: £1,180/yr

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE for it (and full market comparison)


- Good for you if: You want a cheap price which you can forget about for the next few years. Useful if you don't usually switch.
- Not for you if: You're moving home soon (it's not portable).

Customer service feedback for Scottish Power: Only 18% of voters say it's "great" with 55% saying "poor" in our August poll. However, also see point 7 below as it has agreed to provide special customer service arrangements for our collective switch.
4. MSE Big Winter Switch Event Winner 3: The cheapest GREEN tariff. Our winner's this Green Star MSE collective 12mth fix tariff, by far the cheapest tariff fitting Ofgem's (soon to be introduced) Green criteria - incl carbon offsetting, renewable generation and more.

The tariff is available for dual fuel or elec only and prices won't rise for at least a year. PLUS... you get £30 cashback via the Energy Club.

How it compares
(avg price for typical dual fuel direct debit user)

Winner: Green Star 1yr fix. £1,055/yr — £30/fuel exit penalty
Next cheapest firm: Ecotricity variable. £1,232/yr — no fee
Typical cost: On a big 6 energy firm standard tariff: £1,180/yr

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE for it (and full market comparison)


- Good for you if: You believe in green causes, but don't want to pay that much more - and may be prepared to switch again in a year.
- Not for you if: You want a firm with a good customer service record or you plan to move home soon and want to take the tariff with you.

It's a fairly new provider so we don't have substantial feedback for it. Yet we've arranged bespoke customer service.
5. Next week: Top PREPAY fix tariff. Prepay users are often excluded from collective switch deals but we were determined not to let that happen. So coming next week we will be launching our winner especially for those that have a key/card meter.
6. Does MSE make money from this? Yes. Energy suppliers pay introducer fees of about £60 per dual fuel switch for comparisons & collective schemes. Of that we give £30 back to you as cashback, to encourage you to switch.

The remainder is used to pay our suppliers: MoneySupermarket.com (part of the same parent group as MSE), which provides the underlying data & switch process; and Allfiled, which provides the technology database platform.

Depending on how successful this is, we expect to be left with about £11 per dual fuel switch - just over a third of what we give in cashback. That will pay the team who work on this, and we hope it will also leave some profit too.

As always, we only ever write based on editorial independence in the consumer interest as guaranteed by the legally binding editorial code.
7. Who's responsible for these tariffs, MSE or the energy firm? It's the energy firm which is responsible for supplying you, and you pay it. We're not officially responsible, but we take our duty for organising this seriously.

So as well as working with them in advance to iron out any problems, we've asked all the providers to set up special teams with separate phone numbers or 48hr response times to help on our switch. The Big Winter Switch Event help page has full details, plus how to get in touch with us if all else fails.
8. Will these definitely be the cheapest deals? They are the cheapest at the time of sending this email (based on typical use, averaged across the regions). Yet we can't say they will be for the whole ten days - in fact we hope while the Big Winter Switch Event is on other providers will respond and cut their prices too, in which case when you do the comparison in the Free Cheap Energy Club you'll see them.
   
9. When you switch ensure your old provider gives you back your credit. As most people's last bill was a summer one, if you pay by monthly direct debit you're likely to be in credit now - it could be by £100s. When you switch you should be given that cash from the firm you're leaving, but some won't cough up unless you ask.

However, don't spend it - the safest thing is to put it towards winter's bills. And remember the new provider may estimate your usage differently - if this is too high you've a right to ask it to be lowered.

PS: If you've switched before in the last 5 years you may not've been given credit owed. If so you can still get it, see Reclaim energy credit.

10.  Final quick tips to slash energy costs. Of course, it's not all about the tariff - there are a lot more ways to slash your bills.

- Get FREE loft/cavity wall insulation, open-to-all. Can save £290/yr.
- Pay by monthly direct debit. It's typically £70-£90/yr cheaper.
- If you pay by monthly direct debit, always do regular meter readings.
- Don't haggle - it's a waste of time. Energy firms can't offer specials.
- Get grants & free help if you're struggling to pay. See Energy Grants.
- In energy debt? You can still switch (if less than £500 on prepay).
- Renter? You've a right to switch too. Free factsheet for your landlord.
- Use heating oil? People power helps here. See Cheap Heating Oil.
- Can't get a complaint resolved? Use the free Energy Ombudsman.
- Don't walk round in your boxers, turn the heat down & dress up.

Want to ask me (Martin) an energy question? I'll be doing a live Twitter Clinic from 16:45 for 15 mins on Wed 29 Oct - answering all questions sent to @MartinSLewis about the collective switch. Use the hashtag: #MSEenergy.

Blagged for MoneySavers

Did you miss?

Get constantly cheap energy
Our club ensures you're always on the cheapest tariff.
Join free: Cheap Energy Club
Reclaim PPI for FREE
Claims handlers aren't more successful.
Free help & templates: Reclaim PPI

MSE News

Top story: 'More needs to be done to stamp out copycat websites'
Asda's petrol prices to fall to their lowest level since 2010
'MSE was the best springboard for my start-up', says Approved Food
How banking bonuses have hit student loan repayments
Always forget your PIN? Fingerprint recognition cards are on the way
Be a MoneySaving advocate
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 29 Oct 2014
Boost Tesco points - as it launches its Christmas double-up
Reclaim lost vouchers then double their value on a range of in-store items, eg, Playstation 4 £175 in vouchers

Even with its reported troubles, Tesco is still by far the UK's biggest retailer. Millions of regular shoppers rack up Clubcard points there, which are given out as vouchers quarterly. The latest batch is due out - max their worth with 3 key tips.

  1. Tesco club card boost Find £100s of lost Tesco points. Vouchers last two years. Check if you've unused/lost ones with our Reclaim Old Tesco Vouchers instructions. We're swamped with successes, eg, from forumite youneverknow: "Just found £60 worth of Tesco vouchers I didn't know I had. With Clubcard Boost, I can turn them into £120."
  2. Can you QUADRUPLE vouchers' value? Our Top 10 Tesco Clubcard Partner deals evaluate the best returns from its ongoing Partner Boost deals - here you can get 3x or 4x value, eg, £10 becomes £40 at Café Rouge, £30 at Goldsmiths, or £20 to spend at a train booking site.
  3. Tesco Christmas double-up is back - incl gaming & Xmas decor. It has relaunched its Christmas Boost, where a £5 vchr can be swapped in stores or online for a £10 spend in certain departments. For the first time you can double up on gaming & Xmas decorations, both in stores and online. And clothing, health & beauty gift sets, fragrance, opticians, toys & bikes, electricals, phones & home are back again. Top redemptions incl Playstation 4 for £175-worth, Hudl2 tablet £65, 4-slice toaster £15.

Sainsbury's customers... If you've Nectar points saved up, you'll be able to exchange them for double-value vouchers to spend in selected depts between 19 and 25 Nov. More details here nearer the date.

Vax up to 80% off clearance sale code. MSE Blagged. Vax sales need a code. Officially the sale starts Thu, but our code works now, so you get first dibs while there's max stock. Includes Air3 vacuum cleaner £68 (was £235), Floormate hard floor cleaner £85 (was £225). It does these sales due to slightly damaged boxes, past feedback's great. Vax Deals

£8.50 champagne trick? Min 6. RRP £18. Anyone can get a 75cl bottle of Antoine De Clevecy champagne for £10.50 but newbies to Sainsbury.co.uk may effectively get it for less with a bit of playing. See £8.50 Champagne trick

Odeon 5 tickets £20 (or 2 for £10) vchr. Usually up to £16 each. Multiple people can use them and you don't have to use them in one go. So great for families or couples. Incl 3D films. Odeon

Last chance. Free £125 M&S gift card for switching bank accounts. Switch to M&S Bank* via this link only by 31 Oct and get a £125 gift card (norm £100). It also has a £100 0% overdraft and you can earn reward points on M&S shopping. If you prefer a cash bonus, top customer service bank First Direct* offers £100. Full info: Top Bank Accounts.

Warning: Car insurance to rise 10% - lock in cheap rates now?
Even if mid-way through your policy, check NOW if you can secure a cheap deal to beat predicted price hikes
Car insurance prices have fallen 40% over the past two years, according to the AA. Yet its latest index shows they're up 1.2% in the past 3mths and with fraudulent claims increasing, it expects a continued increase of up to 8% this year; others think 10% is possible. Therefore it's important to see if you can grab a deal while rates are still low.
  • Lock in cheap rates How close to renewal are you? Unless you've claimed, you can usually cancel and get a refund for the rest of the year - though you'll pay a c. £50 cancellation fee and won't earn no-claims for the year. Worth it? Depends on how near to renewal you are...

    - At renewal. Just use the techniques below to find the cheapest price.

    - Renewal within 2mths
    - urgently lock in a rate: A cancellation fee may eat away any savings, yet Aviva*, the Post Office* and LV* will hold prices for 60 days, Allianz for 45 days and Direct Line* and a host of others for 30 days. Get quotes from them now to lock in prices in case they rise. Then, at renewal, do a full comparison. More options in Lock in a rate.

    - Renewal 2 to 12 mths away.
    Use the techniques below to find your cheapest and best policy - waiting could see the price rise. If you can save (factoring in cancellation) then switch.
  • 5 steps to find the cheapest price now. Full technique in cheap car insurance, here are the five key tricks...

    1. Combine the right comparison sites to compare. Comparisons don't all cover the same insurers so combine them for max coverage. We currently assess the top order as: MoneySup*, GoCompare* & Confused*.
    2. Check big deals missed. Aviva*, Direct Line* & Zurich aren't on comparisons. Check 'em & more special deals.
    3. More than one car in the home? Check Admiral MultiCar*, Churchill*, Direct Line*, and Privilege* for multi-car.
    4. Try adding a responsible 2nd driver. It doesn't always work, use trial and error to gain savings.
    5. Don't assume 3rd party's cheapest. Comprehensive could make you appear less of a risk.

10% off 100,000+ hotels via Expedia worldwide hotel code. MSE Blagged. Use code by Tue 4 Nov for stays till 30 Apr 15. Full details/exclusions: Expedia Deals. 50% off 49 posh hotels in UK & Europe. Get Mr & Mrs Smith code to access. Min 3nts for stays till March. Eg, Le Lodge Kerisper, Brittany £35/nt, The Grove, Narberth, Wales £95/nt. Hotels

M&S champers & wine Xmas case £51 (norm £80ish). 1,000 avail. Contains champers, port, 2 white & 2 red wines. Case is norm £85, wines bought separately norm £98 (but currently £80) Wine Deals. Pls be Drinkaware

'Free' £11 Nails Inc varnish in £2 mag. Out Mon. Four different colours available. Nails Inc offers

Payday lender 'for students' ignores 1,089% APR in ads. We're reporting it to regulators, see Martin's blog.

Slash TV costs including 10,000 Sky 50% off + 'free' £50 codes
The clock's gone back, so many want cosy nights in front of the telly. Here's how to pay less to get more
With codes, tips, haggling & deals you may be able to slash costs. Full help in our Digital TV guide, here's the trailer...
  • top TV deals 10,000 Sky newbies 50% off TV + 'free' £50 codes. MSE Blagged. We've more 50% off Sky TV codes for anyone who's not had Sky for at least 12mths. These give 50% off a year's TV packages incl Sky Sports & Movies (not the HD upgrade) and £50 to spend via credit on a prepaid Mastercard or a £50 M&S or Tesco voucher.

    PLUS a year's 'free' broadband if you take line rent & Sky Movies. Take Sky's £16.40/mth line rental AND Sky Movies (or its Complete package) when you use the 50% code and you get a year's 'free' broadband (norm £7.50/mth but currently £3.75/mth for 12 months). Full info: Sky TV. The savings can be massive, as Jon tweeted: "Thanks, the Sky code on your website will save us around £280 a year."

    Don't want Sky? There are other hot deals too. TalkTalk has a line, broadband and TV deal (essentially Freeview Tivo + catchup service). For this and other packages including Virgin see our Digital TV deals guide.
  • Do you need to pay the £145.50/yr BBC licence fee? You needn't if you only watch online, not live. Licence tips
  • Happy Sky, Virgin, BT or TalkTalk customer - but paying too much? HAGGLE. Most promo offers are only available to new customers, yet our poll shows existing customers have an 82% success rate haggling with Sky & TalkTalk, 73% with Virgin, 62% with BT. Eg, Rob tweeted: "I love @MartinSLewis. Just rang Sky after seeing all NEW customer discounts, nothing for existing - saved £180/year." See our Step-by-Step TV Haggling guide.
  • Recordable Freeview boxes £73. Even basic TV now is Freeview with 50 channels + 12 HD versions. Yet if you want catch-up TV, series links & pause buttons as the subscription services offer you just need a box. Cheapest decent one we can find out there is Goodmans* at £72.99 with 320 GB space. See Freeview boxes.

£18 Lastminute.com spa experiences code. MSE Blagged. Ends 5pm Thu. It has a £20 spa sale on, and we've a 10% off code. 24 venues offering spa days or treatments. Incl massages & facials. Most can be given as Xmas gifts. Lastminute

Crabtree & Evelyn 20% off code & 'free' £5 hand cream. MSE Blagged. Min £20 spend. Ends Sun. Beauty

Success of the week: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"I applied to appeal against my partner's council tax banding. After 20 years in band F it's now Band E and the local council has refunded £3,680. Thank you Martin, I followed the website info."
- Use our Check and challenge your council tax bands guide to see if it applies to you too.

Sainsbury's Tu 25% off EVERYTHING, incl sale. In-store clothes discount until Mon, incl Halloween. Sainsbury's

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash NISAs
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



M&S Bank* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.9% rep APR


BM Savings 1.6% AER
Min £1, incl bonus
Postal. Transfers allowed


Coventry BS 2.6% AER
Min £1. No transfers
Loophole: Fixed till Nov 2018


See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

John Lewis 'sale matching' House of Fraser up to 30% off brands. Till Sun, House of Fraser has an up-to-30% off brands sale, and John Lewis is matching an, ahem, "unnamed competitor's" up-to-30% sale. Sales Info

CODES: Morphy Richards 15% off, M&S £5 off £30 on nightwear, French Connection 20% off etc
Morphy Richards extra 15% off sale MSE Blagged | M&S £5 off £30 on lingerie & nightwear | French Connection 20% off
Matalan £5 off £25, £10 off £50, £15 off £75 | Paperchase 15% off | Thorntons 20% off | See ALL Codes & Vouchers

Forum Hottie. Buy a £1-£3 pumpkin & get up to £3 cashback. 5,000 avail. In major supermarkets. TopCashback

Can you defend yourself online? The Quiz
As the FCA, HMRC and British Bankers' Association warn of a surge in fraud, test your scam-busting knowledge

Sadly scams are on the rise. It's very important you understand how to spot the genuine from the genuinely nasty, our 30 online self-defence tips guide will help you defend yourself. But try our quiz first (answer in your head before reading on)...

Q1. Where does this link take you: bbc.co.uk? A. If you answered the BBC, wrong - click it. Link text is irrelevant. Instead hover your mouse over it. This is a better, but not totally reliable, solution. See Martin's Spam Spotter Rules blog.

Q2. What's the difference between 'https:' and 'http:'?
A. When you click a site, check for these at the start of the address bar. Only the first one is secure, meaning any info sent is encrypted, improving safety - a key thing to check when paying.

Q3. How much do you pay for anti-virus software? A. There's great free anti-virus software available. Not having anti-virus is a big mistake - if a fraudster accesses your bank via your computer you could be liable due to negligence.

Q4. Where does this link take you www.moneysavingexpert.1.com? A. It goes where it says it does, but that's not MoneySavingExpert. It's the last bit of the hyperlink before the .com (or .co.uk, etc) that counts, so this is to the non existent 1.com.

Q5. When in the year does HMRC (the Inland Revenue) email about tax rebates? A. Any answer but 'never' is wrong. If you get a tax rebate email, it's spam or a scam - don't click, delete. See MSE's news story on HMRC emails.

Q6. How do you spot ads on Google? A. Sadly, it has become more difficult. It has muted the difference between results that anyone can pay to be top of and real search results. The small yellow boxes page top & right indicate paid results. These have often been used by copycat sites unfairly charging, and payday loan brokers disguised as credit unions.

Free £2ish month's Vitamin D for kids. No purchase necessary. Find out how to get it from Asda Pharmacy.

Filling your tax return in on paper - the deadline is Fri. If you need to file a paper self-assessment tax return you must do it by 31 Oct or face a £100 fine. Or fill it in online by 31 Jan. See Tax help.

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines
Get constantly cheap energy.

Our club ensures you're always on the cheapest tariff.

Join free: Cheap Energy Club

Up to £30 cashback for dual fuel, £15 for single switches.

First Direct*
£100 bonus and top cust service


Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

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

Confused.com*
Compare The Market*
Direct Line*
Aviva*

Post Office*
with weekend calls
£10/mth (pay a yr upfront)



TalkTalk Value Line Rental*
£14.35/mth (pay a yr upfront)
Do a Money Makeover Budget Planner MSE car sticker £13 Travel Insurance

Want a MoneySavingExpert.com paid internship? 12 weeks on our money journalism team. MSE Opportunities

Show Vouchers and Top Deals

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

BOOK GIVEAWAY RESULT
Property Uncovered.
50 blagged for MoneySavers. Find out if you got one.

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA
I lent out my railcard and got fined. Who should pay?
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I loaned my rail pass to my flatmate recently. I know technically these aren't transferable, but I didn't need it so saw no harm. He was supposed to put it back in my bag but forgot. The next day I hopped on the train and was approached by a ticket inspector. It was only then I realised I didn't have it and was fined £40. Who should pay? Enter the Money Moral Maze: I lent out my railcard and got fined. Who should pay? | Suggest an MMD | View Past MMDs

THE GREAT HUNT
Prescription items that are cheaper over the counter As we say in our Medicine Savings guide, prescriptions aren't always cheapest. We want to tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge and find out what exact items they've been given a prescription for that turned out to be cheaper without one? Share yours/read others': Prescription items that are cheaper over the counter Past topics: View all

CHEAP FLIGHT SALES ALERT
Airline: Monarch Price: 5,000 seats at £39.99 Ends: Midday Thu 30 Oct
Our pick this week is Monarch's* offer for selected flights between 11 Nov 2014 and 23 Mar 2015, with 5,000 seats available. The sale ends midday Thu and includes taxes and most charges, but credit card fees apply. There is no code to enter, the price appears automatically. Extra charges warning: Avoid payment and check-in charges - see the Budget Airline Fee Fighting guide. Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance

THE GREAT HUNT... REVEALED
Call centre workers spill the beans
We asked for some tips on phoning call centres. The first rule of thumb is be nice, and while some said they had little authority to dish out the company's money, they did tell us managers have more scope to negotiate. The general consensus was lunchtime is the worst time to call, with just after lines open or an hour before they close being better.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the Week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances

30 Oct
Good Morning Britain, ITV, 7.40am
Deals of the Week.
31 Oct
This Morning, time TBC
Martin's 90 Second Savers.
2 Nov
Talk Sport, 7am-11am
Subject TBC.
3 Nov
This Morning Live, time TBC
Subject TBC.
3 Nov
Radio 5 Live, 12pm-1pm
Consumer Panel.
Subscribe to podcast.

MSE team corner

Discussion of the week

Dealing with car salesmen

Buying a new car involves spending a lot of cash - often more than you intended with all the extras that salesmen convince you into getting. Share your tips and tricks on beating their sales banter and bagging the best deal in the Dealing with car salesmen discussion.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 125.66 113.09
US Flag $ 160.26 144.23
Turkish Flag TL 345.10 304.28
Rates correct at 4pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Do you approve of the clocks going back?

The clocks have gone back an hour - we've left British Summer Time behind and are now back on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) until the spring, when the clocks will jump forward again.

This means relatively more light in the morning but less light in the evening during the winter months.

What time do you think our clocks should run on?

Poll results

Should the UK leave the European Union?
Last month Scotland voted to stay in the UK. Now it seems it's the only UK country where most want to remain in the EU - the majority in the other UK countries prefer to go it alone. Overall, there was little split between genders, with 58% of men and women opting to leave.

Here's how many in each country want to leave the EU:

- 60% in England & NI
- 40% in Scotland
- 56% in Wales

24,978 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q. I did a 0% balance transfer, but also made some purchases on the same card. I cleared the purchase amount by the due date and paid some money towards the balance transfer but was still charged interest. I thought the payments I make apply to the highest interest rate first. So why are they charging me interest? Philip, by email.

MSE Helen's A: You're right anything you pay goes towards the highest interest rate first. But there's a clause in all credit card contracts many fall foul of, and it's the reason we tell you to NEVER spend on the same card you have a balance transfer on unless there's an interest-free period for spending. Here's an example (with our added emphasis):

"Interest Free Period: Maximum 56 days for purchases if you pay the full balance shown on your previous and current statement on time."

So, because you hadn't cleared the full balance - you still had some of your transferred balance on the card - you don't get any interest-free period. At all. This means that you were charged interest on the purchases from the day you made them, to the day you cleared them. The only way you could have avoided this would have been to pay off both the purchases and the entire balance transfer debt before the date indicated on your statement.

In future, if you think you'll need to make both balance transfers and purchases, try to get a card that offers a 0% period on both. Our 0% Balance Transfers & Spending guide has the best buys.

Please suggest a question of the week (we can't reply to individual emails).

 Charlotte's free game of the week: Ball Drop

Compare the meerkats live

Forget about car insurance, check out the real deal - see what London Zoo's animals get up to with its new live video feed of meerkats, otters and Galapagos tortoises.

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Martin & the MSE team

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