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MoneySavingExpert's Money Tips Email

MoneySavingExpert's Money Tips Email

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Jun21

This week: Over 50 ways to save, incl...£2 Zara/Asos etc, 2% savings, heatwave help, free TSB £130 ends, £12/day car hire, hot Sim

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 12m who get it each week."

21 June 2017
         
 
THE TOP TIPS IN THIS EMAIL
Trick to know if you'll definitely get a top 0% card
Shift your savings to 2% - but act quick
Holiday car hire £12/day if booked NOW
'I won my £10k wedding comping'
River Island, Asos etc £2 clothes
Hot weather help incl £1 sun cream
Ends Mon. Free £130 bank switch + £10/mth
Two pairs of prescription sunnies £17
300,000 water-saving FREEBIES
100+ supermarket coupons worth £100+
90p for 80 Yorkshire Tea bags, Bold, Fairy etc
5GB data, unltd mins & texts Sim £10/mth
Free outdoor gyms
Driving to France? How to avoid £50+ fine
Virgin Wines 12-bottle mixed case £56
Tax-Free Childcare woes
 

Get pre-approved for a top 0% card, without it hitting your credit score

Use it to help slash existing debt costs or get interest-free new borrowing


pre-approved The problem with applying for credit cards is it's anti-shop around. To find out if you'll be accepted you must apply, but applying puts a mark on your credit file, and too many of these in a short space of time hurts future applications.

So the Holy Grail is to know if you'll be accepted before you apply. We've been working on this for years using our Credit Card Eligibility Calcs - which tell you which cards you've best chances of getting, and don't put a mark on your credit file.

And now we've gone further with over half of our top 0% card picks offering 100% pre-approval in the calcs. This means, if you see it, you'll definitely get that card when you apply (as long as you've told our calcs the truth and pass an ID check).

As Ross told us: "Used your pre-approval check for a money transfer card. Will be paying off 2 car loans in 18 months - months ahead of plan, saving over £3,000 interest."

Shift debt to up to 42mths 0% PRE-APPROVED. If you're paying interest on existing credit or store card debt, a key weapon is a balance transfer card. That's where you get a new card that pays off debts on old cards, so you owe it instead, at a cheaper rate.

Our Balance Transfer Eligibility Calc shows most of the top cards you've best chance of getting, including those available on pre-approval.

As Siobhan told us: "Thank you. Just applied for Lloyds' balance transfer. Got 33 months interest-free, enough time for me to pay it off."

TOP-PICK 0% BALANCE TRANSFER CARDS (1)
Ranked by 0% length + the longest NO FEE cards
Card 0% length (APR AFTER) Fee

MBNA (eligibility calc / apply*) - Pre-approval possible

Up to 42mths 0% (20.9%) 2.79%

Nuba (apply) - Plus £20 Amzon vch

Up to 42mths 0% (20.9%) 3.29%

Virgin Money (eligibility calc / apply*) - Pre-approval possible

40mths 0% (20.9%) 1.7%

Halifax (eligibility calc / apply*) - Pre-approval possible for some (2)

Up to 29mths 0% (18.9%) NO FEE

Sainsbury's Bank (eligibility calc / apply*)

28mths 0% (18.9%) NO FEE (3)

(1) New cardholders only. (2) Must have a Halifax current account. (3) Charges a 1.5% fee but fully refunds it. Full info & options: Best Balance Transfers (APR Examples).


Some of these are 'up to' cards, meaning you may get offered a shorter 0% period, unless pre-approved, in which case you'll get the full length if accepted.

Most cards also charge a one-off fee of the amount of debt transferred (so 4% is £40 per £1,000). Calculate how long you think you'll take to clear the debt, add a bit for safety, then pick the lowest fee within that. If you're unsure, play safe and go long.

Always follow the Balance Transfer Golden Rules:

a) Clear the card or balance-transfer again before the 0% ends.
b) Never miss the min monthly repayment or you can lose the 0% deal.
c) Don't spend/withdraw cash. It usually isn't at the cheap rate.
Get pre-approved for up to 29mths' interest-free NEW borrowing. If you've a planned, budgeted-for purchase, the best way to do it is on a 0% spending card. Our 0% Purchases Eligibility Calc tells which one you've best chance of getting, and if pre-approved you'll definitely get the full length at 0%.

TOP-PICK 0% SPENDING CARDS (1)
Ranked by 0% length
Card 0% length (APR AFTER)

Sainsbury's Bank (eligibility calc / apply*)

31mths 0% (18.9%)

Santander (eligibility calc / apply*)

30mths 0% (18.9%)

Post Office (eligibility calc / apply*)

30mths 0% (18.9%)

MBNA (2) (eligibility calc / apply*) - Pre-approval possible

Up to 29mths 0% (18.9%)

Virgin Money (eligibility calc / apply*) - Pre-approval possible

28mths 0% (19.9%)

(1) New cardholders only. (2) Only purchases made within 60 days of account opening get the 0% period. Full info & options: Best 0% Credit Cards (APR Examples).


Be careful with new borrowing - ensure it's planned, needed and you've budgeted to clear it within the 0% time.

Always follow the 0% Spending Golden Rules:

a) Never miss paying at least the monthly min or you can lose the 0% (and stick within your credit limit).
b) Plan to clear the cards (or balance-transfer) before the 0% ends or the interest rates jump (APR Examples).
c) These cards are usually ONLY cheap for spending. Avoid for balance transfers/cash withdrawals.
'Is it worth risking if my eligibility calc odds are only 60%?' Martin's often asked this. Actually 60% is still decent as odds go - in other words more than half the people in your position get accepted; not bad at all.

All you're risking by applying is a footprint on your credit report - that'll only have a minor effect (it's multiple applications that hurt, which our eligibility calcs help eliminate). So ask yourself how important the product is to you. If it's to cut debt costs, that's significant.

Martin's got a story that should help...

"I was sat with a MoneySaver, who had large costly credit card debts and a poor credit history. The eligibility calc showed all balance transfer cards gave her zero chance except Halifax at 20%. She asked: 'Is there any point?'

"I replied: 'If this is the only thing you need credit for, 20% chance is better than nowt and the worst that can happen is you don't get it.' She applied and got a 26mth 0% card - £1,500 limit."
Get pre-approved for many top cards for spending abroad, cashback or those with bad credit. We've highlighted those best used for cutting debt and making purchases. But you can be pre-approved for plenty of other top cards (read the guides for full help).

- Cheap Travel Money Card Calc - top rates when overseas (guide).
- Credit Rebuild Card Calc - to help build your credit score (guide).
- Money Transfers Eligibility Calc - for paying cash into your bank account, eg, to clear overdrafts (guide).
- 0% All-Rounder Card Calc - balance transfers AND spending (guide).
- Cashback Credit Card Calc - get paid when you spend (guide).
10 ways to boost your credit score. The eligibility calculators are designed to make best use of your current credit score. Yet buffing up your score can help you get better deals in future. Our 37 credit score tips go through 'em all, but here are 10 to get you going.

1) Check your credit report for errors. This is the most important action, as even small errors can hurt large. Get your totally free Experian Credit Report via our Credit Club. Even an old, active but unused mobile phone registered to your old address could cause a mortgage rejection.
2) Find out where you can improve your file. Also in our free Credit Club you can analyse your own creditworthiness via your Experian Credit Score, Affordability Score and Credit Hit Rate. Plus, check our 'what you need to improve' section.
3) Get on the electoral roll. Check if you're on it; if not, apply via Your Vote Matters.
4) Stability's good. Try to use the same details on all applications.
5) Time it right. Problems stay on your credit report for six years, applications for one. So if you can, wait until they've lapsed to apply - it should boost your chances.
6) Never miss or be late with payments. Use a direct debit to help.
7) Don't regularly withdraw cash on credit cards. It's expensive and evidence of poor money management, though the occasional withdrawal, eg, on hols, shouldn't hurt too much.
8) Don't let 'paid-for credit scores' overly worry you. Credit agencies flog 'em, but they're blunt tools. See Is Buying My Credit Score Worth It?
9) Payday loans can kill mortgage applications. Some mortgage providers simply won't lend to anyone with payday loans. See our Free First-Time Buyers' Mortgage Guide for full help on mortgage acceptance.
10) Deal with unfair defaults. Ask the firm that put them there to remove. If not, put a notice on your file and go to the Ombudsman. See Defaults Help.
In debt crisis? Get help. If you can't meet your minimum repayments or aren't sleeping due to worry, read our Debt Crisis Help guide or get one-on-one non-profit debt counselling from Citizens Advice, StepChange or National Debtline. These agencies are there to help, not judge.

The Martin Lewis Money Show
You can catch up with last night's LIVE holiday special on the ITV Hub

For more on what Martin covered, see:
Travel Insurance | Travel Money | Top Overseas Credit Cards | Flight Cancellation Rights | New Mobile Roaming Rules

 
 
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.

 
 
 

Urgent. Shift your savings to 2% - but act quick

Most high-interest deals are for smaller amounts, but new rates help those with larger lump sums


Check your savings rate now. Many are languishing on ultra-low rates paying as little as 0.01%, with even the top easy-access accounts paying just 1.25%. So while you may wonder why we're raving about this 2% deal from app-based Atom Bank it'll likely boost the interest for many. ALL accounts here have full UK £85,000 savings safety protection.

  • SavingsNew. Top fixed-rate savings. If you're willing to lock money away, you can get a higher savings rate than the best easy-access deals. Atom Bank's launched four new table-topping fixed savings accounts - yet based on past experience we reckon they'll disappear soon. It's offering...
    - 2% fixed for 2yrs: A decent compromise between rate and lock-in length.
    - Top rates for other fixed lengths: 1.8% for 1yr, 2.2% for 3yrs and 2.4% for 5yrs.
    - You can save up to £100,000: Across all accounts (min £50/account), but only £85,000's protected.

    Remember, if (and it is an if) interest rates rise, these rates may not look as good, so locking in for too long limits your flexibility.

  • Earn more with 'sharia' fixes. Some sharia-compliant savings beat Atom's rate, yet as Islam bars interest, you get an 'expected profit rate'. Al Rayan Bank lets you save from £1,000 to £1 million at 2.02% for 1yr and 2.11% for 2yrs. They've always paid out what's expected, though by definition it's not certain. These accounts are available to anyone, not just Muslims. More info in Top fixed savings.

  • Earn up to 5% on smaller sums with a new current account. If you want easy access, current accounts pay the highest rates on small amounts. Yet while you don't have to switch to 'em, each month you'll usually need to have/pay out 2-3 direct debits, and pay in money (from £500-£1,000/mth depending on the account).

    Nationwide FlexDirect offers 5% AER interest FIXED for 1yr on up to £2,500 (1% AER variable after), while Tesco Bank offers at least 3% AER variable on up to £3,000 until Apr 2019, and you can open 2 of them. Santander 123* pays 1.5% AER variable on up to £20k, while its £5/mth fee is easily covered for most by up-to-3% bills cashback; if in a couple, you can have three between you. Full details and which to choose in Top Bank Accounts.

  • Under 40 and never owned a home? Get a 25% savings boost. If you're 18-39 and a first-time buyer, or hope to be, a Lifetime ISA's a no-brainer. For every £1,000 you save, you'll get a £250 bonus up to a max £1,000/yr. Buying within a year or 40+? Take a look at Help to Buy ISAs for a similar offering.

  • Wondering why we've not mentioned other ISAs? Since April 2016 the personal savings allowance means every basic-rate taxpayer can earn £1,000/yr in interest tax-free (£500 for higher 40% taxpayers). At 2% you'd need £50,000 saved before you paid tax, so for most the tax gain of ISAs is now irrelevant, and standard savings offer a higher rate. For more on this (and when ISAs win) see our Personal Savings Allowance guide.

 

River Island, Asos, Zara, M&S etc clothes £2. Get surplus stock from popular high street stores at an even bigger saving than usual. Del £4-£20, ends Sun. Everything5pounds.com


Heatwave help
See our top tips to beat the heat incl:

£1 sun cream - factors 15-50.
Don't overpay during this heatwave - get protected for less. See sun cream tricks. Plus turn your sun lotion around to see if it's still OK.
Do you have a right to free water in restaurants? Know your tap water rights.
Cheap electric fans from £8. We've rounded up the bargains to make staying cool a breeze, incl 12-inch desk fan £11, 16-inch pedestal fan £16. See all fan-tastic deals.


Ends Mon. FREE £130 bank switch + up to £10/mth + 3% interest. Switchers to TSB's Classic Plus* get £130 (only via our link) if they apply by 4pm on Mon. Plus, until Jun 2018 you'll get £5/mth if you pay out 2 direct debits + £5 every mth you make 20+ debit card payments. It also gives 3% AER variable interest on up to £1,500. To get it all, pay in £500+/mth, switch 2+ active direct debits by Fri 14 Jul, register for online banking & go paperless. Important: Allow cookies in your browser or the offer mightn't track. Full info & options: Best Bank Accounts.


Two pairs of prescription sunnies or specs for £17. MSE Blagged. Via code until Mon. Incl lenses. Tints alone usually cost £10, so this is a spec-tacular deal.


300,000 water-saving FREEBIES - eg, £20 shower heads, £2 Save-A-Flush bags. £1m of gadgets up for grabs, avail in most of Eng/Wal. Water-save


100+ supermarket coupons worth £100+ incl £1 off pizza, £1 off ice cream & FREE baby wipes. Get June's coupons before they run out. 100+ coupons

 

BLAGGED FOR MSE

- Two pairs of prescription sunnies or specs £17 Ends Mon

- 10% off Poundshop.com code Ends Mon

- Virgin Wines 12-bottle case £56 (norm £130) 2,000 avail

- Scholastic codes: 10 kids' books for £10, £5 off £30 Ends Mon

DID YOU MISS?

- Grab freebies for testing products

- Should you buy dollars/euros now?

- 'Living near a Nando's nearly cost me my mortgage'

- Hidden bottom-shelf supermarket bargains

- Now 5 banks offer over £100 to switch

 
 

Holiday car hire from £12 a day, IF you book NOW

Sort in advance & save £££s compared to on-the-day prices, plus avoid paying a small fortune on insurance


A week's holiday car hire, done well and IN ADVANCE, can cost less than a taxi to and from the airport. Do it wrong and you'll pay Rolls-Royce prices for even the cheapest wheels. So if you need a car this summer - sort it now. Full help in Cheap Car Hire, here's the short cut...

  • Car hire Book NOW to slash costs (and ensure availability). Prices usually rise as you near departure. Eg, walking in during the summer hols we've heard of prices of £40+/day, and that's assuming they've any cars left. But book now for mid-Aug and we've found an economy car in Malaga for £13/day or Tenerife £12/day. To find your winner at speed use comparison sites - try Skyscanner* and TravelSupermarket* for breadth, then Carrentals* and Kayak*.

    MoneySaver Andrew told us: "Originally booked in Jan for the end of this month, got it down to £290. Now it would be £623."

  • Get up to 25% off excess insurance cover. Car hire firms give you the hard sell on excess insurance and try to scare you, claiming without it an accident could cost £1,000+ extra, even for a scratch. Yet you don't need to buy from them. Standalone cover can be £2/day in advance so you can save big, although the car hire firm will likely want a £500+ credit (not debit) card deposit - see Insurance help.

    First compare via Moneymaxim*, then check against these discounts (policies and limits vary by company):
    - Leisure Guard * - 20% off code MSE20
    - Reduce My Excess* - 20% off code MSE03
    - Eversure* - 15% off code EE0117MSE
    - Questor* - 25% off code MSE2097
    - Direct Car Excess* - 20% off code MSE2101

  • Quick tips to drive down hire costs further: Put the handbrake on your spending with these extra tips...
    - Don't hire a sat-nav, turn your smartphone into one for free. If it's got GPS, it's a free sat-nav for 196 countries.
    - Beware fuel policy stealth charges. 'Pick up full, return empty' fuel policies can add £80+. See Beat fuel charge.
    - You need a DVLA hire code. Even though most overseas firms don't ask, see how to get a DVLA code.
    - Book via a foreign website to save. If you're dead set on a specific hire firm, try booking via its overseas site.
    - Slash child-seat costs. Some charge £5+/day, but there are ways to cut child-seat costs.

 

Special pound-shop code gets 10% off - incl 80 Yorkshire Tea bags, Bold detergent, Fairy liquid & more. MSE Blagged. Everything at this online pound shop's normally, er, £1, but our code makes it 90p. £5 del so good for a bulk buy. Ends Mon. Poundshop.com


5GB (4G) data, unltd mins & texts Sim £10/mth. MSE Blagged. This super-cheap Sim-only deal from BT-owned Plusnet* (which uses EE's network) is open to new custs (and existing ones if they call). It's currently the hottest at this usage level, and a 30-day rolling contract ensures you're not tied in for long. Full info & more options in Sim top picks.


Free outdoor gyms - save £100s a year on gym membership. Count the pounds while shedding the pounds in the great outdoors. Find your nearest outdoor gym.


Driving to France this summer? Order an emissions sticker NOW to avoid a £50+ fine. Takes up to 30 days to arrive. How to get one and why


Virgin Wines 12-bottle mixed case £56 (norm £130). MSE Blagged. Newbies only. Incl red, white & prosecco. Virgin Wines. Pls be Drinkaware.


'I had to pay for childcare twice'. Joint MSE-Netmums survey reveals widespread problems with the Govt childcare site, leaving parents out of pocket. Full info & what to do in childcare website help.

 

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AT A GLANCE BEST BUYS
 

'I won my £10k wedding comping on the MSE Forum'

MoneySavers are winning BIG in record numbers by getting creative and turbo-charging competition entries


Competitions often sound too good to be true - promising cars, luxury holidays and gadgets worth £1,000s. But our forumites have won all these prizes and more. Last month a whopping 11 holidays were won via the forum's Comping board, while LaurainLondon won her life-changing wedding: "It was an incredible prize - we'd still just be engaged if it wasn't for this forum." The key is to systematically enter as many as possible - we've full help in 40+ Comping Tips, here are five to get you started...

  1. Comping Turbo-charge your entries. Enter as many competitions as possible by using an auto form-filler, speedily opening multiple links and customising your keyboard.

  2. Creative comping boosts your chances. Lots of people give up if there's extra effort involved, like penning a poem or snapping a photo. This means you've a better chance - use a witty tie-breaker generator to help.

  3. Snap up prizes on social media. Loads of competitions can be found on Facebook and Twitter, but it's worth searching Instagram and Pinterest too, as forumites reckon these get fewer entries.

  4. Dodge the inevitable spam. Companies set up competitions to get your email, number etc. See how to avoid overloading your inbox/phone.

  5. Join the MSE comping team. Our forumites are on a roll, so join 'em. On the Competitions board you can tick off each competition you enter, plus help other forumites spot contests, offer tips and cheer when fellow compers win.

 

Scholastic codes: 10 kids' books for £10, or £5 off £30 spend. MSE Blagged. Take your pick (or use both together). Plus 20% of what you spend can be donated to a school of your choice. Ends Mon. Scholastic codes


SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Never claimed anything before but this week received a £4,697 PPI refund. It'll make such a difference - my husband has had a triple bypass and I'm at the end of my savings. Many thanks."


FREE £10ish burger at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. If you're one of the first 50 at your local restaurant on Monday and quote a special phrase. Free GBK burger

 

THIS WEEK'S POLL

What type of accommodation do you normally stay in on holiday? Summer's here so many people will be off on their holidays. Whether you're staycationing or heading to far-flung shores, what type of accommodation do you usually pick for your main holiday of the year? Have your say in our holiday poll.

One wishes one could drop these policies from one's speech. Last week's poll asked which Tory manifesto policies you'd like to see dropped from the Queen's Speech, which is due today. You'd most like to see the social care policy dropped (41% of you) although there was strong desire to see the free vote on repealing the fox-hunting scrapped too (38% of you). See full dropped policy poll results.

 

MONEYSAVING NEWS

- Top story: Calling Spain, Poland etc from your UK mobile? Weirdly it's cheaper outside the UK

- Green Deal relaunched under private ownership - how does it stack up?

- Admiral rapped by regulator over inaccurate auto-renewal letters

- Over 15,000 cash Lifetime ISAs opened

- Regulator denies payday loan cap will be lifted

 
 

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA

Should I ask my uncle to pay his debt? My father died in February. He'd lent his brother-in-law (my uncle) £560 on the understanding that my uncle would repay £50/month. My father wrote down the details of the loan, and told my brother and me in case anything should happen to him. Since my father’s death, not only has my uncle not mentioned the loan, he's been asking for things from the house clearance (which we haven't given him). Should we mention the loan to our uncle, or write it off? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I ask my uncle to pay his debt? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

THE QUICKIES
- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: We're debt-free
- Competitions thread of the week: Luxury Cornwall beach holiday
- Old-Style board thread of the week: Love food, hate waste
- Discussion of the week: Average savings for a 30-year-old?
 
 

DEALS HUNTERS' BLOG

- FREE outdoor gyms - could you save £100s a year on gym membership?

 
 

MARTIN'S APPEARANCES (WED 21 JUN ONWARD)

Thu 22 Jun - Good Morning Britain, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am
Fri 23 Jun - This Morning, ITV, Martin's Quick Deals, time TBC. View previous
Mon 26 Jun - This Morning, ITV, time TBC. View previous
Mon 26 Jun - BBC Radio 5 Live, Lunch Money Martin, noon. Subscribe to podcast

MSE TEAM APPEARANCES (MOST SUBJECTS TBC)

Wed 21 Jun - Facebook Live Q&A on consumer rights, 1pm
Wed 21 Jun - BBC Radio Cumbria, 'Money Talks', from 6pm
Thu 22 Jun - BBC Radio Tees, 10.35am
Fri 23 Jun
- BBC South West stations, breakfast
Tue 27 Jun - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 2.20pm

 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Q: I wrote some Christmas cheques to relatives from my Smile bank account, some of which have not yet been cashed. I'm now looking to switch bank accounts - would those cheques still be honoured from my new account, or would they bounce? James, via email.

Megan FrenchMSE Karl's A: The simple answer is yes, the cheques would still be honoured. That assumes you use the seven-day Current Account Switch Service (CASS) and you have the funds in your new account.

Under CASS, old cheques will be automatically redirected to come from your new account (even if they have your old account details). The same applies to payments coming out of your account, eg, utility bill direct debits, and going in, eg, salary. The CASS guarantee applies for 36 months after switching.

There is however one thing to watch out for. While cheques don't have an expiry date as such, some banks may refuse to accept them after six months. If this happens, you may have to reissue them.

For more information on CASS and the best accounts to switch to (many pay a bonus of over £100), see our Best Bank Accounts guide.

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

 

If you can't stand the heat... try some things in the kitchen

That's it for this week but before we go... as most of the UK swelters its way through the heatwave, our users have been discussing the best MoneySaving ways to keep cool. Inventive ideas include putting your duvet in the freezer, converting a hot water bottle into a 'cold water' bottle and placing ice cubes in front of a fan for instant homemade air-con. See more ideas and add your own to our tweet: 'MoneySaving ways to beat the heat'.

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

 
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