British Gas up to 25% price hike. FIX NOW OR STICK
Urgent! Rumour the cheapest fix is likely to be pulled soon | EVERYONE check now
British Gas announced on Friday it'll hike prices an average 18% for gas and 16% for electricity on 18 August, hammering 9 million customers with a £190 avg rise. Dual fuel customers in some areas face worse rises of up to 25% (see British Gas hike news).
|A typical home's avg cost
|| per year
|Scottish Power standard (after rise)
|British Gas standard (after rise)
|Average standard (today)
|Cheapest fix (today)
|Cheapest online deal (today)
|estimated costs, varies by region
- EVERYONE check now, even if you're not with BG. This isn't just about BG or Scottish Power which has also announced rises. Energy companies are like sheep, so it's likely the others will follow soon. Check you're on the right tariff now.
- Fix NOW if you can't afford rises. A fix guarantees your rate won't rise for a set period, eg, two years. Millions on standard tariffs can typically save £150+ a year with the cheapest fixes, even before price hikes - and get added insurance against price rises. While online 'variable' deals are still cheaper now, just an 8% hike in prices, far less than predicted, would see them more expensive than fixes. Full 'fixing FAQ' in the Cheap Gas & Elec guide.
- Rumour! Cheapest fix likely to be pulled. We've heard one of the current cheap fix tariffs may be pulled any day. So if you're going to fix, speed is crucial (as this isn't about just fixing, but fixing cheaply).
- Speedily find your cheapest fix (and get cashback/wine). Plug your details into a comparison site and click the 'show only fixed tariffs' tab. Top Comparison: If it can switch you, Energyhelpline* pays £15 cashback per switch whether on gas, electricity or both. Dual Fuel: MoneySupermarket* pays £30 cash, Uswitch* a crate of wine, SimplySwitch* £40 cash (cashback only via these links not direct).
- If not fixing - STICK for now. If you don't want to or can't fix (eg, on pre-pay meter or super cheap variable tariff, so fixing's too costly) hold fire and wait until all the big suppliers have hiked prices to compare. Otherwise you could just be jumping from the frying pan into the fire by moving to a provider who then hikes prices even more.
Full tips, help and more cashback in the Updated Guide: Cheap Gas & Elec Related: Energy Efficiency Grants
Travelex 1-HOUR currency flash sales|
Urgent! Euros, dollars, Turkish lira & others included - perfect for airport pick-up
Summer holidays are nearly here, and giant currency bureau Travelex has tipped us off it's going to boost ONLINE rates in three flash sales this week. If you need currency, this could be a boon.
- Travelex 1-hr flash sales. You can order for delivery or airport pick up (useful as buy-at-airport rates are dire). We don't know what the exact rates will be, but in its similar sale last year Travelex hit the best-buys.
All barring $ or Ä: Wed 11am (inc Turkish lira, Croatian kuna) US dollars: Thur 11am euros: Fri 11am
Our TravelMoneyMax.com holiday money comparison will update with the promo rates during the sale time. Note, ALL bureaux de change are weakly regulated so you've little protection if they fail. Best practice is always minimise the time between paying and receiving the currency (more warnings in the tool).
- Beat this using specialist credit cards correctly. A few credit cards give PERFECT exchange rates when you spend on them anywhere worldwide, consistently undercutting bureaux de change. These are Halifax Clarity, Post Office*, Saga Platinum* (over 50s) and Santander Zero (in-branch). Yet you'll need to pass a credit check and should ALWAYS repay in full to minimise interest or pay a respective 12.9%, 16.9%, 11.9% or 18.9% representative APR. Full card-by-card comparison in Cheap Travel Money guide (Official APR Examples).
Rate boost on top prepaid card. Prepaid cards don't require a credit score; you load cash, then spend what's there. FairFX* usually costs £10, but is free via this MoneySup link. It's our usual top pick as it only charges for cash withdrawals, but until 19 July is boosting the exchange rate by around 0.5% on its euro and US dollar cards for £200+ top ups (will show up as the "summer sale" rate) and adds an extra £5 for £500+ top ups. It's important to note if the bank (in this case Newcastle BS) the prepaid card is backed by goes bust, you've no protection.
Full info on all these cards in the Guide: Cheap Travel Money Related: £15/year Travel Insurance
ALL NEW 5% cashback credit card - earn £100s
Best new cashback card for years | Pays 5% for three months and it's a Mastercard
For years Amex Platinum's stood as cashback card King; finally a pretender's gunning for its throne. Cashback cards pay you every time you spend, hoping that'll be more than offset by their interest charges. Yet always set up a direct debit to repay IN FULL each month, so there's no interest and you're quids in. All cards require you to pass credit checks.
- New! 5% cashback for 3mths. The Capital One* World Mastercard gives new cardholders 5% intro cashback for 3mths (max £100 within that time); a boon for big, planned purchases, eg, new furniture. After that, it pays decent tiered rates (0.5% up to £6k spending a year, 1% on £6k-£10k, 1.25% on £10k+). Fail to fully repay and it's 19.9% representative APR. Who can get one? You need a strong credit history, crucially must be a homeowner & earn £20,000+.
- Amex's 5% + £15 bonus, but fewer retailers take it. Amex Platinum* also gives new cardholders, incl those who cancelled it a while ago, a 5% 3mth promo deal (max £100 at 5%). But its tiers after are slightly better (1.25% on all spending over £7,500). Also, apply by 18 July via the link above for an extra £15 bonus. Yet not everyone accepts Amex. Who can get one? You need a decent credit history and £30,000+ household income. Fail to fully repay & it's 19.9% rep APR.
- Long term 1.5% petrol AND supermarket. If you drive, this is a cracker: MBNA Amex* pays 1.5% cashback on petrol & supermarket spending, 0.75% on everything else (repay in full or it's 18.9% rep APR). Who can get one? You need a decent credit history but there's no set minimum income.
Full help, how much you can earn and best-buy rundown in the Updated Guide: Cashback Credit Cards Related: Credit Card Freebies, Airline Credit Cards