Bank Charges: OFT gives up the fight
It's depressing, disappointing but not a complete disaster. Hope remains under Consumer Credit Act
Yesterday the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) chucked in the bank charges towel; it thinks the shock Supreme Court technical defeat in Nov. made its chance of victory slim. Is all hope lost? No. Anyone in hardship may have a case. Plus the OFT was looking at one regulation, but having hired a top banking QC to investigate, we believe other rules apply. What other rules? The Consumer Credit Act (CCA) says the relationship between customer and lender must be fair and the banks must prove it is fair. The OFT looked at this and said while it can't take collective action, as the CCA's about individuals' relationships, that doesn't stop consumers doing it themselves. What next? Deciding the best tactic (and template letters needed) requires thought and advice. The Xmas break makes that tricky, so we're aiming to publish it the 3rd week of Jan. Chances of reclaiming? Don't plan on getting any money back, it's going to be tough, but do cross your fingers and hope! Updated Guide: Bank Charges MSE News: It isn't over yet
Jan sales on NOW! Up to 50% off Gap, Dorothy Perkins, Faith & Laura Ashley
Plus up to 50% off sales start soon at Debenhams, Matalan, House of Fraser & John Lewis
FULL list of all 'January' sales so you can plan bargain shopping in the massive Daily Deals List: Sales Diary
£18 DVD player, £10 champers, £25 goats & loads more!
Last minute bargain Xmas pressies - cheapest deals the high street has to offer
If you still need Christmas gift bargains, the high street's slashing prices and many online shops let you collect instore. This is a rundown of all the best last-second offline deals. Champagne: Bag £10 champers in store from Tesco & Asda or £13 at M&S. Gadgets galore: Plenty of instore bargains inc. a £18 DVD player, a £25 DAB radio from Asda, £80 Nintendo DS from Argos (£100 elsewhere) and an Xbox 360 for £110. Gift Vouchers: Get them instantly from Amazon, ASOS, Play, Hamleys & more. Plus magazine subscriptions, charity giving and tickets galore. Full info and more in the Deals Note: Last Ditch Gifts
Homebase 15% off, Benefit 15% off online & Waitrose deliver £10 off £90+
New shopping vouchers! Plus Oliver Bonas 20%, Coast 12% and Prezzybox £5 off £20
These and more in the full list of current vouchers & codes. Daily Deals List: Shopping Vouchers
Theatre & panto tickets deals: £10 each or 2for1s
Discount tickets for Wicked, The Nutcracker, Aladdin & more Jan/Feb. UK panto 2for1s Dec- Feb
Joins 1p morning bowling, Grand Designs Live 2for1 tickets and more in the Deals List: Cheap Days Out
£9.15/month phone line rental
Cheapest ever line rental - get line plus evening & weekend calls for £9.15/month (BT's £11.25)
Anyone whose phone provider is BT can slash the cost of line rental (the line doesn't change, just who bills). The cheapest: The already cheapest line rental provider has cut its costs further, via a special link through a comparison site. The Primus' Home Phone Saver* deal (this link takes you there), which includes free calls to UK landlines eve & wkds, is now just £9.15/mth - £25/year less than BT. Call mobiles over 40mins/month: The Post Office* offers £12/mth line rental that includes calls to mobiles at weekends, some international calls plus eve & wkd landline calls. Cut costs further: Unusually both providers let you use special supercheap override providers, where you dial a prefix number (like 18185) to cut the cost of calls, so you can get the cheapest of both worlds! Full info in the the Updated Guide: Cheap Home Phones Related: Cheap Broadband
Restaurant Vouchers to help avoid turkey leftovers
Pizza Hut Del. 50% off £40, Harvester £10 for 3 courses, GBK £11 starter main & mince pie
Christmas is never prime restaurant voucher time but there are still a few on the go. Daily Deals List: Restaurant Vouchers
MPs say 'credit applications are anti-shop around'
Powerful treasury committee investigated based on MSE's concerns and now wants an official probe
With most loans, you won't know the rate you get until you apply, but applying hits your score. We think this is out of order – and now a parliamentary committee agrees. See the MSE News story: MPs demand application probe Related: Credit Rating
Play your store cards right & win big discounts
20% off New Look, up to 15% off Topshop, 10% off Debenhams if you beat the devil's debt...
Store cards are the devil's debt, they tempt unwary shoppers with big 'first spend' discounts, then hit them with hideous 25% plus interest rates. Play & Pay: Sign up instore, spend on the card getting the discount but ensure you REPAY IN FULL at the month's end, so there's no interest and you win. Team up for more: Even better, go shopping with friends, one applies and pays for everyone's shopping (you all give that person the cash) to get the discount. Then next time you all shop together someone else applies. Full Discount List: Current store card intro deals include Debenhams 10%, Topshop/man 10% or 15%, Warehouse 20% etc. FULL details & credit score impact in the Updated Guide: Store Cards Related: Cashback Credit Cards, Credit Card Freebies, Credit Card Shuffle
10% off code for multi-appliance warranty
Multi-appliance deals (cover 3 things e.g. TV, sky box, fridge) are often the cheapest way to get warranties
It's with WarrantyCover* use the code RAOX108 but even this cheap policy will still be at least £100 a year - you may be better off uncovered and simply saving up in case repair is needed. See the Forum Note: 10% off multi-appliances
Free Old Style Tips Calendar
A MoneySaver's designed a clever Old Style calendar full of seasonal tips
Download and print a free copy of it in the forum note
Call abroad for 0.5p/min or speak for free online
If you've friends or family abroad, don't just pick up and dial - it'll cost a fortune
Calling overseas this Christmas can cost a fortune if you simply pick up the phone and dial, Virgin is £26/hour to call Spain, BT £10.30/hour to USA. Free online: If you AND the person called are online, talk for free eg via Skype*. Yet when it comes to calls to phones, don't believe the Skype hype - then you'll pay and it's often not the cheapest way. Free via phone: The fiddly JaJah web service lets you talk free to most European, North American & Australian landlines and some mobiles (you have to add some credit to start). Dirt cheap normal calls: Use your landline, dial a special prefix number and you can call most countries for 0.5p-5p/min. The CallChecker lists the cheapest. New to all this? Read the full Cheap Overseas Calls guide. Related: Home Phones
Track Santa as he delivers pressies worldwide. This cool site lets kids track Santa's whereabouts step-by-step. See the Forum Note: Track Santa
Free iTunes downloads (music, films, apps)
iTunes' daily freebie from 26 Dec til 6 Jan (no confirmation on what's available yet)
iTunes will offer a free song, vid, app, TV episode or film daily. See the Note: Free iTunes downloads Related: Free MP3 list
The MSE Christmas Quiz. Can you beat last year?
See how you compare to 60,000 other MoneySavers in this mini-festive quiz!
We write this e-mail each week, but how much of it actually goes in? If you missed it last year or want to try and beat your score - have a crack at our quick 10-question quiz on festive MoneySaving.Tease, test and tone your MoneySaving muscles. How will you rank? It's not just how many you get right, but how you do against other MoneySavers that counts! Over 60,000 have taken the test so far! Try it: Christmas Quiz Got more time on your hands? Then have a go at the full, 25 question MoneySaving IQ test. Related: The MoneySaving Game
Save £1,000 and get £20 of Tesco Clubcard points
Grab Tesco saving's extra points, but don't leave money in there long, at 0.75% the rate's very poor.
Put £1,000 in for 500 points worth £20 in Tesco Rewards, then withdraw it. Full details in the Updated Guide: Tesco loophole