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Weekly Email
This email was sent
01st Jul 2015
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email

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."

01 July 2015

This week

Earn £40 rebuilding your credit
Are solar panels worth it?
Holiday car hire code slashes cost
'Is the free EE power bar a con?'
Hi-Tec 50% off, eg, £17 trainers
Debt shift: 32mths 0% low 1.69% fee
Urgent: Virgin Trains summer sale
£1 sun cream (get it while it's hot)
Get 2x£1 kids' Eurostar tix with adult
Cheapest travel insurance £6
£1 Boots meal deal
Sales: Ted Baker 50%, FCUK 60%, Office 60%, New Look 60%
Wimbledeals: £12 Pimm's & more
Greece troubles holiday FAQ
Ciaté gel nail kit £30, incl £29 polish
0800 now free from mobiles
'Free' £10 spend via cashback site
'We reclaimed £500 via chargeback'
Free £8 Northern Home Show tix
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs
Tell EU peer-to-peer lending view

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

Buy cheap stolen goods - plus other life hacks
Fifteen weird, wonderful, powerful (and of course legal) ways to save

A month ago, we brought you 15 top life hacks (or in old language 'fun tips'), in a contest to see which would be most popular. Now we've a host of new ones to throw in there too. As we're measuring popularity by who clicks to the guide, we won't overburden you with the details here. Let the battle commence...

1. Life hacksPssst. Wanna buy stolen goods on the cheap? Fancy a new bike or bit of bling? Don't worry, even the police are in on it. Everything is explained in Buy stolen goods.
2. Warning: Don't use PayPal to pay on a credit card. It scuppers valuable extra protection for items over £100. For full info, read my PayPal Warning (and I've added info on debit cards too). It's worth knowing.
3. '£67 of shopping for 11p'. Source, gain & hoard 100s of product and store coupons, then combine them for huge discounts on groceries and more. Purple Sarah says: "Got £67 of shopping for 11p after store offers, coupons & my employee discount (but it's totally doable just with coupons)." Few will reach such heights, but many can cut costs with our 20 extreme couponing tips.
4. Turn your smartphone into a free sat-nav. If it's got GPS, convert it into a free sat-nav for the UK and 27 other countries. If you're going overseas, download maps before you go to avoid pricey data costs.
5. Are you due the new marriage allowance? If you're married or in a civil partnership, it could be worth up to £212/yr to you. See Do you qualify? Ben tweeted after reading it: "Good news, I've had confirmation that my marriage allowance has come through from my wife's tax code."
6. Free upgrade to Windows 10. Got Windows 7 or 8.1? Register now for the free upgrade. And if you're wondering what happened to the missing Windows 9? Rumours are 7, 8, 9 (say it out loud).
7. Wear/wore a uniform for work? Are you due a tax rebate? If you wash it yourself you may be due a uniform tax rebate for up to four years. As Pete tweeted: "Just got almost £120 rebate for uniform cleaning from HMRC."
8. Get savings interest tax-free NOW if you earn under £15,600. From April 2016, basic-rate taxpayers will be able to earn £1,000 of savings interest tax-free (higher rate £500). Yet for some on lower incomes, a new tax-free savings allowance already started this April. See Save tax-free 2015.

Now, those are the new ones - here are the winners from last time, showing how well read each was in the five days after we sent the last life hacks email...

9. Watch TV and (legally) don't pay the licence fee. (119,000 reads in five days after the last life hacks email). For full info, see Do I qualify?
10. Reverse Sky TV's price hikes. (103,000 reads). Prices went up by £54 in June, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to fork out more - our How to beat Sky price hikes story takes you through it. Karen tweeted: "Rang Sky after seeing the success from the advice on your site, just saved £160." And it's not just Sky - see How to beat the BT Sport price rise.
11. Free £48/yr for Barclays customers. (91,000 reads). If you already have an account, there's an easy way to bag the cash. See Free £48 from Barclays.
12. Beware smileys in texts - they could cost hundreds. (66,000 reads). With some mobiles beware a £200+ emoji bill.
13. Zara shopper? The must-know summer trick. (66,000 reads). To get serious discounts, read Martin's Zara on the cheap tricks.
14. Reclaim lost Tesco points. (63,000 reads). Check if you've lost or forgotten Clubcard points with our Reclaim Tesco Points guide. Diane checked and found some from August 2014. "Just been on Tesco site to check my vouchers - £72 outstanding. Many thanks, that's bliddy brill."
15. A YEAR'S 2for1 cinema for £3 by manipulating Meerkat Movies. (60,000 reads). The Meerkat Movies trick shows how to get a year's 2for1 pass for a few quid. Darcy tweeted: "Loving Meerkat Movies, £26.70 saved over 3 weeks."

PS: Do you have a life hack to share? We’d love your suggestions for MoneySaving life hacks, too. Email us at We’ll donate £50 to the charity of your choice for any new ones we use (for the first person who sends it).

Blagged for MoneySavers

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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: EU mobile roaming fees to be scrapped from June 2017
Large energy suppliers must include QR codes on bills to help switching
Plusnet tops our customer service poll, AOL & EE take wooden spoon
Ofgem wants fees scrapped for prepaid energy meters
Debt management firms giving poor and misleading advice, FCA finds
Spread the (MoneySaving) love.
If this email's ever helped you, please forward it to friends and suggest they get it via
Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 1 Jul 2015
New. EARN £40 (re)building your credit
If you've little or a poor credit history, the trick to showing you're a good credit citizen is a specialist credit card

Whether you want a mortgage or a contract mobile phone, credit ratings count. Last week, we gave you 15 credit boosting tips, explaining it's all about trying to predict future behaviour based on your past. So rejection's likely if your history makes you look a bad credit citizen. Yet equally, those who've never had credit get rejected due to a lack of data.

  • Rebuild your credit scoreThe solution is a credit (re)build card. Get a credit card and do around £50/mth of normal spending on it - never withdraw cash - then repay IN FULL each month (preferably by direct debit so you're never late) so there's no interest. After 6mths to a year, you'll look a better credit citizen. Of course, the catch-22 is, how do you get a card if you've a poor history? Specialist credit (re)build cards target this market...
  • New. Top (re)build credit cards. Most accept people with past CCJs/defaults and even old bankruptcies, but how old and how many varies. Our free credit rebuild Eligibility Calc shows your odds of acceptance for each. Unlike applying for a card, it doesn't leave a footprint lenders can see on your file, so you can home in on the right card and minimise applications. Here are the top new cardholder deals:

    - New. Earn £40: Spend & fully repay monthly and Barclaycard Initial* will credit your account with £10 every 3mths. In fact, to get the £10 you just need to either spend or be repaying an old balance each month, making at least the min repayment - however, that will mean you pay interest, so we prefer you stick to repaying in full.
    - £20 Amazon voucher: Aqua Advance* (via this link) sends you a £20 Amazon vch after 3mths if you pay on time.
    - 0.5% cashback: Aqua Reward* gives 0.5% cashback on all spending, which can add up over a year.
    - 3mths 0% spending: The Capital One Classic* via this link offers a rare poor-credit 3mth 0%, yet be careful borrowing; we'd suggest only using it for respite from overdraft charges/payday loans. See how in Cap One help.

    Fail to fully repay and all are a hideous 34.9% representative APR. Full info: Credit rebuild cards. (APR Examples)
  • The last resort: If you can't get a credit card, you can pay £5/mth to get the Cashplus Creditbuilder prepaid card.

'Is the free EE power bar a con'? Many have asked us that over this week, as the offer's been kicked on social media. While we've always told you it's technically a hire agreement, our Is EE power bar a con? FAQ answers your questions.

Hi-Tec 50% off incl sale code, eg £17 trainers. MSE Blagged. Extra discount on sale clothes & footwear. Hi-Tec

New. 32mth 0% debt shift, just a 1.69% fee. New Lloyds*/Bank of Scot* (Eligibility Calc) credit cards let accepted new cardholders shift debt to them for up to 32mths 0% for a fee of just 1.69% - a good halfway house between the Tesco* 18mth 0% NO-FEE deal and Barclaycard's* long up to 36mth 0% with a 2.39% fee. Never miss min repayments and clear the debt before the 0% ends or they jump to 18.9% rep APR (Tesco 20.6%). Best Balance Transfers. (APR Examples)

Ends Thu. Virgin Trains (west coast) summer ticket sale, eg, London-Manchester £20rtn. 1m tickets, book by Thu for travel 18 Jul - 27 Aug - includes first class. Full info: Virgin train sale.

£1 sun cream - factors 15-50. It's scorching outside. Cancer experts are warning you should wear sun cream in the UK, not just abroad, so see our £1 sun cream roundup incl experts' safety tips.

Are solar panels still worth it?
They cut your electricity bill and pay you for generating it too - but the amount you earn drops today...

Over 550,000 British roofs gleam with the reflection of solar panels. With savings interest so low, many have used them as an alternative place to stash cash, but the maths keeps changing. More in free or cheap solar panels, but in a flash...

  • Solar panels Is your roof south-facing? Photovoltaic solar panels generate electricity from the sun. For max efficiency, the roof you're putting them on should be predominantly south-facing, with little shade. For full tips, including whether you need planning permission and the impact on your home's value, see solar need-to-knows.
  • How you make money. There are two ways (savings figures from Energy Saving Trust):

    (a) You can use the electricity they generate, thus reducing your electricity bills - typically £100+/year saved.
    (b) You also get paid a 'feed-in tariff' for ALL the energy you generate (it works differently in NI) - even if you use it, in which case you get the double whammy of savings too - typically £500+/year.

    The feed-in rate dropped today (Wed) from 13.3p/kWh to 12.9p/kWh and may drop again from 1 Oct (in contrast, you pay 9-13p/kWh for elec you use). Yet crucially, once panels are installed, your rate is fixed for 20 years and rises with inflation, so signing up sooner pays more. Of course the key is how the amount earnt measures against the cost of panels, and while the feed-in rate has dropped, panel prices have plummeted too. Full analysis in Does buying solar panels add up?
  • Free solar panels. Here they fit them but keep the feed-in gain. See Free solar panels - are they worth it?

Get two £1 Eurostar Paris / Brussels kids' tickets per grown-up in August. Starts Thu. For every one-way ticket you buy, you can get up to two tickets for 4- to 11-year-olds for £1, so £2 return. Book 2-9 Jul. Full info: Eurostar

Cheapest travel insurance, £6 (for some). If you just want one-off cover, ProtectYB Economy* tends to win for under-45s, eg, 1wk Europe is £6ish (age dependent), £13ish families. If 45+ LeisureGuard Lite* & Holidaysafe* can undercut it, so check. Taking 2+ trips this year? Holidaysafe Lite* annual cover starts at £13 (£27 family) Europe and £23 (£46 family) world. Full options: Cheap Travel Insurance, Over-65s, Pre-Existing Conditions. All meet our minimum cover criteria.

£1 Boots meal deal for O2 users. Every Monday. Eg, sandwich, crisps & drink (norm £3.29+). See £1 meal deal.

SUMMER SALES SIZZLERS. They're pumping out discounts as hot as the weather, incl FCUK up to 60%, Ted Baker up to 50%, John Lewis up to 50%, New Look up to 60%, Office up to 60% & Urban Outfitters up to 75%. ALL High St Sales.

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*
Up to 36mths 0%, 2.39% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

No fee 0%: Tesco Bank*
18mths 0%, no fee

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

Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*, Aviva*
Admiral MultiCar*

M&S Bank* (£5k - £7.5k)
4.5% rep APR

M&S Bank* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.6% rep APR

NS&I 1.5% AER
Min £1, no bonus
Easy access. No transfers.

Coventry BS 2.4% AER
Min £1. Transfers allowed
Loophole: Fixed till May 2020

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

£12 Pimm's (was £20) | £1.39 strawberries. Wimbledeals. See how to net a hot bargain. Pls be Drinkaware.

Going to Greece? Full financial crisis FAQ. If you're worried about how to spend, see our Greek holidays help FAQ.

Ciaté gel nail kit £30 (norm £99) incl £29 polish. MSE Blagged. LED lamp, gel polish, cleanser & buffer. 1,500 avail

0800 numbers now free from mobiles, but 0845 & 0870 numbers can cost MORE. Huge changes came in for telecom prices today. See 0800s free from mobiles and 0845 & 0870 price hike warning for full info.

Special code slashes holiday car hire costs
Six overseas car hire tips could cut the price you pay from '£195 for a week to £79 including insurance'

Holiday car hire done wrong can cost a fortune, yet done right it can be cheaper to have a car for a week than to get a taxi from the airport. Our full Cheap Car Hire guide has tricks & tips and can save you large, as in this tweet we got: "Thank you. Just booked car hire, £79 for week incl insurance. Nearly booked yesterday for £195." Here are 6 of the best...

  1. Car hireBook ASAP. Prices usually rise weekly as you near your departure day. From £30 to £40 a day even for small cars isn't unheard of for walk-in midsummer (if they have any avail at all). Book right now & we've found Malaga for £7/day, Tenerife £9/day.
  2. Speedily find the cheapest, then get it cheaper. Combine comparison sites Kayak* (easy to filter the car you want) and TravelSupermarket* (adds some Kayak misses).
  3. Use special codes to try to cut costs further. Until Tue 7 Jul use the code QNN3A2PQ at huge broker HolidayAutos* (covers many hire firms) to get up to 11% off until 30 Sep. It can sometimes substantially undercut comparison sites.
  4. Beware fuel policy charges that can add £90+. Hire for over 3 days in Europe and some charge for a full tank and say, "return it empty". If you won't drive too far, the unused fuel can cost more than the hire. If this'll hit you, TravelSupermarket* and AutoEurope* let you filter hires by fuel policy. More in fuel policy tips.
  5. Slash excess insurance costs by 80%. Collect the car and you oft hear, "Hey, señor, you'll need excess insurance, too." They aim to get you to pay up to £25/day more by warning you'd shell out £100s if owt went wrong. Yet stand-alone excess policies can be £2/day. To find them: a) Do a Moneymaxim* comparison; b) Check Questor* with our 15% off code MSE2072; c) Check our 15% off Direct Car Excess Insurance*; d) If you get one of these policies, be prepared for hire firms to ask for a £500ish credit (not debit) card deposit. See Car hire insurance.
  6. Book via a foreign website. If you're dead-set on a specific car hire firm, then try booking via foreign websites - Mechelle tweeted us: "Just saved £440 on my hols car hire by booking with Avis France instead of Avis UK. Thanks." This isn't the only tweak that can save you cash - others incl, cheap child seat hire are in our 30+ Car Hire Tips.

'Free' £10 if you spend £10 cashback site deal. Quidco newbies, £10 bonus on £10 spend at Tesco, M&S, Argos & 1,000s of other retailers. See 'Free' £10 blog.

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"We bought a car from Carcraft - it's now gone bust. The £2,000 warranty is now void, but we paid a £500 deposit on a debit card. Thanks to your claiming chargeback help we decided to give chargeback a try - and got the £500 back."

3,000 FREE £8 Northern Home Show tix. This Fri-Sun at Manchester Central. Ends 11.59pm Thu. See free tix.

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

Compare, get £30 dual fuel cashback & alerts if your deal's no longer cheap. Go via the free MSE Cheap Energy Club Top Pick Fixes Comparison.

The savings can be huge. Someone with typical dual fuel usage on a big 6 standard tariff pays £1,155 a year, the cheapest deal's £870.

First Direct*
£100 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

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


Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*, Aviva*

Direct Save Telecom*
with weekend calls
£11/mth (pay a yr upfront)

Post Office*
with weekend calls
£12/mth (pay a yr upfront)

Do a Money Makeover Budget Planner MSE car sticker £13 Travel Insurance
Show Vouchers and Top Deals

Restaurant vouchers

Discounts & codes

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

Tell EU your views on peer-to-peer lending.
The European Commission is exploring crowdfunding and 'p2p' lending. Have you used it in the past? Would you invest or lend money in this way? Too unsure of the risks? Tell it your views in its quick online survey or have your say in the MSE forum.

Should I pay for food at a friend's party?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... A friend of mine is having a party, and he said he was going to provide some food for everyone. He's recently announced he'll be making his 'signature dish', but will be charging £7 a pop for the privilege. I feel it's a bit steep if he's not doing it for profit. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I pay for food at a friend's party? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

How to earn freebies via product testing
Product-testing schemes give you free products in return for providing your feedback. Forumites have grabbed everything from meat to E45 lotion and even electric toothbrushes. So we'd love to hear your top product testing sites, what you've grabbed and other top tips. Share yours/read others': Product Testing Past topics: View all

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances (from Wed 1 July onward)

Thu 2 Jul - GMB, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am.
Fri 3 Jul - This Morning, ITV, Martin's 90 Second Savers, 10.30am.
Mon 6 Jul - This Morning, ITV, Money Monday, 10.30am.

MSE team corner

Team blogs:
How to save money by reusing and recycling

Regular team appearances:

Thu 2 July
Share Radio, MSE Eesha and MSE Rebecca, 11.40am

Fri 3 July
BBC Radio Manchester, 4.50pm

Tue 7 July
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 2.15pm

Discussion of the week

Things you'd tell your 16-year-old self

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If you could go back, what three bits of advice would you give your 16-year-old self? Share your thoughts in the discussion on our forum.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 138.75 124.88
US Flag $ 155.31 139.77
Turkish Flag TL 407.00 357.47
Rates correct at 3pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: How much do you spend on alcohol each year?

There's a lot of talk about overindulging in booze in the UK and the effects on your health, but what about your wealth? Please add up all your drink spending, including in:

- Pubs/bars
- Supermarkets/off-licences for home consumption
- Restaurants as an accompaniment to food

If possible, look at bank statements for reference. If you're unsure, try working out what you spend in a typical month then x by 12, or in a typical week by 52.

Poll results

Do you travel with or without travel insurance?
We believe travel insurance is a must for holiday travel abroad, and 83% of those who've booked a trip abroad already have it sorted. To that we enthusiastically say 'well done'. Unsurprisingly, just 9% of you planning a holiday in the UK have purchased travel insurance specifically for that trip.

- 71% of under-30s going abroad have travel insurance sorted.
- 84% of 30-64s have a policy.
- 74% of over-65s have one.
6,973 voted. See the full results.

If you've booked and don't have a policy yet, take an urgent look at our Cheap Travel Insurance guide.

Question of the week

Q: I need to balance transfer but owe a lot on one card. What's the max amount I can transfer? Anna, via Twitter.

MSE Helen's A: This all depends on your credit limit, and unfortunately you don't know this until you apply and are accepted for a card. The better your credit history, the bigger the limit you'll get. Yet don't let this put you off, even if you have £10,000 owed and get a limit of £1,000 - if the interest rate is cheaper, you are still saving money on the £1,000 you shift across. Plus, you could always apply for a second balance transfer card and move more onto that.

However, do be careful making too many applications in a short space of time, as that can hit your creditworthiness. Use the balance transfer Eligibility Calculator to see which card gives you the best chance of acceptance.

It's worth noting that whatever card you go for, it'll usually limit you to transferring 95% of your total credit limit - so if they offer you £5,000, you'd only be able to transfer £4,750.

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

 Nick's free game of the week: Screamin Beans

Take the 'Are you hawk-eyed or blind as a bat' test

That's it for this week, but before we go, you might have seen this game doing the rounds lately. Have a go and test your eyes. The results range from bat to hawk. Because we care, we've included links to free eye tests if you're the former.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

Important. Please read how works

We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of this email and the site. We're a journalistic website, and aim to provide the best MoneySaving guides, tips, tools and techniques - but can't promise to be perfect, so do note you use the information at your own risk and we can't accept liability if things go wrong.

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).

  • We often link to other websites, but we can't be responsible for their content.

  • Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion.

Please read the Full Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, how this site is financed and Editorial Code. Martin Lewis is a registered trade mark belonging to Martin S Lewis.

More about MoneySavingExpert and Martin Lewis

What is

Founded in February 2003, it's now the UK's biggest consumer help website with more than 10 million people getting this email and about 13 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 over 80 full time staff, more than a third of whom are editorial – 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, Sunday Mirror 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, 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,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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 Limited on behalf of Group PLC. Financial Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 303190). The registered office address of both Group PLC and Financial Group Limited is MoneySupermarket House, St. David’s Park, Ewloe, Chester, CH5 3UZ.

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