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Weekly Email
This email was sent
03rd Feb 2016
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 This info may be out of date.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."

03 February 2016
Martin's Briefing: MSE Big Energy Switch Event 4
Blockbuster bank switch: FREE £100 + £5/mth + 2x5% savings. Ends Mon
Cheap Valentine's, incl 12 roses £20
'Saved £900 on my home insurance'
FREE Ideal Home tix
Knickers coming down... 90p pants
Prepay energy user? £12 rebate
£10 specs code
Biggest change to savings for a generation
£135 of Ciaté nail polish £29
'I flew home from Sheffield via Berlin to save on rail fare'
Free Hotel Chocolat 50g slab
Three bills hike warning
£53 steak bundle £30

Martin's Weekly Briefing: For more tips, alerts & puns, follow Martin on Twitter

New. The MSE Big Energy Switch Event 4

British Gas £345/yr saving (existing custs too)

- We've negotiated CHEAPER THAN THE CHEAPEST gas & elec
- Choose from short or long fix, elec-only or 100% green

While E.on, SSE & now Scottish Power have announced price cuts to their standard tariffs, these are trivial, leaving most still overpaying £300/yr+. It only takes 5 mins to slash the amount you pay for gas & electricity, then it's switched over in just 17 days - perfect for lowering bills this winter.

Today, to take it up a notch, we're launching our 4th MSE collective switch, where a trusted intermediary (eg, a council or us) gets firms to bid to provide special deals not available direct. Our huge 11m email recipients & 1.9m Cheap Energy Club members mean ours smash even the market's cheapest for most. Here are tweets from our last one...

Chris: "Just switched gas & electricity with @MartinSLewis' Cheap Energy Club and saved over £460/year. Thanks for the tip."

Smiffy: "Got quote on other sites, came here, saved an extra £397/yr. Ta."

Are you eligible for Big Switch 4? Ofgem rules now mean we need to pre-register people for collective switches (not in Northern Ireland). You need to have been on the distribution list for this email or our Cheap Energy Club before 1 Feb.

How do I check if I can get it? Use our Can I get the collective? checker. Or for speed go straight to the Cheap Energy Club comparison and if you can get the collective it'll be in your results.

What if I'm not eligible? You can still save large (just not quite as much) - there's no point waiting, every day of overpaying costs. Many can still save £100s, so use our Top Picks Comparison to see what you can get.

I'm eligible - can I change my email? First use the registered email and click to switch with the collective, then when signing up with the energy firm you can give it a different email (if you want, return after switching and change your registered email with the Cheap Energy Club).
Winner 1: Cheapest dual fuel. 100,000 special British Gas £345/yr cheaper tariff. It's not often the UK's largest supplier competes on price, but this MSE British Gas 12-month tariff saves someone with typical bills on a big 6 standard tariff £345/yr. And yes, EXISTING BRITISH GAS CUSTOMERS CAN GET IT TOO (as can Sainsbury's Energy customers). Key facts...

- You also get £30 dual fuel cashback from Cheap Energy Club.
- It's available for dual fuel (gas & elec together) incl Eco 7 dual fuel.
- It is capped at 100,000 switches. That's a lot, but to be safe go soon.
- You must opt to pay by monthly direct debit.
- Leave early and there's a £30 exit fee per fuel.
- As it's a fix, the rate (not cost, that depends on use) is fixed for 1yr.
- If you move home you can take it with you.
- Existing BG & Sainsbury's Energy custs can switch to it with no exit fee regardless of their tariff, and you get the £30 cashback.

How it compares for someone with typical usage
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct-debit use (varies by region)

Typical cost: Current average of big six standard tariffs: £1,089/yr
Typical cost: British Gas standard tariff: £1,075/yr
MSE Special: MSE BG fix: £744/yr + £30 cashback (exit fees £60)
Next cheapest fix: GB Energy 12mth fix: £765/yr - no exit fee

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You want the cheapest deal. 2) You're with BG & don't want to change firm. 3) You're OK to switch again in 12mths (if not see winner 2).

- Not for you if: 1) You only want electricity. 2) You want to be able to switch again penalty-free within the year.

- How's customer service? British Gas scored 38% 'great' and 28% 'poor' in our Nov 2015 poll - but as part of this collective we've arranged for it to provide boosted customer service resources for our switch.
Winner 2: Cheapest THREE-WINTER fix. Green Star - switch & forget. If you're not the type to play the market and just want a long-term cheap deal, the MSE Green Star 36mth fix is a corker, as once you get it the rate is locked in for 3 years from the date you're switched over.

- You also get £30 dual fuel cashback from Cheap Energy Club.
- It's available for dual fuel, gas-only & elec-only, incl Economy 7.
- You can opt to pay by monthly direct debit or costlier quarterly cash / cheque / direct debit.
- Leave early and there's a £25 exit fee per fuel.
- As it's a fix, the rate (not cost, that depends on use) is fixed for 3yrs.
- Existing custs can get it without paying an exit fee.
- If you move home you cannot take it with you.

How it compares for someone with typical usage
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct-debit use (varies by region)

Typical cost: Current average of big six standard tariffs: £1,089/yr
MSE Special: Green Star 36mth: £876/yr + £30 cashback (early exit £25/fuel)
Next cheapest 3yr fix: SSE 3yr fix: £1,068/yr - £25/fuel exit fee

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You don't usually switch & often forget, as do this now & you needn't act again until 2019. 2) You're worried about future price hikes & prefer to bag the certainty of a long-term cheap price.

- Not for you if: 1) You just want the cheapest price. 2) You want to be able to switch penalty-free. 3) You may move home soon.

- How's customer service? We only had limited feedback (45 votes) on Green Star in our Nov 2015 poll but what we had was good - 67% 'great' and 13% 'poor'. Green Star has featured in our previous Big Switch Events and we've had few reported problems, and we've set up boosted customer service.
Winner 3: Cheapest GREEN tariff. 1,000 Bulb 100% renewable tariff plus £12.50/fuel J Lewis vch. This is for those who want to do their bit for the environment and still save massively over standard tariffs. The winning bid, from a tariff that's generated 100% of its elec from renewable sources and a very rare 10% of its gas from biomethane, is the MSE Bulb 12mth fix.

- You also get £30 dual fuel cashback from Cheap Energy Club.
- It's capped at 1,000: reasonable for a green deal, but speed is safer.
- It's a very green tariff - see its full green credentials.
- It's available for dual fuel & electricity-only.
- Bulb sends a £12.50/fuel John Lewis vch 2mths after you switch.
- You must opt to pay by monthly direct debit.
- Leave early and there's a £5/fuel exit fee.
- As it's a fix, the rate (not cost, that depends on use) is fixed for 1yr.
- If you move home you can take the tariff with you.

How it compares for someone with typical usage
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct-debit use (varies by region)

Typical cost: Big six standard tariff: £1,089/yr
MSE Special: Bulb 12mth fix: £869/yr + £30 cashback (early exit £5/fuel)
Next cheapest 100% renewable: Ovo 12mth fix: £883/yr - no exit fees

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You want a competitive price but will pay a little more for green. 2) You're happy to switch again in a year.

- Not for you if: 1) You just want the cheapest price. 2) You want to be able to switch penalty-free (though the penalty is small). 3) You're with an independent gas transporter (IGT), as Bulb charges an extra £8.33/mth (£100/yr).

- How's customer service? Bulb is a small, new supplier, so we've no feedback on its service - however we have visited it, checked it can handle the traffic and set up boosted customer service for our switch. Hopefully all good.
Winner 4: Cheapest ELECTRICITY-ONLY tariff. E.on 12mth fix. Our winner is the MSE E.on 12mth fix, but we need to be straight as it won't always win. It's best at mid to low use especially when you factor in our cashback. Click the link and you'll get a comparison showing you - if it doesn't win, you'll likely be shown you still save elsewhere.

- Existing E.on customers can get it without paying an exit fee regardless of what elec tariff they're on, even if part of a dual fuel deal.
- You also get £15 switching cashback from Cheap Energy Club.
- Tick 'sign up to E.on points' during sign up & over 12mths you'll get 1,500 pts, convertible into 1,500 Tesco Clubcard pts or a £15 high st vch (eg, Argos).
- It works on electricity-only including Economy 7.
- You can opt to pay by monthly direct debit or costlier quarterly cash / cheque / direct debit.
- Leave early and there's a £30 exit fee.
- As it's a fix, the rate (not cost, that depends on use) is fixed for 1yr.

How it compares
Roughly based on the ELEC-ONLY usage of someone with oil/other heating

Typical cost: Big six standard tariff: £508/yr
MSE Special: E.on 12mth fix: £380/yr + £15 cashback (early exit fees £30)
Next cheapest fix: GB Energy 12mth fix: £380/yr - no cashback (no exit fee)

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You don't have gas. 2) You are happy to switch again in a year. 3) You shop at Tesco and collect Clubcard points.

- Not for you if: 1) You're an electricity-only user but have high usage - but then still click the link to do a full comparison. 2) You want to be able to switch penalty-free within the year.

- How's customer service? In our last customer service poll E.on did well, scoring 58% 'great' and 11% 'poor' from 688 votes. We've worked with E.on in our previous Big Switch Events, have boosted customer service resources for it, and found it good at dealing with issues.
Cheapest prepaid - SADLY no winner. We tried for a key or card tariff, but no supplier beat the market's best buys, so we wouldn't put our name to it. Yet use our Prepay Comparison to find your cheapest - many can save £120/year.

However, even on them you'll still be paying £300/yr more than the cheapest direct debit deal. See Can I switch to a standard meter?

The MSE Big Switch Event 4 FAQs
For more detailed answers see the full MSE collective FAQs

Q. I'm already with one of these providers (eg, BG). Can I still switch? Yes, plus you won't have to pay any exit fees & you still get our cashback.

Q. Will the collective tariffs always win? Mostly, not always. It depends where you live and your usage, which is why we do this via a comparison.

Q. My fix ends soon (incl MSE's Big Switch Event 2), can I do this? Yes, within 49 days of your fix ending THEY CAN'T CHARGE exit fees.

Q. How does Cheap Energy Club work? When you join, 3 things happen:

1) We show your exact price, saving & compare to ALL market tariffs. While our collective tariffs usually win, there can be regional & usage variations.
2) You get £30 dual fuel cashback (£15 elec-only). Any time we can switch you (collective switch or not) we give this, sent roughly 60-90 days later.
3) We monitor that it stays cheap. You set a 'trigger saving', eg, £150/yr, then we alert you if you can save this by switching again - perfect for fixes where cheap rates go quick. This takes the hassle out of energy tarting, where you constantly switch to get the cheapest rate.

Q. What do I need to switch? A bill - preferably your annual bill - would be good, and use kWh rather than cost if you can. But if you don't have that, estimate your usage (if you're moving home the comparison does it for you) and while the answer won't be perfect, it shouldn't be too far out.

Q. Does MSE make money from this? Yes. We're paid £60ish/dual fuel switch & give you £30 as cashback. After supplier costs we get £11 for costs & profit.

Q. I'm locked into a fix - should I switch? Possibly. Just do our comparison, which shows how much you'd save compared to your current fix & the price it jumps to after. Just ensure you factor in any exit fees.

Q. Who's responsible for these tariffs - MSE or the energy firm? The energy firm is, and you pay it. Yet we take our bit seriously and ask all providers to set up special customer help teams with max 48-hour response times. If something goes wrong, and it won't help, let us know and we'll try to help.

Q. If prices are dropping, should I wait? Standard price cuts are trivial compared with the savings possible here. If other cheap deals launch during our collective, they'll be shown in your comparison. Prices may continue to fall after, but switching now means saving now. Drops would need be huge to overcome that, and if they are, save now and pay the exit fees to switch then.

More quick FAQs:

Q. I'm in credit - will I get it back if I switch? Yes. See Reclaim credit.
Q. I'm in debt - can I switch? Yes, usually - see switching in debt help.
Q. Can I see the standing charge and kWh costs? They vary by region, so we display YOUR exact cost in the Cheap Energy Club comparison result.
Q. Can I switch if I've solar & FIT? Yes. See full solar & FIT info.
Q. Can I switch firm if I've a smart meter? You may lose some functionality.
Q. Do I keep my Warm Home Discount? It depends, see Warm Home info.
Q. Is there a credit check? BG and E.on yes (unless you're an existing customer), Green Star and Bulb no. See collective credit check info.
Q. Can I get paper bills? Yes (not Bulb) but you'll pay up to £15/yr more - see paper bills.
Q. Can I switch if with an independent gas transporter? Yes, see IGT help.
Q. Is paying by direct debit cheapest? Yes, but do regular meter readings.
Q. Can they put my price up on a cheap fix? The rate's fixed, but use more (or if it's estimated you will) & the direct debit can rise. See Fight Unfair Direct Debits.
Q. Can I switch if I'm renting? Yes. See our Renters' Factsheet.

Saved cash? Shout it from the rooftops.

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Ends Mon. Blockbuster bank switch: FREE £100 + £5/mth + 2x5% savings

One big deal ending, one launched. Only 2% switched last year - stop bitching, start switching

A bank price war is raging, yet while many complain about banks, few leave them. So stop bitching, start switching. Of those using the 7-day switching service launched in 2013 (they close your old account, move direct debits & standing orders and auto-forward payments to the new account) 82% tell us it's easy & hassle-free.

Full info in Best Bank Accounts; here are top picks. Most require a 'min monthly pay-in' - banks' way of getting your income paid in. Plus you'll need to use their switching service, pass a (not too harsh) credit check and usually have 2+ direct debits.

  • Ends Mon 4pm. Free £100, £5/mth cashback, 5% interest & 5% linked savings. Via this link, switchers to TSB's* Classic Plus get £100 (nowt direct). It gives 5% cashback on up to £100/mth contactless debit card spending (ie, max £5) till Dec, 5% interest on up to £2k, and access to 5% regular savings. Min pay-in: £500/mth. Customer service: 58% 'great'.

  • New. Free £150 + 2% interest. Clydesdale* / Yorkshire* banks' £150 switching bonus is back, and with their Current Account Direct you also earn 2% interest on up to £3k. Min pay-in: £1,000/mth. Service: 43% 'great'.

  • Free £150, 6% linked savings, 0% overdraft & no. 1 service. Via this link First Direct* gives switchers £150 (£125 direct). It has a £250 0% overdraft and 6% regular savings. Min pay-in: £1,000/mth. Service: 92% 'great'.

  • Free £100 M&S, 6% linked savings, 0% overdraft with no min pay-in (or £10/mth if you do). Switch to M&S Bank* and get a £100 M&S gift card, £100 0% overdraft and 6% linked regular savings, with no min pay-in. If you do pay in £1,000/mth, it adds £10 to the gift card each month for a year. Service: 67% 'great'.

  • Free £100 + £5/mth. Halifax* gives £5 each month you're in credit. Min pay-in £750/mth. Service: 66% 'great'.

  • Got savings? 3% interest. Santander 123* pays 3% AER on £3k-20k balances & up to 3% cashback on bills paid from it, which at least usually covers its £5/mth fee. Even if not, it's the best easy access when saving £9,000+ (for basic-rate taxpayers). Min pay-in £500/mth. Service: 81% 'great'. See Martin's Is Santander worth it?


20,000+ FREE £14 Ideal Home Show tickets. Ldn Olympia 18 Mar-3 Apr, see Martin's speech thang. Ideal Home

Knickers coming down... La Senza 90p. MSE Blagged. Liquidation stock (don't worry, they're unused) with original price tags online at (were £4-£5). Use our 10% off code on these, but £3 delivery, so bulk buy best. 90p La Senza

Prepay energy user? You're owed £12 - have you got it? 1.3m are missing out, clock's ticking. See £12 rebate.

£10 specs code (incl lenses & del). MSE Blagged. 'Designer' prescription glasses. Ltd stock. Spec-tacular

Biggest change to savings for a generation - ITV 8pm Fri. From April savings interest will be tax-free for most. It totally changes the logic of where you save - watch the Martin Lewis Money Show special 8pm Fri (repeat 4.30pm Sat). Watch last week's PPI & holidays show online.

Ciaté nail polish 'advent calendar' £29 (£135 bought separately). MSE Blagged. We know Xmas is long gone, but just see it as a way to buy discounted nail polish. 23 minis, 1 full-size polish, plus gel effect top & base coat. Ciaté



- £20 for 12 red roses & 'free' photo card Ends 9am Fri

- £135 Ciate nail polish £29 Ends Fri

- £30 steak bundle via code (norm £53) 2,000 avail

- 99p personalised card Ends Wed 10 Feb

- £2 6x4 small photo book code Ends Tue 1 Mar

- Red Letter Days 25% off adventure days Ends Sun 21 Feb

- Sanctuary Spa 50% off flash code Ends 9am Fri


- Get PAID to walk

- 2for1 Starbucks voucher

- Free 1-month Kids Pass

- Student grants 'scrapped' mythbuster




Romance is great. Over-commercialised peer pressure ain't. Don't be forced into spending to show your love, but if you want to, our aim's to ensure you get the best deals for less. THIS WEEK is usually the time deals are on - discounts run low next week as they know people will spend in desperation. See our full 2016 Valentine's Deals page, but for now...

Cheapest couriered red roses - £20 for 12. Plus 'free' photo card at Moonpig. Or £21 for 12 red roses at Debenhams, £22 at M&S. All Valentine's flowers.

99p personalised cards. MSE Blagged. Truprint photo card 99p. All cards.

£10 champagne. Louvel Fontaine Champagne. All bubbly deals. Pls be Drinkaware.

£8 small photo book £2 with code. MSE Blagged. Or £19 all-in for £79 large hardback. See photo deals.

Free Valentine's gift cheques. Promise something nice or naughty, eg, brekkie in bed, a candlelit bath, a lie-in while you mind the kids or even a massage. See Valentine's gift cheques.

Pay less for perfume/aftershave. Incl £25 Marc Jacobs 50ml, £30 Armani He 50ml. All cheap perfume.

Red Letter Days 25% off 'Adventure' code. MSE Blagged. Incl £29 catapult bungee (norm £39). Red Letter Days

Sanctuary Spa 50% off skincare FLASH code. MSE Blagged. Wed-Fri on selected products. Eg, £5 calming bath soak. See Sanctuary Spa.


See what the fuss is about. "MSE Jordon flew home via Berlin... CHEAPER than the train." The MSE Coupon Kid was everywhere last week - check out the updated Can the plane beat the train? blog & video that started it all.

FREE Hotel Chocolat. 50g slab free with O2 Priority app. Hotel Chocolat

Warning. Three's hiking bills for 100,000s - some to pay DOUBLE. Fight it. Beat Three's hike

£53 steak bundle £30 via code. MSE Blagged. All free-range, outdoor-reared, outdoor-bred UK meat, incl 2 flat iron steaks, 2 sirloin, 2 lamb rump, 2 pork loin & 2 gammon. Market Porter


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Eurostar £58 returns to Paris, Brussels, Lille & Calais. Norm £72+. Feb-Apr travel. Eurostar sale

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Last week I used your article on PPI reclaiming, filled in the online claim and a week later received a letter from Barclays awarding me £1,439. I'm over the moon. Much easier than expected."

Quick. £119 Merlin annual pass (Legoland, Thorpe Park, Alton T) to rise to £169. Unlimited visits to 32 attractions. If you're going to buy one, do it soon - price rises on 16 Feb. Merlin passes


'Ta, I saved £900 on my buildings & contents insurance'

Act NOW. Prices may rise for first time since 2013. Deals comparison sites miss incl bonus £75 M&S

The AA is predicting home insurance costs could rise for the first time in years - by 5%+ in 2016 if there's more severe weather. Don't auto-renew, you'll likely overpay. As John emailed: "Thanks MSE. I saved £900+ on buildings & contents. It's lost a longstanding client." Our Cheap Home Insurance system shows how, here are the 4 key foundations...

  1. COMBINE comparison sites to search 100s of insurers in minutes. Comparison sites don't search identical insurers, nor give identical prices, so combine them. Our current order's*, Gocompare*, Compare The Market, MoneySup* (see full comparison order and why). As Vicki emailed: "My renewal quote was £700+. Using comp sites got it to £188 with a better policy. Thanks."

  2. Check HOT deals comparisons miss, eg, bonus £75 M&S vch. Even after combining comparison sites, some special promos can be missed. We try to list these in our home insurance promos section. Here are the biggies (freebies/vouchers can take up to 120 days to arrive):

    - £75 M&S e-gift voucher with combined buildings & contents:
    Get via this MSE Blagged Together Mutual* link.
    - Fitbit Wristband (worth £60) with combined buildings & contents: Get via this MSE Blagged Direct Line* link.
    - £40 M&S food voucher with buildings, contents or combined: If you get cover direct from M&S*.
    - £50 Co-op food voucher with combined buildings & contents: With cover direct from Co-op*.

    Plus check biggy Aviva*, which like Direct Line* is not listed by comparison sites.

  3. Not beaten your renewal yet? The Post Office says it'll do it by £50. The Post Office says it'll beat renewals by up to £50 for like-for-like buildings, contents or combined cover, but its T&Cs are tight.

  4. Know the right amount to cover. a) BUILDINGS - usually only needed by freeholders. Many wrongly insure their home's value. Instead use a rebuild calc to see the cost of rebuilding if it were knocked down & cover that. b) CONTENTS - for all. Don't under-insure, thinking you'll never claim the full amount - if you cover £10k, have £20k of stuff & your £1,000 TV breaks, you may only get £500. Use a contents calc to check you're properly covered.


Tastecard £40 auto-renewal warning - don't get caught out. We've seen a string of complaints, with many charged for another year's unwanted membership. See what to watch for & how to cancel in Tastecard warning.

14 ways to slash flight, hotel, car hire & more costs. Plus bargain villas & airport parking. Holiday booking tips



Don't fret about your finances if you're a student. Next week is the National Association of Student Money Advisers' sixth Student Money Week. This year's theme is students, money and mental health. If you're a student with money or mental health worries, or in need of funding facts, first read our 20 student mythbusters and if you still need help get in touch with an adviser for info on the financial support you could be entitled to.


What are your tips for doing London on a budget? The capital's not a cheap city - we want your suggestions for London-specific MoneySaving tips. Whether it's free/cheap things to do or how to save on essentials or must-visits, we want to know. Share yours/read others': What are your tips for doing London on a budget? Past topics: View all


Is it acceptable to ask for wedding cash instead of gifts? If you were POLITELY asked for cash, not boxed gifts, at a wedding, what's closest to your view?

Last week, we discovered the cosmetic surgeries of choice for women are tummy tucks and eyelid surgery: for men it’s cosmetic dentistry. Among the 10,511 voters, women were far more likely than men to pay for cosmetic surgery - only 10% of women would never have anything, compared with 38% of men. See the full results.



- Top story: Scottish Power the third big six firm to cut gas prices - but switch to save more

- Sky Q prices revealed - but is it worth it?

- Sent money to the wrong bank account? Now it should be easier to get it back



'The Dream Retirement'. Giving health and lifestyle tips. 50 copies blagged for MoneySavers. Want one?


Should I buy my boyfriend a new jumper? He bought a new lambswool jumper recently, but when I washed it for him I got it all wrong and it shrunk - he'll never fit into it. Should I buy him a new one? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I buy my boyfriend a new jumper? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: Make £10 a day challenge
- Competitions thread of the week: Trip to Northern Ireland
- Old-Style board thread of the week: Lots more sneaky ways to save pennies
- Discussion of the week: Getting through January


Thu 4 Feb - Good Morning Britain, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am. Watch previous
Fri 5 Feb - This Morning, ITV, Martin's Quick Deals, from 10.30am. Watch previous
Fri 5 Feb - The Martin Lewis Money Show, ITV, 8pm. Watch previous
Mon 8 Feb - This Morning, ITV, Money Monday, from 10.30am. Watch previous
Mon 8 Feb - BBC Radio 5 Live, Lunch Money Martin, 12noon. Subscribe to podcast


Wed 3 Feb - BBC Radio Gloucester, 10.10am
Wed 3 Feb - Share Radio, 11.20am
Thu 4 Feb - BBC Radio Manchester, 3.30pm-4.30pm
Fri 5 Feb - BBC Radio 4, 12.15pm



Q: Can someone who has been bankrupt in the past get a bank account that pays interest or get money to switch? Lynne, via email.

MSE Rosie's A: Yes and no. It depends how long ago you were bankrupt. Certainly if you're an undischarged bankrupt - ie, you're still bankrupt -you'll find it very hard to get a bank account. But there are special Basic Bank Accounts that should be available to you.

Once you've been discharged from bankruptcy, it'll stay on your credit file for six years. During this time it can still be difficult to get accepted for a hot deal - the longer ago it was and the more you've rebuilt your credit file since, the better your chances (see Boost your credit score), but otherwise you'll be limited to basic accounts.

After six years when the bankruptcy has dropped off your file though, assuming all else is good and you've started to rehabilitate your credit meanwhile, it should get a lot easier to find yourself an interest or bonus-paying account.

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



That's it for this week, but before we go, forgive us, when we read this request for advice in the forum, we just couldn't help but want to share it... how long before it's acceptable to fart in front of your partner? Once asked it started a long-winded (sorry) debate at MSE Towers. Do let us know via the link where you stand on this scent-sitive issue.

We hope you save some money,
Martin & the MSE team

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