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 This info may be out of date.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

03 June 2015

This week

Urgently beat car ins hike: 'I cut mine from £40/mth to £16 mid policy'
10 broadband speed boost tips
Save £1,000s on childcare before it's too late - major scheme ending
Warning: Don't use PayPal to pay with credit cards
Wang your welly and more as 300+ farms open their doors for free
3yr 0% balance trans for 2.49% fee
Free upgrade to Windows 10
Ralph Lauren flash up to 50% code
Free £13 My Little Pony doll trade-in
£18 Converse trainers
Hot Samsung S6 deal
6mths 0% for credit rejects ENDING
Free OK, NME, Grazia & more
12 bottles red wine + 2 glasses £66
'Free' £6ish selfie stick?
7m bank charge reclaim downloads
1,500 Kurt Geiger shoes £39 or less
Family festival incl Union J, 4 tix £25
Vote for AI Scheme (Sentinel) redress
'Ta, I won £150 from failed delivery'
The winning MoneySaving life hacks
MSE job opps - Assistant Editor
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Acts

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

Jetting off this summer? ACT NOW to save
Don't leave it till the week before, our holiday checklist can save you large, if you sort it now.
From car hire to currency, free sat-nav to sun cream

Don't let your holiday be ruined by overspending guilt. A few minutes of action now can save £100s, even if you're already booked and not going till August.


Book cheap car hire ASAP (and from Mon ensure you've a DVLA code). Book now & in some resorts it's under £10/day, but the longer you leave it, the costlier it gets. As Dave emailed us, "Booked 4mths in advance, paid £296 for 10 days. Before I went, checked and the price was £900. Glad I booked early." Full help in Cheap Car Hire, but at speed...

a) Use the top comparison sites. Try Kayak*, Carrentals* & Travelsup*.

b) Check stealth fuel charges.
Hire for 3+ days and some firms make you pay for a full tank & return it empty - if you won't drive far, that can be £100 extra. If that'll hit you, search by fuel policy to avoid it.

c) Get cheap excess insurance before you go.
When you pick up the car, the hire firm will push up to £20/day excess cover on top of the included insurance. Instead, get cheap excess insurance for as little as £2/day.

d) Ensure you've your DVLA code. From Mon 8 June, pick up a car in the UK or abroad & you may need to give the hire firm a DVLA code. So request one before you go. It only lasts 72hrs, so time it right - see DVLA code help.

EXTRA TIP: Free foreign sat-nav. Got a smartphone with GPS? Convert it into a free sat-nav for 28 countries. Just download maps before you go.
2. ultimate moneysaverPocket permanently unbeatable exchange rates in every country. The cheapest way to spend abroad is the Halifax Clarity* (eligibility calc) Mastercard credit card, provided you repay it IN FULL each month so there's no 18.9% rep APR. It can take a few weeks to arrive, so apply now.

It wins because, unlike most debit and credit cards, it doesn't add a 3% 'non-sterling transaction fee', so you get the same unbeatable 'Mastercard wholesale rate' the bank does. In other words, £100 of euros costs you £100. Doing it this way usually easily undercuts going to bureaux de change.

Other cards that don't add this fee incl Post Office* (Mastercard), Saga* (Visa) & Nationwide's Select* (Visa) - all decent if you've got them. Use our overseas Card Eligibility Calculator to see which you're most likely to get. Fail to repay them and they're 17.8%, 11.9% & 15.9% rep APRs.

Yet Halifax is our top pick, as Mastercard tends to beat Visa exchange rates (see Mastercard vs Visa), and it has no overseas ATM fee. Though like most other cards, even if you fully repay, you do pay a month's interest on cash withdrawals at c. £1.50 per £100. Cheap Travel Cards (APR Examples).
3. Slash airport parking costs 'from £115 to £40'. The earlier you book, the cheaper. The easy way is to use our discounted links to comparison sites incl APH 20% off* (Gatwick, Heathrow, Manch, Brum), Holiday Extras 10-30% off*, SkyParkSecure 13-25% off*, FHR 12-18% off* and Airparks 12% off*.

As forumite Bigdaddy1210 says: "Brilliant deal using your links for a 4-day break, costing just over £40 instead of £115." Tricks: Cheap Airport Parking

Are your EHIC, ESTA, passport & driving licence still valid?

- Going to Europe? Check your EHIC is still valid. 5.2m free European Health Insurance Cards expire this year. It gives you access to EU state-run GPs or hospitals at the same cost as a local. See our Renew EHIC for free guide.

- Is your passport valid for at least 6 months? If not, you may be refused entry to some countries. We heard one story of a family's 4-year-old girl being refused entry to Turkey as she'd less than 2mths left. See passport renewal.

- Heading Stateside? You'll usually need an ESTA. It costs $14 & lasts 2yrs. Do it at least 72 hours before you fly. Full help & legit site: Get an ESTA.

- Driving abroad? Check if you need an International Driving Permit.

WARNING: Get insurance as soon as you book - £13 for a YEAR's trips. Buying early doesn't cost more, yet many leave it till late. That's a nightmare. If you get an illness that lasts till you go away or a family death means you need to cancel, if your insurance wasn't in place at the time, you're not covered. Our Cheap Travel Insurance has full info and best buys, in short...

- Cheapest one-off policies from £6. PYB Economy* tends to be cheapest for under-45s (eg, from £6 for 1wk Europe, £13 families). If 45+ both LeisureGuard (Lite)* and HolidaySafe* can undercut it, so check them too.

- Cheapest annual policies (under-65s): If you travel at least twice in a year, an annual policy usually wins. Currently, HolidaySafe (Lite)* wins in most categories. Prices depend on age. Singles £13-£15 Europe, £23-£26 world. Families £27-£30 Europe, £46-£51 world. Full best buys, incl winter sport & our picks with a proven track record, in Annual Policies.

- Cheapest cover for over-65s & those with past medical problems. Full best buys: Over-65s Travel Insurance and Pre-Existing Conditions Cover.

All the policies above meet our minimum cover criteria.

6. Find the best foreign cash rates in seconds. If you want cash in your pocket, our TravelMoneyMax travel money comparison tool compares over 40 online bureaux to show which give the best rates. My guide on The pound's hit €1.40. Should I buy now? may also help.
7. Cheapest prepaid cards for spending abroad. Here there's no credit check. Just load it with cash before you go, then spend it abroad. Yet you're at the mercy of currency moves (for good or bad), as unlike with credit cards, you usually get the rate on the day you load, not when you spend.

Our top picks based on rates and fees are the FairFX euro* and FairFX dollar* cards, specifically via these links, where they're free (direct, they're £9.95 unless you load £200+), plus load £500+ and you get an £8 discount. More picks and info for other currencies in Cheap Prepaid Travel Cards.
8. Don't buy new sun cream. Open bottles can still be effective for up to two years. Check the Period After Opening (PAO) number on the bottle - it looks like a jar with a lid and has a number next to it (usually 12 or 24). For more clever tips, eg, grab the best plane seat, see 50+ Overseas Travel Tips.
9. Fight budget airline extras, incl Easyjet refund trick. If you're flying on a budget airline, expect added 'extras', including charges for airport check-in. Follow our 23 Budget Flight Tips checklist to push these costs down, eg:

- Booked on Easyjet? If the price has dropped, see Easyjet refund trick.
- Hand luggage can be bigger than you thought. See size limits.
- Wear your luggage. To reduce check-in bags, wear heavy coats, stuff underwear in pockets or even buy multi-pocket suitcase jackets.
- Always check in online & print your boarding pass. If not, some airlines charge large, eg, with Ryanair, it's £90/person per return flight.
- Security bans liquids, not food, so take a plane picnic.
- Baby on board? Budget airlines charge up to £80/rtn to take a tot under two on your lap, so compare infant fees first.
10. Bag cheap attraction tickets before you go. Paying on the door can be costly, especially for popular attractions such as theme parks, water parks or historical sites. So check discounted advance tickets. As MSE Paloma says: "I saved $50 on two-day passes to Six Flags theme park in LA by buying tickets in advance." This is especially powerful if you're going to see the big mouse - see our Cheap Disney Tickets guide.

PS: Not booked anywhere yet?
See our 27 Cheap Flight Tricks, our Cheap Hotels and our Cheap Package Holidays guides for full help.

Blagged for MoneySavers

Did you miss?

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: BT user? Check you're not paying to rent your home phone
Three U-turns on promise not to raise mobile prices mid-term
Limit rises to £50,000 on Premium Bonds
Call rates for 084, 087, 09 and 118 to be clearer, but prices vary wildly
Court ruling could open door for more PPI claims
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
Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 3 Jun 2015
'We challenged our car insurer mid-policy - it was £40/mth, now £16'
Warning: It's predicted car insurance prices are about to spiral up 10%. Urgently check if you can lock in cheaply
The AA is warning that car insurance prices are set to rise sharply in the second half of this year because of fraudulent claims. Predictions are of 10% increases, so it's worth checking now whether you can lock in a price before the surge.

  • car insurance price riseDon't wait till renewal. Unless you've claimed, for £50ish you can usually cancel & get a refund for the rest of the year (you won't earn the year's no-claims bonus). Check if you can cut costs switching, which also effectively locks today's price in for a year.

    As Andy tweeted: "You gave us the confidence to challenge our insurance mid-policy. It was £40/mth, now it's £16 - thanks. We didn't take no for an answer." - £288/yr saved.

  • 10 tips to find your cheapest car insurance. There's no one cheapest insurer. Instead, our full Cheap Car Insurance & Young Drivers' Insurance systems show how to home in your best. Here's a quick summary:

    1) Combine comparison sites. They don't all cover the same insurers, so combine them to get a wider spread at speed. We currently assess the top order as a) Google* b) Confused* c) MoneySup*. Full comparison order info.
    2) Check the insurers they miss. Biggies Aviva*, Direct Line* & Zurich aren't included by comparison sites.
    3) Check the offers they miss. Some current promo deals are missed by comparisons - via this Age UK Insurance* link, you get a £60 M&S voucher; this Co-op Insurance* link gives a Karcher pressure washer (worth c.£80). The voucher/washer should arrive within 120/90 days of the policy start date.
    4) Renewal within 2mths? Lock in quotes. Aviva* & LV* quotes last 60 days, so grab 'em to lock in prices in case they rise. Dimuthu says: "Thanks Martin, getting quotes a month early saved me nearly £200" Full early quotes list.
    5) Get multi-car discounts. See if Admiral MultiCar*, Churchill* & Direct Line* deals beat separate policies.
    6) Add a 2nd driver to cut costs. It may lower your risk average, especially for younger drivers adding a more experienced driver, as Emma did: "Thanks. Just saved £700 by adding a driver." See full adding 2nd driver info.
    7) Don't assume 3rd party's cheapest. The fact you select comprehensive may lower your risk profile. See 3rd party
    8) Be careful how you describe your job. Tweaking job descriptions can save cash. Use the Car Insurance Job Picker.
    9) Beware paying mthly. They're loaning you the upfront sum, usually at high APR. Paying by 0% card's oft cheaper.
    10) Still too costly? Consider a black box. They monitor your driving & give curfews. See cheapest black box policies.

Warning: Don't use PayPal to pay on a credit card. For why & full info read Martin's PayPal warning.

Free entry to 300+ farms - tractor rides & welly-wanging. Sun only. One day a year, farms open up and put races & events on, eg, lamb-feeding, pony rides. Great for kids. A few places charge. Open Farm Sunday

3 YEARS 0% balance transfer for just a 2.49% fee - deal extended. Accepted new Barclaycard* holders can shift debt to it for up to 36mths 0% (2.49% fee). The low fee was due to rise on Mon but has been extended. Two cards equal its 0%: Virgin Money's* 36mths 0% (2.5% fee) and Halifax's* up to 36mths 0% (2.9%). If you'll repay quicker, Tesco* is 18mth 0% NO FEE. With all, never miss min repayments and clear the debt before the 0% ends or they jump to 18.9% rep APR (Tesco 20.6%). Tool shows which you'll get: Eligibility calc shows your odds. See: Balance Transfers (APR Examples)

Free upgrade to Windows 10. You can register now if you've got Windows 7 or 8.1. Free Windows Upgrade

Ralph Lauren FLASH up to 50% code. MSE Blagged. Its up-to-50% sale is next week, but our code gives you access this Wed-Thu, so there's max stock. Eg, men's sweater for £55 (was £110) women's polo shirt £36 (was £52). R Lauren

Warning: Save £1,000s on childcare before it's too late
While the PM's touting more free hours for 3 & 4yr-olds, there's a hidden big change to urgently consider

This week, new plans were announced to give working parents in England with 3 or 4yr-olds 30 hrs/wk of free childcare. If made law, pilot schemes will start in Sep 2016 (though there's scepticism whether it's deliverable). Yet there are other, more urgent, big changes coming.childcare costs

  • Are you due childcare tax credits (avg payout £3,000)? Our rule of thumb is: "If you pay for childcare and work 16+hrs a week, or are a couple both working 16+hrs, and have total family income under £46,000, check if you're eligible." Note - we're not saying you ARE eligible, just that it's worth checking. Read Am I due childcare tax credits?
  • Does your employer offer childcare vouchers? Here you trade in pre-tax salary for vouchers to spend on childcare. Eg, to get £1,000 of vouchers, you forgo £1,000 of salary, but after basic-rate tax & NI that's only worth £700ish in your pay packet, so you're £300 up. Anyone can do this, even if their partner doesn't work, provided their employer offers it. See our Childcare Vouchers guide.
  • Childcare vouchers end in autumn UNLESS you sign up beforehand. And from then, 'Tax-Free Childcare' starts. Working parents - if a couple - both must work can put £80 in an account to pay for childcare and £20 is added (max addition £2,000/yr per child). See full Tax-Free Childcare info. At that point, the current childcare voucher scheme closes to new applicants. Each scheme has winners and losers, so you need to decide ASAP which is best for you. See our full analysis on childcare vouchers vs Tax-Free Childcare.
  • Free childcare for 3 & 4-year-olds. In England, for a min 38wks a year you’re entitled to 15hrs/wk of free childcare. From 2017 (earlier for some) this could double to 30 hours free per week. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you'll still get between around 10-15hrs/wk, but it varies by country. See free childcare info to see if you qualify.
  • Help looking after kids in school holidays. Many councils, schools & youth groups have subsidised summer clubs. Even if this is the only time you pay, you can still be eligible for tax credits or use vouchers. See summer help info.

Free £13ish My Little Pony doll trade-in. Sat only. 12,000 avail. Exchange any old doll for Equestria doll. Trade-in

ENDS 7AM THU: £18 Converse trainers delivered. Next cheapest £31. Limited £18 men's, £20 women's. Converse

Hot Samsung S6 deal with unltd mins, texts & 5GB of 4G data. MSE Blagged. Unless you're an existing EE mobile customer, use the code 'MSEBLAGGEDS6' until 30 Jun for a black*, white* or gold* 32GB Samsung S6 via Mobile Phones Direct and you get it for £30 upfront (norm £79) then £31.99/mth on a 24mth contract, so that's £798 for 2yrs all-in. This is the cheapest heavy users deal we've seen, though of course being an 'early adopter' is never MoneySaving. Full info Samsung S6 best buys.

Ends 10am Thu. 6mths 0% for credit rejects. Accepted new Barclaycard Initial* cardholders get 6mths 0% spending, then a big 34.9% rep APR after. It doesn't auto-reject even some with past defaults or a (settled) CCJ. Find out how likely you are to get it with our Eligibility Calc. Who's it good for? We're not suggesting you use it for borrowing, but used carefully it can give respite & savings from bank charges or payday loans. See how to use it for more. APR Examples

2mths free OK, NME, Gardeners' World, Grazia & 300+ other mags. MSE Blagged. Readly's an app letting you read 300+ mags (you can read offline too) for £10/mth; we've blagged 2mths free. Full info: 2mths mags for free

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%, 2.49% 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*

Zopa* (£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 2.3% AER
Min £1. No transfers
Loophole: Fixed till May 2020

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Laithwaite's Wine 12 bottles £66 (£92 sep) & 2 crystal wine glasses. MSE Blagged. Laithwaite's newbies only. 12 red wines & 2 Dartington Crystal wine glasses (worth £15). 500 avail. See Laithwaite's deal. Pls be Drinkaware.

'Free' £6ish selfie stick? To qualify, buy 500ml Coke/Diet Coke - 1m available (random pick). Full info at Coke deals.

We've hit 7 MILLION unfair bank charges reclaiming letter downloads. If you've had unfair charges & are in financial hardship, see if you qualify via Reclaim Bank Charges for free. Related: Reclaim package bank account fees

1,500 Kurt Geiger shoe styles £39 or less. Via its Shoeaholics web outlet, some were £110. Good stock. K Geiger

Family festival incl Union J, Mr Tumble, Peppa Pig at London's Hyde Park: 4 tix £25 (norm £50). MSE Blagged. On Sun 28 Jun, lots of acts, eg, BGT winners Collabro, Dick & Dom. 10,000 tix avail. British Summer Time

10 tips to boost your broadband speed
Paying for fast broadband doesn't always mean you'll get it. Ensuring your set-up is right can turbocharge speeds

Broadband speed rules rather pathetically state they can advertise "up to" speeds even if just 10% of customers get that. Yet it's not all about supply - our broadband speed tricks can press the accelerator. Here's a quick byte of key info:

staycation1. Check your REAL current speed? Use a free broadband speed test* to see what you're getting. Do it at different times in the day as some providers throttle speed at busy times.
2. Find what's possible in your street. The Streetstats* tool shows if you're as fast as the Joneses.
3. Retune to avoid interference: Other signals can mess up yours; see how to stop interference.
4. Spring-clean your PC. Update browsers & antivirus, stop auto-updates. Check settings.
5. Pay just £12/mth for b'band AND line rent. Many pay £30/mth all-in, so while boosting speed, look at cost too - £12/mth b'band & line is currently cheapest. See full b'band best buys.
6. Cheapest fast fibre-optic b'band AND line equiv £22/mth. Fibre speeds tend to be more consistent. The current cheapest is this Virgin equiv. £22/mth deal at 'up to 50Mb' (normal broadband's 'typically 5-15Mb') . See fibre best buys.
7. Don't hide your router away. Placement is very important, esp if you've thick walls. See max your router performance.
8. Go gadget with a wireless boost. Try a wireless booster to extend wi-fi signal to hard-to-reach areas.
9. Haggle for faster. If you're happy with your provider, at the end of your contract try haggling for faster and cheaper.
10. Speed not good enough - complain. The free Resolver* auto-complain tool drafts it & takes you through the process.

Show Best Buys

Only 3wks left to vote for AI Scheme (Sentinel) redress. Ensure you vote. Full help: Sentinel reclaim info

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Hi Martin, I got £150 from UPS after using your failed delivery template. Thanks very much."

Your MoneySaving life hack winner: Watch TV and (legally) don't pay the licence fee. Last week, we gave you 15 quirky tips to find the most popular. And the winners are: 1) Watch TV and (legally) not pay the licence fee with 118,900 views in 4 days; 2) Beat Sky TV's price hikes; and 3) Free £48 for Barclays customers. See full Top 15 Life Hacks.

MSE job opps - Assistant Editor. We're looking for an experienced journo/editor to join our London team. MSE Jobs

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

Discount vouchers & sales

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

Should I report a family member illegally claiming benefits?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I found out my uncle is claiming benefits he's not entitled to. He used to qualify, but the rules changed and he's still receiving payments despite no longer being eligible. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I report a family member illegally claiming benefits? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

The Great Hunt
Share your best money saving tips for a trip to New York
We want your top tips on how to visit the Big Apple without breaking the bank. We want to know the best places to stay, the cheapest eats, savvy ways to see those famed attractions and MoneySaving tips for getting around while you're there. Our forumites have already come up with heaps of ideas, but let us know your best ones. Share yours/read others': Everything & Anything New York City Past topics: View all

Airline: Easyjet Price: £29.99 Ends: 90,000 seats available
Our pick this week is Easyjet for £29.99 sale. There are 90,000 seats at this price. It includes some taxes & charges. It's for European flights from 1 Jun to 31 Aug from 19 UK airports to over 120 European destinations, one way per person, as long as two people fly on the same booking. To find a flight from £29.99, use the FlightChecker on a £30 single search. Extra charges warning: Avoid payment and check-in charges - see the Budget Airline Fee Fighting guide. Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance

Your shared-ownership property experiences
We asked for your experiences of shared ownership, where those who can't afford to purchase outright buy a share of a property and rent the remainder. Some MoneySavers were chuffed, saying it was their only chance to buy in London and worked out cheaper than renting. Others warned of dramatic rent increases or selling hassles.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the Week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances (from Wed 3 June onward)

Thu 4 Jun - Good Morning Britain, Deals, ITV, 7.40am. Watch previous
Thu 4 Jun - This Morning, Do It or Don't, ITV, 11am.
Thu 4 Jun - Watchdog, BBC1, 8pm.
Fri 5 Jun - This Morning, Martin's 90 Sec Savers, ITV, 11am. Watch previous
Fri 5 Jun - Ideal Home Show Manchester, 12 noon.

MSE team corner

Team blogs:
Supermarkets in the UK should be made to donate leftover food

Regular team appearances:

Fri 5 June
BBC Radio Manchester, 4.50pm

Tue 9 June
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 2.15pm

Discussion of the week

Bring home the bacon (and the beans)

Some of you recommend a rucksack. Others say a bike with panniers is the way to go. If you don't have enough local shops or a car, and delivery isn't an option, how do you get groceries from supermarket to home? Have your say in How do you food shop without a car?

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 137.11 123.39
US Flag $ 151.11 135.99
Turkish Flag TL 393.00 345.28
Rates correct at 2pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Should the UK remain a member of the European Union?

The Government has promised to hold a referendum before the end of 2017 on whether the UK should be part of the EU, and now the wording has been released. We wanted to test your reaction to the exact phrase.

Should the UK remain a member of the European Union?

Poll results

Where's the best place to haggle on the high street?

It seems there's a fear of haggling, as 67% of those polled have never tried. On the other hand, a hardy few managed to get a discount in Poundland - 19% of those who tried.

Of the rest:

- 62% got a discount at Carphone Warehouse
- 59% at Currys/PC World
- 54% at B&Q & John Lewis

2,518 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

My bank has wrongly put a black mark on my credit file saying I still owe money on a loan when it is in fact long paid off. How do I correct this? Frances, via email

MSE's Sam's A: This is all about following a process, first the easy way, then you get militant. There's help on this in our boost your credit score guide. Here are the three key steps:

1. Write to the bank to ask for the mark to be removed, telling it why it is unfair. Keep this formal, polite and to the point. Tell it you'll be taking it to the Financial Ombudsman if it isn't removed.
2. If your bank rejects or ignores your complaint, in the short term add a notice of correction to the credit file explaining the problem. Be concise and factual. The notice will slow applications down, as most companies will look at it manually. But as a substantial black mark is likely to stop you getting credit, that hardly matters.
3. Then escalate your complaint to the free Financial Ombudsman Service. It can adjudicate that the black mark is unfair and ask for all traces of it to be removed (and order recompense for damage if appropriate).

Keep in mind that the black mark could also be a simple clerical error by the credit reference agency. So it won't hurt to contact it just in case.
 Nick's free game of the week: Learn to Fly

If it's yellow, let it mellow

That's it for this week, but before we go, do you go to extremes to save a pound? Only flush when it's critical? Dry and reuse kitchen roll? Where's the line between MoneySaving and madness? Tell us your MoneySaving peccadillos in the forum.

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).

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  • 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 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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