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Weekly Email
This email was sent
05th Nov 2014
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 This info may be out of date.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."

05 November 2014

This week

Ends Fri: Huge energy savings - cheaper than cheapest deals
Flight delay compensation NEWS
Cheapest ever loan - 3.8% APR
Annual travel ins incl ski from £20
Supermarket Xmas savings loophole
£7.50 champagne trick
Free £15 winter car check
Free £125 in time for Christmas by switching to no. 1 rated bank acc
Free cookie at Millie's Cookies
£110 SensatioNail gift set £50
Starbucks 2for1 Xmas drinks
Shift card debt to 1yr 0% NO FEE
Hot Diamonds 40% jewellery code
Waitrose 50% off crackers for 1wk
Argos 3for2 on toys
Bare root rose plants x5 £13.50
50% off 48 posh hotels
Two pairs of specs for £23
Codes & sales: Laura Ashley 30%, Asos £10 off £80, F&F £10 off £50
Use any network's signal in the UK
"I won £150 in the free postcode lottery" - Success of the Week
24-hour currency flash sale
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs
Protect your vulnerable neighbours by keeping rogue traders at bay

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

URGENT: Ends Fri - The Big Winter Switch Event
We've negotiated cheaper than the cheapest energy

New PREPAY tariff joins our 3 market-leading deals. Save £100s in mins

A staggering 30,000 people have switched since we launched the event last week, collectively saving an estimated £5,000,000/yr on their bills (a few have saved £1,000+). The clock's now ticking. This chance to beat the market's cheapest gas and/or elec deals ENDS 5PM FRIDAY (10am Mon for prepay).

Our 10-day MSE Big Winter Switch Event is a collective switch - that's where a 'trusted intermediary' (such as a council or us) runs an auction for energy firms to provide special tariffs for its members. As we're so big, we're proud that unlike many collective switches our winners are cheaper for most than the best in the open market. Full details below, or watch my three-min video.

How to grab one of these tariffs: The collective switch rules mean you need to go via our free Cheap Energy Club. Fill in your details (it's better if you've got your bills to hand, but if not it can estimate) then it'll...

- Show your exact price for the tariffs and compare them to ALL tariffs on the market (unlike other comparisons we do this by default). This is important as while our tariffs are usually the market winner, there are regional variations, so it's worth double-checking (if it's not the winner we'll show you what is).

- Give £30 cashback - on dual fuel if you switch (£15 elec only). As we await official confirmation for suppliers this can take 90-150 days though.

- Monitor that it stays cheap. You set a 'trigger saving', eg, of £50/yr, then we monitor your rate and alert you when you can save that amount by switching again. This is great for fixed deals where cheap rates only last a year or two and takes the hassle out of being an energy tart.

Know someone overpaying? Spread the word to help cut energy bills.

New. MSE Big Winter Switch Event: PREPAY fix tariff. Most collective switches don't include those on key/card meters. Not ours. Our prepay winner is the British Gas MSE collective prepay fix (dual fuel only).

While not the very cheapest, you get a rate fixed (ie, no price hikes) until Mar 2016 - two winters, while the market's cheapest is only fixed for one. Plus BG's a 'fix and fall', so if standard rates fall your price'll fall too.

Also, 28 days after your supply goes live, you get a £120 Compliments gift card, useable at J Lewis, Argos, D'hams & more. And there's the usual £30 cashback via Energy Club.

How it compares
(avg price on typical use for dual fuel prepay user - can vary by region)

Winner: British Gas Mar 16. £1,265/yr + £120 gift card - £5/fuel exit fee
The cheapest: Ovo 12 mth fix (ie, Nov 15). £1,209/yr - £30/fuel exit fee
What most pay: On a big 6 energy firm standard prepay tariff: £1,260/yr

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving for it via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: You want surety of no price hikes & will use the gift card.
- Not for you if:
You want the pure cheapest price or no exit fees.

Customer service feedback for British Gas was 35% "great" and 29% "poor" in our Aug poll - a little below middling, but see below for how we're aiming to boost service from all our collective switch providers.

PS Join Citizens Advice's Fair Prepay campaign to push prepay users' rights.
MSE Big Winter Switch Event: The CHEAPEST tariff. Our winner's this E.on MSE collective 12mth fix for dual fuel, elec-only and Eco 7. For most people (select paperless billing) it's by far the cheapest tariff and you ensure the rate won't rise for a year. It also has far lower early exit fees than the next best deals.

PLUS you get £30 cashback via the Energy Club (£15/fuel) and it offers 1,500 E.on points, which can be converted to a £15 high st voucher or 1,500 Tesco Clubcard pts (worth up to £60 in rewards). Ensure you opt to receive this on the confirmation page.

How it compares
(avg price on typical use for dual fuel direct debit user - can vary by region)

Winner: E.on 12mth fix (ie, Nov 15). £950/yr - £5/fuel exit penalty
Next cheapest firm: Extra Energy fix till 31 Dec 15. £974/yr - £25/fuel exit fee
Typical cost: On a big 6 energy firm standard tariff: £1,180/yr

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE and saving for it via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: You just want the lowest price and don't mind moving tariffs regularly as it's only definitely cheap for a year.
- Not for you if: You're moving home within a year (it's not portable), or if you just want to get a cheap deal you can forget about for the longer term.

Customer service feedback for E.on: It's mid-way, with 43% of voters saying it's "great" and 17% "poor" in our Aug customer services poll.
MSE Big Winter Switch Event Cheapest LONG no-price-hikes guarantee. Our winner here's this Scottish Power MSE collective 3-yr fix. This long dual fuel or elec-only fix will save many people on standard tariffs money immediately and then promises no rate hikes for THREE WINTERS until Dec 2017. PLUS you get £30 cashback via the Energy Club (£15/fuel).

How it compares
(avg price on typical use for dual fuel direct debit user - can vary by region)

Winner: Scottish Power fix till 31 Dec 17. £1,099/yr - £30/fuel exit fee
Next cheapest: EDF Blue+ Price Freeeeze fix till 31 May 18. £1,209/yr - (fixed for longer but the closest comparison)
Typical cost: On a big 6 energy firm standard tariff: £1,180/yr

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE and saving for it via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: You just want to get a decent deal, which you can sort now, then have peace of mind not to worry about it for a few years.
- Not for you if: You're moving home soon (it's not portable).

Customer service feedback for Scottish Power: Only 18% of voters say it's "great" with 55% saying "poor" in our August poll. However, again it's agreed to provide special service arrangements for our switch.
MSE Big Winter Switch Event Cheapest GREEN tariff. Our winner's this Green Star MSE collective 12mth fix tariff, the cheapest tariff fitting Ofgem's proposed green criteria - incl carbon offsetting, renewable generation and more (see full info on how we picked the green tariff). And this is only £105/yr more than the cheapest non-green tariff (for typical users).

The tariff is available for dual fuel or elec only and prices won't rise for at least a year. PLUS you get £30 cashback via the Energy Club.

How it compares
(avg price on typical use for dual fuel direct debit user - can vary by region)

Winner: Green Star 1yr fix. £1,055/yr - £30/fuel exit penalty
Next cheapest that fits green criteria: Ecotricity variable. £1,232/yr - no fee
Typical cost: On a big 6 energy firm standard tariff: £1,180/yr

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE and saving for it via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: You believe in green causes, but don't want to pay that much more - and may be prepared to switch again in a year.
- Not for you if: You want a firm with a good customer service record or you plan to move home soon and want to take the tariff with you.

It's a fairly new provider so we don't have substantial feedback for it. Yet we've arranged bespoke customer service.
Does MSE make money from this? Yes. Energy suppliers pay fees of about £60 per dual fuel switch to comparisons & collective schemes. Of that we give £30 back to you as cashback, to encourage you to switch.

Much of the remainder pays our suppliers: (part of the same parent group as MSE), which provides the underlying data & switch process and Allfiled, the technology database platform.

We expect to be left with about £11 per dual fuel switch - just over a third of what we give in cashback. That will pay the team who work on this, and we hope it will also leave some profit too.

As always, we only ever write based on editorial independence in the consumer interest as guaranteed by our legally binding editorial code.

The MSE Big Winter Switch Event FAQ

We've collated the most common questions we've had since the launch.

Q. I'm already with the provider (eg, E.on). Can I use its deal in the collective switch? A. Yes, you can use the collective switch even if you're with the provider already and you'll get the cashback and any bonuses. Plus, with Eon & BG you won't pay early exit fees even if they're due. With Scot Power you usually won't (but may on a few legacy tariffs) and with Green Star you won't on one of its 12mth tariffs.
Q. I've just switched elsewhere, can I cancel & collective switch instead? A. Call the supplier you are switching to, with most you have a 14-day cooling off period to cancel. Simple as that, then start the collective switch.
Q. I'm in debt with my supplier. Can I switch? A. Yes, but the rules vary. If you're on prepay, the debt can't be £500+ per fuel. With credit meters (so standard meters) it varies depending on your supplier, eg, British Gas and Scottish Power tell us you need to repay the debt before switching away - others may let you switch then repay.
Q. Will these definitely be the cheapest deals? A. Usually, but in a few cases in specific regions with specific usage they may not be, which is why we get you to do the Cheap Energy Club full market comparison as part of the process so you're sure. And if new tariffs launch after we've sent this, they're there too.
Q. Where can I see the standing charge & kWh collective switch costs? A. They vary by region, so we display your exact cost in the Cheap Energy Club comparison result - just click the 'Feedback & Full Info' link.
Q. I was in credit with my previous supplier. Will I get the cash? A. Yes. Most people's last bill was a summer one, so if you pay by monthly direct debit you're likely to be in credit now - it could be by £100s. Ensure you ask the firm you're leaving for it (if not some mightn't cough up) - though do put it aside to pay for winter's bills. See Reclaim energy credit.
Q. Who's responsible for these tariffs, MSE or the energy firm? A. The energy firm is responsible for supplying you, and you pay it. Yet we take our bit seriously too and ask all providers to set up special customer help teams with max 48hr response times. See the Switch Event help page
Q. Why when I compare does it give me a blended projection for the year, when my fix ends sooner? A. We think this doesn't make sense either - after all, you want to see whether you're saving compared to your current fix, then compared to the go-to rate after. Yet the Ofgem comparison code rules say it has to be this way. We're working on a way round this and lobbying for change.
Q. I've heard paying by monthly direct debit is cheapest. Is that true? A. Yes - it typically cuts £70-£90 off annual bills compared to other methods. Just ensure you do regular meter readings to keep it accurate.
Q. Can I switch from a prepaid meter to a normal one? A. Yes, depending on your credit score, but some suppliers charge. You may avoid this by switching to a supplier that doesn't charge and THEN considering a cheaper tariff if necessary. See Prepaid Gas & Electricity for full help.
Q. I switched but my direct debit has risen - what's gone wrong? A. Direct debits estimate your usage. So even if your rate goes down, the debit can go up, either because your new provider over-estimates usage or your old one underestimated it. If you think the debit is too high, you've a right to ask for it to be lowered. See Energy Direct Debit help.

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: Erudio student loan holder? We want your feedback
Overtime should count towards holiday pay, rules tribunal
TalkTalk customers to be hit with price hikes
Applying or renewing your driving licence? Fees to do so are falling
Payday loan brokers catching hard-up consumers out, warns NatWest
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Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 5 Nov 2014
Flight delay compensation VICTORY - are you due £470?
Airlines' attempt to block compensation has been ruled out by the courts - it's opened the floodgates for claiming

If your flight was cancelled or delayed 3hrs+ since 2008, EU reg 261/2004 means you may be entitled to up to £470 per person. Two big airlines have been fighting this in court, and last week their, hopefully final, challenge was blocked. We've been leading the charge on this with over 250,000 free Flight Delay Compensation template letters downloaded. Here's the latest...

  • flight delaysFirst, the flight delay compensation basics....
    - You can claim for delays now or dating back to 2008 (or even 2005 in some cases).
    - You must've arrived more than three hours late. See how to check past delay lengths.
    - Any flight from an EU airport counts, or to an EU airport but only if it's an EU airline.
    - Compensation's fixed, based solely on delay & journey length. See What am I due?
    - It must be the airline's fault - so bad weather doesn't count. See What counts.
    - Some airlines offer vouchers as compensation. You're entitled to cash. Ask for it.
    - You DON'T need to pay to claim. We've free template letters in our guide, making it easy to do it yourself.
    - Is it fair to airlines? Arguably not, if your flight cost £10 and you get £470. See Martin's legal vs moral concerns.
  • NEWS: The Supreme Court says Jet2 & Thomson can't appeal. Thomson had gone to court to argue people could only go back 2 yrs, Jet2 that people couldn't claim for unforeseeable technical problems. Huge numbers of cases were on hold awaiting the outcome. The Court of Appeal had ruled against both airlines, then last Friday the Supreme Court denied their right to appeal (see Court ruling). We're told an appeal to Europe's unlikely, so here's what you should do...

    - Yet to claim? There's no issue - follow the step-by-step claiming help as normal.
    - Claim on hold? Ask the airline to re-open it. Some will do so automatically, but nudge anyway.
    - Claim been rejected by the airline? Ask it to reconsider and follow the step-by-step help.
    - Claim already rejected by the court?
    If it was more than 21 days ago it's a done deal - case closed we're afraid.
  • "I got €1,200 for my delayed flight." We're swamped daily with successes on this, eg, "Read your article for late arrivals and successfully got €1,200 back for an Orlando to Glasgow flight in 2012. Thank you. We'd never have thought to claim if we hadn't read your success stories." See airline-by-airline success rates & report yours.

£7.50 champagne trick (min 6 bottles).. Antoine De Clevecy is RRP £18. Last week we suggested an £8.50 code stacking trick for it with much success, eg, forumite jpdc996 says "Got it... £50 for 6 bottles incl delivery - excellent." Now an even bigger code, means it's effectively £7.50/btl for Sains online newbies provided you buy £20 of groceries too (or £10.50 a bottle if you've shopped at Sains online before). Excl Scotland. FULL INFO: £7.50 champers. Pls be Drinkaware

FREE £15 winter car check. There's a temporary promo on. It checks your battery, wiper blades, oil levels, screen wash (and fills it free if too low) and head & tail lights. Full info: Halfords Deals.

FREE £125 in time for Christmas for switching to No.1 rated bank. First Direct's* won every customer service poll we've ever done (92% rate it great) and it has just boosted the cash it gives switchers to £125 (via link above) from £100. You must pay in a min £1,000/mth, and you get the bonus within 28 days - in time for Christmas - as long as you've made the first £1,000 payment. It also offers accepted customers a £250 0% overdraft and linked 6% regular savings account. Full eligibility info/alternatives: Best Bank Accounts.

FREE cookie from Millie's Cookies. Via vch. 12 flavours. 90+ stores included. Ends Thu. 6,250 vchrs a day. Cookies

Cheapest EVER personal loan - 3.8% APR
A price war means if you need to borrow, rates for bigger loans have just dropped to all-time historic lows

Before we talk rates, a warning... just because borrowing's cheap doesn't mean you should do it. Yet for needed, planned spends, eg, a new car or kitchen, where you've budgeted and repayments are affordable, it can be a bargain.

  • Cheapest ever loanNew cheapest standard loan - 3.8% rep APR. Sainsbury's Bank* has dropped its rate to just 3.8% representative APR if you're borrowing £7,500 to £15,000 over 1-3yrs (3.9% rep APR for 4-5yrs*) - you will need to have/get a free Nectar card to apply. Next cheapest for this amount is M&S Bank* at 3.9% rep APR over 1-5 yrs. If you're borrowing less...

    Cheapest £5,000 - £7,499:
    Santander's* 5.3% representative APR.
    Cheapest £2,500 - £4,999: Hitachi* is the head and shoulders winner here, at 8% rep APR for £2,500 - £2,999 (next cheapest is Post Office at 14.9% rep APR) and 7.8% rep APR for £3,000 - £4,999.

    Sadly all loans are representative APRs, meaning only 51% of those accepted will get these rates - the rest could pay more.
    Full loan help: Cheap Loans Best Buys (APR Examples).
  • Flexible, cheap smaller loans. Zopa* and Ratesetter* let you overpay or clear loans early without penalty. Rates are personalised, but tend to be cheap for lower amounts, eg, 5.9% for £3k over 3yrs. See Peer-to-peer loans.
  • Or get a 32 month 0% loan for just a 4% fee. For sub-£3,000, credit card money transfers are far cheaper than loans. Here a specialist card pays cash into your bank account, like a loan, so you owe it instead. Accepted new MBNA* (eligibility calculator) cardholders get 32mths 0% for a 4% fee. Just ensure you never miss a repayment and clear it by then or it jumps to 22.9% rep APR. FULL help on this complex issue in our Money Transfers guide.

All applications require a credit check - see our Boost Your Credit Score Guide. And if struggling with debt, see Debt help.

Forum Hottie. £110 SensatioNail set £50 - ends THU. Our forumites have been waiting for this one to come - it's a popular nail mani/pedi set that's a favourite for Xmas gifts. Includes polishes, glitter & LED lamp. See Boots Deals.

Starbucks 2for1 festive drinks voucher. Valid Thu-Sun 2-5pm. Just print voucher - that's not too taxing. Starbucks

Shift credit card debt to 0% for a year NO FEE. Accepted new Tesco* cardholders can shift existing card debts to it for 12mths 0% without a one-off fee. So clear it within that & it's totally free. Need longer? Shift debts to Lloyds 28mth 0%* (eligibility calc) for a 1.5% fee or the market's longest, Barclaycard 34mth 0%*, (eligibility calc) for a 2.99% fee. Clear these cards before the 0% ends or they jump to 18.9% rep APR (Tesco's is 20.6%). See Top Balance Transfers (APR Examples).

Hot Diamonds 40% off code - branded jewellery. MSE Blagged. Ends Sun. Discounted women's diamond jewellery, eg, Eternal rose ring £30 (from £50) and Emozioni rose gold-plated bangle £12 (from £20). Free delivery. Hot Diamonds

FLASH Waitrose 50% off Xmas crackers, puds & mince pies. Lasts 5/6 days. Stock up for Xmas. Waitrose deals

Argos 3for2 on toys is back. Starts today, till Tue. Good for branded toys. Toy deals

5 bare roots rose plants £13.50 (next cheapest £35) that you can plant now. Ends Mon, 4,000 available. Or 45 wallflower plants £7 until Sat, 400 available. For full info on these, see our Garden deals.

Annual travel insurance with winter sports from £20
Whether you're after winter sun or planning to hit the slopes, sort your travel insurance as soon as you've booked

Many travellers put off buying insurance, meaning if they fall ill or have issues before jetting off, they have no cover. With lots tripping off to the sun or slopes this winter we've updated our Cheap Travel Insurance guide. In short...

Annual travel insurance
Prices vary with age - so we include possible winners for different combinations
No frills Our top value pick
Cheapest FCA-regulated policies which hit our min cover levels Incl feedback & past payout record
Solo traveller Check Holidaysafe Lite* (Age 18: £13 in Europe/£23 world. Age 65: £19/£28) and Coverwise*, which is oft cheaper for 36-50 Direct Travel* Europe £44-£66, world £66-£101 + £20 for catastrophe cover
Solo (basic winter sports) Check HolidaySafe Lite* (Age 18: £20 in Europe/£34 world. Age 65: £28/£42) + Leisure Guard Lite* undercuts at some ages Direct Travel* Europe £56-£85, world £86-£130 + £20 for catastrophe cover
Couple/family Holidaysafe Lite* is £27-£38 in Europe and £46-£56 world
Direct Travel* Europe £83-£125, world £126-£191 + £40 for catastrophe cover
(basic winter sports)
Check HolidaySafe Lite* £40-£56 in Europe, £65-£84 world. Plus Protect Your Bubble* (oft cheaper for younger world cover) and Leisure Guard Lite* , which can undercut for some Direct Travel* Europe £107-£162, world £163 -£248 + £40 for catastrophe cover
Comparing via MoneySup* may result in some cheaper deals, as it negotiates exclusives. Note we check 25 insurers which tend to offer the cheapest prices to give you these results - suggest another cheap provider.

50% off 48 posh hotels in UK, Europe & Morocco. Reminder. Get Mr & Mrs Smith code to access. Min 3nts for stays till March. Eg, Le Lodge Kerisper, Brittany £35/nt, The Grove, Narberth, Wales £95/nt. 1,000+ rooms. Mr & Mrs Smith

Two pairs of specs £23 code. MSE Blagged. Combine two promos: Use a £36 off code on Glasses Direct's 2for1 on £55+ glasses and lenses. So that's £19 for two pairs + £3.95 p&p. Ends Tue 11 Nov. Glasses Direct

CODES & SALES: Laura Ashley 30% off almost everything, Asos £10 off £80, F&F £10 off £50
End Wed: Asos, £5 off £60, £7 off £70, £10 off £80 codes | F&F Clothing £10 off £50 code | Figleaves £10 off £40 code
New: Laura Ashley 30% off most things in stores & online | Body Shop buy 2 get 2 free code. See All Codes & Vouchers

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash NISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
34mths 0%, 2.99% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

Low fee 0%: Lloyds*
28mths 0%, 1.5% fee

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

Direct Line*
Admiral MultiCar*

Santander* (£5k - £7.5k)
5.3% rep APR

Sainsbury's* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.8% rep APR

BM Savings 1.6% AER
Min £1, incl bonus
Postal. Transfers allowed

Coventry BS 2.6% AER
Min £1. No transfers
Loophole: Fixed till Nov 2018

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Trick to use any network's signal in the UK. This week the Govt's due to announce it wants to force networks to offer rural UK roaming (ie, you can use any signal), but here's a way to do it now... see Martin's UK roaming blog.

Success of the week: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Just to let you know I signed up to after seeing it on your website and after only 72 days I won £150. I could not believe it. Thank you so much."
- see Free Postcode Lottery to find out how it works and how to sign up.

Instant 4% boost to your Christmas budget
A trick to manipulate supermarket Christmas savings clubs so you can spend more at no extra cost

Supermarket Xmas saving schemes get you to save all year to spend in their stores at Christmas. We're not fans - savings accounts are more flexible & better-protected. Yet a supermarket savings loophole nets you a year's bonus in a day...

  • Christmas shopping Supermarket Christmas saving stamps loophole. While you're meant to save year-round to get a bonus, in practice most pay bonuses depending on what you have saved on a set day. So just buy stamps/credit the day before to bag the year's bonus. Remember you can only spend your 'savings' in that specific supermarket...

    - Asda scheme up to 4%. Put £144 on an Asda savings card by 5pm on Sat 15 Nov (or now for convenience) and on Sun 16 Nov you'll have £150. Do it as many times as you like - if you want to do less, the bonus is smaller. As forumite Fluffysox says: “Last year, bought three saver cards on a cashback credit card. Got the bonus plus cashback - used them on grocery shopping until the end of Feb."
    - Co-op scheme gives 4% (£2 per £48 of stamps). Bonus added to any Dec top-ups.
    - Iceland scheme gives 4% (£1 per £25 added to electronic Bonus Card). Bonus added anytime you top up.
    - Morrisons scheme gives up to 3% (£1 per £49 or £3 per £97 of stamps). Bonus added to any Nov/Dec top-ups.
    - Tesco scheme gives 2% (a £1 bonus with £49 of savings stamps). Bonus added to any Dec top-ups.
  • Is it safe? These Xmas savings schemes (as opposed to supermarket banks savings accounts) AREN'T PROTECTED by the Govt like normal savings. Of course most big supermarkets are pretty stable and the loophole means your cash is only there briefly, so the risks reduce. Also remember with paper cards, lose it and you've lost your money.
  • Want to REALLY save all year round for Xmas? Good stuff. Why not save in a bank first (see Top NISAs and Top Savings), then withdraw it the day before your chosen supermarket's scheme is due to bag double interest?

24hr currency FLASH sale From 10am Thu - 10am Fri ICICI Bank is having a flash sale on all its currencies. Use our updated Travel Money Comparison while the sale's on to compare rates. Not going yet? The Halifax Clarity* credit card (check if you'll get it) gives near-perfect spending rates worldwide, beating changing money. But pay off IN FULL each month or it's 12.9% rep APR. Full info: Cheap Overseas Cards (APR Examples).

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

Our club ensures you're always on the cheapest tariff.

Join free: Cheap Energy Club

Up to £30 cashback for dual fuel, £15 for single switches.

First Direct*
£125 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)
Get quotes in this order...*
Compare The Market
Direct Line*

Post Office*
with weekend calls
£10/mth (pay a yr upfront)

TalkTalk Value Line Rental*
£14.35/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

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

Help protect your neighbours from rogue traders.
It's National Consumer Week and Trading Standards has tips to spot unwanted doorstep callers and what you can do to help your vulnerable neighbours. Print our free 'No cold callers' sign and share your tips in the forum.

How do I persuade my new girlfriend to pay her share on dates?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I met a lovely lady a few weeks ago and we've been seeing each other almost every day. Feelings for both of us are running high, but when we go out, it's always me who pays. Tonight, for example, dinner and the cinema cost £60, which I paid for. Do women really still expect men to pay ALL the time? How can I subtly drop the hint that just occasionally I'd like her to pay her share? We're both financially comfortable with no mortgage. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Why won't my girlfriend ever pay on our dates? | Suggest an MMD | View Past MMDs

Have you sold your home using an online estate agent?
Online-only estate agents promise to revolutionise the estate agency market, with charges a fraction of the cost. We want to know your experiences. Have you done it? Which did you use? Did it work? How much did you save? Share yours/read others': Have you sold your home using an online estate agent? Past topics: View all

Airline: Aer Lingus* Price: 20% off all flights to Ireland Ends: Mon 17 Nov
Our pick this week is the Aer Lingus* offer for flights from 19 Nov 2014 - 30 Apr 2015 to five Irish destinations from 14 UK airports. The sale ends Mon 17 Nov and excludes taxes, charges and infant fares. There is no code to enter - the discount appears automatically. 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

Prescription items that are cheaper over the counter
We asked what items you'd been given a prescription for that turned out to be cheaper without one. You said you can save money and time buying ventolin inhalers for asthma at the supermarket, while hayfever tablets, nasal sprays and eye drops are commonly cheaper over the counter. One poster said Canesten offers a cheaper hydrocortisone cream, while other things to compare before buying are travel sickness tablets and
migraine pills.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances

6 Nov
Good Morning Britain, ITV, 7.40am.
Deals of the Week.
7 Nov
This Morning, time TBC.
Martin's 90 Second Savers.
10 Nov
This Morning, live, time TBC.
Subject TBC.
10 Nov
Radio 5 Live, 12pm-1pm.
Consumer Panel.
Subscribe to podcast.

MSE team corner

Discussion of the week

How much should you hassle kids to clean their rooms?

How much leeway do you give messy teens when it comes to their rooms? One forumite is waging a war against her teenage daughter's messy bedroom in the Am I being unreasonable? thread. Join in and share your experiences and tips.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 126.61 113.94
US Flag $ 158.51 142.65
Turkish Flag TL 343.10 300.60
Rates correct at 3pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: How much is your typical monthly mobile bill?

Simple question - how much do you spend on your mobile bill in an average month? This should include all costs, whether you're on pay as you go or tied into a contract.

Please choose ONE option closest to your circumstances?

Poll results

Do you approve of the clocks going back?
Some people might say there is no such thing as a British summer, but most of you are pretty attached to British Summer Time (BST).

In fact, across the UK most people want BST all year round though not in Scotland. Here's the breakdown:

- 66% in England
- 63% in Northern Ireland
- 41% in Scotland
- 66% in Wales

16,285 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q. Does my annual travel insurance cover me for trips in the UK? Julian, via email.

MSE Leigh's A: Most travel insurance policies will cover you for some UK trips. Usually you're covered if you're in pre-booked accommodation (some say 2 or 3 nights minimum) - some may allow it just on distance, yet it varies widely so check. If you are covered, you'll be able to claim for cancellation, lost luggage and lost money, plus get other common travel insurance benefits.

Yet as you will normally be entitled to NHS treatment in the UK, the medical expenses limit (which can be as high as £10m for trips abroad) will be greatly reduced for UK trips. A good example is Direct Travel's budget policy, which has a £2m medical limit if you are outside of the UK but will only offer travel expenses home following treatment and repatriation if you fall ill or die while on holiday in the UK.

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

 Charlotte's free game of the week: The Beetle and the Bee

Need some Movember inspiration?

That's it for this week, but before we go, we wanted to offer some encouragement to those who've just started their Movember journey - check out the winning styles from the USA National Beard and Moustache Championships.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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