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Weekly Email
This email was sent
07th Jun 2012
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 This info may be out of date.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."

07 June 2012
Martin's Quick Briefing

Boost summer holiday cash. Act now
10 ways to get more bang for your bucks, euros or dong

Summer holidays abroad are expensive enough, but too many hike the cost by getting spending money last-minute. 10 tips to boost your spending power:

1. NEVER get cash at the airport. They know you're a captive customer, so it's by far the most expensive way. At the very least, pre-order the day before and you get a better deal — but far better to find the best rates for every country with the TravelMoneyMax comparison.
2. UNBEATABLE rates via the best plastic. Apply ASAP. The cheapest way to spend abroad is with a cheap overseas credit card. Most plastic adds a 3% load, so spend £100 of euros and it costs £103. The top cards give near-perfect rates as they're load-free worldwide: Halifax Clarity, Post Office*, Saga* (over 50s) & for Nationwide FlexAccount holders ONLY, its Select* card.

If you've a decent credit score and aren't going in a fortnight, apply now. ALWAYS set up a monthly direct debit to fully repay or the gain's lost by 11.9-16.9% representative APRs. See: Top Cards, APR Examples.
3. cards from hellAVOID the DEBIT cards from hell... Got one of the following debit cards?

Halifax   |   Lloyds TSB   |   Santander
NatWest   |   RBS   |   IF

NEVER use these to pay abroad. As well as exchange rate loads, and ATM fees, they fine you up to £1.50 each time you spend on them overseas. Something priced at £5 could cost £6.50.
4. Beware paying by card at bureaux de change. ALL credit & some debit cards (see list) charge extra if you buy foreign currency in the UK. This can put a dent in the dinar saved. On debit card, get cash from an ATM, then change it, to avoid charges.
5. Will I get a better rate changing cash abroad? It can be cheaper, but there's no surety or way to know. So I'd err on the side of caution and ensure you get the best possible rate here. Use TravelMoneyMax rather than risk a pants rate overseas.
6. Stop your card getting blocked while away. Pay overseas and some banks block cards in case it's fraud. It's often worth telling your bank in advance, and ensure it's got your up-to-date mobile number.
7. Should I get euros/dollars before I go, or just use my card abroad? A specific overseas card (see point 2) used right always wins, while a debit card from hell or credit card not fully repaid always loses. In other cases, the best cash bureau (see usually wins, except against Barclaycard for ATM withdrawals. See the Which Card's Cheapest? tool.
8. Is it cheaper to spend on a card, or withdraw cash abroad? Again it depends on the card. (1) With the top overseas cards, spending's cheaper than withdrawals. (2) With debit cards from hell, withdrawals in as big a sum as is safe are cheaper; avoid spending on 'em like the plague. (3) With other cards, spending's generally cheapest. See Cheapest Travel Cards for help. ALWAYS fully repay credit cards to avoid interest.
9. Prepaid cards are a good bet for safety. The best credit card, used right, kicks butt. If you can't get one, for euros or dollars the best prepaid card is FairFX*. It's free if you top up more than €60/$75, charges no load fees and can be topped up free by debit card. Travelex's Cash Passport also offers good rates and is available in six currencies (incl Oz & S. Africa).
10. Asked "want to pay in pounds or euros?" Often at overseas shops or banks, you're asked this question when using plastic. If you've a top overseas card always say the local currency as your card does the exchange and it's unbeatable. If not, it's touch and go. Sometimes it'll show you the 'load' — if under 2.5%, go with pounds. If over, go local.

Important —'s future
As you may know, we've agreed to join the MoneySupermarket group, as long as the OFT clears the deal. Full info: What It Means For MSE. In summary:

  • I stay as Editor-in-Chief for at least three years.
  • NO CHANGE to what we do. We've agreed a legally-binding editorial code, guaranteeing our content "helps consumers first", is free from commercial concerns, we keep campaigning and MoneySupermarket's services don't get special treatment. Plus your contact details stay only for MSE's use.
  • Charities will receive £10m. Including £1m to Citizens Advice.

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Use the Money Mantras If you're skint, ask - do I need it, can I afford it If you aren't, ask Will I use it, Is it worth it?

The Ones Not To Miss

Wed 6 Jun 2012
Reclaim credit card PPI for FREE. New FAQs
Don't pay to reclaim — DIY | It's not just loans, many due £1,000s on credit & store cards

ANYONE who's got or had debt may have been mis-sold PPI. To get it back you needn't pay 30% to a claims firm. We recently added a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section to our Reclaim Loan PPI For Free guide & now have added 50+ FAQs to our Reclaim Credit Card PPI Free guide. Here's a taster, plus inspiration from the biggest reclaim we've seen:

"Had a Barclaycard for 28 years but never asked for PPI. Now reclaimed £82,300."

  • reclaim ppiWhat's credit card PPI? It's payment protection insurance, designed to cover card repayments for a year in case of accident, sickness or unemployment.
  • How was it mis-sold? Card companies needed to ensure it was suitable for you — yet for millions, they didn't. Often it was added without telling you, or given when it didn't fully cover you. See the full Mis-selling Checklist.
  • How far back can I go? If the account was running in the last 6 yrs, it's fine to reclaim (you got it 10 yrs ago & closed after five, no worries). If older, some can still reclaim.
  • I've not got details? To find who your lender was, check your credit file. It lists the last six years' debts. If you've not got the paperwork, don't worry. A simple letter should get it. See Getting The Paperwork.
  • Can I reclaim if I always repaid in full? Yes. The insurance is usually charged on the monthly statement balance before repayments. So you could still be owed big cash.

Free help & template letters: Reclaim Credit Card PPI Related reclaims: Reclaim Loan PPI, Bank Charges

Back to top ^

£100 of plants for £15, including delivery. 40 lucky dip plants till Friday. See Cheap Plants Deal

Free £2.89 personalised Father's Day card, delivered. 5,000 avail incl postage, sent to your dad's door in time for Father's Day (17 June if you need a reminder). Photo Deals.

£60 Bench designer specs £16 | 2 prescription specs £23. Delivered. See Cheap Glasses

Free £125 to switch bank
They're bribing you — GRAB IT | Bank war hots up as NEW offer launches

It may be a bribe to grab your custom, but that doesn't stop it being a win-win. Bag the cash if the account's right for you. We've full details in our Best Bank Accounts guide. Here's a taster of the top payers in order of min monthly deposit.

  • switch bank£125 sign-up bonus + top customer service. Min £1,500/month (equiv £22,800 salary). First Direct* has won every customer service poll we've done & pays a bigger £125 (normally £100) if you switch via this MoneySup exclusive link. There's no in-credit interest but a 0% overdraft up to £250. It entitles you to an 8% regular saver.
  • New. Free £100 plus £5 every month. Min £1,000/month (equiv £14,000 salary). The Halifax Reward Account pays £5/month, and has just launched a £100 sign-up bonus. Don't do it if you ever go overdrawn, as it charges up to £2/day.
  • Free annual travel insurance & more. Min £750/month (equiv £9,600 salary). Nationwide's* FlexAccount gives free annual European travel insurance, and often launches market-leading exclusives for existing customers, such as its Select* credit card.
  • Up to 3% cashback on council tax, phones etc. Min £500/month (equiv £6,000 salary). For a £2/mth fee Santander's* 123 account gives 3% cashback on mobile, phone, broadband & TV, 2% on gas & elec and 1% on water & council tax. There's also up to 3% savings interest. See the Is Santander 123 any good? news story.
Back to top ^

Got Amex card? £10 off £10+ Nando's, Pizza Express etc. Via app, see Amex Deals.


'Free' £8-£10 Body Shop
eye make-up

'Free' £14 Jemma Kidd
eye make-up

'Free' £9 Ciate
nail varnish

Free L'Occitane

In £4ish mag
Ends Thu 5 Jul

In £4ish mag
Ends Tue 3 Jul

In £4ish mag
Ends Thu 5 Jul

Just book consultation
THIS Thu 7/Fri 8 Jun

See All Cheap Beauty Deals

Reminder. New 3.17% easy access savings. The Post Office's* 3.17% AER (min £1) deal is best for a while, with unlimited free withdrawals. It's got a bonus so the rate drops in a year, diarise to switch. See Top Savings

Free house price valuations
30 tools to value your home | See what neighbours paid, crime levels, price drops & more

Whether you're buying, selling, renting or staying put, a wealth of house price info tools are available instantly. Our updated Free House Price Valuations guide lists over 30. Here's a taster.

  • house valuationHow much did that 3-bed go for? Many sites list 'sold' prices. Yet that doesn't help answer the question: "72 Lois Lane went for £210,000, but was it a neglected bedsit or a plush 3-bed with kitchen island and walnut floors?" Home search site giant Rightmove has started matching up sold prices with detailed old property ads, including pics, asking prices, descriptions and floor plans.
  • Monitor house price drops. Secret web weapons let you track when sellers put particular properties on the market, plus when and how much they cut asking prices.
  • Crime maps, schools and more. Police crime-mapping websites show local hotspots and break down recorded crimes such as burglary and anti-social behaviour. Elsewhere, there's free information on school league tables and even a noise level check.
Back to top ^
Forum Hottie

Can you find Asda 8p bargains? Forumites are raving about 8p finds, eg, Carnation rice pudding, 12p Silver Spoon icing & more. Can you find them? See Asda reduced-to-clear items

Click titles for full info & all top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
22 mths 0%, 2.9% fee

(17.9% rep APR)

22 mths 0%, 3.2% fee

(17.9% rep APR)
Get quotes in this order...

Direct Line*
Admiral MultiCar*

Sainsbury's* (£5k - £7.5k)
7.6% rep APR
(Need Nectar card)

Sainsbury's* (£7.5 - £15k)
5.9% rep APR

(Need Nectar card)

Cheshire BS* 3.35% AER
Min £1,000. Incl 2.35% bonus

Santander* 3.3% AER
Min £2,500. Incl bonus.
Top for transfers
See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

MSE Blagged

Free Blockbuster £25 games & DVD voucher with £10 DVD rental. Use code for voucher to spend on 2nd hand games, DVDs etc. More in Cheap DVD Rental.

Tell friends about us. They can get this free every week.

10,000 free Southern Homebuilding & Renovating show tix | 2 for 1 Taste of Edinburgh. Full details & dates in Cheap Days Out.

Slash car & home insurance costs, but unemployed BEWARE
Jobless walloped by massive insurance hikes | Housewives/husbands warning

If you're unemployed, you face the double whammy of no work and what can be a 5x jump in insurance costs. All this with 2.6 million out of work. Our Cheap Car Ins and Cheap Home Ins guides help you beat the system, here's a taster...

  • car insuranceUnemployed pay £100s more — homemakers beware. Car cover costs spiral as insurers think the jobless are more likely to claim. We found one £247 quote soared to £1,343 if that person lost his job.

    Yet 'homemakers' (housewives/house-husbands) don't face such hikes, so if you're not seeking work (or claiming benefits which require you to) ensure that's what you call yourself. It's similar on home insurance, but with less-pronounced differences. See our Unemployed Insurance Hikes investigation.
  • Batter down car insurance costs. Whatever your employment status, always compare prices before buying to drive down costs. Use the following comparison sites in this order to find your cheapest quote: Gocompare*, MoneySupermarket*, Tesco Compare, then Direct Line* and Aviva* that they miss.
  • Slash home insurance costs. It's the same principle on home insurance, using*, then MoneySupermarket*, plus Aviva* and Direct Line*. Though if you've time, use the full comparison order list.
Back to top ^

Reminder. New top 18 mths 0% on spending. New NatWest* and RBS* cardholders get 18mths 0% on spending, plus points worth £10 at Amazon/M&S and rewards after. Only borrow if needed. Fail to fully repay before the 0% ends and it's 17.9% rep APR.  See 0% Borrowing Cards & Official APR Examples

£80 Wii plus Mario Kart bundle. Participating stores while stocks last. See Hot Bargains

'I reclaimed £144 from TalkTalk'
Get forgotten credit back from old broadband, home phone and mobile contract providers

Switched provider in the last six years? If so, you may be owed cash. You're entitled to unused credit when switching, but most operate 'don't ask, don't get' policies. Our Reclaim Forgotten Credit guide's had huge success, here's a reminder...

  • savingsWho's eligible? Anyone who's switched broadband, phone or mobile provider in the last six years. You may have credit from paying in advance or promo credit (eg, if you paid first, then were later refunded). Regulator Ofcom says the money's yours.
  • How do I get my money back? It's often 'don't ask, don't get'. We've got full provider-by-provider help in the updated guide showing you who to call and what to say.
  • Over 50% who try have succeeded. Big wins from those reporting back, and a decent chunk have gained £100+. A typical story from the forum includes Sheppie2305: "Did as instructed and to my amazement found I have a £144 refund from TalkTalk. Thank you." Check with your old providers to see if you're owed any money, then report back.
Back to top ^

Free £6ish cocktails/Bulmers. At 77 bars across Engl & Wales. See Free Drink Deals. Be Drinkaware

20% off everything at Ikea Leeds on Eng matchdays. Grab special card, see Ikea Sales.

£1 London to Luton Airport bus. Till Sat 27 Oct. See Cheap Train & Coach Deals

Click titles for full info & all top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines
Compare, switch & get cashback

£15 per switch

£30 dual fuel

8 bottles of wine

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...

Direct Line*
Get quotes in this order...

Primus Line Rental Saver*
£6.29/mth (pay a yr upfront)

BT Line Rental Saver*
£10.75/mth (pay a yr upfront)
Do a Money Makeover Free Budget Planner Free MSE car sticker £14 Travel Insurance

the moneysaving community

Cheap Flight Sales

Airline: Monarch Code: Up to £20 off return
Our pick this week is Monarch's up to £20 off return flights using code JUBILEE. It's on routes for travel till 26 Mar 2013, and includes most taxes and fees. Flights include Birmingham to Venice for around £45. To find the flights quickly, use the FlightChecker on a £60 each-way max 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

Book Giveaway RESULT. Monkey With a Pin. 25 blagged for MoneySavers. Check your inbox to find out if you got one.

spill beans

Spill the beans... Supermarket staff, tell us reduction policies
Many enjoy hanging around supermarkets near closing time to bag a bargain, but since different supermarkets mark down perishables at different times, it's hard to know when. We'd like to hear from insiders to find out when to go, what to buy and any other tricks to help MoneySavers. Spill 'em: Tell us your reduction policies Past topics: View all

Money Moral Dilemma

Should we charge a new housemate more to reduce our rent?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...
I share with three others. There's no lease or paperwork, the landlord lives downstairs and collects our rent every month. My housemates have suggested increasing the rent for the next person who moves in and splitting the difference to cut our costs. I think it's immoral, but if the new tenant agrees from the outset, is there any harm? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should we charge a new housemate more to reduce our rent? Previous MMDs: View All Suggest: A Money Moral Dilemma

Back to top ^

Self-catering on holiday tips. Spill the beans... revealed
Tea, coffee, packet mixes and a tin opener are what most of you wouldn't be without on a self-catering holiday, but there were plenty of other great tips too. Searching out the cheap local supermarkets, bringing pre-cooked frozen meals when travelling by car and trying a house swap are a few of the many great ideas posted this week.

Campaign of the week

Have you been chased for council tax arrears?
The Govan Law Centre legal charity is looking for stories from people who have had council tax arrears and been chased aggressively by their local authority so it can campaign for common-sense change. Please post to the Fairer Council Tax Enforcement Facebook wall or send a private message. Suggest a campaign: This space is for MSE to support work done by other charities, community groups and campaigners. Send your campaign of the week suggestion.

Cheap Travel Money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 123.46 110.59
US Flag $ 153.88 138.16
Turkish Flag TL 276.30 240.51
Rates correct at 4pm Wed
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: How many products do you have with your bank?

How many different product TYPES such as credit card, life insurance and ISA do you have with your main bank, including current account?

One (just my current account)


















Ten or more


Poll Results

Would portable bank account numbers make you more likely to switch?

Just over 8,000 voted. A huge 64% of those who don't already regularly switch would be more likely to with portable account numbers, with 39% saying they'd be much more likely — impressive support for the proposal. Plus a big well done to the 22% who already shift when they want to. See Full Results

Question Of The Week

Q: My ex bought me a car. I'm the registered keeper, but not the registered owner. Can I get insurance?

MSE Tony's A. Yes, but it's likely to be pricey as only a limited number of insurers will provide cover. They'll mark the policy stating the owner's name, and will pay any claim to the owner, not you.

The best option is to approach a local broker (search on the British Insurance Brokers' Association site) who will know which insurers have no problems with this arrangement.

Usually, you can only insure an item if you have an insurable interest in it. As your ex purchased the car, in the eyes of many insurers, you do not have an insurable interest. If you can, transfer the ownership to make life easier.

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

Board Of The Week

The Techie Stuff board

The place to seek and share advice on all things technical. Recent discussions include Kindle books on e-reader, best way to extend wireless signal and tablet for child advice.

Back to top ^
Game Of The Week

Archie (yes, they're similar names)

Hours of infuriating/hilarious fun...

How hard can it be to make a virtual man run using four buttons? Answer: surprisingly so. The current record at MSE Towers is 10m (though there are several scores in the minus numbers). How far can you get? Is this the most infuriating game ever?

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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