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WEEKLY EMAIL

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This email was sent
08th Jul 2015
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email

Quick message from Martin - Get this emailed

"Hi. This free, spam free weekly email is the key way to save. We put all the latest deals, guides and loopholes in, yet many close within hours. Don't miss out, join the 12m who get it each week."

08 July 2015
         

This week

Urgent: £10 boost ON TOP of record £1=€1.41
Free £240 bank switch trick
Get off your backside & save £300/yr on gas & elec
Hot home insurance 'freebie' deals
Amazon 1day mega deals for Prime customers, but we get you in free
£28 for £105 summer beauty set
0% balance transfer: NEW winners
27 tips to flog stuff for free
Pssst: Want cheap stolen goods?
Free £8 Malibu cocktail
Extra 10% off past best-before food
Warning: Started uni after 2011? Govt may hike your loan costs
FREE cinema tix per £4 of sweets
Extra 20% off 90%-off gifts
Savings protection drops to £75,000
Pimm's war - now £10 for 1litre
'Saved £400/yr on Sky with one call'
Replace specs' lenses for £10 code
2,000 free Doncaster races tickets
Tax-free childcare delayed till 2017
5 Plain Lazy women's T-shirts £35
Watch The Budget with us
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs
Who do you want to see on the next £20 note?

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

Urgent: Get £10 boost ON TOP of record euro rate
The euro rate's at a 7-yr high as £1 buys €1.41 and you can do even better

With the Greek crisis, and a potential Grexit, euro weakness means the pound's holding steady above €1.40, so holidaying in Europe's at its cheapest for years. The dollar's decent at $1.54 - but less than 2014's six-year high. Yet these are City rates, bureau de change tourist rates are usually much worse, yet...

1. New. £60 of euros for £50 prepaid card. With prepaid cards, you load cash on them, then use like a debit card. There's no credit check so anyone can get one. Full help and best-buys in Cheap Prepaid Cards, yet intro bonuses on two new cards effectively mean you get an even better rate than the City.

- Perfect rates & £5 extra on £10+. The new Revolut prepaid Mastercard* gives the perfect interbank rate for euros, dollars and many others for the first year. That's unlikely to be sustainable, so if it can't find a way to make other revenue after (eg, cross-selling) it may add a fee (it'll notify you if so). Also, there are no ATM or spending fees.

You sign up on its app (Apple/Android) and the first 25,000 who use invitation code MSE will get an extra £5 added when loading £10+. Full analysis: Revolut

- Urgent: £10 extra on £50+: WeSwap prepaid Mastercard* works in dollars, euros & others. The first 4,500 people via our link get two perks:

a) An extra £10 of currency when loading £50 or more.
b) A better rate. Its best rate is if you can wait a week for your currency to convert, normally that's the perfect interbank rate + a 1% fee, but for those signing up via our link it's wiping this fee for the first year.

Spending's free, but there's a £1.10-£1.70 fee for sub-£200ish ATM withdrawals. Sign-up is via the website, but you'll need an app (Apple & Android) to use it. Full analysis: WeSwap

Important prepaid card info:

a) These are new, untested cards to us. They should work but there's a small leap of faith here. For fully tried & tested, FairFX Euro* & FairFX Dollar* are free via these links if you load £50+ and give £8 on £500+.
b) These usually arrive within 10 days, but can take longer.
c) To be safe, only load cash on the cards if you'll use them soon.
d) If the prepaid card provider goes bust, your money's ringfenced at a bank. Revolut & FairFX are Barclays, WeSwap at Barclays/NatWest.
e) Unlike the others, WeSwap's isn't UK-regulated, the card's issued by IDT, regulated in Gibraltar - so you're ultimately reliant on its regulations to protect you (a lot must go wrong though before this matters).
2. Near perfect rate in EVERY COUNTRY, EVERY TIME, and no hassle. Specialist cheap overseas credit cards are usable in almost any country, and like any credit card, you just pay each month after you've spent. So pop it in your overseas wallet & use when needed, ensuring you repay IN FULL each month to minimise interest.

Top pick is the Halifax Clarity* Mastercard credit card. Unlike most debit & credit cards, it doesn't add a 3% 'non-sterling transaction fee', so you get the same near perfect Mastercard (which usually pips Visa) wholesale rate banks do for the day. If you don't repay it in full it's 18.9% rep APR.

It's not the only no-exchange fee card, and as you have to pass a credit check to get one, try our overseas cards eligibility calculator which shows which you're most likely to get without hitting your credit file. Full help: Top Overseas Credit Cards guide (APR Examples)
3. Travel moneyWhich wins? The top prepaid card or top credit card? Normally it's credit cards hands down as the rate is better, but the two prepaid cards above may pip credit cards (but even on £1,000 it's likely to be by pennies). Here are the key pros & cons:

- Prepaid cards need loading up, credit cards don't. So credit cards are simple, as you use them when you need, with no inactivity fees.

- Prepaid rate is when you load, credit card when you spend. That means with prepaid cards you're at the mercy of currency fluctuations - which can make you a winner if the rate gets worse, loser the other way round.

- Credit cards give good rates in every country. With prepaid cards they're usually only good in the currencies specified.

- Credit cards have Section 75 protection, prepaids don't. Pay for something costing £100-£30,000 on a credit card and the card firm's jointly liable with the retailer if things go wrong - useful abroad or on overseas websites as taking things back's tough. Full info: Section 75

- Credit cards charge interest on cash withdrawals even if you repay in full. Where possible spend on them rather than withdraw cash to avoid this.
4. Find the best rates for foreign cash in seconds. If you want cold, hard cash, our TravelMoneyMax holiday money comparison tool compares over 40 bureaux to find the best rates.
5. Save £100 per €1,000 spending. So how do all these methods compare? The cost of €1,000 on Monday (based on 5 ATM withdrawals of €100 each, the rest spending in 20 transactions):

- Using top prepaid card (in first year): £709
- Using specialist credit card: £715 (more than prepay due to cash withdrawal interest)
- Cash, via UK's cheapest bureau (pick up in London): £719
- Cash from the Post Office: £732
- Using a debit card from hell: £767
- Change at airport (not pre-ordered): £801
6. What does your card charge? Beware the debit cards from hell. If you don't have time to get a new card before you go away, use the how good is your current plastic? checker so you can see what your card charges.

The worst are the Overseas Debit Cards From Hell. Not only do they add a non-sterling transaction fee and an ATM fee, they also charge up to £1.50/time you use the card to spend overseas.

DO YOU HAVE A DEBIT CARD FROM HELL?
Bank of Scotland | Halifax | Lloyds | Santander
TSB | NatWest/RBS (hell for small spends)

ANY other card, including credit cards if repaid IN FULL, is cheaper to spend on than these. See full Debit Cards From Hell info.
7. I'm not going yet, but at €1.41, should I buy now? It's a big question, for an answer read my Worth snapping up €1.41 as the Greek crisis continues?
8. "Do you want to pay in pounds or euros?" - SAY EUROS. When paying or even withdrawing cash, these days they often ask if you want to pay in pounds or the local currency. In general, always pay in local currency. If you select pounds, the overseas store/bank does the conversion, and rates tend to be awful. Full info and explanation in my 'pay in euros?' blog.
9. I'm going to Greece. Help. In most tourist spots we hear things are still working as normal. Tourists can take cash from ATMs (provided they still have cash) and most stores still accept cards for payment. For safety though, take more than one payment method and enough euros for the whole holiday. For full info our Greek holiday worries FAQ and video.
10. What's in your overseas wallet? Are you part of the 'overseas wallet or purse' club? I most certainly am. After all, there are some things you only need when abroad. The first are specialist credit cards - these tend to be pretty poor for UK use, so mine waits in the wallet till I go away.

It shouldn't be lonely. There's also a free EHIC card for emergency medical issues in Europe, my ESTA number for US travel, leftover euros, dollars and more - feel free to take a peek inside my overseas travel wallet.
Far more help in our 15 Cheapest Ways To Get Travel Money guide.

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: Mis-sold Sentinel card protection customers back redress scheme
Plusnet to hike home phone and line rental prices
EE fined £1m for 'serious' complaints handling failures
Family Mobile to close, but unused credit will be refunded
Get friends on board the MoneySaving bandwagon
If this email's ever helped you, please forward it to friends and suggest they get it via moneysavingexpert.com/tips
Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 8 Jul 2015
Free £240 bank switch trick
Who doesn't love free money? Bag £240 with HSBC's new switching bribe or a free £100 + 5% interest with TSB

As we always say, if your bank's a b*****d, don't bitch, just switch. Yet in the last year only 2% have. Thankfully, the switching price war's just ratcheted up, with one of the old monopoly banks, HSBC, wading in. Here's how it stacks up:

  • New. Free £240 HSBC switch trick. New switchers to the HSBC Advance account now get a free £120, plus open an ISA with it the right way (even if you don't keep the cash in it) and it pays you £10/mth on top. Plus, it offers a 6% regular saver. Full info on how to play this to the max in our HSBC £240 switch trick.
  • It's back. TSB free £100 + 5% interest. The TSB Classic Plus* pays the highest in-credit interest at 5% AER variable, though only on up to £2,000 and via this link it's relaunched its free £100 bonus, making it a hot deal for smaller savers. To qualify you need to use its switching service, pay in £500/mth, and have 3+ direct debits.
  • Do you earn enough to get 'em, especially HSBC? Many banks set a 'min monthly deposit' to ensure your income/salary is paid into them. At £1,750/mth, HSBC's hefty, equivalent to a £26,400+ salary. There is a workaround, eg, if you've £1,000/mth coming in, withdraw £750 as cash or to an account with another bank, then pay it back in and BINGO. Too much hassle? Here are some other lower pay-in alternatives (incl NO minimum M&S).
TOP FREE-CASH BANK-SWITCHING BRIBES (ranked from lowest to highest pay-in)
Account Bribe (all tax free) Main other highlights Min mthly pay-in
(equiv yearly salary)
M&S Bank* Free £100 M&S gift card £100 0% overdraft, 6% regular saver NONE
TSB* Free £100 5% savings interest on £2,000 £500 (£6,000)
Halifax* Free £100 Pays £5 each month you're in credit £750 (£9,150)
Co-op Bank* Free £100 + £25 to charity £200 0% overdraft, ethical banking £800 (£9,850)
First Direct* Free £100 Top cust service, £250 0% overdraft, 6% regular saver £1,000 (£13,200)
Clydesdale* (1) Free £150 2% interest on up to £3,000, 9.9% EAR overdraft £1,000 (£13,200)
All credit-score & may require direct debits to be set up. (1) Pick the Current Account Direct, also available from sister bank Yorkshire*. FULL info: Best Bank Accounts.
  • Got decent savings? Earn 3% on £20,000. The alternative way to get you to switch, is to pay loss-leading savings rates for those in credit. Santander 123* pays 3% on £3k-£20k, there is a £2/mth fee, usually more than covered by the up to 3% cashback paid on bills. See full top bank account savings offers rundown.

Amazon to launch 1day huge discounts for Prime customers, but... It's promising big discounts next Wed for its 20yr bday if you're on its £79/yr Prime service. Yet you can gain free access. Related: ‘I got £79 Amzn Prime back’

All Boxed Up summer skincare box £28 (£105 of stuff). Incl Fake Bake self-tan, Nails Inc polish, Wild About Beauty lipstick, bronzer & moisturiser. We valued it on cheapest prices elsewhere. Limited Stock. All Boxed Up

STOP PRESS. New top balance transfers: 36mths 0% low 1.99% fee OR 24mths 0% just 1% fee. New cards incl... a) Accepted new Barclaycard cardholders can shift debt to it for up to 36mths 0% for a lower 1.99% fee. b) Virgin Money* is 24mths 0% just a 1% fee. c) The winning NO FEE card is Post Office* 18mths 0%. Which'll accept you? Use our free Balance Transfer Eligibility Calc. Key Warning: Never miss min repayments & clear debt before the 0% ends or rates jump to 18.9% rep APR (Post Office 17.8%). See: Best Balance Transfers. (APR Examples). More next week.

27 tips to flog stuff FREE - is Facebook the new eBay? No fees and fast sells, here are 27 Facebook selling tips.

Pssst. Wanna buy stolen goods on the cheap? We ran our top life hacks contest last week. Your most popular by a mile (viewed 373,000 times in 5 days) was this perfectly legal tip (even police are in on it). Buy stolen goods

Get off your backside & save nearly £300/yr on gas & elec
It's official. Not enough people switch, and even when you do, you don't switch often enough. Check & save NOW

The Competitions & Markets Authority's just launched a damning report that most people are overcharged (see energy news). In politer terms than us, it put a chunk of blame on people not switching. If you're reading this, you're online, so have little excuse (our worry is who's helping struggling web-illiterate 90-year-olds). Here's how to easily save...

ARE YOU OVERPAYING?
(all figures based on typical usage levels)
Pay by monthly direct debit (dual fuel)
Standard big 6 tariff
70% of people are on these
£1,155/yr
Cheapest switchers deal £870/yr
Cheapest switchers 1yr fix £885/yr
Prepayment meters (dual fuel)
Standard big 6 tariff £1,240/yr
Cheapest switchers tariff £1,170/yr
  • Easily ensure you're PERMANENTLY on the cheapest. The cheapest deals usually only last a year-ish, so it's not only switching, but switching often enough, that pays. And summer bizarrely is often the cheapest time. To help, we built www.CheapEnergyClub.com. It does three things:

    1) A full market comparison to find your cheapest. Your winner depends on where you live & your usage. So enter this and it'll show you. Unlike some sites, we don't exclude those that 'don't pay us'. Plus, our top picks section shows pros & cons of some of the tariffs you may miss.

    2) When we get paid we split it with you. Suppliers pay c.£60/dual fuel switch (£30 single) to comparison sites, if they can switch you (you still get the same price as going direct). We split this, so you get £30 cashback (£15 single fuel). The rest pays our data & switch suppliers, leaving us with hopefully £11ish to pay the team that work on this, and hopefully some profit.

    3) We then do a hidden monthly comparison for you. We keep your details and then compare each month. When you're no longer on the cheapest we email you when it's time to switch again & your new winner.
  • Cheap collective switch: These are short-lived one-offs, run by trusted intermediaries. Currently this collective switch* beats the market's cheapest fix on pure price - though with the MSE cashback above, it's beatable. Collectives aren't included by comparison sites, even us, so when there are big ones we cover 'em in MSE News.
  • 4 gas & electricity need-to-knows. Full help & options in Cheap Gas & Elec, but in brief:
    1) A fix locks in the rate you pay per unit, but if you use more, the amount you pay can still rise.
    2) To get the lowest price, pay by monthly direct debit. Just ensure you give regular meter readings.
    3) If you're in credit when you switch, the provider should give money back to you. Ask if it doesn't.
    4) Cut usage to max your savings - see our Free InsulationGreen Deal and Energy Mythbusting guides.

Free £8 Malibu Piña Colada cocktail. At 700 bars (excl Scot) - show voucher on phone. Free Piña Colada. Be Drinkaware.

Discounted 'beyond best-before' foods plus EXTRA 10% off code, eg, 500ml Fanta 40p. MSE Blagged. While 'Use bys' are a health warning; 'best-before' are just a manufacturer's view of optimum quality. And one store specialises in selling at or near best-buy goods at huge discounts (min spend £17.50, delivery £5.99). Approved Food

Warning: Started uni after 2011? Govt moots making loans cost more. Read Martin's We must protest.

'Free' £10 Sunday cinema ticket with each £4 of sweets. And you can do it twice. Oscar-worthy Cinema Deal.

Dotcomgiftshop EXTRA 20% off up to 90% sale code eg, 8p stickers, £8 cake stand. MSE Blagged. Great way to stock-up on trinkets & gifts for kids and grown-ups (as p&p's £3.95 only worth doing en masse). Gifts

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%, 1.99% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

No fee 0%: Post Office*
18mths 0%, no fee

(17.8% rep APR)
Get comparison site quotes in this order...
Google*
Confused.com*
Gocompare*

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

M&S Bank* (£5k - £7.5k)
4.5% rep APR



M&S Bank* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.6% rep APR


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


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


See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Savings protection limit dropping to £75,000 from £85,000. Yet you're now protected up to £1m on cash for up to 6mths following a life event such as house sale, divorce. Full info in the Are your savings safe? guide.

Pimm's War - now £10 1L (norm £20). We thought last week's £12 was cheap. Pimm's Deals. Pls be Drinkaware.

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
A big winner using our Beat Sky Price Hikes info. "Sky planned to double my price after a discount ended. I rang it and it's given me 12 months half price, saving £400/yr."

Replace your specs' lenses for £10 with code. MSE Blagged. Use our £10 off code. See Reglazemyglasses deals.

The home insurance 'freebies' you WON'T find on comparison sites
New. The hot sign-up deals they miss include a 'free' £92 Delonghi coffee maker, £85 M&S vch & £90 gas BBQ

There's no one single cheapest home insurer. Instead you need a system to find your winner. Comparison sites are good but aren't catch-alls, we aim to fill the gap. Our full system's in Cheap Home Insurance, here's the foundation:

  1. Home InsuranceKnow 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 and cover that. b) CONTENTS - for everyone. Don't under-insure, thinking you'll never claim the full sum, eg, if you cover £10k but have £20k of stuff and your £1k TV breaks you may only get half. Use a contents calc.
  2. Search 100s of insurers in mins by combining comparisons. To get a benchmark cheap price, grab lots of quotes fast combining comparison sites (they don't cover identical insurers). Our current order's GoCompare*, CompareTheMarket, MoneySup* (see full comparison order and why).
  3. New. Find HOT deals comparisons miss. Now see if the following beat the best from comparisons...

    a) Grab quotes from big firms Direct Line* & Aviva*, which aren't on comparison sites.

    b) We've blagged links to special new combined buildings and contents policy deals. Many've gained, eg, Ken told us: "My renewal increased to £404 - using the MSE links I got it down to £170, with the M&S voucher, a total saving of £314." Here are the current ones to check - vouchers/items take up to 120 days to arrive.

    - Age UK (no min age) get a Landmann gas BBQ (RRP £90) with combined buildings & contents via link: Age UK*.
    - Age UK (no min age) £85 M&S vcher with a combined policy (£25 contents/buildings alone) via link: Age UK*.
    - Together Mutual, get a Delonghi coffee maker (RRP £92) with a new combined policy via link: Together Mutual*.
    - Together Mutual, get a £75 M&S voucher, with a new combined policy via link: Together Mutual*.
    - Legal & General, get a £65 Amazon voucher,
    with new combined cover via this link L&G* and the code GIFT15.

2,000 free Grandstand tix to Doncaster races code. For 16 Jul & 23 Jul - 1,000 each. Norm £15.50. Race deals

Tax-free childcare delayed until 2017. This new childcare scheme was due to launch and replace childcare vouchers in autumn. The new system will be better for the self-employed, worse for those where only 1 parent in a couple works. Full info & help on how to cut childcare costs in Childcare Vouchers vs Tax Free Childcare.

£113 Plain Lazy T-shirts £35 code. MSE Blagged. Lucky dip of 5 men's/women's T-shirts (norm £22 each). Plain Lazy

Want to watch The Budget with us? Join Martin on twitter for translations of what it really means, MSE twitter for updates, while MSE News will cover the stories in detail. Starts Weds 12.30pm.

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

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

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


First Direct*
£100 bonus and top cust service


Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

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

GoCompare*
CompareTheMarket
MoneySuperMarket*

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

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK
Who do you want to see on the next £20 note?
The Bank of England is asking the public to nominate a 'visual artist' to go on the back of the redesigned £20 note. If there's a photographer, fashion designer, filmmaker or other such creative who you think deserves the honour, let them know on its online form and then let us know your suggestion in the MSE forum. Suggest a campaign: This is for MSE to support work by other charities, groups and campaigners. Send your campaign of the week suggestion.

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA
Should I pay my mate for looking at my knee?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I was telling friends I'd hurt my knee in a game of badminton, and one who's a physio told me to come to his practice to get it sorted. A week later, I received an invoice from him for his full rate. I'd thought it'd be free or at least a reduced price. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I pay my mate for looking at my knee? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances (from 8 July onward)

Thu 9 Jul - GMB, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am. Watch previous
Fri 10 Jul - This Morning, ITV, 90-Second Savers, 10.30am. Watch previous
Mon 13 Jul - This Morning, ITV, Money Monday, 10.30am. Watch previous
Mon 13 Jul - Consumer Panel, BBC Radio 5, 12pm-1pm. Subscribe to podcast

MSE team corner

Regular team appearances:

Fri 10 July
BBC Radio Manchester, 4.50pm

Tue 14 July
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 2.15pm

Discussion of the week

Full nest syndrome

Most parents of grown-up children will be familiar with the concept of "empty nest syndrome" but what about when it's the other way round and they move back home? Join the Full nest syndrome discussion and share your experiences.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 139.30 125.33
US Flag $ 153.50 137.75
Turkish Flag TL 401.50 354.87
Rates correct at 2pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: How many times have you switched energy tariff in the last five years?

The Competition & Markets Authority has just launched a damning energy sector report, proving most people are being overcharged (see energy news).

One of the major problems is not enough people switch, and those who do, don't switch often enough (one reason we launched our Cheap Energy Club).

So we want to know how many times you (or someone in your household) has switched in the last five years:

Poll results

How much do you spend on alcohol each year?
The surprising difference was that women apparently spend an average of just £562 per year on alcohol compared to £1,140 for men. Could this be linked to the archaic view that men should pay for women on dates? Or are women just more health-conscious?

Here are more of the results:

- 32% of men spend £1,000+/yr
- 15% of women do the same
- 2% of all spend £5,000+/yr

12,851 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q: Does being terminally ill affect an individual's credit rating or their spouses? Sharon, via Twitter.

MSE Helen's A: No. While there's a lot that a credit reference agency does know about you, there's also a lot that it doesn't - and your state of health falls into the latter category.

However, missing payments, for example because you've been hospitalised, could affect your rating. Try to avoid it, but if that happens, you can put a 'notice of correction' on your file. This is a max 200-word note, which allows you to explain any entry on your credit file. It means future applications for credit will be assessed by a human - which may delay them - but will also allow the information to be taken into account, rather than getting an automatic computer decline.

For more on what does and doesn't affect your rating, read our Credit Scores guide.

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

 Nick's free game of the week: 3D Pong

"Cheap scart lead busted my shiny, new TV"

That's it for this week, but before we go, have you ever bought something you instantly regretted? Whether faulty goods or just down-right wastes of money (eg, clothes you’ve never worn). Share your biggest regret in the forum. And know your Consumer Rights if you want your money back.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

Important. Please read how MoneySavingExpert.com 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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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 MoneySavingExpert.com?

Founded in February 2003, it's now the UK's biggest consumer help website with more than 10 million people getting this email and about 13 million using the site every month. In September 2012 it became part of the MoneySupermarket Group PLC. Its focus is simple: saving cash and fighting for financial justice on anything and everything. The site has over 80 full time staff, more than a third of whom are editorial – researching, analysing and writing to continually find ways to save money. More info: See About MSE

Who is Martin Lewis?

Martin set up and runs MSE, and still writes this email each week (unless it says so). He's an ultra-focused money-saving journalist and consumer campaigner with his own ITV prime-time show The Martin Lewis Money Show and weekly slots on Radio 5 Live, This Morning and Good Morning Britain, among others. He’s a columnist for publications including the Telegraph, Sunday Mirror and Woman magazine. More info: See Martin Lewis' biography

What do the links with a * mean?

Any links with a * by them are affiliated, which means get a product via this link and a contribution may be made to MoneySavingExpert.com, 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

revolut.com, weswap.com, fairfx.com, halifax.co.uk, tsb.co.uk, bank.marksandspencer.com, co-operativebank.co.uk, firstdirect.com, cbonline.co.uk, ybonline.co.uk, postoffice.co.uk, google.co.uk, confused.com, gocompare.com, directline.com, aviva.co.uk, admiral.com, moneysupermarket.com, ageuk.org.uk, togethermutualinsurance.co.uk, legalandgeneral.com, santander.co.uk, directsavetelecom.co.uk.

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

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