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08th Aug 2018
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 This info may be out of date.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 August 2018
         
Hi - here are your latest deals, freebies, tricks and messages to help you save.
                                                           
 


 

Urgent. As base rate hits 0.75%, sort your mortgage and savings NOW

- MORTGAGES could cost £100s/yr more if you stay put
- SAVINGS could rise - but millions will still get a raw deal
- Plus how CREDIT CARDS and LOANS are affected

As was widely expected, the Bank of England announced an increase in the base rate from 0.5% to 0.75% last Thursday. It's the second rise in 9mths, taking the rate that underpins many savings and borrowing deals to its highest level in over 9yrs. A few days on it's still a live issue with much still to change, so make this your wake-up call to ditch rip-off rates. 

Mortgage holders - check NOW if you can save £1,000s

Millions vastly overpay already and many variable rates will soon rise by 0.25 percentage points. On a typical 4% standard variable rate (SVR) that jumps to 4.25%, that's about £250/yr more on £150k. So getting a better deal is key for many, and there's still a window to bag ultra-cheap deals as new rates have hardly risen since Thu. But many expect them to jump soon as there's often a lag so go quick. 

Here's the impact on your mortgage from the rise and what to do (see lender-by-lender changes for how variable mortgages are moving).

  • On a fix? There's no change for now, but any deal you revert to - likely to be an already pricey SVR - may cost even more. Diarise 6mths before the end to sort a new deal.
  • On an SVR? You probably overpay already as the top 2yr fix is 1.35% - which after fees is £2.5k-ish cheaper over 2yrs compared to a 4.25% SVR on a typical £150k repayment mortgage. SVRs don't tend to have onerous switching fees, so ditching could net huge savings.
  • On another variable rate, incl trackers? Trackers will rise by 0.25 percentage points as they, er, track the base rate or a bank's similar measure. Other variable rates are likely to jump too. There may be big fees to ditch these early so check them if you find a better deal. 

Here's how to bag a new mortgage (full info in our Remortgage Guide):

  • Check your current mortgage: rate, type (fix/variable), when the intro deal ends, the full term, early exit penalties & loan to value.
  • Benchmark a top new deal via our Mortgage Best-Buy Comparison.
  • See if you'll save on it with our Ultimate Mortgage Calculator.
  • Can I afford it, do I qualify, should I fix, etc? It's a maze so a mortgage broker can help you decide what to do, plus they may have special deals you may not see direct. But you need a good credit record and lots of equity to bag the top deals.

Fix/tracker ending soon? You can lock in some rates up to 6mths ahead, check now if you can save.

Savers - end the rip-off and bin sub-1% rates


We'd already seen a savings mini-revival in advance of the base rate rise, and since Thu the top 1yr fix has risen further - from 2.05% to 2.15%.

For existing customers, fixed rates won't increase and only a few banks have promised to pass the rise on to existing variable rate customers (see savings rates latest). But whatever happens, many savers will still linger on dismal sub-1% deals. You can change that with these best buys (all below have £85,000 per person UK savings protection):

  • Up to 1.4% easy access. These let you deposit and withdraw at will, and are variable so can move up or down. The best are:

    - 1.4% AER variable (incl 0.4% 1yr bonus) from Coventry BS*, but you're limited to three penalty-free withdrawals a year.
    - 1.35% AER variable from Lloyds-owned Birmingham Midshires*. You can withdraw fee-free at any point but the first deposit must be by cheque. In 1yr the rate will dive.

    With both, you can save from £1 but remember to ditch 'em in 1yr. Full help and more options in easy-access savings.
     
  • Top 1yr fixes up to 2.15%. Here you get a better rate - which is fixed - in return for locking your money away for 1yr. The best are:

    - 2.15% AER from Wyelands Bank* (min £5,000 deposit).
    - 2.05% AER from Atom Bank (min £50).
    - On £10k+, 'savings marketplace' Raisin generally beats Atom but not Wyelands, as Raisin gives a £20-£80 bonus via an ICICI 1.95% fix.

    There's a chance best buys could rise further, but as long as you've been accepted you've 14 days with Wyelands, seven with Atom and five working days with Raisin/ICICI to deposit money before you're locked in, so you could wait to see. You can earn more on longer fixes but naturally you're tied in for longer. See top fixes for full help and options.

  • Up to 5% on smaller amounts. Some current accounts offer high interest if you meet certain criteria - see current account savings. Some also have linked regular savers paying up to 5%.
What about credit cards and loans?

  • Credit card rates are not usually linked to base rate, but if you're paying interest, shift debt to 0% anyway. If you pay credit or store card interest check if you can shift the debt to a new up to 36mths 0% card, whether APRs rise or not.

    For most with debt the challenge is being accepted, so use our 0% Balance Transfer Eligibility Calc, which shows which deals you're most likely to get. Full help in Best Balance Transfers.

  • Existing loans probably won't jump but cheapest-ever deals from 2.7% for new customers are unlikely to go lower. Loan rates tend to be fixed so you should be safe if you've one. For new borrowing, rates hit record lows in recent weeks and while not directly linked to the base rate, realistically they're unlikely to get lower.

    So if you need to borrow (eg, your fridge has packed up), now's a good time - but we're not saying rush just because they're cheap. First use our Loans Eligibility Calc to check your acceptance chances for top rates, and get full help in our Cheap Loans guide.
 
 

DON'T believe the fake ads on Facebook
Lots of scam ads that litter social media lie that we or Martin promote Bitcoin, binary trading etc. See Fake ads warning.

 

 
 

Your favourite banking apps - ALL with good cash or spending perks

A huge 22m regularly use one. And the top apps come with fee-free spending abroad and/or cashback

In our two recent banking-app polls, Starling and Monzo were in the top positions both times. They're app-only banks with debit cards but no branches, and their apps offer the usual features (eg, transferring cash) with added gizmos. Plus they have good perks - as does our polls' next best, NatWest. So if your bank's app-alling, and a good mobile experience matters, here are the accounts with top apps and hot perks. If you don't care about apps, you can get bigger bonuses on traditional accounts, as stated below. And as we always say, switching's easy.

  • https://images6.moneysavingexpert.com/images/img-mobile-banking.pngTop-rated apps - incl no fees abroad. A huge 70%-ish rated Starling's and Monzo's apps (for Apple and Android) 'great, with lots of features' in Nov and Jun's polls. Starling won one, Monzo the other, with little between them. Both offer gizmos such as spending notifications, letting you freeze lost cards and ring-fencing cash into pots for savings etc. But Starling wins on perks:
     
    - Fee-free abroad + 0.5% interest. Starling* has no spending or ATM fees abroad - most others charge 3%. Plus you get 0.5% AER variable interest on up to £2k, 0.25% on £2k-£85k. Cards come in 3-5 working days and you can pay in cash at NatWest, and cheques by post.
     
    - Fee-free spending abroad but with a big cash restriction. Monzo* has no overseas spending fees but is only fee-free on up to £200 per 30 days at ATMs abroad (then 3%). Cards take roughly 3 working days to arrive and you can pay in cheques by post, but annoyingly you CAN'T pay in cash.

    - There aren't lots of conditions to get these perks (eg, min pay-ins) like traditional bank switch bonuses. You can open, then dump it if not for you - plus there's no hard credit check if you choose no overdraft. See App Banking for more.

  • Next-best app - with 2% bills cashback. NatWest's app, on Apple, Android and Windows, doesn't have the extra gizmos, but it was rated 3rd overall and best of the 'traditional' banks in both polls. Here's its account with the best perk (you have to pass a credit check):
     
     For £2/mth NatWest Reward* gives 2% cashback on council tax, energy, water, mobile, landline, TV and broadband bills paid by direct debit. On what we consider average bills it pays about £65/yr after the fee, £135/yr on high bills. To get the cashback, log in to online/mobile banking every 3mths and pay in £1,500+/mth.

  • Don't care about apps? £185 M&S vchs or top service instead. See Top Bank Accounts, incl how easy it is to switch.
 
STOP PRESS. British Gas to hike prices for second time this year. Announced just after we sent out the email. Millions can save by ditching and switching now - check if you can cut your bill by £100s via Cheap Energy Club.

How to get 10p/litre off Tesco petrol & diesel. Useful as prices are among the highest in 4yrs. See Cheap Petrol.

£37 of No7 beauty products for £12. Incl highlighter and eyeshadow palette. Ltd stock. Boots No7

New. £25 cashback when you shift debt to 32mths 0%. Transfer a £100+ balance to this M&S card (eligibility calc / apply*) and you're charged a fee of 0.99% of the amount transferred (min £5). But newbies who apply by 31 Aug and transfer by 31 Oct get £25 - which cancels out the fee on sub-£2,525 balances. Always pay the minimum each month and clear the card before the 0% ends or it's 19.9% rep APR. Full info and more options in Balance Transfers (APR Examples). 

100+ supermarket coupons worth £100+ incl £2.50 off Krispy Kreme, free iced drink. We've done the legwork as they're harder to find these days. 100+ coupons

Ending. Airport lounge access from £15 via up to 40% off code. At Gatwick (£15-£36), Birmingham and Edinburgh (£16-£21), and Heathrow T3 (£19-£26). Book by Sun, use by 31 Oct. See Cheap Airport Lounges. 

Driving in Europe this summer? Full help incl equipment needed, insurance, speed limits. See our NEW Driving in Europe guide.

 
 

Revealed: The best time to get home insurance

Hitting the sweet spot - 3 weeks ahead - saves an average 20%+ compared with buying cover on the day it starts

We revealed last week it's best to buy car insurance three weeks before it starts or renews. Today we show it's the same for home insurance. That's based on analysis of 3m+ quotes from Jan-June we requested from the four comparison sites listed below. While 21 days ahead is best, average prices are still good 17-30 days ahead, as explained in our home insurance price probe. Use our cheap home insurance system to save - here are the basics... 

  • The biggest savings come from NEVER auto-renewing. Instead COMBINE comparisons to scour 100s of insurers in mins. They don't search identical insurers, nor give identical prices, so combine them three weeks ahead. Our current order's MoneySupermarket*, Compare The Market*, Gocompare* and Confused.com*. See how we rank them. Victoria emailed: "My renewal was £1,481 but via a comparison I paid £294."

  • Then check HOT deals comparisons miss, eg, £50 food vch. Here are the biggies on combined buildings and contents insurance - vouchers can take up to 75 days to arrive:
     
     - £50 food voucher from Co-op*.
     
    - £40 Amazon voucher via these MSE Blagged Direct Line* or Churchill* links.

    Plus check prices from Aviva*, as it's not listed on comparisons. More help in home insurance promos.

  • Do you struggle to get cover, eg, your home's prone to flooding? There's full help in our home insurance struggles section, incl a promo from a specialist provider offering a £50 Amazon voucher.

  • Home insurance need-to-knows. 
    - Buildings insurance is usually only for freeholders, contents insurance for all.
    Many wrongly insure the home's value. Instead use a calc for the rebuild cost if it were knocked down and cover that. 
    Don't underinsure contents, thinking you'll never claim it all - you may not get a full payout
 

Urgent. Beat BT's broadband, phone & TV price hike. It's hiking prices on Sun 16 Sep - the perfect trigger to switch if you're overpaying. If out of contract you can leave penalty-free, but if tied in, you must have told BT you're leaving within 30 days from when it notified you, to escape without charge. Some will have missed the boat and while the window's open for others, it won't be for long. Use our Broadband Unbundled tool and see if you can slash costs.

Use contact lenses? Trick to get 'em 20% cheaper. See cheap contact lenses.

Childcare vouchers scheme closing to new applicants - could be worth £100s. Check if childcare vouchers win for you and slash childcare costs.

'Sunbelievable' sunflower plant £6 delivered (norm £20). MSE Blagged. Can produce 1,000+ blooms. 9k avail. Cheap flowers

New. Cheap high-data Vodafone Sims, incl unltd mins & texts + 20GB for '£11/mth'. While these are decent value, they're only for data gobblers, as 4GB costs £8/mth. Over the 1yr deal via these links, Vodafone newbies pay £20/mth for 20GB* or £25/mth for 40GB* - but claim a £110 Amazon vch, and if you'd spend it anyway, they're equiv to £10.84/mth or £15.84/mth. Full help in Cheap Sims.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - code gets 12 books for £11 delivered. MSE Blagged. Norm £18ish. Read all about it

 
 

Tell your friends about us

They can get this email free every week

 
 

AT A GLANCE BEST BUYS

Longest 0%: MBNA* up to 36mths 0%, 2.49% fee (19.9% rep APR)
No-fee 0%: 
Santander* 27 mths 0%, no fee (18.9% rep APR)

Get comparison site quotes in this order:

  1. Confused.com*
  2. MoneySupermarket.com*
  3. CompareTheMarket*
  4. Gocompare*

Then check insurers they miss: 
Direct Line*
Aviva*

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Sainsbury's Bank* 3.2% rep APR (Nectar custs, 1-3 yrs)
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k: Sainsbury's Bank* 2.7% rep APR (Nectar custs, 1-3 yrs)

Standard b'band & line rent: TalkTalk equiv £12.42/mth
Fibre b'band & line rent: 
TalkTalk equiv £19.73/mth

Choice of £150 Expedia vch, tech gadget & more: First Direct
5% interest fixed for a year: 
Nationwide FlexDirect

 

If you've ever been delayed - this summer or in the past 6yrs - check now if you're owed up to £540 per person

We've hit peak travel season and with it a wave of flight cancellations and delays has caused misery for thousands of holidaymakers. But if you've been delayed, the silver lining is you could be owed big compensation. There's full info in our Flight Delay guide with free reclaim tool, which'll help if you've been hit - or you can brush up on your rights in case it happens in future. Here's our checklist:

  • The key flight delay compensation rules.  
    - You can claim for delays dating back to 2012. See full claims timeline.
    - You must have arrived 3hrs+ late (see how to check past delay lengths).
    - Flights from EU airports count, or to an EU airport on an EU airline. Which flights count?
    - Compensation's fixed, based on delay and journey length. How much am I owed?
    - It must be the airline's fault, eg, a technical fault. What counts?
    - Airlines may offer vouchers, but you're entitled to cash, so go back to 'em.

  • Use our FREE online reclaim tool - don't pay anyone to claim. Our flight delay reclaim tool (in collaboration with complaints site Resolver) uses template letters to draft your complaint, track it and help escalate it to the relevant regulator or resolution scheme if rejected - plus you keep ALL the compensation. Nic claimed for his family: "Using Resolver we were told within 24 hours of submitting the claim that we were due £1,406. Used it towards a holiday to Gran Canaria."  And that story's typical as our inbox is bulging with big wins.

  • Is it fair to airlines? Not always, eg, a delay on a £20 flight can cost it £100s. See legal vs moral concerns.

  • Our NEW 'know your rights at the airport' list if you're stuck. Hopefully your holiday is or was hitch-free, but if not, we've a quick run-through on what your airline must do to help, eg, cover food costs.

 

Discounted full Sky Sports, £179 for 10mths. Timely with the football season under way. It's via Sky's Now TV streaming service - you don't need a Sky or any other digital TV box - but it's not in HD. It's equiv to £17.90/mth, which is MUCH cheaper than via Sky directly. Cheap Sky Sports

MASSIVE PPI WIN - SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: 
"Finally got round to completing my PPI claim from two banks using your templates. Got £18,500 in total with just a couple of hours' work. Thanks."
(Send us yours on this or any topic.)

Karen Millen 25% off EVERYTHING code. MSE Blagged. Includes sale, ends Sunday. Karen Millen

Free Homebuilding & Renovating Show tickets. 21-23 Sep at ExCel London plus other locations in the coming months. 3,000 pairs avail, norm £8-£12. Homebuilding & Renovating

 

THIS WEEK'S POLL

When did you last move your savings? Savings rates have crept up slightly since last week's base rate rise. If your savings earn less than 1%, it's time to move (see Top Savings Accounts). Yet we know switching savings isn't everyone's top priority, even though we'd urge you to think again. When did you last move your savings?

The majority of MoneySavers use a specialist travel card or cash to spend abroad. In last week's poll, we asked how you usually spend overseas. More than a third use a top travel credit card, which is one of the cheapest ways. Getting cash in advance was popular among under-25s, with four in 10 preferring this method. See full spending abroad poll results.

 
 

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA

Should I be compensated for buying work items in my time? I regularly use my cash to buy items I need for work, then claim it back. My employer reimburses me for the cost but not the time or travel. Yet it often takes lots of time, and I pay petrol and car running costs to get them. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I be compensated for buying work items in my own time? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

THE QUICKIES

- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: August's Bring Your Lunch to Work
- Competitions thread of the week: Adrenalin-fuelled six-night holiday in New Zealand 
- Old-Style board thread of the week: How to freshen my loo... old style
- Discussion of the week: Pension or house deposit?

 

Brewdog - £20 beer tasting and cheese platter
Naked Wines - £35 for 7 bottles and 2 glasses
Nando's - free £4ish chicken with £6 spend
PlayStation - August's 'free' PlayStation Plus games
Soap & Glory - £24.30 'Spa of Wonder' set

Meerkat Meals - 2for1 at 1,000s of restaurants for £1ish
Prezzo - 40% off mains
Zizzi - 30% off mains
Burger King - meal deals incl £2 burger and fries
Just Eat - 20%-30% off selected takeaways

Alton Towers - half-price entry with Carex hand wash
Chessington - 2for1 via £1 chocs
Legoland - 2for1 with £3ish cereal
Thorpe Park - 2for1 with 79p spend
Sea Life - 2for1 with National Rail

Quick Forum Tips

Free £4 Soap & Glory face mask with £12 spend. Let's face it
£1.50 'yellow-sticker' veg box at Lidl. Yellow sticker road
20% off gift cards, eg, Odeon at Tesco. Film me in

 
 

MSE TEAM APPEARANCES (SUBJECTS TBC)
Fri 10 Aug - BBC South West stations, Good Morning with Joe Lemer, from 5am
Mon 13 Aug - TalkRadio, Breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer, 9.45am
Tue 14 Aug - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with Jeremy Sallis, 2.20pm

 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Q: I'm selling my house and I have an early repayment charge on my mortgage. This is unfair as I'm not moving to another mortgage but paying mine off. Is there any to avoid it? David, via email. 

MSE Sarah G's A: This is a common charge - unfortunately part of most mortgage contracts - that can be levied when you pay off the home loan before the end of a fixed or tracker period, whatever the reason. So sadly there's probably not much you can do about it.

Yet it's worth chatting through your circumstances with your existing lender and a good mortgage broker in case it's a hefty charge that could be avoided. For instance, if you're buying another home, you may be able to transfer your existing mortgage to that property (known as porting), rather than repay it and incur the early repayment charge. Not all mortgages are portable though, and you would of course still pay interest if you kept the mortgage, plus other fees to move it, so carefully check it adds up in your favour. See our Cheap Mortgages guide for more help.

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

 

'I HAVE A STASH OF PUREES AND JAMS FROM 2012 WHICH ARE STILL FRESH'

That's all for this week, but before we go... preserving seems to be a big hit on the MSE Forum and MoneySavers are discussing the benefits of this way to reduce wastage and stock up for less. One of our favourite responses is a stash of purees and jams which are still lid-popping fresh - from 2012. Are you a preserving enthusiast? Share your treasures in our preserving forum thread.

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

 
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