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Weekly Email
Archive
This email was sent
10th Jun 2009
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email
10 June 2009
         
Sent: Wednesday 10 June
Highlights below include ...
£1 Europe Flights Fix Savings at 4.35%
Tax Credit Warning Piz. Exp 2for1 + garlic brd

Free Sky+ HD, Cheap Car Ins, Cash from comping

Urgently time to fix your mortgage?
Brokers warn cheap fixes are disappearing!

Leading mortgage brokers are warning interest rates on fixed mortgages may jump by up to 0.5% points within days, adding £40ish a month to a £100,000 mortgage. Therefore, if you're considering fixing soon, it's likely you need to act urgently.

  • Why fixed rates are likely to rise. Fixed deals have little to do with UK base rates. Instead, lenders set them based on 'swap rates' which are the City's long-term interest rate forecast. In the last few days, these have rocketed. Eg, 2-year swap rates were 1.98% mid-May, they're now 2.48%; 3yr swaps were 2.49% they're now 3.11%. And this is what the banks pay, so customers' rates could jump by even more.

  • Get in under the wire. Lenders launch fixed rates in tranches, eg, they put out a £500m batch at a set rate. When it's gone they launch a new rate and those are now likely to be higher. Yet you may still be able to get in under the wire on a deal launched a few weeks ago.

  • Will fixed rates keep rising? No idea. This isn't a 'fix now as it'll never be this cheap again' issue, it's 'if you're about to fix do it quickly'. Ray Boulger, from broker Charcol, says: "The message for borrowers wanting to take a fix is clear; get in now or miss out on the current relatively low rates."

  • How to find a mortgage. Use a whole-of-market mortgage broker, who'll search all mortgages available to them to get you the best deal. Yet some lenders don't allow brokers access, so you need to check their deals direct (see Cheap Mortgage Finding guide). Eg, HSBC's one of these, and currently lets you pick a new fixed rate deal as low as 2.49%, though the fee could be huge.

  • Should you fix? Fixed rates' benefit is you get surety of knowing EXACTLY what you'll be paying out. Conversely, a variable rate (eg. trackers, discounts and SVRs) can change based on interest rates, and thus may be cheaper or more expensive. Deciding is all about how important surety is for you, see the Fixed vs Discount Q&A guide.

More info in the 30-page free printed remortgage guide or new mortgage guide.

TOP 5 MOST READ GUIDES

Week of Tue 2 Jun - Mon 8 Jun '09
(Last week's position)

1. Beauty Freebies (New)
2. Top Savings (4)
3. Top Cash ISAs (6)
4. Freebies, Freebies, Freebies (5)
5. Cheap Travel Money (7)
6. Cheap & Free Flights (8)
7. Make Cash From Surveys (New)
8. Healthcare Cashplans (New)
9. Council Tax Rebanding (1)
10. Cheap Digital Cameras (New)

What a beautiful lot MoneySavers are. The free mascara deal (still on) boosted the beauty deals note to the top of the table.

The brand new healthcare cashplans guide came in 8th, a respectable position but I still suspect too many people are unaware of this very cheap way to cover their families dental, optical and some medical costs.

The above excludes daily deals notes

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The Ones Not To Miss
MSE

Comping for cash! Enter contests & boost income by £1,000s? Inc. Insider tricks.
Comping is a new-style profitable hobby potentially turning entering free competitions into serious cash. How it works: Systematically source and enter 100s of the right contests by using special web gadgets to form-fill at speed, answer questions & help with tie-breaks. This bulk entry system significantly boosts the odds of winning. How much's possible? The Forum's biggest single win is a whopping £20,000 cash, many others £1,000-£2,000 worth of luxury holidays, swanky gadgets, mobiles and more, but there's no guarantee. This is a brand new step-by-step guide to being a comper, and joining the 1,000s working together in the Competitions forum. New Guide: Comping: Win competitions for cash Related: Boost Your Income, Survey Stashing, Competitons Board

Pizza Express 2for1 PLUS free garlic bread. We've blagged a click 'n' print MoneySavers-only Pizza Express 2for1 voucher valid 14-21 June (exc. Sat). It joins new 2for1s at Ask, Las Iguanas & a £5 burger & drink at O'Neill's in the Daily Deals List: Restaurant Vouchers

FREE Sky+ HD box & line rental or free Sky+ & £25 cashback. New top Sky deals.
Sky+ lets you record and pause the action. A new promo deal only via price comparison site Simplify Digital (the links below take you there) smacks the bottom of any others as it gives an automatic £55 cashback. Free Sky+ HD box. The Sky+ HD deal* gets you the box for £49 (usually £199) but gives £55 cashback on top, leaving you £6 up overall (installation is free). It also includes free Sky phone line rental (worth £120 a year). Yet the cheapest HD package subscription is £26.25/mth on a year's contract. Of course, to watch in High Definition you'll need an HD TV. Free Sky+ and £25. Alternatively, the Sky+ deal* gets you a box free (usually £99) and £55 cashback on top, though there's a £30 installation fee. Line rental's not included, but the cheapest package costs £16.50/mth. FULL info, pros, cons, alternatives & updates in the New Deals Note: Cheap Sky Related: Cheap Home Phone, Cheap Broadband

URGENT! £1(ish) European flights ends midnight Thurs 11 June. Ryanair's selling a million £1 (incl. some taxes & charges) flights from 18 UK airports for most of 23 June - 24 Oct. FULL info & how to speedily find them in the Updated Guide: £1 Ryanair Flights Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels

Major Update! Cheap Car Insurance: which comparison sites win? Record is £14/yr
The key to super-cheap car insurance is combining comparison sites in the right order, to cover as much of the market as possible in the shortest time. We do a mammoth quarterly survey & assessment to calculate this. Our latest results: First combine MoneySupermarket* and GoCompare* to get a total of 123 insurers in about 10 mins. Then, if you've time, Confused* and CompareTM* for an additional 25. Grab cashback: Once you know the cheapest, sign up to it via a cashback website for up to a further £100 discount. Record Result: The cheapest so far using this system is £14/year fully comp. (£134 quote then £120 cashback). FULL detailed step-by-step info in the Updated Guide: Cheap Car Insurance. Other Insurance Guides: Van, Bike, Home

230,000 £29 rooms (min 2 nts) at 4* Premier Inn at 300+ UK-wide hotels. Ends 6 Sept. Book 21 days in advance. See the Deals List: Hotel Sales

Got friends who'd like to save? Please tell them about this email

10,000 free copies of Moneywise mag, worth £4.25 each. Blagged for MoneySavers. Want one?

New top fixed savings. Lock-in at 4.35% for 2 yrs or 4.07% for 18 mths. Updated Article
Fixed savings rates are on the up, with the best 2-yr fixes beating instant access by over 1% point; though you sacrifice access to the cash. 2-yr Fixes. UK subsidiary of Indian bank ICICI* (min. £1,000) is now joined by private bank Rothschild* at 4.35% AER (min. £20,000) Shorter Fixes: Building soc. Stroud & Swindon pays 4.07% AER until Nov 2010 if (min. £2k), while for a year National Counties is 3.91% (min. £20k) and ICICI* 3.75% (min. £1k). How safe? ALL these accounts have the full UK protection for up to £50,000 per person, per financial institution. Is it worth it? Most economists predict rates will stay very low into 2010, but after that who knows. If rates rise, fixed money is locked away, so you could lose out especially on longer fixes. FULL info, more options and instant access best buys in the Updated Guide: Top Savings Related: Savings Safety, Fixed Savings, Cash ISAs

Setanta Customer? Urgently check HOW you pay. Full info in the MSE News Story: Setanta Payments Warning

Tax Credits Warning. Are you getting the £100s/£1,000s you're entitled to?
It's renewal time for both Child and Working Tax credits, so it's crucial for EVERYONE to check their eligibility. Already receiving it? Renewal packs are being sent out. Check yours is correct and send it back before 31 July or your payments could stop. Have you been overpaid? Some were overpaid last year (thankfully fewer than in prior years) and have to pay the cash back (see link for info). Are you eligible? Even those with family incomes up to £66,000 may qualify. The bigger payouts are for those with kids, on lower incomes, the over 50s, couples and those paying for childcare. FULL info in the Forum Note: Tax Credits Claiming Related: Childcare Tax Credit, Benefits Checkup, Recession Guide, Money Makeover. Video of the Week: An interesting piece on the basics of tax credits from the Community Channel

Tax Credits

New 2for1s. Alton Towers click n print; Thorpe Park & Chessington in 20p newspaper. For full info see the Daily Deals List: Cheap Days Out

Cheapest ever mobile tariff £5/mth. 50 mins & 50 texts. Compare, haggle or switch
Orange has just launched the cheapest EVER monthly tariff. It has a choice of two handsets, and for lowish users beats the cheapest equivalent pay-as-you-go deals. Yet the contract's a mammoth 36 mths & outside the inclusive allowance costs are high at 25p/min and 15p/text. Compare it: Of the main comparison sites OneCompare*, MobilePhoneChecker* & Omio all now include this tariff, so you can see how it stacks up, see Cheap Mobiles for FULL info. Use it to haggle! If you don't want to switch, use this low rate as a negotiating chip by asking your existing network to match or beat it, see mobile haggling for a step-by-step guide. Related: Cheap Home Phones, Calling Mobiles Cheaply, Sell Old Mobiles

It's started! Call home on mobiles when abroad at UK costs. Vodafone's June-Aug 'passport' promo means you don't pay more when overseas. Better still non-Vodafone users can grab a free Sim to do it. FULL info in the Deals Note: Voda-fone Home

Last Chance! 50p personalised photo Fathers' Day card. Ends Sat. Bonus Print's extended this promo where you only pay for postage. Simply upload your photo & message and order before Sat 13 June for Fathers' Day (21 June). See the Forum Note: Free Fathers' Day card

Top Bank Account if you earn over £6,000. Now earn 6% interest and get a 0% overdraft
The Alliance & Leicester* Premier Direct account has boosted the amount of in-credit interest paid to new customers by 1% point: it's now 6% for the first year on balances up to £2,500, as well as a 0% overdraft. To qualify, you need to pass a credit score and pay your earnings in (min. £6,050). Earn over £15,000? Alternatives Bank of Scotland* & Halifax* both pay £5/mth if you pay in your earnings each month. For those who keep less than £1,250 in the account, these beat A&L. Earn over £23,000? Get £100: First Direct* pays a £100 bonus when you get it, which blasts everything else out of the water, but again you must pay your salary in. FULL pros, cons & alternatives in the Updated Guide: Bank Accounts Related: Best Balance Transfers

Thomas Cook: holidays "safe" despite owner's insolvency. See the MSE News story: Thomas Cook Related: Section 75

Do you have a B&B, GMAC or Advantage mortgage? You could have your debt slashed by £1,000s. Some struggling lenders want borrowers off their books so badly they're willing to cut your debt if you switch. See the MSE News Story: Mortgage Debt Slashed Related: Cheap Mortgage Finding


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The Big & Easy Ways to Save Checklist
Quick links or click the titles for full pros, cons, alternatives & more savings


More MoneySaving
MSE


The Great "Extreme MoneySaving" Hunt:  How far do you go?

In these credit crunch times, how far do you go with MoneySaving?  Whether it's making your own lemonade in restaurants (ask for tapwater with lemon & add sugar), the old ‘reuse teabags ten times’ or more – then tell us all. Add yours/Read Others: Extreme MoneySaving. Past Great Hunts: Summer Party, View All

Norwich Union with-profits policyholders to share £1.4bn. But you must contact the insurer within two months to get the cash. See the MSE News story: NU payout

Lynn Faulds Wood says "Check your Bowels". MSE supports Bowel Cancer Faster Diagnosis 8-15 June
Former Watchdog presenter & consumer journalist Lynn Faulds Wood isn't someone to mess with. She nobbled me in the GMTV green room, and made me promise to plug her charity's very important awareness week. Why Bowel Cancer: Lynn had it & Brits are among the slowest in Europe in coming forward to be checked for this common cancer; leaving too many dying unnecessarily. Typical Symptons: Rectal bleeding and changes in bowel habits, but that doesn't automatically mean cancer. Find out more: See Lynn's site www.bowelcancer.tv

Concerns continue to mount for Irish banks. See the MSE News Story: Irish Problems

Beat Nationwide's ban on getting its current account just for super-cheap overseas spending.
The very cheapest way to spend in Europe is using Nationwide's Debit card, as you get the best exchange rate, no cash withdrawal fee or interest. Many holidaymakers have opened accounts just to load cash onto it, to then use while overseas. New Rule: Nationwide's changed the rules to stop new customers getting cheap foreign spending, unless it's their main current account. Their salary or pension must be paid into it. Beat this: Open a free e-Savings plus account with £1, and you count as an existing customer to get all the cheap overseas rates. More info in the MSE News Story: Nationwide loophole Updated Guide: Cheap Travel Money

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Billy do Vinny's telly deal?
Billy's on the lookout for a bargain high def TV, so he asks his cousin Vinny - who runs a small TV shop - to do him a deal. Vinny says for family he€™ll order in the telly and beat any web price by £5, but only if Billy pays in cash. He then goes on to explain business has been tough recently and he's very grateful as he's really struggling and he needs any business. Yet of course his means there's a risk he could go under before delivery. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should Billy do Vinny's telly deal? Previous MMDs: View All

 

 


QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Q. In 2005, it was suggested that I put my daughter's £500 Child Trust Fund money into a share saver account. Its value has now dropped and is worth LESS than the original amount given to me. Would you suggest I leave it where it is or move it to a normal savings account? Bina Campbell, by email

A. The government gives all families with new-born children a £250 or £500 voucher to put into a Child Trust Fund. The choice is simple: you can either save it, and get a set interest rate, or invest it in shares, which means the amount can go up or down. This should've been explained.

Over the long run, historically, shares have outperformed savings accounts, but there are never any guarantees. You chose the riskier route and currently it hasn't worked, yet that doesn't mean by the time your daughter can cash it in age 18 it won't have bounced back. The current loss is just on paper.

As no one knows what'll happen to the market, the decision is all about risk. If you want to just play very safe, transfer the money to a CTF savings account (see Top CTF Accounts) and you'll just get the interest rate stated. (note you can't withdraw it to a normal savings account as you suggest)

However, the money you've already lost will be gone for good by switching, as that's the risk you took placing the money in shares. If you choose to gamble that it'll bounce back, but risk further losses, then stick with an investment CTF (though you could change the specific fund).

Discuss: Child Trust Fund Savings
Suggest: A question of the week

(big general issues not personal q's pls)

 Quick Forum Tips
Warning! Bargains listed here tend to sell out quickly

Theatre, Concert & Event Tickets: Find bargain show deals
The Theatre, Concert & Event Tickets board offers a wealth of top tips & ideas on where to grab cheap seats for events and shows. Recent discussions include Glasgow Proms in the Park Free Ticket Lottery, Parking at the 02 arena and Which are the good theatre seats? Related: Cheap Tickets

Great 'Summer Party' Hunt Result
Recession or not, summer isn't the same without a few barbecues and get-togethers with friends and family. So, last week we asked for your top tips on cutting the cost of summer parties. There were some great suggestions including Don't buy all the food!, Go Value and Make Punch

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Britain at War Magazine, Huggies Swimming Nappy, "Sounds Of The Summer" MP3 Download
Experiment Kits For Schools, Volvo Racing PC Game, Open Air Movies (Mancs)



Odds and Ends
MSE

Martin's Appearances...Weds 10 - Tues 16 June
These are scheduled appearances, though other ad hocs may happen. See the appearances list for updates.

  • Thurs, GMTV, sometime between 8:30 & 9:30am on ITV1. Deals of the Week.
  • Fri, Jeremy Vine, Radio 2, between 1 & 2pm. The subject's undecided.
  • Tues, GMTV, sometime between 7:20 & 9:30am on ITV1. The topic's news reactive.

This week's Martin's Blog: "The new MSE weather prediction service" Read m'blogs (or RSS users access)

Should we withdraw from Europe? This week's poll. Vote and Eurosceptic? discussion.

The Royal mail should be kept public! 6,520 voted last week. The 61% majority of you voted against the govt's plans to part-privatise the Royal mail, saying it should always be a public service. A combined 83% of the vote went against the plans in total, leaving just 15% in favour of privatisation, and a further 2% who weren't bothered either way. See Royal Mail poll results.

Archna's Free Game of the Week! Try the fiendishly tricky Chat Noir

Lifeislikeaboxofchocolategoodmorningvietnamnobodyputsbabyinthecorner.  That's it for this week, but can you resist seeing the 100 best movie lines in 200 seconds? Make my day

We hope you save some money

Martin & the MSE team

Explanation of * Links

FSA NOTE: Referring people to insurers or insurance intermediaries can in some circumstances require FSA authorisation. For this reason, Martin Lewis of Shepherd's Studios, Rockley Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W14 0EH is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

How this site is financed.  Any links with a * by them are affiliated. That means go via this link and a contribution may be made to MoneySavingExpert.com, which helps it stay ad-free and free to use. You shouldn't notice any difference, the links don't impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things I write) is NEVER impacted by it. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it's still included in exactly the same way. As I believe transparency is important, I'm including the following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for the same things: Moneysupermarket.com, gocompare.com, confused.com, comparethemarket.com, iciciukpromotions.com, rothschildreserve.co.uk, onecompare.com, mobilephonechecker.co.uk, alliance-leicester.co.uk, bankofscotlandhalifax.co.uk, halifax.co.uk, firstdirect.com, uk.virginmoney.com, energyhelpline.com, theaa.com, moneysupermarket.love2recycle.com, envirofone.com, mopay.co.uk, americanexpress.com, plus.net, talktalk.co.uk, tiscali.co.uk, simplifydigital.com. Read more about this in how this site is financed.

MoneySavingExpert.com is the free to use Consumer Revenge website focused on how to save you cash. It's owned, and run by ultra-specialised journalist and bestselling author Martin Lewis. On TV amongst other things Martin is GMTV's Money SavingExpert and presents money programmes for ITV1 Tonight. On Radio Martin has regular slots on Radio 2 Vine and Radio 1 Whiley. He's also a columnist for the News of The World, Moneywise and the Sunday Post. Find out more: About the site and its funding.

Disclaimer: This e-mail is based on journalistic research. It does not constitute financial advice. Any information should be considered in regard to your own specific circumstances. All tips are followed at your own risk and should be followed up with your own research Full Terms & Conditions.

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