"With interest rates at 1.5%, should I ditch my mortgage fix?"
Last week UK base rates were slashed to 1.5%, a historic low. Those on variable rates where the whole cut's passed on will see repayments cut by £40ish per month per £100,000 of mortgage.
Ditch my mortgage fix? This question's jammed my mail-bag, as those on fixed rates see friends on super-cheap trackers. Yet most people are UNLIKELY to save by dropping a fix.
How to do the sums. In the rare event it looks possible you can ditch, switch & save, contact a whole of market mortgage broker to do the numbers properly, including switching fees. Most reputable brokers won’t charge unless you actually end up getting a new deal through them. More info: Free Remortgage Guide, Finding a broker
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New Top Savings. 3.6% Instant Access or lock cash away for a year at 4.65%.
With base rates in freefall, accounts slow to follow rate cuts top the best buy tables; but the difficult real aim’s to find the highest payers, factoring in who's cut & who hasn't yet. Our best guess is two no-notice accounts do just that, though neither’s perfect. Top Rate: Alliance & Leicester's* 3.6% AER, tho' withdraw ANY money & you lose interest on ALL savings that month. So use it to store cash you'll hardly touch. Alternative: ICICI's* 3.55% AER no-strings, but while it's fully UK registered, so the govt. guarantees up to £50k per person, be aware there've been concerns over its Indian parent's stability. Fix: You can lock your cash away, without access, for a year with West Brom BS at 4.65% AER fixed. More options & info in the Updated Articles: Top Savings, Safe Savings, Cash ISAs
New 2for1s. Burger King, GBK. Strada & M&S in-store 2 dine for £10. More easy click n print vouchers, plus DimT, Pizza Express and more in the Daily Deals List: Restaurant Vouchers
Don't DIY summer holidays. Packages are back! Undercut cheapest by 10%-15%.
Want 7, 10 or 14 days away in a traditional holiday destination, then often a package holiday undercuts a web bought flight & hotel combo. Many holiday companies have sales on with 2for1 weeks and more; yet it's possible to slash this further. Understand the market: Tour operators make holidays, travel agents sell them, so identical packages are on sale in many agents. Haggle: Once you know what package you want, call around to see who'll give you the lowest price, you could get a further 10%-15% off the lowest advertised price. Full details & sales deals in the Updated Guide: Package Holiday Haggling Related Guides: Cheap Flights, Cheap Travel Money, Cheap Travel Insurance
URGENT! £1(ish) European flights. Ends Mon 19 Jan. Ryanair has a million £1 (inc. most taxes & charges) flights from 16 UK airports for Jan-March travel. See the Updated Guide: £1 Ryanair Flights Related Guides: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels
Half-price Direct Line contents insurance. Lock the price in, it lasts 90 days.
Already one of the cheaper insurers, Direct Line*, which bars comparison sites from including it, has launched a 50% off contents insurance sale. As the quote lasts 90 days, grab it now, to lock in the low price, even if you won't activate it yet. Don't assume it's cheapest: For many it will be the cheapest for contents cover, but not buildings and contents. Yet you might slam much more off by checking its price & cover against the top three comparison sites, Confused*, CompareTM* and MoneySP* and then searching for hidden cashback. Full info in the Updated Guide: Cheap Home Insurance Related Guides: Cheap Car Insurance, Cheap Travel Insurance
Return Dover-Calais ferry + 6 bottles of wine, £19. Cheapest ever price; the wine's worth over £25! Inc. car & up to 9 passengers. Deals Note: Ferry Special
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Jongleurs comedy tickets for £1 (usually c. £15) with a code. This joins free cinema & TV audience tickets, family holidays, 2for1s at England attractions, and more in the Daily Deals List: Cheap Days Out
SayNoTo0870 partial victory. BT to include 0870/0845s in FREE minutes.
In a shock move, from Fri. 16 Jan, BT will include most numbers starting 0870 or 0845 in its free calls e.g., if you’ve got free ‘weekend’ calls, 0870s will be free on a weekend. The problem with 0870s: While called 'National Rate' numbers, you can be charged up to 10p/min to call them, and the company called may get a cut, e.g. call a utility firm to complain and it's earning while you're on hold. Non-BT customer loophole. Those who get a BT line rental bill, but use another company (e.g. Primus) for calls, may be able to route them via BT by first dialling 1280; BT's basic package includes free weekend calls, so this can get you 0870s free. Full info in the Updated Guide: Saynoto0870, Home Phones
Got credit card debts? Save £100s WITHOUT new credit. New Video Guide
Student loan interest rate cut to 2.5% for all post-1998 loans. The latest base rate drop means most loans now only cost 2.5%. Full explanation in the Updated Guide: Should I Repay My Student Loan? Related Guides: Student Loans, Student MoneySaving
Boiler Cover for £6/month. Do a quick comparison to check. Updated Article
With some boiler cover down to £6/mth & full heating cover £7/mth; there's a real scrap on to win energy heating cover business. And remember, it's an open market, you needn't stick with your energy company's policy. Quick Check: The price depends on cover levels and your system, so use a comparison site, top pick is uSwitch* but Energyhelpline* is worth a secondary gander. Belt n Braces: Direct Line* isn't in the comparisons and as it's currently offering 15% off its policy it's worth a quick look. For much more info read the Updated Guide: Cheapest Boiler Cover Other Winter MoneySaving: Home Insurance, Grant Grabbing, Gas & Elec
New online 'Best Before' date food seller. E.g. 300ml Diet Coke 8 for £1.
Health rules dictate you should always throw food beyond its USE-BY date if it has one. Yet BEST-BEFORE only signals it's of optimum quality before then, it's not a safety rule. So don't unnecessarily throw best befores out. Buy Beyond Best Befores: The UK's dotted with independent retailers and market stalls selling super cheap clearance, short-dated and out-of-date items. Now there's one online selling 24x300ml Diet Coke for £2 (8p each) or 400ml jars of mayonnaise for 30p. Yet you need to bulk buy as there's a £5.25 delivery. To stop its site crashing from massive traffic, the links in the Updated Guide: Supermarket Shopping Discuss: Would you buy Beyond Best Befores?
Free Americano Coffee? "Yes we can"! To celebrate Obama's inauguration, until Fri 16 Jan go into any Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, say "Yes we can" and you'll get a free coffee. See the Deals Note: Krispy Dream!
New Forum Board: Redundancy & Redundancy Planning
Week after week we hear new jobless figures, to help there's now a new Redundancy forum board for sharing MoneySaving info, and support for those who've been made redundant or those worried it may happen. Discussions Include: What to Do in the Event of a Redundancy & £2.5k Welsh grant. Related Guides: Recession-proof your Finances, Debt Problems, Free Budget Planner
Reminder. Free £100, a year's 0% overdraft, & free travel insurance. The new Alliance & Leicester* Premier account is fighting to win new business. See the Top Bank Accounts guide
Reminder. Best Balance Transfers. Longest 0%: Virgin* 0% for 16mths with a 2.98% fee. Fees free: Abbey Zero (branch only) 0% for 6 mth. Long Term: Barclaycard Plat 6.5% for life plus 2% fee. Full details, pros & cons in the Best Balance Transfers guide[[tip_box_in_tip]]
Great 'What's Hot at Aldi, Lidl & Netto' Hunt Revisited. RATE YOUR FAVOURITES
Reminder. Did you get the News of the World last Sunday? If so, don't forget the voucher on page 54 for your free MoneySaving DVD.
Reminder. Not done the US's online ESTA? You'll be sent back
West Coast Mainline Commuter delayed last week? Both rail operators on that line, Virgin and London Midland, offer compensation. Make sure you claim it. More details including full how-to in the Forum Note: Check your entitlement
MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Roman Rockafella leave his money to his kids?
Quick Forum Tips
Warning! Bargains listed here tend to sell out quickly
'Credit Crunch Lunch' Hunt Result
Last week I asked for your top credit crunch work lunch ideas, whether you make and pack your lunch at home, or you just pick it up at the supermarket. There were some great suggestions, including Frozen feasts, Sell by date bargains and Grill it! Past Great Hunts: Recycle & Reuse Xmas Things, Instructions to Take with a Pinch of Salt
MoneySavingExpert on the box/wireless
If you like to watch as well as read about MoneySaving, I'll be appearing on the following programmes over the next week or so.
- LK Today, ITV1, Thursday 15 January, between 8:30 & 9:30am. Slash the cost of dining out with an abundance of 2for1 Restaurant Vouchers plus get £100 free for switching Bank Account, a WARNING if you're travelling to the USA and £1 Ryanair Flights.
- Jeremy Vine, Radio 2, Friday 16 December, 1pm. The MoneySaving subject's yet to be decided.
- GMTV & LK Today, ITV1, Tuesday 20 January, between 7:30 & 9:30am. What's the latest with Gas & Electricity prices?
- Past appearances: Listen/watch back, plus keep updated on future appearances.
This week's Martin's Blog: I'm marrying a.... (deleted due to spam filters)
"I've given up trying to fight "the credit crunch"" and "Downshift Nation". Read m'blogs (or RSS users access)
Is it time to join the euro? Not yet... Last Week’s Vote. Asked whether it's time to ditch the pound, the 61% majority (over 10,000 voters) said no. 31% voted in favour of joining the euro, 5% were undecided, and 2% couldn't care less. See full Euro? poll results.
Bizarre tales from the other side. While this site is all about Consumer Revenge, you do occasionally have to feel a wee bit sorry for those on the other side
I hope you save some money
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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 0DA is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
How this site is financed. Any links with a * by
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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
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exactly the same way. As I believe transparency is important, I'm including the
following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for the same things: alliance-leicester.co.uk, icicibank.co.uk, directline.com, confused.com, comparethemarket.com, moneysupermarket.com, uswitch.com, energyhelpline.co.uk, uk.virginmoney.com, tiscali.co.uk, americanexpress.co.uk, love2recycle.com, envirofone.com, mopay.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.
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