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Weekly Email
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14th Jun 2017
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 This info may be out of date.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."

14 June 2017
5 banks offer over £100 to switch
Should you buy dollars/euros now?
Under 40 & not owned a home? Put £1 in a cash LISA now
50+ baby savings, incl FREE nappies
FREE perfume, chocolate & more
'Free' EU mobile roaming must-knows
New. Cheapest-ever £7.5k-£15k loan
FREE £4ish vitamin C tablets
Novotel £50 hotel rooms FLASH sale
'Living near Nando's nearly cost me my mortgage'
New. Save £250/yr with cheap energy fix
Dad's Day deals incl 'free' meal & beer
Ending. BT Sim, 6GB, unltd mins & texts '£6/mth'
Hidden bottom-shelf supermarket bargains
Up to 50% off Mulberry & Selfridges
Fast fibre b'band & line '£17ish/mth'
Missing out on carer's credit?
£40 jewellery set £15

Now 5 banks offer over £100 to switch

Get up to £250 FREE - and even avoid the minimum pay-in

BanksWe've had different bank switches appearing in dribs and drabs for months, but now the competition's exploded, giving you some of the most varied and lucrative choices we can remember.

Switching's easy. Within seven working days your new bank will move across your direct debits and standing orders, close your old account and ensure all payments go to the new one. 76% told us it was hassle-free in our last poll. As Sophie told us: "I've switched two accounts in the last few years. Was so easy I persuaded my parents to do the same."

Best buys. Who wants you so much they'll pay you to switch? The price war for your switching custom is back on. Here are the runners and riders:

- The all-rounder: TSB: free £130 + up to £10/mth + 3% interest. Until Mon 26 Jun new switchers via this TSB Classic Plus* link get £130 (nowt if you apply direct). Plus for a year you get £5/mth when you pay out two direct debits & another £5 every month you make at least 20 debit card payments, including contactless. And it offers 3% AER variable interest up to £1,500. Its customer service rating is pretty good.

- Simple big cash: New. HSBC: free £200 (£150 upfront, £50 in a year) but you need to switch by phone/in branch. New HSBC Advance* account holders get £150 for switching, and another £50 if still with it after 12 months. It also gives access to a 5% linked regular saver, yet its cust service rating is middling.

- Untouchable customer service: First Direct: free £125 + £250 0% overdraft. Newbies switching via this First Direct* link get £125 (only £100 direct). It's won every customer service poll we've done, with 90% rating it 'great'. Plus you get a £250 0% overdraft, and access to a 5% linked regular savings account. You must pay in £1,000/mth or there's a £10/mth fee.

- Not just an account, an M&S account: M&S: free £125 M&S gift card + £5/mth for a year. M&S Bank* gives new switchers a £125 M&S gift card, access to its 5% fixed regular savings account and a £100 0% overdraft. Also, for the first year, it'll add £5/mth to the gift card if you pay in at least £1,000/mth.

- Top for ongoing rewards: Co-op Bank: free £110 + up to £5.50/mth. Co-op Bank gives £110 to new switchers. Join its Everyday Rewards scheme and jump through a few hoops and you also get £4/mth plus up to £1.50/mth when you spend on the debit card. Crucially the rewards don't have an end date, so should continue to be paid after the first year.

You'll need to pass a credit check when you apply, but they're not usually too harsh. For more incl how to get the perks see Best Bank Accounts, and the next two points below.
Free cash and you don't need to pay in anything. Many with uncertain incomes tell us they worry about banks' 'minimum pay-in' terms. This doesn't mean you must be in credit, only that you need to pay in a set amount each month. It's their way of ensuring your income/salary goes through the account.

Yet of our top accounts above, two will still give you free cash (though not the rest of the perks) without any minimum pay in - M&S Bank*, with its £125 M&S gift card, and Co-op Bank, with its free £110. If you want all the perks you'll have to meet other terms including these minimum pay-ins for each bank.

- £500/mth (equiv £6,000/yr salary): TSB
- £800/mth (equiv £9,800/yr salary): Co-op
- £1,000/mth (equiv £12,850/yr salary): First Direct (or you pay £10/mth fee), M&S
- £1,750/mth (equiv £26,100/yr salary): HSBC

Can I jemmy the pay-in? Usually. The rules say you need to pay in a set amount from external sources. So let's say you want a £1,000 pay-in but only have £500 coming in. Get the £500 paid in, withdraw it as cash or to another bank, then pay it back in, and BINGO, you've qualified.
Start your pay-in quickly and switch direct debits. To get all the rewards the banks often have other conditions. They're not difficult, just remember to do 'em.

You generally need to start paying in within a month, and switch at least a couple of active direct debits, although with Co-op it's at least four, and they have to pay out every month. You may also need to go paperless, register for online banking, stay within your overdraft limit and log in regularly.
If you've large savings, other accounts may be better. Some of the top accounts above offer up to 5% interest on their linked regular savers, letting you save up to £300/mth. Yet if you've larger savings other bank accounts offer 5% fixed on a £2,500 lump sum, or 1.5% on up to £20k (£60k if you're in a couple). See Top Savings Accounts for full info.
Got an overdraft? Cut interest to 0%. If you often go into the red, focus on cutting your overdraft costs instead. Two of the top accounts above, First Direct and M&S, offer a 0% overdraft. Plus, with First Direct, you can use the free cash for switching to help pay it off. See Cut Overdraft Costs for more.
If you have large bills, struggle to open an account, or are prepared to pay for other perks, others may be better. Free cash is great, but sometimes other bank accounts best fit your needs.

- Top accounts for high bills: For a small fee some banks give cashback, which can make them a decent option if you've a separate bills account. See Top Cashback Accounts for more.
- Top accounts if you need insurance: For a fee some bank accounts offer insurance (eg, up to £600 worth for £120) and other perks - see our Packaged Bank Accounts guide.
- The accounts if you can't get an account: You need to pass a credit check for those above. Yet basic bank accounts don't do such stringent checks (though most do a credit check for ID), as they just provide a no-frills, no-overdraft service. See Basic Bank Accounts for full info.

The Martin Lewis Money Show LIVE holiday special
Tue 20 Jun, 8pm, ITV - summer travel MUST-KNOWS before you go

Over to Martin: "An hour-long live special - no pressure - to show you how to do more on your holiday and pay less. From when and how to slash currency costs, to travel insurance, the perils of drinking abroad, flight delays, sun cream tips and top UK deals too.

"Though even I don't really know what'll be in it - that's the risk joy of live. You can get in touch through the show and set the agenda. I'd love you to watch or at least program the Betamax."

Spread the (MoneySaving) love.

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Exchange rate woes - should you buy dollars/euros now?

The pound's wobbling after the election so here are MARTIN'S 5 TIPS EVERY HOLIDAYMAKER SHOULD KNOW

Martin Post-election uncertainty's made the already fragile pound even weaker. £1 even at the best rates buys just €1.14 or $1.28 - when we all remember pre-Brexit €1.30s and $1.50s. If you're heading abroad this summer things are going to be expensive, so it's important to maximise every penny. Here's how...

  1. If you're nervous, hedge your bets. Currency moves are complex. Anyone who says they know what'll happen is a liar. I certainly don't. If you're worried, buy roughly half at today's best rate, locking that in, and the rest at the best rate when you travel (best ways to do each below). If you're really nervous, ask yourself, "Would I be content with today's rate?" If so and your real fear is rates plummeting, making your holiday unaffordable, play safe and buy more now.

  2. Get near-perfect rates EVERY time you spend, on every trip. Personally I just spend on my specialist overseas credit card which gives top rates as I spend. As these cards don't add the usual 3% 'non-sterling exchange fee' you get the same near-perfect rates banks get. Just ensure you repay IN FULL each month.

    There are around 10 of these cards, so use our Travel Credit Cards Eligibility Calc to see which (if any) is most likely to accept you. If I had to pick one, it'd be Halifax Clarity* which gives near-perfect rates and has low ATM costs. Plus, apply now and spend abroad on it by the end of Sep and you get £20 cashback (it's 18.9% rep APR on spending - unless repaid in full - and cash). Full help and options in Top Travel Cards.

    Alternatively, anyone can get Monzo's* prepaid card as it doesn't credit-check (though it will ID-check). Unusually, the card has no fees and gives you near-perfect rates (likely as a loss leader) when you spend on it. You have to operate it via an app though, and usually there's a waiting list, but our link cuts the queue.

  3. Top prepaid cards let you lock in today's rate. Unlike credit cards which require you to pass a credit check, anyone over eighteen can get a prepaid card. You usually load them with cash, locking in a rate on that day, then spend on them later. Revolut is top for euros, dollars, zlotys and Swiss francs, and WeSwap has a wider range of currencies. For far more see Cheap Prepaid Cards.

  4. TMMFind top rates for foreign cash in seconds. For the folding stuff, use our TravelMoneyMax Holiday Money Comparison tool which compares 30+ bureaux, eg, for 1,000 Turkish lira right now the cost range is £230 to £270.

  5. A trick to buy cash now AND protect against currency swings. Travelex and Moneycorp let you book rates for collection now, up to 14 days ahead, but cancel for free. So if the rate gets worse, you're up; if the rate gets better, just cancel and buy at the new rate. Yet these generally aren't the cheapest bureaux.

For far more tips and tricks and answers to questions such as "Do I pay in pounds or euros abroad?", see our 18 Travel Money Tips guide.


Grab freebies for testing products. Eg, perfume, chocolate, electric toothbrushes & more. Product-testing sites give freebies for your feedback. Forumite Playfulkit says: "Had fab products to review, incl perfume, make-up & nappies." See Top Product-Testing Sites.

'Free' EU mobile roaming starts tomorrow (Thu) - 10 must-knows. Incl when it WON'T be free and where else in Europe will be covered. EU roaming

New. Cheapest-EVER £7.5-£15k loan, 2.7% APR. We told you 2wks ago there was a price war on. Now the cheapest has got even cheaper. Sainsbury's Bank* gives 2.7% rep APR on loans over 1-3yrs if you've a Nectar card. What's YOUR cheapest? You'll be credit-scored when applying so use our free Loans Eligibility Calc to find which you've the best chance of getting. Full help & more best buys (incl for smaller loans) in Cheap Loans (APR Examples).

FREE £4ish chewable vitamin C tablets. Via printable coupon or app. Ltd stock. Free vitamin C

Novotel £50 UK hotel rooms FLASH 50-min sale. Starts 5.50pm TODAY (Wed). 100,000 avail across its UK hotels incl London for Jul-Jan stays. Norm from £120/room. See you snooze you lose.

'Living near a Nando's nearly cost me my mortgage'. Avoid rejection with our trick. Read MSE Guy's warning for ANYONE applying for a mortgage.

New. CHEAP energy deal from SSE - most can save £250/yr. It's the cheapest 1yr fix we've seen from a Big 6 provider since last Oct, costing a typical user an avg £890/yr. Plus get £30 cashback (£15 single fuel) when you switch via our Cheap Energy Club. Your price depends on postcode and usage, so always do a full market comparison.



- £15 Buckley jewellery set (norm £40) 1,000 available

- 10 packs of seeds for £5 all-in (norm up to £50) Ends Sun


- Spend £12 on No7 beauty, get £23 gift set

- Ryanair may make you sit apart unless you pay

- £8 for 90 garden-ready plants

- Ted Baker up to 50% off sale


Under 40 and never owned a home? Put £1 in the NEW cash LISA NOW

Get up to £1,000/yr FREE on top of your savings for a home (or retirement) by opening a cash Lifetime ISA

The launch of the Lifetime ISA (LISA) in April was a damp squib. Very few were offered, and all were investment LISAs, which aren't that suitable for first-time buyers who don't want to invest for the long term. Yet now the first SAVINGS LISA has launched, where you can save up to £4,000/yr and get interest at no risk. Full details in our updated Lifetime ISAs guide, but in brief...

  • LISA5 cash LISA need-to-knows. It's a tax-free way to save up to £4,000/yr.
    1) You get a 25% bonus on everything you put in. For every pound you contribute a year up to the max, the state will add 25%, until you're 50. So save the full £4,000 and you'll have £5,000 each year.
    2) It's for first-time buyers. As long as you've never owned or part-owned a home you can use the money as a deposit for a UK residential property costing up to £450,000. You must be buying with a mortgage (though not a buy-to-let).
    3) Retirement savers can use it as well. The money and bonus can be withdrawn at age 60.
    4) There's a penalty if you withdraw cash for anything else. After 5 April 2018, withdrawals have a 25% penalty if you use the cash for anything apart from first-home buying or retirement. The maths works out that for every £100 you put in you'd get just under £94 back.
    5) You must be between 18 and 40 to open one. If you've had your 40th birthday already, you've missed out. But the bonuses are paid until you're 50 - so open one at 18, get the full 32yrs of the max bonus, and that'd be £32,000 free.

  • New. The best LISA providers. Until now the only LISAs available were for investing, from the likes of Hargreaves Lansdown and Nutmeg. Yet last Thu, Skipton Building Soc launched the first (and so far only) cash LISA. The interest rate's a disappointing 0.5%, but this is all about the bonus.

  • Put £1 in a cash LISA NOW to start the clock ticking. It's a no-brainer for first-time buyers, though you need to hold the LISA for a year before you can use it towards a property. So putting £1 in now gets the clock ticking - see open a cash LISA now (if you know you'll definitely buy within a year, see our Help to Buy ISA guide).

  • Got a Help to Buy ISA already? You can have a Help to Buy ISA and a LISA, but you can't claim the bonus on both to buy your first home, unless you transfer your Help to Buy ISA into a LISA before next April. See Help to Buy ISA into LISA transfers for how it works.

  • Is it better than a pension for retirement savings? For most people, no. The only time it even matches the gains from pension saving is for self-employed basic-rate taxpayers. For everyone else it's a secondary way to save. See Using the LISA for retirement.


Father's Day restaurant deals incl 'free' 3-course meal & beer. It's this Sunday. See our full Dad's Day deals round-up.

Ends Thu. BT Sim, 6GB (4G), unltd mins & texts for equiv £6/mth IF you're a BT b'band cust. Apply via this BT link* and select 'Got BT broadband at home'. You'll get the 4G Sim on a 1yr contract for £11/mth + a £60 Amazon/iTunes vch. Use the vch and it's equiv to £6/mth. Annoyingly, you must claim the vch within 3mths, so use this form from 2wks after activation. It's then sent within 45 days. If you don't have BT b'band or switch away it's £16/mth (equiv £11/mth with vch) - which can be beaten. See Cheap Sim-only Deals for more.

Crouching down, hidden bargain - how looking low can save on your supermarket shop. You could be missing out on 50%+ better value incl big brands. Hidden bottom-shelf bargains

Up to 50% off Mulberry and Selfridges. Not exactly MoneySaving, but rare, so if buying from Mulberry or Selfridges anyway, cut the cost. Posh sales

Ends Tue. Fast fibre b'band & line rent '£17ish/mth'. Until Tue 20 June, Plusnet (which is owned by BT, but had better customer service in our poll) newbies can slash the cost of up-to-38Mb fast b'band to less than half some standard speed costs. Full info: Cheap Broadband.

Are you missing out on carer's credit or carer's allowance? It's Carers' Week, yet 100,000s are missing out, so why not check? Failing to claim can even affect your pension. See Carer's Credit help.

£40 jewellery set for £15. MSE Blagged. Rose gold-plated necklace, bracelet & earrings in gift box. 1,000 avail. Buckley


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50+ baby savings, incl FREE nappies, toys, cots & more

You don't need to spend big to spoil your little'uns with our savings for tiny people (and their parents)

You're more likely to go ga-ga rather than goo-goo when you realise we spend up to £7,200 on baby stuff in our pride and joy's first year, so saving cash early isn't just baby talk. Whether you're planning, preggers or already pushing a pram, we've 58 MoneySaving tips in our Baby Checklist guide. Here are five nifty freebies to get you started:

  • BabyGrab free cuddly toys, nappies & more via baby and parenting clubs. Our top picks include:
    - Tesco: Sign up to its baby club by 31 Aug and get 100 bonus Clubcard pts plus special offers and updates on baby discount events. See Tesco Baby Club.
    - Boots: Gives 10pts for every £1 spent on baby items (compared to the normal 4pts), plus you get special discounts. See Boots Parenting Club.
    - Mothercare: Gives registered members 20% off toys on your baby's birthday and runs 'expectant parent events' where you can nab a free goodie bag. See My Mothercare.

  • New. Free nappies... from your council. Reusable nappies can work out much cheaper than disposables, and some councils even give 'em away. (Forget old-fashioned cloth and pins - they're just like normal nappies, except you wash or throw away the liner.) If you go for disposables, a nifty nappy checker tool instantly uncovers the best place to nab a wee saving.

  • Bag baby booty on Freecycle. People offload everything from clothes to toys and buggies on giveaway sites such as Freecycle and Freegle. Forumite RenTheRooster's a fan: "You can get almost everything for free. Items given to me include a Moses basket, cot bed, baby clothes, cot mobile, baby bath, changing station and a high chair."

  • Free dental treatment and meds for new mums. If you're pregnant or have had a baby in the past 12mths you can get free NHS dental treatment and prescriptions across the UK. Max this out by making sure you book a dental check-up before your baby turns 1.

  • Free parenting advice and play areas. Sure Start centres offer free advice, maternity help and support, and many also have free activity areas and early learning. There are over 3,000 in England - find your nearest.


10 packs of seeds for £5 (norm up to £50). MSE Blagged. Pick from 300+ varieties, incl flowers & veg. Many can be sown now. Ends Sun. Thompson & Morgan

The Body Shop 40% off code, eg, £25 men's fragrance gift set £15, £13 body scrub £8. In stores & online till Sun. Body Shop

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Had a travel insurance quote via a comparison site for £245. I'm over 65 and have some medical conditions so followed your Pre-Existing Conditions and Over-65s' travel insurance guides and got it for £155."

Returned home after the British Airways chaos? Don't forget to claim. More than 75,000 passengers had flights cancelled and delayed - many could be owed up to £530. Full info and how to claim in BA help.



Teachers: it's My Money Week. Education charity Pfeg, part of Young Enterprise, is running My Money Week until Sunday, offering resources (incl lesson plans and suggested activities) to teachers delivering cash classes for the first time or to those after new ideas. See the My Money Week website plus MSE's Financial Education info.


Which Tory manifesto policies would you like to see dropped? The Queen's Speech - when Parliament opens and planned legislation is set out - is due "soon". As the Conservatives have the most MPs but not a majority in Parliament, it's likely they won't get every manifesto pledge through. So which should be dropped? Have your say in our policy poll.

Blackadder goes first, and Del Boy's also lovely jubbly. Last week's poll asked which of 50 old TV shows you thought should be brought back. There were only five votes in it, but Blackadder just pipped Only Fools and Horses as the show you'd most like to see return to screens. See full TV show poll results.



- Top story: BA compensation blunder wrongly DENIES passengers payouts for flight cancellation chaos

- Had a Money Expert cold-caller? They're NOTHING to do with MSE

- Norwich & Peterborough extends account closure deadline and four banks WILL offer switching bonuses

- E.on extends Reward spending deadline - but check NOW to see if you have any remaining points

- Used the new Tax-Free Childcare website? Tell us how it went



Should I ask a friend for my money back? I bought a sofa for a friend which cost £250. It turned out not to be suitable and they sold it a couple of weeks later for £100 - who should get the money? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I ask a friend for my money back? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: Spend savings to clear debt or keep saving?
- Competitions thread of the week: Win a 12mth Glossybox subscription & £250 Missguided voucher
- Old-Style board thread of the week: Fresh party-food ideas
- Discussion of the week: Where to go to get away and relax for 3-5 days alone?


- How to make a tweet/Facebook post go viral - 7 lessons from 'You don't need your polling card'


- Living near Nando's nearly cost me my mortgage


- Save at the supermarket by looking low - including same brands at 50%+ better value

- Trick: Get 20% off gift cards for Pizza Express, Zizzi, Pizza Hut and more, then stack with other offers



Thu 15 Jun - Good Morning Britain, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am
Fri 16 Jun - This Morning, ITV, Martin's Quick Deals, time TBC
Mon 19 Jun - This Morning, ITV, time TBC
Mon 19 Jun - BBC Radio 5 Live, Lunch Money Martin, noon. Subscribe to podcast
Tue 20 Jun
- The Martin Lewis Money Show, ITV, 8pm


Wed 14 Jun - Facebook Live Q&A on LISAs, 1pm
Wed 14 Jun - BBC Radio Cumbria, 'Money Talks', from 6pm
Thu 15 Jun - BBC Radio Tees, 10.35am
Fri 16 Jun
- BBC South West stations, breakfast
Tue 20 Jun - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 2.20pm



Q: Can I put my savings into my son's account with Nationwide and get 2.25% in his name? Graeme, via email.

Rosie BannisterMSE Rosie's A: You can indeed, but it's morally questionable, as if everyone did it the rate would likely be pulled, hitting attempts to encourage kids to save. There are a couple of things you also need to be aware of.

Firstly, if you save your money in your son's name it'll belong to him, not you. You could have final say on withdrawals until he's 17, as it's usually possible to become a signatory on the account - but after that he could spend it all.

Secondly, any money you (as a parent) give your son that earns over £100 in interest a year will be taxed at your rate. However, since the introduction of the personal savings allowance (meaning basic-rate taxpayers can earn £1,000 of interest a year without paying tax on it) this isn't a factor for most.

For more, see Martin's (morally questionable) way to earn 2.25% on up to £50,000 savings blog. And Children's Savings for all the top accounts.

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


What's your best car-boot sale booty?

That's it for this week but before we go... are you a car-boot sale bargain hunter? Last week a diamond ring bought at a car-boot for just £10 turned out to be a real gem, fetching a whopping £656,750 at auction. So we're asking MoneySavers what hidden treasure they've found. The best so far is a stash of original Star Wars toys - let us know your top finds in our Facebook post: 'A diamond in the rough'.

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

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