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15th Aug 2018
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email

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"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."

15 August 2018
Hi - here are your latest deals, freebies, tricks and messages to help you save.


Millions vastly overpay up to an eye-watering £45/mth for broadband and line. But to help slash costs a super-cheap fibre & line rental deal from Sky-owned Now Broadband launched yesterday, and we've not seen cheaper since Aug 2017. 

And that's not all, with more goodies, incl a BT fibre and line deal which while pricier is still relatively cheap, slightly faster and includes BT Sport for 18mths - good for the football season & beyond. Now also offers the cheapest standard speed deal. 

So we've compiled the top picks in speed order below. All are short-lived and for new customers. To help compare, we use 'equivalent prices' - adding all costs (barring calls), deducting promo cash or vouchers and averaging it over the contract.

Can you get 'em? As all deals are postcode-dependent, use our Broadband Unbundled tool to find the best in your area (links in the table go there). All are available to 80%+ of the UK, so coverage is decent. 

Standard speed broadband - 11Mb 
Now Broadband New. '£11.67/mth' over 1yr contract. You pay £15/mth plus £9.99 upfront but can claim a £50 vch to use at M&S, John Lewis or Tesco (don't forget). Spend that and the price is an equiv £11.67/mth.
Faster fibre broadband - 36-50Mb 
Now Broadband (36Mb)
New & cheapest fibre in 1yr. '£16.67/mth' over 1yr contract. You pay £20/mth plus £9.99 upfront but can claim a £50 vch to use at M&S, John Lewis or Tesco (don't forget). If you spend it, the price is an equiv £16.67/mth.
BT (50Mb) Ends Thu. '£21.71/mth' over 18mth contract. You pay £9.99 upfront and £11/mth for b'band. To cut costs you can pay £208.80 for 1yr's line upfront, then £18.99/mth for the next 6mths. Do that, then claim and spend a £100 prepaid Mastercard and £40 M&S vch (don't forget) and the price is an equiv £21.71/mth. Pay line monthly and it's equiv £22.77/mth. BT Sport is also included for 18mths (2).
Superfast fibre broadband - 63Mb 
Ends Thu. '£22.23/mth' over 18mth contract. You pay £25/mth but can claim a £50 vch to use at Amazon, Tesco, Argos or Ticketmaster (don't forget). If you spend it, the price is an equiv £22.23/mth. BEWARE - in our polls TalkTalk's consistently worst of the biggies on customer service, so we've another option below.
Now Broadband 
New. '£26.67/mth' over 1yr contract. You pay £30/mth plus £9.99 upfront but can claim a £50 vch to use at M&S, John Lewis or Tesco (don't forget). If you spend it, the price is an equiv £26.67/mth.
All Now deals end Thu 23 Aug. (1) Usually this means customers who currently don't have that firm's broadband - see exact rules via the links. (2) You can watch on a Sky TV box or on the BT Sport app/site - with the latter you can watch on a TV via an Apple TV device, Chromecast, HDMI lead etc. 

  • Use these to beat BT's b'band & phone hikes. It's raising 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. Though if with BT you're not eligible for its deal above which is only for newbies.

  • What broadband speed do you need? Standard avg 10Mb-ish speeds are usually fine for browsing or streaming. Fibre is best for heavy streamers, gamers or if many use it at once. The faster the fibre, the more of a luxury it is. To help, big firms give estimated speeds before you join, and special tools can help you check and boost your speed.

  • Can I get broadband without a phone line? Virgin is the only biggie to offer it but it's far more expensive than the deals above with broadband AND line. If you won't use a phone, just don't plug one in.

  • Don't want to switch? Haggle. Switching gives the best savings but big broadband firms are some of the easiest to haggle with. In our last haggling poll, 86% of Sky customers who replied said they had success, BT 72%. Full help in Broadband Haggling.

  • Could providers hike prices? Sadly, telecoms firms often do, though if that happens and you weren't warned before sign-up you can leave penalty-free. But check if there's a better deal first.

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.



Warning. British Gas hikes prices AGAIN... but don't get angry, get even
Ditch and switch to save a typical £350+/yr. Do nothing and most WILL be ripped off - as loyalty doesn't pay

Grrrr. The 3m+ on a British Gas standard tariff face an avg 3.8% rise in Oct, its 2nd hike in 2018. But turn anger into action and many can save big amounts by ditching expensive standard variable tariffs (SVTs) - whether with BG or others. Dyann did: "I switched from British Gas using MSE, saving £450/yr." Here's how...

  • British Gas customer? Save £100s/yr by giving it the boot. While anyone on a fix isn't hit, those with typical use on BG's SVT will pay an avg £1,205/yr after the hike, yet the best deals from rivals start at £853/yr. It's the same for the Sainsbury's standard tariff, as it's supplied by BG. So check if you can save now via a full market comparison on our Cheap Energy Club. We know many worry about switching, so we've more help:

    - Nervous about switching to a firm you've not heard of? This is the biggest turn-off for many, so we've a 'Big Name Supplier' filter which removes all firms bar the Big 6, Co-op, First Utility & Ovo. Moving to the cheapest big name from a British Gas SVT typically saves £265/yr, incl MSE cashback.  

    - Want to avoid poor service firms? We've filters for that too. Use our 'good' or 'superb' service filters to weed out the flops. Switching to the cheapest good service firm from a British Gas SVT typically saves £305/yr, incl MSE cashback.

    - Still determined to stick with BG? We'd urge you to check if you'll save by switching as it's easy. It's the same gas, elec and pipes. Your supply remains throughout and only service and price change. But if you're determined to stay, BG has a tariff that freezes today's price for a small saving vs post-hike prices - see our 'My Current Supplier' filter.

  • Other energy giants hiking too - millions overpay on standard tariffs. E.on's raising prices on Thu, EDF on 31 Aug. Like BG, it'll be their 2nd this year. And the other Big 6 trio - Npower, SSE & Scottish Power - have hiked once in 2018 with a 2nd likely. Many smaller suppliers have hoicked costs too. SVTs are expensive. After the hikes, the avg Big 6 SVT on typical use will be £360/yr more than the cheapest deal. So the steps above apply to anyone. See our Cheap Energy Club for full help.

New. 16 Center Parcs tricks. Incl half-price Euro stays, £199 4-night UK breaks & 50% off activities. Center Parcs

McDonald's HACK - pay 59p, get £2 Big Mac & fries again & again. Please eat responsibly. McD's hack 

New. 1.8% fixed savings for 9mths + possible cashback. This isn't for everyone, as you can earn more by locking your money away for 12mths with the top 1yr fix at 2%+. But decent 9mth fixes are rare and if you'll need your cash a little earlier, ICICI Bank via 'savings marketplace' Raisin gives 1.8% AER fixed for 9mths + £20 cashback on £10k-£19,999, up to £80 on more. See all top savings, incl easy access at up to 1.4%.

Two pairs of prescription specs for £16. MSE Blagged. Incl free delivery. Spec-tacular


As yet another big credit card bonus is slashed, how to still earn 5% cashback, £100 Amazon/M&S vchs, 25,000 Avios points etc

Lloyds is the latest to cut rewards. In the coming months it'll slash the number of Avios points - BA's frequent flyer miles - you earn on its Avios Reward card and cull flight upgrades. Rewards elsewhere have dropped in recent years too, as fees shops pay banks - which fund 'em - are now capped. But you can still get PAID for everyday spending to turn your plastic into a perk powerhouse. We've picked out the best below - good if you're a disgruntled Lloyds customer or just want to start earning.

Yet don't just apply. First use our eligibility calculator to find cards you've best odds of getting. But ONLY do it if you're debt-free and you'll pay IN FULL each month (preferably by direct debit) or interest dwarfs the gain. Never bust your limit, and while you'll earn more moving all affordable spending to your card, it's not an excuse to overspend.

  • Want cash? Get up to 5%. Here, it's paid into your card account. The top picks are:

    - The fee-free Amex Platinum Everyday (eligibility calc / apply*) gives 5% back for the first 3mths (max £100), up to 1% after. Cashback's paid annually, but you need to spend £3k+/yr to get anything (22.9% rep APR).
    - The best non-Amex - so accepted more widely - is the Tandem Mastercard (eligibility calc / apply*) which pays 0.5% monthly (18.9% rep APR). 
    See Cashback Credit Cards (APR Examples) for lots more help and options.

  • Either £100 shopping vch OR 20,000 Avios/Virgin points. The Amex Rewards Gold (eligibility calc / apply*) gives 20k 'Membership Rewards' points if you spend £2k+ in the first 3mths. You can swap them for a £100 vch for big stores, eg, Amzn/M&S; 20k airline points and more. You also get two free airport lounge passes and 1pt per £1 spent. It's fee-free in yr 1, £140/yr after, so cancel if you don't want it then (57.6% rep APR). See full Amex Gold help.

  • Want airline miles? Up to 25,000 Avios or 15,000 Virgin miles + 'free' companion ticketTop picks are:

    - British Airways flyer? The fee-free BA Amex offers 5k bonus Avios + 1 per £1 spent. Or for £195/yr the BA Premium Plus has a 25k bonus + 1.5 Avios per £1. Both require you hit a min spend in 3mths for the bonus.
    - Virgin Atlantic flyer? Its Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard gives 5k bonus miles, plus 0.75 pts per £1. Or the £160/yr Virgin Atlantic Reward+ pays 15k pts plus 1.5 pts per £1. Both just require a spend of any sort for the bonus.
    - All come with a 'companion voucher' where you can take a 2nd person for zero points if you pay in points, but you both pay taxes - see the links for full help. More info in Top Airline Cards, incl how many points are needed for a flight.

Full info and more options, incl Sainsbury's, Tesco, M&S and Amazon cards, in Credit Card Rewards (APR Examples).


How to make old £1 coins spendable again. A whopping 169m are still down sofas, in piggybanks etc. £1 coin help

Kurt Geiger shoes from £9 via 25% off code. MSE Blagged. Via its outlet, £5 delivery. Kurt Geiger

10yr mortgage fixes - worth it? With more now available, should you lock in for so long? We crunch the numbers.

20% off Odeon, Pizza Express, Gap & New Look gift cards. Stackable with offers. Ends Sun. Gift card trick


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Longest 0%: MBNA* up to 36 mths 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:

  3. CompareTheMarket*
  4. Gocompare*

Then check insurers they miss: 
Direct Line*

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: Now Broadband equiv £11.67/mth
Fibre b'band & line rent: 
Now Broadband equiv £16.67/mth

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


40+ eBay buying tips - incl 'is it cheaper on eBay?' photo checker

Know how to play the online auction giant right and it can be a bargain hunter's dream

You can buy just about anything on eBay - whether a TV, clothes, toys or even a Love Island water bottle. Our 40+ eBay buying tips guide has the top techniques to cut prices - here are our opening bids...

  • New. 'Is it cheaper on eBay?' fun checker app. Spot a skirt, scooter, sideboard etc in a shop and you can take a pic, then the bots behind the scenes will find similar items on eBay to see if you can save. It won't necessarily find identical items and you may need to do more research but it can be a good starter. See eBay photo search.

  • Exploit speling mishtakes. Typos meanz fewer searches, so cheep prices. Use mistake spotters to trawl for erors.

  • Snoop on sellers' histories. A tool shows past bids they've accepted to gauge the best offer to make.

  • Bag hidden local eBay bargains. Sellers often specify items as 'collection only' - which puts people off, so prices are lower. We built the Local eBay Deals Mapper to find 'em because you can't search for them direct.

  • It's not just eBay - also try local Facebook groups. People often harness the social network's power to sell in their communities. See 10 Facebook Buying Tips for a crash course.


20% off Family & Friends Railcard. MSE Blagged. Gets 1yr card for £24 (norm £30). Ends Sat. Railcard code

"Just wanted to say a big thank you for helping me get free money by switching current accounts in the last 18mths or so. I've made over £1,000 for doing very little."
(Send us yours on this or any topic.)



How do you rate your broadband provider? We can tell you which the cheapest broadband providers are, but to keep our customer service ratings updated, we need your help. So tell us how your broadband provider has performed over the past six months. How do you rate your broadband supplier?

Four in 10 have moved savings in the last year. Last week, we asked when you last moved your savings - 43% of you said you'd done so in the past year, suggesting our message of ditching sub-1% rates is getting across to some extent. See full savings poll results.



Should I keep quiet about my 'free' broadband? I signed up for Vodafone fibre broadband and then changed my connection date. This seems to have confused its systems - the broadband works, but several months down the line I've realised I've not been charged. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I keep quiet about 'free' b'band? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs


- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: Am I being silly not using savings to pay off debt?
- Competitions thread of the week: Toy bundle worth over £2,400
- Old-Style board thread of the week: I've just online-auctioned and I feel fantastic
- Family, marriage, relationships chat: Any housewives out there?
- Discussion of the week: I've got £100k cash and can't get a £50k mortgage. Really?


Sainsbury's Tu - 25% off all clothing, incl school uniform
Thorntons - two free scoops of ice cream via app
Lush - 'free' £7.50 face mask when you recycle
Halfords - free summer car check, incl screenwash top-up
Homebuilding & Renovating Show - free tickets

Pizza Express - 15%-25% off food
Toby Carvery - two meals and two drinks for £15
KFC - free side via app, including hot wings, fries
Harvester - two chicken dishes and two drinks for £20
Prezzo - 30% off food

Harvester - For £1 when a grown-up buys a main
Sizzling Pubs - For £1 when a grown-up buys a main
Bella Italia - Free when a grown-up buys a main
La Tasca - Free when a grown-up spends £10+
Yo Sushi - Free when a grown-up spends £10+

Quick Forum Tips

Lidl weekend offers, incl £1.49 cheddar. Grate news
Up to 60% off Benefit sale. Make up your mind
Co-op £5 frozen meal deal. Don't let it go



Fri 17 Aug - BBC South West stations, Good Morning with Joe Lemer, from 5am, car insurance tips
Mon 20 Aug
TalkRadio, Breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer, 9.45am
Tue 21 Aug 
- BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Lunchtime Live, 2.20pm



Q: I have two current accounts with the same bank - one's a standard account, one's a basic account. Can I switch the basic one to another bank to get the rewards offered to new customers? Anon, via email.

MSE Rosie's A: You can indeed. The fact it's a basic account makes no difference, and it'll all happen within seven working days as long as the banks you're switching from and to are signed up to the Current Account Switch Service. Under this, all your direct debits and other payments will be moved too. For more on bank switching and the top accounts to switch to, including one offering up to £185 in M&S vouchers, see Best Bank Accounts.

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



That's all for this week, but before we go... MoneySaving ways to freshen your loo caused a bit of a stir - or should we say, stink - in our forum this week. Our crafty MoneySavers came up with makeshift sprays using essential oils or simply lighting a match to burn off nasties in the air. Share your bad-smell cover-ups over on our how to freshen my loo forum thread.

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

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