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Weekly Email
This email was sent
16th Sep 2015
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 This info may be out of date.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."

16 September 2015

This week

Urgent: £5/YEAR for line & b'band
Free £150 or 5% via bank switch
Xmas warning: 48 things to do NOW
£20 off Amazon trick
35 ways to make cash online
FREE 2mth Tastecard
Ignore your 'Household Enquiry Form' and you could be fined
425 spring bulbs £10 all-in
Hotel sales: 50% off Ramada, £35 Premier Inn, 10% off Travelodge
Free entry to 1,200+ hidden gems
60 money hacks
Call to get help on savings, ISAs or balance transfers
£35ish Nails Inc polish set £19
£45 Amazon vch via pet insurance
2 Gousto dinners for two for £12
Free tix: A Place in the Sun Live AND London Homebuilding Show
'I've received £10k+ in 2 PPI payments dating back to 1991'
New free credit file & score
Cheap trains, incl £10 Ldn-Bath
Free £8ish Jack Daniel's cocktail
£6,000 donated to refugee appeal
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & elec | Bank accs
Will extra free childcare help you?

MARTIN'S QUICK BRIEFING: For more tips, alerts & awful puns, follow Martin on Twitter

ENDS THU 11PM: The Big Energy Switch Event III
UPDATE 17 Sept: Big Switch extended till 11pm
- Millions can save £250+/yr + £30 cashback + 1,500 Clubcard points
- We've negotiated CHEAPER THAN THE CHEAPEST gas & electricity tariffs
- "Just switched gas & electricity and saved £460/year. Ta for the tip."

Tomorrow (Thu) at 10pm (NOW 11PM) our 3rd MSE collective switch ends, so apply asap & within 17 days you should be switched across - perfect timing to slash the cost of your energy before the big winter bills start.

A collective's where a trusted intermediary (eg, a council or us) runs an auction for energy firms to bid to provide special tariffs. Our 10m email recipients & 1.7m Cheap Energy Club members mean our winners smash the best-buys.

In the last fortnight 45,000+ have already switched - Chris tweeted: "Switched and saved £460/yr. Ta", Janet: "Will pay the same for dual fuel as I was for just gas - marvellous", Ian: "Moved my existing E.on tariff to yours - £495 saving."

How to grab a winning tariff: Collective switch rules mean you need to go via our Cheap Energy Club and fill in your details (sadly not for prepay or those in NI). It's best if you've bills to hand - if not, it can estimate. After it...

- Shows your exact price and saving, and compares to ALL market tariffs. While our collective tariffs usually win, there can be regional & usage variations.

- Gives £30 dual fuel cashback (£15 elec-only). Any time we can switch you (collective switch or not) we give this - sent roughly 60-90 days later.

- Monitors that it stays cheap. You set a 'trigger saving', eg, £100/yr, then we alert you if you can save this by switching again - perfect for fixed deals where cheap rates only last a short time. This takes the hassle out of energy tarting, where you constantly switch to get the cheapest rate.
MSE Big Switch III winner 1: The cheapest tariff (dual fuel & elec-only). This MSE E.on 12-month tariff will save someone with typical bills on a big 6 standard tariff £280/year and as it's a fix, the rate is locked in for a year. It's available for those wanting dual fuel, elec-only or Eco 7.

- Plus get £30 cashback from the Cheap Energy Club (£15 elec-only).
- Plus get up to 1,500 Tesco Clubcard or £15 high st voucher (eg, Argos) as you get 1,500 E.on reward pts over the year convertible into either. You must tick 'sign up to E.on rewards' during application though.
- Plus if you're an existing E.on customer on ANY of its tariffs, you can switch to this without paying any early exit penalties, even if they'd normally apply.

How it compares
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct debit usage (varies by region)

Typical cost: Big six standard tariff AFTER announced price cuts: £1,095/yr
Winner: MSE E.on fix: £814/yr + £15 vch - £30/fuel exit fee
Next cheapest fix: Extra fix till Nov 2016: £850/yr - £25/fuel exit fee
Cheapest variable deal: GB Energy: £831/yr - no exit fees

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You want the cheapest. 2) You're OK switching in a year.

- Not for you if: 1) You want to be able to switch penalty-free - though it's so much cheaper you could take this & pay the fee if you need to move. 2) You're moving home imminently (as you can't take the tariff with you).

- How's the customer service? Decent - 54% great and just 10% poor in our last poll. Plus, it was our Big Switch I winner and it handled the huge demand well (whereas Sainsbury's Energy in Big Switch II struggled).
MSE Big Switch Event III winner 2: The cheapest THREE-WINTER fix. For long-term surety, the winner's MSE Green Star 36mth fix. It's avail for dual fuel, elec-only or Eco 7. Many can slash their costs by nearly £200/yr and ensure no price hikes for 3yrs. Plus you get our £30 cashback (£15 elec-only).

How it compares
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct debit usage (varies by region)

Typical cost: On a big six energy firm standard tariff: £1,095/yr
Winner: Green Star 36mth fix: £920/yr - £30/fuel exit fee
Next cheapest: First Utility fix till Sep 18: £985/yr - £30/fuel exit fee

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You don't usually switch and often forget - as do this now & you needn't act again until 2018. 2) You're worried about future price hikes and prefer to bag the certainty of a long-term cheap price.

- Not for you if: 1) You just want the cheapest price. 2) You want to be able to switch penalty-free. 3) You may soon move home (as you can't take it with you, though it won't charge exit fees in this case). 4) You want 100% renewable energy as this tariff, while reasonably green, doesn't hit that.

- How's the customer service? Green Star's only been around since 2013, so while it scored 77% great & just 2% poor in our last poll, that was on just 65 votes. It's won our collectives before & we've had few reported problems.
MSE Big Switch Event III winner 3: The cheapest GREEN tariff. The winning tariff that's generated 100% of its elec from renewable sources is this MSE Green Star 12mth fix - which fully complies with Ofgem's green tariff requirements without a huge premium compared to the non-green winner. It's for dual fuel, elec-only & Eco 7. Plus you get our £30 cashback (£15 elec-only).

How it compares
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual fuel direct debit usage (varies by region)

Typical cost: On a big six energy firm standard tariff: £1,095/yr
Winner: Green Star 12mth fix: £895/yr - £30/fuel exit fee
Next cheapest 100% green: Green Star 12mth fix: £934/yr: £30/fuel exit fee

Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison

- Good for you if: 1) You believe in green. 2) You want a competitive price, but will pay a little more for eco. 3) You're happy to switch again in a year.

- Not for you if: 1) You just want the cheapest. 2) You want to be able to switch penalty-free. 3) You'll move home soon (as you can't take it with you, though it won't charge exit fees in this case).

- How's the customer service? Green Star's only been around since 2013, so while it scored 77% great and 2% poor in our last poll, that was on just 65 votes. It's won our collectives before & we've had few reported problems.
MSE Big Switch Event III: The cheapest prepaid tariff. We tried for a key or card tariff, but no supplier's bid beat the market's best buys. Instead, just use our Prepayment Comparison to find your cheapest. However, even on them you'll still be paying £300/yr more than the cheapest direct debit deal. To see if you can switch to a standard meter, read Prepaid Gas & Electricity.

The MSE Big Switch Event III quick FAQ
For more detailed answers see the full MSE collective FAQ

Q. I'm already with one of these providers (eg, E.on). Can I still switch? Yes (incl from our Big Switch I E.on winner), and you get our cashback. Plus E.on & Green Star say they won't charge exit fees on their existing tariffs if you change to their winner (eg, E.on-> E.on, GS-> GS). As Chris said: "Already with E.on, applied online for your collective tariff with them. They switched me in 2 days - £170 saved."

Q. What do I need to switch? A bill, preferably your annual bill, would be good - and use kWh rather than cost if you can. Yet if you don't have that, estimate your usage (if you're moving home the comparison does it for you) and while the answer won't be perfect, it shouldn't be too far out.

Q. Does MSE make money from this? Yes. We're paid £60ish/dual fuel switch & give you £30 as cashback. After supplier costs we get £11 for costs & profit.

Q. I'm already locked into a fix - should I switch? Possibly. Just do our comparison, which shows you how much you'd save compared to your current fix & the price it jumps to after. Just ensure you factor in any exit penalties. PS: Firms CAN'T charge exit fees if you're within 49 days of the tariff ending.

Q.Who's responsible for these tariffs - MSE or the energy firm? The energy firm is, and you pay it. Yet we take our bit seriously and ask all providers to set up special customer help teams with max 48-hour response times. If something goes wrong, and it won't help, let us know and we'll try to help.

Q. If prices are dropping, should I wait? British Gas may've recently cut its standard gas price by 5%, but it's still on avg £280/yr more than our E.on fix. Other cheap fixes could launch, but with the Tesco points/vch this is on avg £50 cheaper than the next best fix (£80 with cashback) - that's a big gap.

Over the next year energy prices should dip further - but there'd need to be huge drops to substantially beat this, and switching now means saving now. And even if prices do drop in an unprecedented way, the worst case scenario is you pay the £30/fuel exit fees and switch, and meanwhile you'd likely have saved more than that anyway. See the price predictions MSE news story.

More quick FAQs:

- Can I switch if I've got solar & FIT? Yes. See full solar & FIT info.
- Can I switch if I've got a smart meter? Yes, but you may lose functionality.
- Can I keep my Warm Home Discount? Only with E.on - see Warm Home.
- Is there a credit check? E.on yes, Green Star no. See collective credit check.
- Can I get paper bills? Yes, but you pay up to £15/yr more - see paper bills.
- Can I switch if supplied by an independent gas transporter? Yes. See IGT Help.
- Where can I see the standing charge and kWh costs? They vary by region, so we display your exact cost in the Cheap Energy Club comparison result.
- I'm in credit - will I get it back if I switch? Yes. See Reclaim Energy Credit.
- I'm in debt - can I switch? Yes, usually - see switching in debt help.
- Is paying by direct debit cheapest? Yes, but do regular meter readings.
- Can they put my price up on a cheap fix? The rate's fixed, but use more (or if it's estimated you will) & the direct debit can rise. See Fight Unfair Direct Debits.

Know someone overpaying? Spread the word to help cut energy bills.

Tweet us if you’ve a collective switch question. We're doing a live Twitter Clinic on Wed 16 Sep answering all questions to @MoneySavingExp asked from 1pm-1.15pm.

Blagged for MoneySavers

Did you miss?

Get constantly cheap energy
Our club ensures you're always on the cheapest tariff.
Join free: Cheap Energy Club
Reclaim PPI for FREE
Claims handlers aren't more successful.
Free help & templates: Reclaim PPI

MSE News

Top story: iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus pre-order tariffs revealed
Direct Travel closes for new business - what you should know
Virgin Media to up prices for broadband-only customers
AA to axe loyalty points and cashback for reward card holders
Chancellor faces renewed call to stop 'absurd' savings protection cut
Saved cash? Shout it from the rooftops.
If this email's ever helped you, please forward it to friends and suggest they get it via
Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 16 Sep 2015
Urgent. £5.35 for a YEAR'S Sky line rent & b'band
14,700 codes avail, grab one ASAP. The cheapest line rent and broadband bundle we have ever seen. Save £100s

Broadband's one of the big bills - it mightn't seem it as we're charged monthly, but typical BT, Virgin, Sky & TalkTalk line and broadband packages cost £300+/yr before calls. The key to cost-cutting is pouncing on hot promos. This is scorching.

UPDATE, 5pm Wed 16 Sep: Unfortunately all 14,700 codes for this deal have now been snapped up. If you've already claimed one, you'll be able to redeem it between 10am on Fri 18 Sep and 11.59pm on Thu 24 Sep via this Sky line rent and broadband* link. We've left the details below for info - for more hot broadband deals see our Cheap Broadband guide.

  • BroadbandRidiculously hot Sky line & b'band code. MSE Blagged. On a year's contract you get half-price phone line rent (not calls) and with it 'free' unlimited up-to-17Mb speed b'band (avail to 90% of the UK). In total this costs £110.35 over the year, but most of that is covered by the £105 bill credit we've blagged, so you hardly shell out anything.

    Sadly though, it's NOT avail for existing Sky b'band/TV customers (or if you've had 'em in last 12mths) - its aim is to attract a bigger market share. Here's how you get it:

    1. Get a code NOW: There are only 14,700 codes available via Sky's link (please only get one if you'll use it).
    2. Sign up from FRI until 24 Sep. Use your code to sign up - you'll need to pay a refundable £5 to verify your card.
    3. We've blagged you £100 bill credit: So in month one you've £105 credit (the £100 plus the refundable £5). You're sent a 'free' router, but there's a £6.95 p&p, leaving you with £98.05 bill credit.
    4. This pays most of a year's half-price line rent with 'free' b'band. The line rent's half-price at just £8.20/mth (£98.40 over the year) and the b'band's 'free' for a year with it. Therefore all but 35p's covered by the bill credit.
    5. So you only shell out £5.35 in total. That's £5 at the start and 35p in the last month.

    What about calls? These aren't included. Call costs are similar to BT (see full call charges) or you can get an inclusive deal from £4/mth. Of course, if you make any they'll use up the bill credit quicker, so you'll be paying out in the final month. Rack up £100+/mth of call charges (even if your account is in credit) & you'll be cut off till they're fully paid off.

    Don't have a line, or switching from cable? You'll pay £20. A few on standard lines may need to as well. You'll be told before you commit during the application process. See Installation Info.

    After the contract: You'll pay full-price line rental and £10/mth broadband - but you're free to leave.

    Can it increase the line rental cost? Yes, though during the 12mth contract you'll only ever pay half of the standard line rental cost and if it did, you could leave penalty-free (not that you’d want to at this price).

  • Already with Sky? Some alternatives... There's TalkTalk b'band & line rent £187 for a year but you get a £120 vch or this EE b'band & line rent, plus £100 vch, also on a 12-month contract, for £183 for a year.

£20 off £50 Amazon trick (if you live or work in London or Birmingham). Via app. See Amazon trick blog.

35 legit ways to make cash online. We've updated our 35 ways to earn cash online guide with six new tricks.

Free 2mth Tastecard or 4mths for £1. MSE Blagged. 2for1ish at 6,500+ restaurants. New & old custs. Tastecard

Warning. Ignore your 'Household Enquiry Form' and you could be fined. Every home gets one, they're being sent now - if you keep ignoring them the fine's up to £1,000. Full info (incl if you've chucked it) in Voter eligibility form help.

425 spring bulbs £10 all-in (norm £50). MSE Blagged. 5 varieties, incl crocus. Ends Fri. Thompson & Morgan

New hot bank switching deals - free £150, free £100 + 5%, free £125 + £5/mth
The bank account free cash price war just got hotter. Free money & up to 5% interest, better service, 0% overdrafts

Banks are one of the biggest causes of complaints, yet only 2% of accounts were switched last year, so our message is simple - if your bank's a b*****d, don't bitch, switch. And since 7-day switching launched 2yrs ago, 82% who've tried tell us it was "easy and hassle free" - only 4% had issues. Right now banks are so desperate for your business many will pay you free cash to switch, here's a summary. See our Best Bank Accounts guide for how this compares to other incentives.

  • New. First Direct free £150 + No.1 service + 0% overdraft + 6% regular saver. Switch to First Direct* via this link and you currently get £150 (was £100). It's won every cust service poll we've run, 92% rate it great, plus it has a £250 0% overdraft & linked 6% regular saver. You need to pay in £1,000/mth (as explained below) or there's a fee.
  • New. Nationwide free £100 + a year's 5% interest and 0% overdraft. Switch to Nationwide FlexDirect* via this promo link and get £100 plus its usual year's huge 5% AER variable on the first £2,500 in it, and a 0% overdraft (the amount you get's credit score-dependent). After the year there's 1% AER in-credit interest & 50p/day overdraft.
  • New. Halifax free £125 plus £5/mth. Until 18 Oct, switch to Halifax* and you get £125 (norm £100), plus it pays you a flat £5/mth every month you stay in credit - great if you keep little in there. Its overdraft's expensive though.
  • Do you earn enough to get 'em? Many banks set a 'min monthly deposit' to ensure your income is paid into them. For instance, First Direct's £1,000/mth is equivalent to a £13,200+ salary. There is a workaround, eg, if you've £750/mth coming in, withdraw £250 as cash or to an account with another bank, then pay it back in and BINGO...
TOP FREE-CASH BANK-SWITCHING BRIBES (ranked from lowest to highest pay-in)
All these will credit-score you & may require you to set direct debits up in order to qualify too.
Account Intro offer and other benefits Min mthly pay-in
(equiv yearly salary)
M&S Bank* Free £100 M&S gift card + £100 0% overdraft, 6% regular saver (1) NONE
New Halifax* Free £125 + pays £5 each month you're in credit £750 (£9,150)
Co-op Bank* Free £100 plus £25 to charity £800 (£9,850)
New First Direct* Free £150, no.1 cust service, £250 0% overdraft, 6% regular saver £1,000 (£13,200)
Clydesdale* (2) Free £150, 2% interest on up to £3,000, 9.9% EAR overdraft £1,000 (£13,200)
New Nationwide* Free £100, 5% interest on up to £2,500, 12mth 0% overdraft £1,000 (£13,200)
HSBC Advance Free £100 + £120 bonus on HSBC Loyalty ISA £1,750 (£26,400)
(1) You also get a £10 Dine in for Two voucher when you switch (2) Pick the Current Account Direct, also available from sister bank Yorkshire*.

PS. We've just heard Santander's increasing the monthly fee for its 123 bank account from £2 to £5 for both new and existing customers from January 2016. We'll bring you full analysis of whether to stick with it or not next week.

HOTEL SALES: Travelodge 10% code, 50% off Ramada & Days Inn, Premier Inn £35. Full Hotel sale info.

FREE visits to 1,200+ hidden gems in Ldn, Scot & Wales. Visit properties that norm charge or aren't open to the public in Ldn (700+) this weekend, eg, the Gherkin. Or selected dates in Sep in Scot (400+) & Wales (150+). Hidden gems

60 money hacks - free Amzn delivery, beat spam, eBay loopholes. All in our new 60 Money Hacks guide.

Trial service: Call to get help on savings, ISAs or balance transfers. We're doing a trial this week. Read our Top Savings, Top Cash ISAs & Best Balance Transfers guides and you'll see a Money Advice Service phone number - it'll answer your questions and give help on the info, subjects and deals in the guide.

Nails Inc polish set £19 (norm £35ish) MSE Blagged. Incl 15 mini floral, latex & glitter effect polishes. 1,550 avail

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Virgin Money*
37mths 0%, 2.79% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

No-fee 0%: Tesco Bank*
19mths 0%, no fee

(18.9% rep APR)
Get comparison site quotes in this order...

Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*, Aviva*
Admiral MultiCar*

Zopa* (£5k - £7.5k)
4.3% rep APR

Sainsbury's* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.5% rep APR

(with Nectar card)

Virgin Money 1.51% AER
Min £1, no bonus
Limited access. Transfers allowed.

Coventry BS 2.4% AER
Min £1. Transfers allowed
Fixed till 2020 but with access

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

£45 Amazon voucher on L&G pet insurance. MSE Blagged. Until 30 Sep get a new dog/cat policy via this L&G link* using the code PETMSE and you'll be sent a £45 Amazon voucher within 75 days. Warning: Always check against comparison sites. We're not saying it's the cheeepest (sorry), just that there's a deal - check against Gocomp* & Compare TM and add in Direct Line* as it gives 12mths for the price of nine and Leisureguard* with its 45% discount in the first year. FULL info & tips in Cheap Pet Insurance.

2 Gousto dinners for two, £12 via code (norm £30). MSE Blagged. A 60% off first orders code makes it £12 for a 'cook it yourself' gourmet ingredient box service, eg, crispy mustard chicken, courgette fritters. Gousto Nom-nom

1,000s of FREE TIX to A Place in the Sun Live or Homebuilding & Renovating Show. Both 25-27 Sep - get free £7.50 A Place in the Sun, Birm NEC & a pair of £12 London Homebuilding Show tix.

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"I didn't think I had any PPI policies, but thought I'd fill out the Money Saving PPI forms in case. I've just received two payments totalling just over £10,000 dating back to 1991. Thanks" - Nick
You may not think you had PPI, but it's always worth checking, as one form of mis-selling was adding it when you said no.

New. Free credit file & score. A new firm's launched offering you your monthly Equifax credit file & a credit score online for free. Full info on this and other free ways in Free credit score.

Warning. 100 days till Xmas - 48 things to do NOW that'll save you then
We hate to mention it at this time of year - but this ain't about celebrating early, rather canny tips to save

The inching of Christmas ever earlier upsets us as much as the next Scrooge, but many festive savers only work if you do them early. And with 100 days to go today, now's the time. Our 48 Saves of Christmas has 'em all, here's 10 as an early gift:

Christmas saving1. 5% cashback on your Xmas shopping. The Amex Everyday* credit card pays 5% cashback on your first 3mths' spending (max £100). Get it now and this falls during the high spend Xmas period. Repay IN FULL each month to avoid the 22.9% rep APR. Full help in cashback cards.
2. Beware. The joy of giving can be selfish. See Martin's Ban Unnecessary Xmas Gifts blog.
3. Book train tickets 12wks in advance. That's when most cheap advance tix launch, gaining max availability. Full help in train tricks plus some Dec cheap coach tickets are already selling.
4. Set up a Christmas cupboard. It's part of many MoneySavers' Xmas arsenal. From now, if you spot a hot bargain (often via this email) that fits as a present on your list, bag it, wrap it, and pop it in the Xmas cupboard.
5. Bag hidden eBay bargains for gifts. Find 'collection-only' items with our Local eBay Deals Mapper (iPhone, Android apps).
Split the cost by four and save that monthly. A typical family Xmas costs £820 - a huge amount from one month's salary. If you haven't started saving, there's still time. Eg, put £200 aside from Sep, Oct & Nov income to spread the cost.
7. Time for a personal stock clearance. Walk around your home - if there's anything you haven't used, consider flogging it to raise cash. From old games to clothes, mobiles, toys etc, find how to flog it for max cash.
8. Don't borrow for Christmas - but if you'll do it anyway, ensure it's at 0%. The longest 0% spending card is Clydesdale* or Yorkshire Bank* 26mths, yet though you've time before it jumps to 18.9% rep APR, aim to clear before next Christmas or you just perpetuate the misery. Full help, safety warnings and free eligibility calc in Top 0% Cards (APR Examples).
9. Can you demoHOHOtivate extra cash? From small cutbacks come big savings. See the DemoHOHOtivator tool.
10. Boost funds by 4% with supermarket stamps. You can trick supermarket savings schemes to boost your budget.

More crackers: 48 Xmas Saving Tips | 41 Online Shopping Tricks. Thrift Tips: Forum's Old-Style Christmas 2015 thread.

Cheap train deals incl £10 Ldn-Bath/Bristol, £15 rtn Weymouth/Bournemouth-Ldn. First Great Western has a £10 single tix sale till Sat for travel Oct-Dec, South West Trains a £15 rtn tix sale for travel 21 Sep-30 Oct. All aboard

Free £8ish Jack Daniel's cocktail or £5ish Löwenbräu beer. Via Pitcher & Piano voucher. Pls be Drinkaware.

£6,000 donated to refugee crisis appeal. Thank you. The response to our 50p to Red Cross appeal for all new recipients of this email last week was fab - the money's been donated (we rounded it up). Full info: 50p to Refugees.

Show Best Buys
Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Broadband

Compare, get £30 dual fuel cashback & alerts if your deal's no longer cheap. Go via the free MSE Cheap Energy Club Top Pick Fixes Comparison.

The savings can be huge. Someone with typical dual fuel usage on a big 6 standard tariff pays £1,095 a year - the cheapest deal's £814.

First Direct*
£150 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)
Get comparison site quotes in this order...


Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*, Aviva*
Top pick b'band & line rent: Sky
Pay £5.35 for 12mths, incl £105 bill credit

Top pick fibre b'band & line rent: TalkTalk
Pay £428 for 18mths, get £100 vch

Do a Money Makeover Budget Planner MSE car sticker £13 Travel Insurance
Show Vouchers and Top Deals

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers & sales

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

Will extra free childcare help you?
Next September the Government will double free childcare for families with 3 and 4-year-olds to 30 hours a week. Will you use it? Will it allow you to work more? Or are you doing OK without it? The Govt wants to know what you think. Take its quick online survey, then head to the MSE Forum to share your thoughts.

Should I take cash left in the self-service machine?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I found a tenner someone left in one of the supermarket self-service machines. Should I hand it in, donate it to charity or just keep it for myself? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I take cash left in the self-service machine? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

Can you beat Ryanair's add-on costs?
Ryanair is known for its super-cheap tickets, but prepare for your pocket to take a bashing if you fail to read the small print. We want to know if you’ve any tips, tricks or suggestions to flying with the low-cost giant - whether it’s how to bag the cheapest prices, transport from airports or avoiding extra costs. Share your reasons/read others': Ryanair tips and tricks Past topics: View all

What stops you switching broadband?
For some it's speed that holds you back from switching broadband provider while for others it's the hassle. Two of the most common reasons were having just one choice of provider or not wanting to lose an email address. Others would like to be able to buy broadband and phone services separately.

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's appearances (from Wed 16 Sep onward)

Thu 17 Sep - GMB, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am. Watch previous
Mon 21 Sep - This Morning, ITV, Money Monday, 10.30am.
Mon 21 Sep - Consumer Panel, BBC Radio 5, 12pm-1pm. Subscribe to podcast.

MSE team corner

Regular team appearances:

Fri 18 Sep
BBC Radio Manchester, 4.50pm

Discussion of the week

Does anyone still use soap?

When it comes to showering and bathing, apparently no one uses soap anymore. Some of our forumites disagree though and are discussing this in the Does anyone still use soap? chat. Join in and have your say.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 134.91 121.41
US Flag $ 152.66 137.39
Turkish Flag TL 460.06 399.03
Rates correct at 11am Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Do you agree with the 5p charge for carrier bags?

From 5 Oct, England joins the rest of the UK in charging 5p for most carrier bags from supermarkets and other large retailers - the money will go to charity. The aim is to reduce the use of bags, which can cause serious environmental problems. Retailers will be fined if they don’t comply.

Which of these is closest to your view?

Poll results

Where have you shopped in 2015?
Here's the top three retailers you've bought from at least once and you buy from regularly. Any surprises?

At least once
- 82% from Amazon
- 81% from Tesco
- 78% from Boots

- 52% from Tesco
- 44% from Amazon
- 41% from Sainsbury's

16,727 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q: My daughter's husband has a credit card in his name only, which he keeps spending on. If the worst happened, would his debt die with him or would my daughter become responsible? Thank you. Carl, by email.

MSE Eesha's A: It's often said that your debts die with you, but unfortunately that's an oversimplification. If you die penniless and in debt, no one left behind, not even your partner (in this case your daughter), need assume any responsibility for those debts unless they were joint.

Yet if your daughter's husband had assets (including property and money), then the debt will have to be repaid from it. And if your daughter is the executor of her husband's estate (which she is likely to be as she's the spouse) then she will be responsible for paying off the debt from the money in the estate. If your daughter distributes any assets without paying the debts off first then she could be liable.

The law is complex, so if your daughter is worried she should speak to a lawyer, or talk to the Citizens Advice Bureau. Read our What to do When Someone Dies guide for more information.

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

 Nick's free game of the week: Chompy

What would you do if you saw a cow in a car park?

Sounds odd, but this happened to one of our forumites. What would you have done in her shoes - not moo-ved or looked the udder way? Don't bee'f-raid - share your views in 'You cow'.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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