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Weekly Email
This email was sent
18th Jul 2012
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 This info may be out of date.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."

18 July 2012
Martin's Quick Briefing

Cut your mobile bill in HALF
The 10 need-to-knows to save £100s on calls, texts & web

Mobile phone networks are raising prices, but play 'em at their own game to hammer down costs, with or without switching provider, even on PAYG.

MoneySaver DannyboyMidlands had a big win: "Slashed mobile bills down from £40/mth each to £15 (incl internet)."

1. Don't use all your free monthly mins & texts? You're OVERPAYING. 74% of people are on the wrong contract. Too few minutes or texts and you'll overpay for extra each month, too many and it's money wasted. Use BillMonitor* to speedily analyse bills and find the tariff to match your usage.
2. cut mobile costs5-min online comparisons can knock off £100s. Punch in your details to quickly scan the market. For accuracy, BillMonitor* is best. For breadth or if after a specific handset, use MobilePhoneChecker* or MoneySupermarket*. iPhones aren't cheap but if you 'must' have one, use our Cheap iPhone tool.

If your winner's on a new network, check coverage before you buy. If not, some may refund, or use the 7-day cooling off period if you've bought online.
3. "Threatened to leave, got 500 mins, unltd texts & data for £5/mth." Those willing to regularly switch contracts get the pick of the deals. But even non-switchers should use the comparisons above to find out the market's best, then phone up & threaten to leave. You'll end up at 'customer retentions'.

70% of MoneySavers have successfully haggled with Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange & O2. To inspire, here's everready: "I called Virgin to cancel. It offered 500 mins, unltd texts and data for £10/mth. I refused, so it dropped to £5/mth." See the full Mobile Haggling guide.
4. Top PAYG £10/mth plus £5 free credit. Most contracts lock you in for 18 or 24 months. Pay-as-you-go avoids this plus no credit check. Easy winner for heavy data users is Giffgaff* - O2's sister company - at £10/mth for 250 mins, unltd texts & data, plus via this link get £5 credit free with a £10 top up. Details & alternatives (if put off by O2 outages) in Free PAYG Sims.
5. £62/year iPhone/smartphone insurance. First, check if home insurance or bank account covers your mobile, or can you self-insure. If not, the networks charge £10+/mth, but Insure And Go* costs half that - cover limits are high enough for smartphones (£500), low £25 excess and no awful feedback - see Mobile Insurance.
6. Get £100s back for old phones. Instead of gathering dust, turn old mobiles into cash. Our Mobile Selling Comparison tool speedily finds the best payers, eg, the Blackberry 9700 Bold ranges from £40 to £92. Or: iPhone 3GS 16GB £142, Blackberry Curve 8520 £60, HTC Desire £90, Sony Ericsson K800 £32.
7. Text for free with special apps. If you don't have inclusive texts, costs can mount. Special apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, like PingChat and WhatsApp let you message friends with the same apps worldwide for free. Even on non-smartphones, if it has web, you can save with FishText and Vyke.
8. Free internet with your coffee, burger or beer. Rather than using inclusive data (most tariffs have limits) when out, access free wi-fi hotspots. McDonald's, Starbucks and Wetherspoons all offer it free, plus check My Hotspots, Free Hotspot, and Hotspot Locations for more.

Most inclusive data isn't free while abroad, and can slap £100s on bills. But hidden bolt-ons, special Sims and wi-fi can all help. See Cheap Data Roaming.
9. 'Freephone' from mobiles can mean 33p/MIN... Call 0800 numbers from mobiles and bizarrely, they're not free. Beat this by downloading special apps - see Free 0800 Numbers From Mobiles - or use nifty website 0800Buster, which allocates a landline number for you to save to your phone and call.
10. Are you paying 35p/min to pick up voicemail? Exceed inclusive minutes or call from abroad and usually free voicemail costs around a huge 35p/minute. Keep track of your minutes, or turn it off entirely while on hols.

PS. I'm taking a break, so this week's email is in the more than capable hands of the MSE Team. Hope you save some money. Martin

Become a MoneySaving evangelist (hallelujah)

If this site or email has ever helped you, please forward this email to friends and suggest they get it themselves via

Use the Money Mantras If you're skint, ask - do I need it, can I afford it If you aren't, ask Will I use it, Is it worth it?

The Ones Not To Miss

Wed 18 Jul 2012
Urgent HUGE £70 cashback on new 'no price hike' energy deal
Ends THURS | New cheapest deal plus boosted cashback | Grab NOW, don't wait for winter

Scottish Power's upped the ante in the energy price war by launching the new cheapest deal. Plus, for a short time, get £70 extra cashback on it, bringing the typical annual bill under £1,000 for first time in years. Many are overpaying by £250+/yr, so now's the perfect time to switch, as prices are stable so comparisons are fair.

Avg cost/yr Max cashback
Avg. standard tariff for comparison
Scottish Power Online Fix


EDF Blue



Based on monthly direct debit, typical usage, varies by region.

  • Ends Thurs: £70 cashback on new cheapest deal. Sign up to any Scottish Power tariff via MoneySupermarket* by midnight Thurs to get £40 dual fuel (£20 per fuel) cashback plus £30 on top (£17.50 for single switches) via this MSE link (paid within 3 mths).

    Even better, Scottish Power's just launched the new overall cheapest tariff on average, Online Energy Fixed November 2013. It also guarantees no price rises before Nov 2013, and there are no exit fees - so if other prices drop, just leave. Alternatively EDF Blue* will tell you if a tariff £52+/yr cheaper launches but has lower cashback. Do a comparison to find your cheapest.
  • Alternative freebies - 8 bottles of wine, or £15. We usually list all comparisons together, but with the boosted cashback MoneySup wins hands down. Alternatively, Energyhelpline* pays £15 cashback per switch or uSwitch* 8 bottles of wine for dual fuel. (Cashback only via these links, paid after 3mths). Full info in Cheap Gas & Electricity.
Back to top ^

FREE 3-month tastecard (can cost £80/yr). Blagged for MoneySavers, gets 50%-offs / 2for1s at 1,000s of restaurants. Sign up by Fri 20 Jul - first-timers only. Free tastecard

Online discount codes ALL valid on sales

Lyle & Scott
50% off code
for up-to-50% off sale

10% off code
for up-to-70% sale

Charles Tyrwhitt
11% off code
for up-to-74% sale

Tesco Clothing
£10 off £50
for up-to-50% sale

Ends Thu 19 Jul Ends Mon 23 Jul Ends Tue 14 Aug Ends Sun 29 Jul

See All Discount Vouchers

Free Mars bar. Download free app for voucher. Starts Wed 3pm. 5,000 avail, go quick. Shop, Scan, Save Deals

Free £30 Boots/M&S voucher (on 16mths 0% card)
Credit card freebies - play your cards right and bag big freebies

You can pocket freebies card companies offer as sign-up bribes at no cost. Just spend enough to trigger the freebie (on normal daily spend), set up a direct debit to FULLY repay each month to avoid interest & you're quids in. Now we're also seeing freebies on best buy 0% cards too. All require a credit check (see APR Examples).

  • new amex cardNew. Free £30 voucher & 16 mths 0%. Use this link and accepted new Amex Rewards* cardholders get 16 mths 0% on spending. Plus spend £500+/mth for the first 3 months and you'll get a £30 gift voucher (shops incl Amazon and M&S). You need £30k+ household salary. Fully repay before 0% ends or it's 19.9% representative APR.
  • Longest 0%: 18mths plus rewards. NatWest* & RBS* give new cardholders 18mths 0% on spending, plus 2,500 YourPoints (no spend needed) enough for £10 Boots, M&S or Amazon voucher. Fully repay before the 0% ends else it's 17.9% APR.
  • 1.25% cashback & 16 mths 0%. The Amex Platinum* card is 16 mths 0% and 1.25% cashback on all spending (MoneySup exclusive, link via it). There's a £25 annual fee, so it's best for bigger spenders (cashback covers the fee on £2000+/yr). Repay before the 0% ends or it's 14% APR. Alternatively CapitalOne* pays 5% intro cashback and up to 1.26% after, but has no 0% period, so always repay in full or it's 19.9% rep APR. See Cashback Cards

Back to top ^

Today (Wed) only. 50% off code for jewellery outlet 40-70% off sale. £100 Fossil watch for £12, £71 Lily Allen gold bracelet for £4, plus Bench, Diesel, Guess and more. John Greed Deals

Reminder. 22mth 0% LOW FEE balance transfer. Barclaycard's* halved the fee to 1.45% for accepted new custs shifting debt to its 22 month 0% card. Already got Barclaycard? NatWest* & RBS* give 22mths 0% for 3.2% fee. For all, repay fully before the 0% ends or it's 17.9% rep APR. See Balance Transfers and APR Examples

Spend £7, get 1,200 (£12) free Boots pts. Must be new to Boots Treat Street. Boots Discounts

Finally, your savings can BEAT inflation
Fix at up to 4.2%. How to stop your savings being losings

RPI inflation (the rate prices rise by) has dropped to 2.8%, its lowest since 2009. Finally, you can get an after-tax savings rate higher than RPI, so your cash buys more in a year's time than now. Urgently ditch & switch accounts that don't beat it. All have £85,000 per person protection unless stated.

  • kick inflation in the bottomLock in at a guaranteed 4.2% AER. Fixes pay set interest, but you can't access the cash. All the top payers now beat current RPI for basic rate taxpayers (it'll fluctuate over life of fix). With longer fixes you risk being trapped, if other rates rise:
    1yr Cahoot* 3.6% AER (min £25k), Co-op/Britannia 3.5% (min £1k). 2yr The AA* 3.8%. 3 & 4yr Secure Trust 4% & 4.21% (min £1k). 5yr BM Savings 4.2%. See Top Fixed Savings.
  • Boost new or existing cash ISAs to 4.15% AER tax-free. Over-16s can save £5,640/yr tax-free in cash ISAs. The best smash inflation for basic & even higher rate tax payers.
    Easy access: Santander* 3.3% AER (min £2.5k) and lets you transfer old ISAs in to boost their interest. Its rate will plummet after a year though, so diarise to transfer again.
    Fix: 1 & 2yr Santander 3.5%* (min £2.5k) & 4%*. 3yr M&S 3.75%. 4 & 5yr Halifax* 4.1% & 4.15%. See Cash ISAs
  • 3.25% AER easy access, but pick carefully. Beating inflation in standard savings is tough, but maximise the interest anyway. All the top deals include year-long bonuses, so diarise to ditch & switch after.

    Coventry BS pays 3.25% AER BUT only allows deposits before Nov, so don't use it if you're looking for somewhere to keep adding cash to. ING Direct's* 3.24%, BUT it's not covered by the UK safe savings guarantee - you'd be reliant on the Dutch. That leaves Santander* at 3.2% with unlimited access. Full info in Top Savings.

Also see Inflation-Linked Savings. Full Guides: Top Savings, Cash ISAs

Back to top ^

L'Oreal 13p face scrub, 28p cleanser & more. £2.50-off vch gets skincare for pence. L'Oreal Deal

Zoo 2for1s. London, Chessington & Isle of Wight. Just grab cheap train tickets. Cheap Zoos

Click titles for full info & all top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
22 mths 0%, 1.45% fee

(17.9% rep APR)

0% BTs & Spend: Barclaycard*
14 mths 0%, 1.45% fee

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

Direct Line*
Admiral MultiCar*

Sainsbury's* (£5k - £7.5k)
7.5% rep APR
(Need Nectar card)

Sainsbury's* (£7.5 - £15k)
5.8% rep APR

(Need Nectar card)

Santander* 3.3% AER
Min £2,500. Incl bonus.
Top for transfers

M&S 3% AER
Min £100. No bonus.
Transfers allowed

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Free McFly, Tom Jones, Alex Burke tix. Special link beats £3.50 booking fee. Free London Gigs

Tell friends about us. They can get this free every week.

2+ car family? Beware just using comparisons
Huge savings possible, eg, "I saved £4,600 shifting 3 cars onto a multi-car policy"

Putting all your eggs in one basket can save BIG when it comes to car insurance. Special multi-car policies offer discounts for more than one car, and while comparison sites are great to get 100s of quotes at speed, they don't include multi-car.

  • First, correctly combine comparison sites. Never use just one, they all search different insurers. Below are the right ones for YOUR situation.
    For most: Gocompare* & MoneySupermarket* then add the missed Aviva* & Direct Line*
    Confused* & MoneySup*. Try 'pay-when-you-drive' iKube* & Coverbox*, and 'pay how you drive' Co-op*
    4+ points: Gocompare*, MoneySup* then add Aviva* & Direct Line*
  • "I saved £4,600 on three cars with multi-car." What a result for forumite Boredwithbeingignored. Families with 2+ drivers (especially if you've teenagers) should do comparisons, then add Admiral*, Direct Line*, Aviva*, Privilege* & Churchill* multi-car quotes.
  • Got kids who drive? Add a second driver, but NEVER 'front'. Teenagers' quotes can be huge - try naming a more experienced driver on the car's cover to slash the quote, even if they'll rarely drive it, eg, an 18-year-old's quote dropped from £3,600 to £2,600 just by adding a parent. But never falsely put someone as the main driver - that's 'fronting', is fraud and invalidates cover, whether with kids or a husband & wife.

For more best buys, incl if you've past claims, see updated Car Insurance and Young Drivers' Car Insurance

Back to top ^

Code gets 'free' £3 personalised card. Pay 60p P&P. 2,000 available. Photo Deals

Can you find £1 HDMI cables? They can be up to £100+, but these do the same job. £1 HDMI Cables

Free Sky Sports weekend. For Sky and Virgin custs this Fri-Sun. Watch Eng cricket and F1. Sky Deals

'Don't ask, don't get' - cheap mobile calls abroad
Slash your mobile bill when in Roam - just by making a quick call before you go

Many face £100+ bills for using mobiles abroad. In the EU, the max cost's €0.29 (about 23p)/min + VAT, but is up to £2/min elsewhere. Our fully updated Mobile Roaming guide can slash costs (plus see Cheap Data Roaming). Here are some starters:

  • new amex card'Don't ask, don't get' discounts: Many networks have cut-price deals, eg, Vodafone's £3/day EuroTraveller and Orange's £5/mth Europe Traveller. Yet don't ask and you don't get. See the full Cheap Roaming Add-ons list.
  • Beware! You pay to receive calls. It costs up to €0.08 (about 6p)/min + VAT to receive in the EU, and as much as £2/min outside. You can also be charged for listening to voicemails. Check before you go, and consider turning voicemail off.
  • Text conversations are cheap. It's free to receive texts abroad, so get friends to text, not call, and keep it short. so y nt lrn 2 spk in txt 2 hlp? Sending a text in the EU is capped at €0.09 (about 7p) + VAT, elsewhere it's up to 50p.
  • Call free via smartphone's wi-fi. If you've a smartphone and wi-fi access, download an app like Skype* or Jajah*.
  • Regular traveller? Switch Sim. Visit one country regularly and buying a local Sim to put in an unlocked handset wins. For multiple destinations, global Sims receive calls free and have reduced calling costs. Use this link.
Back to top ^

£4 all you can eat brekkie. Was one buffet visit, now eat as much eggs-tra as you like. Restaurant Deals

£10 A4-ish photo canvas (usually £20). In 50% off sale. Snap up a bargain. Photo Deals

Want to work for MSE? Web designers needed. Senior & graduate roles in London. MSE Jobs

£1/night camping with 40p paper. Sept and Oct at 130 UK sites, even some in half term. £1 camping

Click titles for full info & all top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines
Compare, switch & get cashback

£15 per switch

£30 dual fuel

8 bottles of wine

First Direct*
£100 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

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

Direct Line*
Get quotes in this order...

Primus Line Rental Saver*

BT Line Rental Saver*
£10.75/mth (pay a yr upfront)
Do a Money Makeover Free Budget Planner Free MSE car sticker £16 Travel Insurance

the moneysaving community

Tweet of the week. Thanks to @MartinSLewis website I have discovered I spend £1144 a year on Sunbeds ...and I work 8 weeks of that year to pay for it! #OhMyGod. Try the Demotivator to see what you can give up.

Cheap Flight Sales

Ryanair Price: From £13 each way Ends: Thu 19 Jul
Our pick this week is Ryanair's from £13 each way flights. It's on various routes for travel Wed 1 Aug-Wed 31 Oct 2012, and includes some taxes and charges. Flights include London Stansted to Milan for about £50 return. To find flights quickly, use the FlightChecker on a £60 return max search. Extra charges warning: Avoid payment and check-in charges — see the Budget Airline Fee Fighting guide. Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance

Book Giveaway RESULT. French Lessons. 40 blagged. Check your inbox to find out if you got one

spill beans

Spill the beans... on Christmas 2012 preparations
Some will read this and think, hang on, it's only July... but plenty of MoneySavers have been planning Christmas 2012 since the sales hit on Boxing Day 2011. Have you been stashing presents steadily through the year, what else have you done? Spill 'em: Christmas 2012 preparations Past topics: View all

Money Moral Dilemma

Should we pay more than our fair share of honeymoon cost?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...
We agreed to split the cost of our son's honeymoon 50/50 with his fiancee's parents, but they've now said they can't afford it and suggested we "all just put in what we can afford" - ie, my husband and I pay the majority. Technically, we can afford to pay more, but it would mean not helping with other parts of the wedding, which would be hard to explain without embarrassing her parents. Should we cough up or risk our children's disappointment? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should we pay more than fair share of honeymoon cost? Previous MMDs: View All Suggest: A Money Moral Dilemma

Back to top ^

Gifts for teachers. Spill the beans... revealed
Last week's topic prompted a lot of responses from both teachers and parents on the subject of gift-giving at the end of term. Lots of parents help their child(ren) to make homemade gifts, while some organise a class collection. Overwhelmingly though, the response from teachers was a sincere 'thank you' was the best present they could receive.

Campaign of the week

Struggle with chip and PIN? There are alternatives to help you
The Payments Council's Pay Your Way campaign is highlighting 'chip and signature' cards to help people who have problems using their PIN while shopping - through dexterity or mobility issues, visual impairments, memory problems or more. All banks offer a secure card - where you sign to pay - which give the same fraud protection (although you can't use at self-service machines). Spotted a campaign? This space is for MSE to support the work being done by other charities, community groups and campaigners. Send us a Campaign of the Week suggestion.

Cheap Travel Money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 126.46 115.43
US Flag $ 155.46 141.59
Turkish Flag TL 276.00 247.42
Rates correct at 4pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: How much have you saved using this site?

Do include all money saved, gained, reclaims made, and discounts from deals. Please click the one ALL-TIME amount that applies to you.

I'm new


Less than £50

£50 - £250

£251 - £499

£500 - £999

£1,000 - £1,999

£2,000 - £4,999

£5,000 - £9,999

£10,000 - £24,999

Over £25,000

Poll results

Do you play by the rules - which of these 'naughty' things have you done?

13,000 MoneySavers have done 49,000 things wrong - you naughty bunch (only 16% picked 'none'). Bypassing the tax man was most common, with 39% having paid cash in hand and 37% having been paid that way, while 34% have bought counterfeit goods.

As for repeated rule-breaking, illegally downloading music, films and games 'won' by some distance (16%). See Full Results.

Question Of The Week

Q: My mother-in-law, who's 75, has been told she must register with Santander to get interest from her three savings accounts. Is this correct? Paul, by email.

MSE Alana's A: It's unlikely that your mother-in-law needs to register to receive interest, as it should automatically be paid into the savings account or a bank account she nominated when this one was opened.

It's likely Santander is asking her to register to receive interest without having the tax taken off. If her income is less than her tax-free personal allowance (£10,660 a year for those 75 and over), she can register to get savings interest paid tax-free by filling in an R85 form.

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

Board Of The Week

The eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales Board

Share offers and tips on buying and selling second-hand items. Recent discussions include How to tell if a listing has been edited, List in advance of eBay free listing days and Car-boots in the rain?.

Back to top ^
Game Of The Week

Icy Fishes

Are you a loser?

Ever thought your toast tasted a bit soapy while suffering from mega greasy hair? This forum thread is chock-full of absent-minded misplacements, though it's hard to beat shampoo in the fridge and margarine in the bathroom! Are you a 'loser'...?.

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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