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Weekly Email
This email was sent
19th Mar 2008
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email
19 March 2008
 - Martin's Weekly Money Tips

Are your savings safe? Check NOW
1p European flight sale; £5 PAYG mobile
Last chance 5.8% life of balance credit card

And much, much more MoneySaving...

The worldwide financial chaos is real and scary. The financial markets crisis doesn’t just affect City workers, it’s a real and tangible problem for everyone. The credit crunch means borrowing will be more difficult and more costly, whether for mortgages, loans or credit cards, and financial instability means savings institutions’ security becomes a worry.

The impact on savings. The global financial panic is spreading. Where once I thought it unfeasibly, ridiculously unlikely for a bank to collapse, now I think it’s just unlikely. Hence you’ll see my lead article below is the re-researched and updated Are Your Savings Safe? guide. If you’ve got savings, it’s important you read it to understand how to protect yourself.

It’s tougher to get a mortgage & tougher to get it cheap. Rather than fighting for our business as usual, many mortgage firms don’t want new customers, especially ones without a perfect credit history. When fixed/discount mortgages end, most people's costs will jump by roughly £150/mth per £100,000 of mortgage debt. That’s why it’s crucial to remortgage if you can (see the free guide), though even then, expect a £75/mth jump (use the Budget Planner to plan for this rise).

It Pays To Watch!

This week:
Mobile phone & free texts

Celeb Challenge:
The Apprentice’s Tre Azam

Special Guest Star:
The MoneySaving Fiancé!

Web exclusive programme:
It Pays To Watch More

Be in the audience: Details

It Pays To Watch on five 7.30pm Weds

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The Ones Not To Miss

Are your savings safe? Full guide & checklist to protect yourself.

The credit crunch is hitting hard. Global financial markets are in turmoil, and the risk of bank collapse has increased; while it's still unlikely, it's less unthinkable. Any sensible saver needs to ask, “is my money safe?”. This is a completely re-researched and rewritten savings safety check-up Q&A, to reflect the current situation. Anyone with savings needs to understand the protection available, how it differs between accounts and the difference between UK and overseas banks. Updated Guide: Are Your Savings Safe? Related Articles: Top Savings, Top Cash ISAs

URGENT! 1p Ryanair flights (incl. most charges). Sale ends Wed 19. Find them quickly: 1p Ryanair Flights guide.

Cheapest life of balance credit card deal (5.8%) ends this week. Act Now
A tip-off indicates that the cheapest long term credit card deal is likely to close to new customers some time this week. The Citibank Platinum* card allows new cardholders to shift debts to it at 5.8%, within 90 days of opening, and, rather than being time limited, this rate lasts until ALL the debt shifted is repaid. As the next cheapest is Barclaycard*’s 6.3%, if you’re paying interest on credit card debts it's worth grabbing, though you’ll need a good credit score to get it. Please read full details, pros and cons in the Updated Article: Best Balance Transfers Related Articles: Credit Card Shuffle, Cheap Cards for New Borrowing, Cheap Loans

1p EnergySaving light bulbs. In-store at Tesco See the light! Related Article: Cheap Gas & Electricity

Loophole! Get 2for1 cinema every week! Free Orange Sim cards.
If you’re not an Orange customer, there’s now a way to access its special weekly 'Orange Wednesdays' 2 for 1 cinema tickets promotion. This is because it’s currently offering free pay-as-you-go Sim cards, so get one and pop it your phone, providing it's unlocked, on a Wed, and you can access the free cinema promotion (don't worry, you can record It Pays To Watch!). Plus, until the end of April, you can also bag extra free credit by texting "ORANGE" to 60040. Full details in the Updated Article: Orange Wed 2for1 Film Tickets Related Articles: Unlock Your Mobile, DVD Rental, Cheap Days Out, Freebies, Freebies, Freebies

£5 Pay-as-you-go mobile. In-store at TJ Hughes (or £8.60 if you buy online). No need to top up Related Article: Cheap Mobiles


High street voucher bonanza. Threshers (40%), Habitat (20%), H&M (20%), Early Learning Centre (20%), Jaeger (15%) and more. Coupon d'état!

Bank charges latest: OFT expects judge's decision by July
It seems we may have to wait a little longer for the bank charges test case judge to make his decision on whether the unfair terms can apply to bank charges. The Office of Fair Trading said last week it now thinks the judgement will be made, at the latest, by the end of July. Once that's in, both sides will need to review the content, and potentially request an additional hearing or appeal, so we could be waiting some time yet! For more info on the case read the Bank Charges News article. Related Articles: Bank Charges Reclaiming, Credit Card Charges Reclaiming, PPI Reclaiming

TV licence cost cutting. Is yours up for renewal in April? Renew ASAP to save cash. This and other tips in the New Article: TV Licence Savings

WARNING! You will NEVER get a call from MoneySavingExpert! BEWARE!
There've been some reports that nasty little criminals have started using the site and/or my name in scam sales calls. We NEVER call anyone offering to save you money. If you get a call, don’t believe them. Even better, play along and try and get a number/address (without giving away any personal details) and let me know. Please report if this has happened to you.

Half price Alton Towers/Chessington/Legoland/pub lunches & more. When you buy Walkers crisps. Chip, hip hooray!

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The Big & Easy Ways to Save Checklist

More MoneySaving

URGENT. Are you over 60? You’re entitled to a winter fuel payment
Every household with someone aged over 60 in it is entitled to the Govt’s winter fuel payment to help offset high fuel costs. If you didn’t claim last winter, you must do it before 30 March or you'll miss out (and it also registers you for next year). The oldest person in your house counts; if they're over 60 you get £200, or over 80 it's £300. If you've received it before or get the state pension or other benefits it should be paid into your account automatically, if not, apply now. Forum Note: Winter Fuel Details Related Articles: Cheapest Gas & Electricity, Staywarm: Is it worth it?, Benefits Check Up, Grant Grabbing job opportunities. Part-time London based Editorial Assistant, Web Developer & Junior IT technician wanted.

Slash hundreds off your mobile bill. It Pays To Watch Challenge
If you're close to the end of your mobile phone contract, there are scores of hidden deals accessible by threatening to switch network. A simple phone call will uncover these, and save you hundreds instantly. On this week's It Pays To Watch I'll be taking three volunteers through the process to see how much they can batter their contract down. Full Guide: Mobile Haggling It Pays To Watch: Five 7.30pm Wednesday Related Articles: Cheapest Mobile Phones, Recycle Old Mobiles

Gas & Elec "Time To Switch!" Plus £90 cashback currently possible on top
Now’s the time to switch energy provider and save, though avoid Scottish & Southern Electricity (and its sub-brands Atlantic, Swalec & Scottish Hydro) as its prices are likely to rise in April. Normally I suggest using my top pick comparison service, Energyhelpline*, which pays £15 cashback per switch or Moneysupermarket* at £30 cashback for duel fuel or uSwitch* at a £40 crate of wine per switch. Yet currently, if you do a comparison and Scottish Power duel fuel comes out cheapest, instead sign up via a Top Cashback Site and there’s over £90 cashback available. Related Articles: Switch Energy, Get Cashback, Boiler Cover, Grant Grabbing, Home Phones

Income tax and national insurance rates change in April. Check how the new rules affect your income. What's the impact?

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Wayne protect his finances from Coleen?
After six months of marriage, housewife Coleen confesses to taxi driver husband Wayne that she has £50,000 of credit card debt, the vast majority accumulated while she travelled the world before they met. Staggered by his wife's admission, Wayne wonders what to do for the best. They were about to buy a house together and apply for a joint mortgage, but that would mean becoming financially linked (see credit scoring guide), so now he’s considering keeping everything separate. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should Wayne protect his finances from Coleen? Previous MMDs: Should Howard & Marion replace Richie's Tenner? and Should Vinnie chase the robbers?

ISA Countdown... less than three weeks. Miss it and miss out. Top Cash ISAs, ISA Guide

Quick Forum Tips
Warning! Bargains listed here tend to sell out quickly

Great 'Cheaper Health Food' Hunt

Whether you’ve managed to stick to your New Year’s resolutions or simply just like to keep yourself healthy day to day, it’s often hard to find health food (and drink), at a price to suit your budget. So I thought I’d tap MoneySavers’ wealth of knowledge to share tips on finding cheaper sources of health food. Add your ideas/read other people's: Great Cheaper Health Food Hunt Past Great Hunts: Blagging Hints and Tips, Save Money and Turn Green, Make Your House Safer

Easter hols are upon us. Board of the week: Travel, Trips & Holidays
If you're stuck for ideas on where to go or what to do with the kids this Easter then the Travel, Trips & Holidays board offers heaps of great ideas. Top discussions include Weekend break in the UK, Tutankhamun Exhibition Tips and Cheaper Alton Towers Accommodation.

Great 'Unsigned/Up and Coming Bands' Hunt Result
Last week I asked MoneySavers to let others know about new music they thought others should hear about in the Unsigned/Up and Coming Bands Hunt. The response was overwhelming. There were some great bands and artists posted including Susie Wilkins, Damage Done and Carrie Fletcher. Plus there's some great help for unsigned bands from MoneySaver Toto on How to get a record deal. Any bands mentioned in this Great Hunt, please do let us know here if this thread gives your band a boost.

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Jonathan Wheeler Art Mini-Prints, Crayola Kids' Activities,
100 Homebase Points, Asthma Attack Card, Paper Yamaha Bike

Odds and Ends

MoneySavingExpert on the box/wireless
If you like to watch as well as read about MoneySaving, I'll be appearing on the following programmes over the next week or so.

  • It Pays To Watch, five, Wednesday from 7:30-8pm. Showing us how to slash the cost of Mobile Phone Tariffs by £100s.

  • It Pays To Watch EXTRA, five, Sunday from 10-11am. Combines both IPTW & IPTW More.

  • GMTV, ITV1, Tuesday (between 7:30 & 8am). The subject for this is news reactive so you'll have to wait and see.

Watch/listen back from last week: Listen to last week's Vine on Radio 2 and MoneyBox on Radio 4 MoneySaving. Watch it here
Keep updated on appearances: Changes and updates go in the Updated appearances list
Feedback on appearances: Discuss or add your thoughts on MoneySaving in the Media

This week's Martin's Blog: ING Direct…. A crash, a burn, a sell-out all in one!
"Which type of unwell are you?", "Even I'm not immune to the power of loyalty cards" and "From Back In Time To Online: Internet Supermarket Delivery". Read m'blogs (or RSS users access)

What's the cost of parking fines? This week's poll. Vote and What's the cost of parking fines? discussion.

You voted a great big NO on the Lisbon Treaty. Last Week’s Poll Result. It seems attitudes towards Europe haven't lightened for the majority of you, with a huge 70% saying they'd vote against the Lisbon Treaty, compared to just 13% who'd vote for it. The last 17% were either undecided, or considered this a decision for the politicians rather than the public. See Lisbon Treaty poll results.

Archna's Free Game of the Week! Build a wall to stop the balls bouncing Jezz ball

Amazing Lego warships! That's it for this week, but before I go, has a cash shortage forced the Royal Navy to scale down its next-generation of aircraft carriers? 300,000 lego bricks!

I hope you save some money


Explanation of * Links

How this site is financed. Any links with a * by them are affiliated. That means go via this link and a contribution may be made to, which helps it stay ad-free and free to use. You shouldn't notice any difference, the links don't impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things I write) is NEVER impacted by it. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it's still included in exactly the same way. As I believe transparency is important, I'm including the following 'un-affiliated' web-addresses for the same things:,,,,,,,,, . Read more about this in how this site is financed. is the free to use Consumer Revenge website focused on how to save you cash. It’s owned, and run by ultra-specialised journalist and bestselling author Martin Lewis. On TV amongst other things Martin has his own show It Pays To Watch on Five, is GMTV’s Money SavingExpert, presents money programmes for ITV1 Tonight. On Radio Martin has regular slots on Radio 2 Vine and Radio 1 Whiley. He’s also a columnist for the News of The World, Moneywise and the Sunday Post. Find out more: About the site and its funding.

Disclaimer: This e-mail is based on journalistic research. It does not constitute financial advice. Any information should be considered in regard to your own specific circumstances. All tips are followed at your own risk and should be followed up with your own research Full Terms & Conditions.

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