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Weekly Email
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20th May 2015
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 This info may be out of date.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."

20 May 2015

This week

10 tricks to boost savings interest
New: Mastercard beats Visa abroad
New 3yr 0% 'loan' - cheapest ever
Reclaim £100s of lost Tesco pts? And new Clubcard DOUBLE-UP
How to watch TV & not pay licence
NEW cheaper 3yr 0% debt shift
Free meds for coughs & colds
Bloomin eck: £50 plants & bulbs £15
FLASH sales: Homebase 15% off, Habitat 25%, Laura Ashley 37%
NYC £295 return trick
New cheap 'no exit fee' energy fix - 'save up to £280/yr' + £30 cashback
Hotpoint clearance extra 35% off
£12 specs, £19 prescription sunnies
Ralph Lauren men's polo shirt £35
Change the UK in 50 words
Starbucks 50% off Frappuccinos
'I saved £204/yr on home insurance & got free Kindle Fire HD6'
£99 Ciaté gel nail kit £30
Free PPI help as 62% win at Ombuds
YOLO - so be prepared
Codes: Crabtree & Evelyn 30%, Body Shop 40%, Sainsbury's Tu sale
Flash online currency sales
Free £8ish cocktail or £4 lager
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & elec | Bank accs

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

10 tricks to boost your savings interest
Rates are crap. Complaining does nowt. Become an active saver to win

The election of a Tory govt cements planned changes to savings. From April 2016 the new personal savings allowance will mean the first £1k/yr of savings interest basic-rate taxpayers earn is tax-free (higher-rate taxpayers £500).

Great, but many people's savings accounts and cash ISAs pitifully pay under 0.5%, so the boon's limited. Complaining doesn't help; action is needed. Check your rates then see if any of these tricks boost it. I've only included accounts covered by the £85,000 per person, per financial institution savings safety limit...

1. Make your bank account pay you up to 5%. A raft of bank accounts now pay higher in-credit interest than top savings. These loss-leading rates aim to suck people into switching, but there's no reason not to take advantage.

Santander 123* pays 3% AER variable if you've £3,000 to £20,000 in it. Other banks pay higher rates, but as you can save more in it, it can pay up to £592/yr interest (pre-tax), compared with next biggest Club Lloyds' £197.

It does have a £2/mth fee, but for most that's easily covered as it pays cashback on direct debits, eg, 3% on mobiles, 2% energy, 1% water. This alone adds up, as Hannah tweeted: "£260/yr cashback. Mortgage, b'band, phones, TV."

If you've less to save, the winner depends on exactly how much. Here are the top picks (with work they can be combined, see 5% Savings Loophole):

In-credit interest (AER) Needs standing order / direct debit? Min monthly pay-in
Santander 123* 3% on £3,000-£20,000 Yes, min 2 £500
Club Lloyds* 4% on £4,000-£5,000 Yes, min 2 £1,500
Nationwide FD* 5% up to £2,500 for 1yr (a) No £1,000
TSB Classic Plus* 5% up to £2,000 (b) No £500
(a) 1% after. (b) Must register for online banking. FULL info: Best Bank Accounts

What qualifies you to get the interest? You usually need to pass a credit check (though they're not normally too harsh), and meet the 'min monthly deposit' (how they ensure you pay your income in there eg, a £500/mth pay in = £6,000/yr salary). Full account-by-account help in Top Bank Accounts.
2. Part of a couple? Use it to gain. If one of you pays tax at a higher rate, then providing you trust each other, put non-ISA savings in the lower taxpayer's name and you'll take home more.

If you're using the bank account trick above, some accounts (such as Santander) allow you to open an account each and one joint account, so that could be £60,000 covered (you must still meet all the terms).
3. Quick: Get a tax-free FREE £125 plus 6% interest or £5/mth. The other bank account savings route is to plump for an account offering a free switching bribe plus a linked high-rate savings product. You'll need to use its switching service (and follow the 'what qualifies' rules in point 1). Unlike savings interest, this switching bribe is TAX-FREE.

- Free £125 + 6% linked savings & top service.
First Direct* (min-mthly deposit £1,000) has won every customer service poll we've ever done. Till 31 May via this link, it offers switchers £125 (£100 after), plus has a linked savings account where if you save £25 to £300/each month for a year you get a fixed 6% AER.

- Free £125 + earn £5 a month. Until 31 May Halifax Reward* (min-mthly deposit £750) pays switchers £125 (£100 after). Plus it pays you £5 every month you're in credit - which alone beats the best interest after tax for those saving less than £1,500 in the top high-interest bank savings.

- Free £100 M&S gift card + linked 6% savings & NO min pay in. Switch to M&S Bank* and you get a gift card worth £100, plus it has a linked regular savings account where if you save £25 to £250/each month for a year you get a fixed 6% AER. Better still, unlike other accounts, you don't need to make a monthly deposit.

- Free £150 + 2% savings. Clydesdale* (min-mthly deposit £1,000) currently offers £150 if you switch to it, and a lower-but-still-decent 2% on up to £3,000 - good for smaller savers wanting the best of both worlds.

When does free cash beat bank savings interest? If you've got £10,000+ Santander 123* almost always wins; below that, it's more complex. If you're willing to switch annually, or more often, then bagging free £100s can net you larger amounts (though constant switching can wobble your credit file).

If you just want to switch & stick, then £100 is equiv to a year's after-basic-tax interest on around £3,000 at 4%. Yet you have to factor in that you'd still be saving somewhere else, perhaps the linked regular saver, or even just in a top savings account. Thus the gain's the difference between the two.

So there's no definitive answer. If you pushed me for a VERY rough rule of thumb, over £4,000 using your bank for high interest wins - below that, using it for free cash and other top savings is likely to win.
4. SavingsEarn 2.1% and protect savings from tax. A cash ISA is just a savings account where you don't pay tax on the interest, while every £100 earnt in normal savings nets a basic-rate taxpayer £80 & higher-rate £60. In a cash ISA you get the £100. So if rates are equal it wins.

You can put up to £15,240 in per tax year (6 Apr - 5 Apr) and once in, it stays tax-free year after year, so fill it up every year and it can be v serious cash. FULL best buys & calcs: Top Cash ISAs & Top ISA Transfers

- Earn 2.1% fixed for 4yrs with access to your cash: Coventry BS pays 2.1% AER fixed for four years, but you can withdraw by closing the account early, losing just 120 days' interest. So close it after 1yr and you effectively get 1.41%, after 2yrs 1.75% meaning you get decent rates and some flexibility.

- Top fixes for ISA transfers as well as new money.
If you want to shift past poor-earning ISAs in as well as or instead of new money, the Skipton BS 1yr fix (min £500) is 1.62% AER, 2yr is Kent Reliance (min £1,000) at 1.85% AER, 3yr is State Bank of India (min £5,000) at 2.3% AER.

- Top easy-access cash ISA: If you need to withdraw cash whenever you want, NS&I pays 1.5% AER variable but doesn't allow transfers. For that you'll need Post Office at 1.41% AER variable (min £100).

- New Help to Buy ISAs: From the autumn, first-time buyers will be able to get these ISAs where for every £200 you put in, the Govt adds £50. If you want one, don't open a cash ISA now. Full info in Help2Buy ISA.

Do cash ISAs beat top bank savings? On pure rate, even after basic tax, the bank savings win - for higher-rate taxpayers it's closer. Yet saving in an ISA has other boons. See my full Santander 123 vs cash ISAs analysis.
5. If you're putting aside cash every month, earn over 3%. Regular savings accounts often pay high interest as it's only on a small amount for a short time. The top rates are for products linked to current accounts (listed in point 3 above). Yet there are some decent paying deals open to all.

Leeds BS Regular Saver pays 3.05% AER variable if you pay in £50 to £250 every month for a year. More info & calcs in Top Regular Savings.
6. Mix and match to maximise every penny. I'm often asked "What's the best savings account?". There's no easy answer. It depends on how much you're saving, how often, whether you need access to it and more.

Nor is there often one right answer. The goal's for every penny to flow where it earns most, such as putting a lump sum in a fixed-rate ISA and money you put aside each month in a top regular saver. Combining accounts this way often wins. See the savings fountain for more help.
7. Lock your cash away to boost rates and earn up to 2.5%. Fixed-rate savings have two big advantages: a) rates are usually higher b) rates are guaranteed. Yet in return you need to forgo access to the cash for that time.

Over one year First Save (min £1,000) is the winner at 1.9% AER; for 3 years it's Paragon Bank (min £1,000) at 2.5% AER. Yet with today's low interest rates remember the longer you fix for the more risk, as if rates do rise, you can't ditch & switch. Full best buys & calcs in Top Fixed Savings.
8. While 1.4% for the top straight easy access savings deal sounds poor, compare it to what you're getting. West Brom BS pays 1.4% AER variable and allows up to six penalty-free withdrawals a year. Or Tesco Bank is 1.35% with unlimited withdrawals. Full best buys & calcs: Top Savings.

These rates don't sound good, but before you pooh-pooh them, check your rate. It may be shockingly less. If so, ditch & switch. Do also check if you've a local credit union or building society giving locals a special rate. Or ask your current bank if it has a 'loyalty deal'.
9. Don't forget Premium Bonds if you're a higher-rate taxpayer. Premium Bonds are savings accounts where the interest you earn is tax-free and based on a monthly prize draw. The currently published 'prize rate' is 1.35%.

This describes the 'mean' average (think back to school maths) you'll win. Thus it predicts someone with £100 will win £1.35 a year. Yet that's impossible, as the smallest prize is £25. In fact, for every 20 people with £100 in, over a year 19 must win nowt for one to win £25+.

A far better pick of what you'll win is the median 'average'. It shows if you lined everyone up in terms of winnings, what the middle person would win. It can be depressing, eg, on £1,000 over a year, the median win's still nada.

Find out what you're likely to win
Our unique Premium Bond Probability Calc predicts your odds of winning.

Full analysis in Premium Bonds - are they worth it? but in summary, They can on average produce decent returns compared with normal savings for higher-rate taxpayers with decent sums (ie, above £10,000).
10. Prepared to up the risk? Peer-to-peer 'savings' pay up to 6.8%. They call them savings, but in truth they're halfway between savings and investing (so there's no UK £85,000 savings safety protection). Current top rates for 1yr are 3.9%, 3yr 5.5% and 5yr 6.8%. Yet it's a totally different concept so read our full peer-to-peer savings help. Or of course you could just invest straight in a Top Stocks & Shares ISA.

It's also worth noting, under-16s can often earn more, up to 6%. See Top Children's Savings, Top Junior ISAs and Top Child Trust Funds.

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MSE News

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BT hikes upfront line rental price for third time in a year
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Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 20 May 2015
New: Mastercard trumps Visa for cheapest spending abroad
The cheapest way to spend abroad is a specialist overseas card - but our new research shows 'make it Mastercard

Last week, we headlined a trial of a new Supercard for spending abroad - the popularity smashed its site, and all 25,000 trial cards went in 24hrs. Yet the fact it was a Visa prompted us to do some extra research, and the answer's surprised us...

  • travel moneyThe cheapest way to spend abroad - specialist Mastercards. Spend abroad, in any country, and your debit or credit card does a conversion at the Visa or Mastercard wholesale rate - then most add a 3%-ish 'non-sterling transaction' fee to it. So £100 of euros costs you £103. Yet specialist overseas cards don't add this, so you get the same unbeatable rates banks do, making this THE cheapest way to spend abroad.

    Over the last week though, we've been mapping Mastercard & Visa exchange rates every fortnight for a year, and we were surprised to find Mastercard almost always wins in most major currencies, eg, of 24 euro dates it won in 22, and on average by 0.6%. So if you're getting a specialist card, go for a Mastercard - see Mastercard vs Visa exchange rates info.

  • NEW: The top credit cards for spending abroad. Now we know Mastercard wins, we've shuffled our pack of load-free cards. Only do this though if you pay off IN FULL each month so there's no interest. Plus before applying, first use the travel cards eligibility calculator to find which you're most likely to get...

    - Top card: Halifax Clarity Mastercard* has the lowest ATM charges (12.9% rep APR). Next top is Post Office Mastercard* - same cost for spending abroad but costlier for withdrawing cash (17.8% rep APR).
    - Top easy-to-get card: Aqua Mastercard* accepts some poorer credit scorers - it's good for spending as there's 0.5% cashback too, but don't withdraw cash as it's 34.9% rep APR, and you pay that even if you clear in full.
    - The Visa cards: Both Saga* for over-50s (11.9% rep APR) and the Nationwide Select* card (15.9% rep APR) are Visas, so while still good aren't best. Full best buys: Cheap Travel Cards (APR Examples)

    If you use these cards for ATM withdrawals (not spending), even if you repay IN FULL, you pay a month's interest. With Halifax that's c.£1 per £100. For the others, it's usually a 2-3% fee, plus interest. So spending beats withdrawing cash.

  • How much cheaper is it?, eg, on $1,000: On Mon, based on 5x$100 ATM withdrawals, the rest spent in 20 transactions:

    - On Halifax Clarity Mastercard (repaid in full): £640
    - On Saga Visa (repaid in full): £647
    - Using a debit card from hell: £692 (see The cards from hell)
    - Change at airport: £725 (always the worst way - if you must do it, at least pre-order to get better rates)

To see how these compare with top debit cards, prepaid cards and more, see 14 Cheapest Ways To Spend Abroad.

How to watch TV and (legally) not pay the licence fee. News this week that 1,000s more do it. Do you qualify?

STOP PRESS: New even-cheaper 36mth 0% debt shift. The credit card balance transfer price war continues. On Fri, BOOM, Halifax* said new cardholders could shift existing card debts to it at up to 36mth 0%, matching the longest 0%, but with a lower 2.9% fee. Then as we were writing this email KAPOW another 36mth 0% card, Barclaycard*, lowered its fee to the new cheapest, just 2.49%. Do clear them before the 0% ends or both jump to 18.9% rep APR after. Will you get one? Use the Balance Transfer Eligibility Calc. FULL info: Best Balance Transfers (APR Examples). More on this next week.

Free meds for coughs, colds & more. If you or your child get free prescriptions, the little-known Minor Ailments Scheme often means you can get other free meds too, eg, paracetamol, eye-drops, creams. Full how-to in Minor Ailments.

Bloomin' marvellous - £50 plants & bulbs £15 del, £45 flower seeds £7.50 del. MSE Blagged. We've dug out these deals - 17 plants & bulbs, incl clematis, or 30 types of flower seeds, incl lavender. Full info in Garden deals.

FLASH SALES: Homebase 15%, Habitat 25%, Laura Ashley 37%. See Homebase, Habitat & Laura Ashley deals.

New 3-YEAR 0% 'loan' - up to £500 cheaper on smaller amounts
The longest EVER 0% credit card loan. Massively undercut standard loans, with interest-free borrowing for a fee

Don't borrow unless you need to. And if you need to, always ensure it's budgeted for, affordable, and as cheap as possible. Of course, the cheapest lending is interest-free, so many ask, "Can I use a 0% card to pay cash into my bank account?" The answer is usually no, unless it's a special Top Money Transfer Card, which lets you do it for a fee.

  • Clear your overdraftNew. 3YR 0% credit card loan (2.99% fee). Accepted new MBNA 36mth 0%* (eligibility calc) cardholders can now do a 36mth 0% money transfer for a fee of 2.99% (min £3) of the amount transferred. This means the card pays money into your bank account, which you can use as you like, then you owe it instead. If you can repay more quickly, MBNA 24mths 0%* (eligibility calc) is 2yrs 0% for just a 1.94% fee (min £3). After the 0% ends, both are 22.9% rep APR. More in 0% Card Loans (APR Examples).
  • How does it compare to normal loans? It's especially useful for borrowing sub-£3,000, where even the cheapest loans are costly, eg, borrow £2,400 over 3 years and the cheapest loan is 14.9%, so that's £590 interest. Do the same via this MBNA card and the only cost is the £72 fee. For larger amounts, see our Cheap Loans guide.
  • The Money Transfer Golden Rules
    1) Want to cut cost of existing card debts? Both these cards also offer balance transfers (though with different 0% lengths & fees) so you can combine them. Yet if that's all you're doing, better deals are in Best Balance Transfers.
    2) Don't just apply.
    The eligibility calc shows acceptance odds, protecting your credit score from over-applying.
    3) Clear the card before 0% ends, or the rate jumps to over 20% (or at least balance-transfer it).
    4) Always pay at least the monthly minimum, on time. If not, you may lose the 0% deal - direct debits help.
    5) To replicate a loan, repay a fixed amount. To mimic a loan's disciplined fixed-repayment structure, add the fee to the amount borrowed. Divide by the number of 0% months, then pay that amount fixed each month.
    6) Never spend or withdraw cash. Those aren't at the 0% rate and can be very costly.

New York flight trick - £295 return all-in, via a quick Oslo detour... Ltd avail, Nov-Jan. See NYC flight trick.

New cheapest no-exit fee energy fix - save up to £280/yr plus get £30 cashback. The new 'Epic' collective switch from MoneySupermarket's is a special E.on 12mth fix tariff. For someone on typical use, it's an avg £877/yr, compared with the cheapest non-collective deal's £899 and the average big 6 standard tariff's £1,155. Unique cashback: Go via our MoneySup* link, not direct, and you also get £30 cashback (£15 elec only) 3-6mths after switching. See Cheap Gas & Elec. PS: As it's not our collective, it's not in Cheap Energy Club, but thankfully MoneySup does a comparison as part of it.

Hotpoint/Indesit clearance EXTRA 35% off, eg, £211 fridge. MSE Blagged. 35% extra off its white goods online clearance store, incl cookers, washing machines - eg, Indesit tumble dryer for £127, Hotpoint fridge £211. Hotpoint deals

£12 specs & £19 prescription sunnies codes (incl lenses & del). MSE Blagged. Ltd stock. Spec-tacular

Ralph Lauren men's polo shirt £35 incl delivery. MSE Blagged. Norm £70-£85 plus £10 delivery. Ralph Lauren

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%: Barclaycard*
Up to 36mths 0%, 2.49% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

No fee 0%: Tesco Bank*
18mths 0%, no fee

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

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

Zopa* (£5k - £7.5k)
4.5% rep APR

M&S Bank* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.6% rep APR

NS&I 1.5% AER
Min £1, no bonus
Easy access. No transfers.

Coventry BS 2.1% AER
Min £1. No transfers
Loophole: Fixed till May 2019

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Change the UK in 50 words. The election's over and the politicians are planning their new policies. We're putting your suggestions for small changes to make Britain better to all the party leaders. Suggest a 50-word Moneyfesto idea.

ENDS FRI: Starbucks 50% off Frappuccinos (norm up to £4ish). Full info in Cheap Starbucks.

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"After reading your last weekly email, I changed my home insurance provider, saved £204/year... and I got a free Kindle Fire HD6 with it."

£99 Ciaté gel nail kit £30, incl £29 polish & LED light. MSE Blagged. Gel polish, cleanser & buffer. 300+ avail

Don't let a bank rejecting PPI reclaim stop you - 62% win at Ombudsman. You must first complain to the bank. So the latest figures showing 62% of cases sent to the Ombudsman are upheld are shocking. Full help & templates in Reclaim PPI for free. The report also highlights a huge rise in bank fees complaints. See Reclaim packaged account fees for how.

Reclaim lost Tesco points then use in NEW DOUBLE-UP
Halve costs across 12 categories with Tesco's new Clubcard promo

If you're a Tesco shopper, you're due your latest batch of vouchers in the post this week. Don't just spend them on the weekly grocery shop though - it's possible to max their value with three key tips:

  • tesco doubleStep 1: Find £100s of lost Tesco vouchers. If you've forgotten unspent vchs from the last two years, find them with our reclaim lost/unused Tesco vouchers instructions. As forumite Chris25869 told us: "I found £159 worth of vouchers. Excellent result."
  • Step 2: Check if you can QUADRUPLE rewards. Redeem vouchers via Tesco Clubcard partners and you can get 3x or 4x points' value, eg, £10 voucher becomes £40 at Cafe Rouge, £30 at Goldsmiths jewellers, £20 on train tickets. See Top 10 Clubcard Deals.
  • New Step 3: Tesco Clubcard DOUBLE-UP - includes Tesco Direct. Until 28 Jun, online or instore, each £5 of Clubcard vouchers you swap gets a £10 Boost voucher spendable in various areas, incl gardens, toys, cosmetics, games, electricals & its equiv of the Argos catalogue, Tesco Direct (excl 3rd-party retailers). Full Tesco Boost info.

    You don't have to pay solely in Boost vouchers. You can make up the rest in cash. Top redemptions we spotted include the LEGO Disney Princess Frozen Elsa's Sparkling Castle for £16-worth. Of course, if you are paying in cash, do a price comparison first. You can use our MegaShopBot tool.

YOLO - so be prepared. It's Dying Matters Awareness Week. The aim's to get people talking about dying, death and bereavement. See our Death Happens - Plan For It guide, Cheap Wills and Power of Attorney and the Dying Matters site.

Codes & sale: Crabtree & Evelyn 30%, Sainsbury's Tu 25%, Body Shop 40%. There's a blagged code for 30% off at Crabtree & Evelyn, a Sainsbury's Tu clothing 25% in-store sale & a Body Shop 40% code. See ALL Codes & Vchs.

FLASH online euro, dollar & more currency sales. Our Travel Money Comparison tool includes 3 sales this week. Sainsbury's Bank (online) is boosting rates on all currencies until Thu 9.30am; Asda Money euros, Turkish lira, US, Can & Aus dollars until Fri 8am; Debenhams collect-in-store euros rate until Fri 5pm.

Free cocktail - £8ish Aperol Spritz or £4ish bottle of Sol. Via a Pitcher & Piano voucher. Pls be Drinkaware.

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

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 £1,155 a year, the cheapest (non-collective) deal's £899.

First Direct*
£125 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*

Direct Save Telecom*
with weekend calls
£11/mth (pay a yr upfront)

Post Office*
with weekend calls
£12/mth (pay a yr upfront)

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

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
Show Money Saving Community
The MoneySaving Community

DIY Divorce & Separation.
75 blagged for MoneySavers. Get one

Should I bail my daughter out of debt again?

This week's question of money morality for you to opine on... My daughter's a 23-year-old graduate who shares a flat and has a relatively poorly paid job. I've always tried to teach her to budget, but I've bailed her out of debt twice in the last two years and now she's run up another £2,000. She wants my help and is saying if I don't there'll be bailiffs at the door. I don't want to see her go destitute, but if I bail her out again, how will she learn? Should I help? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I bail my daughter out again? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

Airline: Jet2 Price: 10% off Ends: Wed 27 May
Our pick this week is Jet2's 10% off sale - it's on until Wed 27 May. Each passenger gets 10% off the cost of any flight (includes taxes but excludes some charges and extras). It's for all flights booked before the end of the sale for travel by 30 Apr 2016 to 52 destinations from seven UK airports - there's no code, the discount appears automatically. Excludes group bookings (10+ people). To compare prices with other airlines, use the FlightChecker. 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

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances (from Wed 20 May onward)

Wed 20 May - The Jeremy Vine show, BBC Radio 2, 'Are ISAs dead?', 1pm
Thu 21 May - Good Morning Britain, Deals, ITV, 7.40am. Watch previous
Fri 22 May - This Morning, Martin's 90 Sec Savers, ITV, 11am. Watch previous

MSE team corner

Regular team appearances:

Thu 21 May
Share Radio, MSE Rebecca and Tara, 11am
Fri 22 May
BBC Radio Manchester, MSE Guy, Sky price hikes, 4.50pm
Tue 26 May
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, MSE Rebecca, car insurance and breakdown cover, 2.15pm

Discussion of the week

How can I save money on drinks?

Many of us enjoy a soft drink with our meals and throughout the day, but the cost can quickly stack up. Help forumite Catkins with ideas on how to save money on drinks in the How can I save money on drinks? discussion.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 137.41 123.66
US Flag $ 154.50 138.38
Turkish Flag TL 388.10 343.37
Rates correct at 3pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Would you watch sports or films for free on streaming services if you knew it was illegal?

Some people are using apps such as Twitter’s Periscope to film a TV showing pay-per-view and then stream it for others to watch. 10,000s were said to have watched the recent Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight this way.

So we want to know if you’d watch a free stream of an event you’re supposed to pay for if you knew it was breaking the law?

Poll results

Is your energy company's service any good?
Good Energy topped our poll for the second time running, with a whopping 88% of its customers who voted claiming it has great service. December's silver medallist Ovo Energy maintained a high rating, with 82% of its customers who voted rating it great.

At the other end of the scale, Extra Energy dropped to bottom, with 65% of its customers who voted rating it poor.

9,470 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q: If I paid for 48-hour parcel delivery for something I bought from a store and it was not delivered on time, can I claim compensation if it came after two weeks? David, via email.

MSE Tara E's A: As you paid for the parcel to arrive within 48 hours, you can ask the retailer for a refund on the delivery charge. But keep in mind you're entitled only to the difference between the price of the lowest, or most common, delivery option, and the amount you paid.

If you want more, you'll need to prove that the company broke its contract with you and because of this you've suffered 'consequential loss' for example, if you had to take an extra day off (on top of the day it was due) to wait for the package. If it refuses then it's up to the courts to decide, so you're relying on the shops' discretion. See more in the Failed Delivery? Fight Back guide.

Remember, your contract is with the retailer. Unless you paid the parcel firm for delivery directly, it's up to the retailer to sort this out, so it's your first port of call when you're complaining or asking for money back.

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

 Nick's free game of the week: Chisel

Martin vs Payday Lenders financial fisticuffs

That's it for this week, but before we go, let's just say the Martin vs Payday Lenders BBC Debate on the Victoria Derbyshire programme got a bit tasty. Follow the link to watch.

Martin & the MSE team

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