Archive: MoneySavingExpert's Money Tips Email

14 August 2019

Over 50 ways to save incl... energy price war, No7 trick, top loan ends, £15 Fleabag tix lottery, £125 J Lewis vch?, Clubcard boost, £175 bank bribe, urgent PPI

This info may be out of date. Read this week's emails
Hi - here are your latest deals, freebies, tricks and messages to help you save.


Hack-tastic - our top MoneySaving tips and tricks of 2019 (so far)... for Fitbits, Netflix, Echos & at cinemas, Ikea, McD's, BK etc

Whether on food, shopping or entertainment, our Deals Hunters have been on a quest this year to uncover lots of sneaky tips to help you cut costs at major brands. As we're today sharing our new Fitbit tricks we thought we'd also help you track(er) down other Alexa-lent deals with a Vue to making a Whopper of a saving at lots of popular places or on popular products.

- But before spending, first remember the Money Mantras. If skint, ask yourself... Do I need it? Can I afford it? Have I checked if it's cheaper elsewhere? If not skint, ask yourself... Will I use it? Is it worth it? Have I checked if it's cheaper elsewhere? If the answer to any of these is no, don't buy it.

  • FITBITS - incl save £26 buying the right colour & turn your phone into a free 'Fitbit'. Step this way for our new 10 Fitbit fitness tracker tricks. PS: Can you beat Martin's 23k avg daily steps in 2018?

  • McDONALD'S - incl last chance for a free cheeseburger or £1.60 off a DIY Big Mac. But please eat responsibly. See our 20 McMoneySaving Hacks. Andrew said: "Thanks. I didn't even notice the promo on my receipt at first - which'll save me £4 next time."

  • NETFLIX - incl don't overpay on the wrong package & can you do it cheaper via your TV deal? These tips are pertinent as prices are rising this summer. See 20 Netflix Tips. Forumite 2013yearofthehouse said: "I've had 9mths' Netflix (spread out over a few years), but only had to pay for 3mths."

  • AMAZON ECHOS - incl save £70+ on an Echo with a screen & how to turn a speaker into an 'Echo'. "Alexa - how do I save on, er, Alexa?" See 8 Amazon Echo Hacks.

  • CENTER PARCS - incl half-price Euro stays & how to bag an 'extra day' free. Useful whether you're going this summer or later. See 16 Center Parcs Tricks. Nigel tweeted: "We went to Center Parcs in Holland for £370 instead of £800+ in the UK. Even after travel costs it was cheaper."

  • IKEA - incl how to check if you're due a £5 off £40 vch & store shortcuts. Make your trip less stressful (and cheaper). See 23 Ikea Hacks. Derek used our sneaky store shortcut tip: "I was in and out in 5mins."

  • KINDLES - incl save £30 buying a refurbished model & FREE e-books galore. Read all about it in our 10 Kindle Tricks. Emily tweeted: "Bought a refurbed Kindle - it's been totally fine."   

  • CINEMAS - incl a year's 2for1 for £1ish & which cinemas let you take your own snacks. We've some Oscar-winning savings in our 13 Blockbuster Cinema Tricks. Gary emailed: "Now enjoying 2for1 movies on a weekly basis - thanks."  

  • BURGER KING - incl £2.90 off a Bacon Double Cheeseburger & £2 off a Whopper/veggie meal. Don't pay a king's ransom (and please eat responsibly). See 10 BK Savings. Kirstin told us: "Got the discount on the veggie meal."

  • RAY-BANS - incl how to avoid fakes & save £20 buying at the airport. You'll be able to see the savings clearly in our 7 Spec-tacular Ray-Ban Savers. MSE Laura B followed her own expert guidance: "Got a £100 pair of sunnies I'd been after for £80."

  • NANDO'S - incl how to bag freebies & £5 off a meal for 2. Time to reheat our 12 Cheeky Nando's Tricks - and as we say with the other fast food tricks, please eat responsibly. 

PS: We ain't finished yet. These are the big ones we've featured so far in 2019, but there's lots more to come. For example, look out for Google Home tricks in the next couple of weeks. 


DON'T believe the fake ads on Facebook
Lots of scam ads that litter social media lie that we or Martin promote Bitcoin, binary trading etc. See Fake ads warning.



The Big 6 energy price war hots up

E.on joins British Gas & EDF with huge cuts - save £260/yr

And don't be fooled by the price-cap drop, these deals smash standard rates

The energy battle rumbles into its second week. Last week's corkers are still here - British Gas & EDF's 1yr fixes and a variable deal from mid-sized Bulb. E.on has since entered the fray with a 1yr fix, while EDF has launched a hot 2yr fix. Some tiddlers charge less, but many of you tell us you prefer a biggie. These 1yr fixes, in particular, are standouts as they're easily the cheapest Big 6 deals, but it's key you check if you can save ASAP, as Bulb's deal ends on Thu and we don't know how long the others will last.

Plus don't be fooled by last week's news that standard energy prices will drop by a typical £75/yr in Oct, as we predicted, due to the regulator's new price-cap level. They're a rip-off now for most - and will be after. Just compare the avg Big 6 standard tariff on typical use - likely to cost £1,191 over the next year (factoring in the cut) - with the avg costs of the top deals below. First, some key info...

- Always compare prices as they vary by usage & region. You can check via the links below if these deals win for you using our Cheap Energy Club. If you just want the cheapest (from tiddlers of those with poor feedback), go straight to a full-market comparison.
- You won't find these prices direct. That's because all come with £25 dual-fuel cashback via Cheap Energy Club and you won't see the underlying deals if you go direct to the providers anyway. Sadly, you can't get them on prepay or in NI.

1YR FIXES OR VARIABLES   - the cheapest types of deal
EDF 1yr fix cheapest Big 6 | new customers only | dual-fuel & elec-only  £924 £267
British Gas 1yr fixnew AND existing custs | green | 1yr's 'free' heating insurance | dual-fuel only £929 £262
New. E.on 1yr fix - green | new custs only | dual-fuel and elec-only £933 £258
Ends Thu. Bulb variable - top service | greenest of the cheap deals | new custs only | dual-fuel only   £935 £256
2YR FIXES  - pricier, but they shield you from price rises for longer & are good if you'd rather not switch every year
GNE 2yr fix - cheapest 2yr fix | decent service | new custs only  £985 £206
New. EDF 2yr fix - cheapest Big 6 2yr fix | new custs & homeowners only | dual-fuel only
Note: You're charged for monthly boiler cover but you can cancel immediately so it costs zilch
£987 £204
Prices are avg dual-fuel costs on typical use, incl £25 MSE cashback. Savings are vs the avg Big 6 standard tariff - we know three firms' prices from Oct; others are yet to announce, so we've assumed they'll charge the typical capped £1,179/yr rate from then.

  • Don't worry - switching is easy. Some are worried by it, but your supply won't be cut off, no one visits your home (unless you want a smart meter) and it's the same gas, same electricity, same safety. The only changes are price and service. See our switching FAQs for more help.  

No7 trick - £45 of beauty products for £10. Incl eyeshadow, blusher, bronzer and highlighter palette. No7 bundle

Urgent. PPI reclaim deadline just 2 weeks away. Don't wait till the last min - how to reclaim PPI for FREE.

Get a £125 John Lewis vch when you buy a £300 Dyson purifier fan (or on other BIG spends). You can also bag the freebie on selected (big ticket) electricals, or any £1k+ home or fashion spend at John Lewis till Mon. It's not always a MoneySaving store but this is a huge freebie if you've a big spend planned. See £125 vch analysis

Ending. Cheapest EVER loan for £5k-£7.5k - at 3.2%. Last week, Hitachi* launched that 3.2% rep APR deal - which we've never seen beaten if borrowing £5k-£7,499. Yet it's ending on Monday. Meanwhile, five banks now offer a market-leading 2.9% rep APR on £7.5k-£15k - M&S*J Lewis*Tesco*Zopa* & ONLY if you've a Nectar card, Sainsbury's. It's best to first use our Loans Eligibility Calculator to home in on lenders most likely to accept you. IMPORTANT: Never borrow just because loans are cheap - only do it for something affordable that you NEED. Plus minimise the amount, never miss a payment and repay ASAP. More help and options in Cheap Loans (APR Examples).

Wearing flip-flops, jaywalking, inhaling Vicks etc may land you a holiday fine. Acceptable UK customs could cause you trouble abroad. This was mega-popular last week, so if you missed it, see our holiday habits alert.

Hurry. Top-secret theatre tickets from £4 incl West End shows... but only if you keep hush. Special site sells last-min unsold seats at dirt-cheap prices, but only if you agree to keep quiet so you don't upset people who paid full whack. Skip the waiting list via our link - but only till 11.59pm tonight (Wed): top-secret tickets.


It's back. The return of the big bank-switch bribe - free £175

The switching war had cooled but HSBC has just fired a powerful salvo in pursuit of your custom

HSBC has relaunched its free £175 bribe to switch - by far the biggest upfront cash bonus. It joins top-service firm First Direct and M&S Bank as the top three switching offers. So if you're fed up with your bank or you just want the free cash, we've brought together the top incentives to show your bank the door. And switching is easy - it takes just 7 working days and the new bank moves all your direct debits etc. For all below, you must pass a not-too-harsh credit check & use the official switching service.

  • New. HSBC. Top for upfront cash - free £175 + 5% reg saverApply for HSBC's Advance account by Mon 2 Sep and switchers get £175, which should come within 40 days. Important: The deal is only available via so the link above takes you there, meaning there's an extra step compared with the deals below. Plus with it you can open a 5% fixed regular saver, where you can put up to £250/mth for a year.

    How do I qualify? You must start a switch within 30 days of opening the account, incl 2+ direct debits or standing orders. You can't have had an HSBC account since 2016. There's no pay-in requirement for the bonus, but you must pay in £1,750/mth to keep the account open - equiv to a £26,000/yr salary.
  • First Direct. Top service/cash combo - free £50 + 5% reg saver. New switchers to First Direct* get £50, access to its 5% regular saver where you can save £300/mth for 1yr, and many get a £250 0% overdraft. It rates well for customer service - finishing second in our March poll, the first time it's not won (it was pipped by app-based bank Monzo, which doesn't offer a switch bonus).

    How do I qualify? Just pay in £1,000+ within 3mths for the bonus, which comes within 28 days of doing so.
  • M&S Bank. Biggest overall bribe - free £100 M&S voucher with NO min pay-in (+ £80 vch after 1yr if you pay in £1,250/mth). Newbies who open an M&S Bank* account and switch within 3mths can get the £100 vch within 40 days, plus another £80 vch (or £120 if you've an M&S credit card) after a year. You can also access its 5% regular saver where you can put up to £250/mth for a year.

    How do I qualify? Switch within 3mths, incl 4+ active direct debits, to qualify for the £100. For the extra £80 (£120 if you've an M&S credit card), you must deposit £1,250/mth, keep the direct debits active and register for online banking and statements within 3mths of opening.  

For more info and options, see Best Bank Accounts.


Flight delayed or cancelled this summer (or back to 2013)? Many can claim £100s. With recent turbulence (eg, BA's check-in glitch and bad weather), plus the threat of upcoming strikes, we've your flight delay rights.

£15 tickets to Fleabag? Or £10-£25 for Hamilton, Matilda, Harry Potter? Can you win the theatre lottery? West End shows offer cheap tickets to the lucky, often for sold-out performances. How the theatre lottery works.

Hot Sim deal - 8GB of mobile data for £9/mth. Via the link, newbies to Three* can get this straightforward deal - 8GB of data, plus unltd mins & texts for £9/mth on a 12mth contract. More deals in Top Sims.

£22 for TWO PAIRS of specs (one normal, one sunnies). MSE Blagged. Incl frames & lenses. Glasses Direct

Top student accounts 2019/20. Incl free £100 + £1,000 0% overdraft. With A-level results out tomorrow and Scottish Highers already out, thoughts for many will soon turn to getting the right bank account. First-year uni-goers who get an HSBC student account* score a free £100 and a £1,000 0% overdraft in year one - assuming they pass a not-too-harsh credit check. They can apply for an up-to £2k overdraft in year two and up to £3k in year three, but acceptance is dependent on credit score. While it's our top pick, deals from Nationwide & Santander run it very close. For full help, see Student Bank Accounts.

Watch out for your council's 'Household Enquiry Form' - respond or risk a £1,000 fine. They're being sent now. See voting details form help.


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Longest 0%: Virgin Money* 29mths 0%, 3% fee (21.9% rep APR)
No-fee 0%: NatWest / RBS 23mths 0% - existing custs only but there's a trick for others (19.9% rep APR)

Get comparison site quotes in this order:

  1. MoneySupermarket*
  3. Gocompare*
  4. Compare The Market*

Then check insurers they miss: 
Direct Line*

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Hitachi* 3.2% rep APR (2-5 yrs)
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k:
M&S Bank* 2.9% rep APR (1-7 yrs)

Standard b'band & line rent: Post Office equiv £11.74/mth
Fibre b'band & line rent: Virgin Media equiv £19.75/mth

New. Get £175 to switch: HSBC
Great service + free £50: First Direct


Boost Tesco Clubcard points, incl new way to get 3x their value

Plus, bag 25% extra points on shopping, earn 'em via surveys, reclaim lost vouchers & extend those set to expire

We feature Tesco's Clubcard loyalty scheme more than others due to its scale (19m+ have an account), generous returns and vouchers that can be swapped for a wide variety of rewards incl food, days out and travel. Yet it's been a few months since we rounded up the many tricks to manipulate the scheme, but as a new way to spend points is set to launch and an earnings boost is ending, we thought it time to do so again. Full help in Boost Tesco Points, here are five tips to get you started:

  1. New. Now TV to join Pizza Express,, Goldsmiths, London Zoo etc - where you can swap vouchers for 3x their value. The key to boosting points' value is to trade them for the best tokens to use at Tesco's Reward Partners. See top 10 Clubcard spending deals - which any day now will also include Now TV, Sky's streaming service for sport, box sets, films etc.

  2. Ending. Grab 25% extra points when you go wallet-free. You normally get 1pt per £1 spent at Tesco but it's running a promo where for every £4 you spend in store you get an extra point if you pay via a special app - but only for a couple more weeks. How to get a 25% Clubcard boost
  3. Reclaim lost vouchers. Many forget to use their vouchers or lose track of them, though there's an easy way to claw back up to two years of unused vouchers. Forumite McTaggus did it: "One call netted me £276 in unused vouchers. Thanks, MSE." Reclaim lost vouchers

  4. Vouchers about to expire? Use our nifty trick to extend 'em. They normally last up to two years, but see how to extend your vouchers.

  5. Boost your points haul via online surveys and more. See earn extra Clubcard points.

PS: If shopping at Tesco, you can also get 10p/litre off fuel with a £60 spend.


One in 10 chance of getting all your money back at Boots, M&S, Disney & more. MSE Blagged. It's a little complex, but quite fun and can really pay off, eg, forumite natty16 said: "I have won my money back five times and received just short of £300." Read how Boom25's lucky dip offer works.

"I saw Martin on TV talking about water meters and checked them out. Since getting one, my annual savings should be about £700."
(Send us yours on this or any topic.)

Breached your Nationwide overdraft limit? Are you owed a share of £6m? The building society's refunding an avg £19/person after it failed to alert 100,000s about the charges from Feb 2018. Overdraft refunds 



Could you spot a pensions scam? A new quiz from the financial and pension regulators aims to see how clued up people are on the tricks that crooks use to steal pensions. Part of the ScamSmart campaignit also reveals the warning signs to look out for - take the quiz here. And for how to avoid other types of cons, see our Stop Scams guide.



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

Most MoneySavers use a specialist card to spend abroad. Last week we asked how you normally spend when abroad and more than 4,500 responded. Encouragingly, the majority of you use a specialist travel credit or debit card, which is THE cheapest way. Interestingly, those aged under 25 favoured a top overseas debit card, while for all other age groups, a credit card was the preferred choice. Thankfully, fewer than 1% of you admit to exchanging cash at the airport, where rates are hideous - so if you're in that group, STOP. See full poll results.



Should I let my girlfriend's friend have our 'free' flight? My girlfriend and I earned a British Airways companion voucher through our everyday spending on her credit card. Ideally we'd go on a trip together, but she suggested she takes a friend instead. With the voucher, they would both still pay taxes, but the remaining cost of one ticket would be paid for in Avios points, the other would be 'free'. Is this fair on me? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I let my girlfriend's friend have our 'free' flight? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs


- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: Make £10 a day August 2019
- Competitions thread of the week: Win a four-night stay in New York and Foster Grant sunglasses
- Old-Style board thread of the week: How do you wash your underwear?
- Family, marriage, relationships chat: No buying unnecessary toiletries August 2019
- Discussion of the week: What mistakes have you made when reclaiming your PPI? 


No7 - Trick gets £45 of beauty products for £10
John Lewis - £125 voucher with BIG spend
Kids Week - Kids go 'free' to West End shows in Aug
Glasses Direct - £22 for 2 pairs of specs (normal & sunnies)
Boom25 - One in 10 chance of 100% cashback

Co-op - £5 frozen meal deal
Dine Club - £1 for 3 months' app membership
Morrisons - Kids eat breakfast 'free'
Naked Wines - £35 for seven bottles & two glasses
Swagbucks - Earn £5, get £20 Amazon/M&S vch. Ends Sun

All Stars Cricket - Free kids' taster sessions in Eng & Wales
Alton Towers - 50% off entry
Empire cinemas - £1-£1.75 kids' screenings
Pets at Home - Free kids' workshops
Vue cinema - Two cinema tickets for £9.49

Quick Forum Tips

25% off Sainsbury's Tu incl school uniform. Et Tu?
Free Dior Sauvage aftershave sample. Scent-sational
Free Lucozade via Greggs app. Lucosave



Fri 16 AugBBC South West stations, Good Morning with Joe Lemer, from 5am, Guy Anker
Mon 19 Aug
TalkRadio, Breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer, 9.45am
Tue 20 Aug
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Lunchtime Live with Jeremy Sallis, 2.20pm  



Q: I have a few hundred euros left over from my holiday. Should I change them back into pounds now or wait to see if the pound falls even further so I get more back? Tim, via email.

MSE Karl's A: Without a crystal ball, it's impossible to say whether the pound's tumble will continue, and of course there's also the option of keeping hold of the euros for another trip.

If you do change them, the key is to get as much bang for your euro when you do it. To help, use our TravelMoneyMax comparison tool. It speedily compares rates at travel money bureaux so you can find the best one to sell back your cash.

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



That's it for this week, but before we go... over the last few weeks we've been asking users to give film and band names a MoneySaving twist and we're now completing the trilogy with MoneySaving TV shows. Once again you've served up a treat, including 'Love ISA-land', 'Game of Loans' and 'Naked Transaction'. But our favourite has to be 'Keeping Up With The Card-Issuers'. Check out the full list and add your own in our MoneySaving TV Shows Facebook post. 

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team