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Weekly Email
This email was sent
21st Nov 2018
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 This info may be out of date.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."

21 November 2018
Hi - here are your latest deals, freebies, tricks and messages to help you save.


This Friday is Black Friday...
Bargains or bull? Amazon, Argos, Asos & more hot deals, plus when NOT to pounce

Firstly, a message from Martin: "Black Friday has become the big pre-Christmas discount bonanza. Yet the most important thing to remember is it's ONLY a saving if you were going to buy anyway. If stores tweak your spending nipples, and make you buy unplanned things, it's a loss.

So before we run through the key tips, remember my money mantras - before you buy anything, ask yourself: 'Do I need it, is it worth it, have I checked whether it's cheaper elsewhere?' If the answer to any of those is no, don't buy it. And even if it's yes, ensure you can afford it. Now over to the team to run you through what's out there..."

  • Black Friday deals on NOW - Amazon, Boots, John Lewis & more. Many stores have started sales already as in reality it's a fortnight, not a 1day, event. We've full analysis of Black Friday deals already on, which include Amazon (daily deals, eg, £20 Echo Dot), Argos & Currys (discounts on '1,000s' of items), Boots up to 50% off, Debenhams up to 50% & John Lewis (own deals and price-matching).

  • Our predictions for what's to come - Apple, Asos, Selfridges & more. Our analysis of previous years' deals allows us to predict what's coming for Black Friday and beyond.

    - Expected Black Friday deals. Incl Asos and Selfridges 20% off, and Apple 'free' gift cards with purchase. See our regularly updated Black Friday deals page for the latest.

    - Keep up to speed on Friday. While deals land all week, Friday's the big one when our Deals Hunters will keep track from 6am (please excuse tired eyes). See our updated Black Friday deals analysis, plus Twitter & Facebook feeds for regular updates, incl live video.

    - It's not just Black Friday - full predictions through to Jan. Our mega-popular Christmas Deals Predictor estimates the week and savings on 60+ deals we think will come between now and New Year at biggies incl Disney, H&M and M&S, so you can pick when to pounce.

  • But beware the Black Friday duds. Retailers are desperate to sell, sell, sell, so many try to flog almost anything with the label 'Black Friday'. To be a savvy shopper, see MSE Jordon's lowdown on how to spot the duds, eg, he found the FIFA 19 video game for £40 at Game tagged 'Black Friday', but £34 at Amazon.

  • Black Friday is also a good time for broadband & line rent deals. The secret to slashing costs is to pounce on hot, short-lived promos, and in years gone by many launch shortly before Black Friday. While we don't have full pricing info yet, we understand some good deals will launch on Wed and will be around all week - check our Broadband Unbundled tool for the best in your area.

  • Buy MORE, pay LESS - the free delivery trick. It can be worth finding a cheap filler item to bag free delivery to cut the overall cost. Eg, add £1 Sellotape to a £49 clutch bag at John Lewis & delivery's free, not £3.50 - saving you £2.50, plus you get the Sellotape. See Free delivery trick for full info, incl a special tool for Amazon.

  • You've a right to change your mind online (but NOT in-store). Many assume shops have to refund gifts that are the wrong size or colour - this isn't the case. Here's the law...

    - In-store purchases: You've NO RIGHT to change your mind: you can only return faulty goods. For the definition of fault, see the SAD FART rules. Some stores allow no-fault returns, but it's their policy, not the law (and these rules are sometimes changed during sales).

    - Online purchases: You DO have a right to change your mind - you've 14 days to tell 'em and 14 more to send it back.

  • Bag 5% off shopping for three months - won't work for Black Friday, but good for Christmas. Cashback credit cards pay you when you spend on them, with Amex Plat Everyday (eligibility calc / apply*) the top payer, giving a huge 5% for the first 3mths (max £100 in that time) and up to 1% after - though you need to spend at least £3,000/yr to get any cashback. Never withdraw cash and always repay IN FULL each month to avoid the 22.9% rep APR interest.
    If accepted, you should get it in a week or so - so the 5% covers the high-spend Xmas & Jan sales period. As Aaron tweeted: "I have an Amex Everyday card - £150 cashback in a calendar year." Full help in Top Reward Cards.

  • No discount code for the brand? Check for dept store codes instead. They often have multi-brand codes and sales which offer a workaround. Eg, Levi's 501 jeans are £65 at Levi's, yet buy at La Redoute using its Black Friday code and you can get the same for £50. See our list of 10 department stores/brands this works with.

  • Pay just 1p on a credit card to protect £100s. Buy goods costing over £100 and even if you pay just 1p on a credit card - the rest any other way - the card company's jointly liable with the retailer for the WHOLE amount. It's the veritable financial superhero, especially if a firm then goes bust. See full info in Section 75 protection.

    - Spending less than £100 or on a debit card? You can still claim for faulty or undelivered goods under the less well-known chargeback scheme.

  • Can you get cashback to cut the cost? Once you know where's cheapest, check the cashback sites for further savings. Plus see how to get rare Amazon cashback if you have (or know) a kid.

For more, see Online Shopping Tips | 15 tricks shops don't want you to know | 23 Amazon tricks 

New: The Martin Lewis Money Show, ITV, 8pm Mon

It's not only your wallet, money affects every area of your life - Martin meets Suzanne

Last night was the live show - now the series proper starts, with something very different. Money is truly a wellbeing issue - it affects relationships, mental health and happiness. We see what happened when Suzanne, a woman trying to sort through her money issues after the loss of her husband, came to ask for Martin's help at his roadshow.


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.



Ends Sun. Free £200 to switch bank

Banks pay serious money to lure you in, but the bribe from top payer HSBC will soon vanish

Big bank switch bonuses come in cycles and we're hitting the end of the current hot streak with the BIG one about to go. And as we always say, switching is easy as it takes just seven working days and the new bank moves all your payments. So if fed up with your bank or just want the freebies, here are the current top deals... (all require you to pass a not-too-harsh credit check.)

  • Ending. Free £200 - £150 upfront, £50 after a year. Apply for the HSBC Advance Account* by 11.59pm on Sun, and switchers get the cash and can open a 5% fixed regular saver, where you can save up to £250/mth.

    How do I get it all? For the £150, open the account and start a full switch (incl 2+ direct debits or standing orders) within 30 days. If you're still with it in a year and have registered for online or mobile banking, you get another £50. To qualify, you need to pay in a min £1,750/mth - a £25,900/yr salary paid into the account would do. You also can't have had an HSBC account since Jan 2015.

  • Best of the rest, incl free £125 + 2% bills cashback. Most deals require you to move 2-4 direct debits and keep them active, and that you register for online/mobile banking and/or go paperless, so check. Here's what you can get...

    Free £125 + 2% bills cashback - ends 3 Dec. For a £2/mth fee, NatWest Reward* pays new switchers £125 plus the cashback on council tax, energy etc bills paid by direct debit. Our calcs show avg bill payers get £66/yr after the fee, higher bill payers £135/yr, so it beats HSBC for some. To qualify, pay in £1,500+/mth (equiv £21,500/yr salary).
    - Top service + choice of freebie, eg, £150 Expedia vch, Amazon Echo. First Direct* has won every customer service poll we've done and new switchers can claim a gadget, online course (eg, yoga) or the Expedia vch. You can also access its 5% regular saver and most get a £250 0% overdraft. Pay in £1k+/mth (equiv £12,675/yr) to qualify for the freebie and avoid a £10/mth fee.
    Free £125 M&S vch with NO minimum pay-in (+£5/mth more in vchs for 1yr if you pay in £1,250/mth). New switchers to M&S Bank* can get the freebies and get access to its 5% regular saver.

Full eligibility info, when exactly the bonuses come, and more deals incl Halifax free £135 + £2/mth in Best Bank Accounts.


Urgent. Short-lived flight deals, eg, £10 Malta, £349 Thailand & £91 Istanbul rtns. Black Friday week is a good time for mega deals - so we've rounded up lots of 'em, and blagged 5,000 free 1mth trials of Jack's Flight Club's premium alert service to find more hot deals in the coming weeks. See Mega flight deals.

Are you an overdraft prisoner? Martin's guide to escape. Don't assume you're stuck with no way out. Read Martin's new 'how to escape your overdraft' blog.

£10-£40 West End theatre tickets, incl Bat Out of Hell, Aladdin & Wicked. Jan/Feb shows, and you get first dibs if you have a Mastercard. Theatre tix

FREE 99p KFC fries. For new and existing app users this Black Fries-day.

When does your passport expire? We've found 3m+ paid extra as they left it late. Don't risk paying up to £100 more, see Passport warning.

Stop Press. Soap & Glory star gift set – early access 'VIP' slots just out. It's the big beauty set MoneySavers wait for - we predict it'll be out around 7 Dec, but Boots has just sent emails so you can get it two days early. Details are still sketchy though. For the latest, see Soap & Glory.


MSE Big Energy Switch Event 12

Urgent. We've negotiated cheaper than the cheapest 1yr (ONLY 4,000 avail) and 2yr fixed deals - many can save £200+/yr  

In the last 3mths EVERY cheap energy tariff has vanished, so switching to save big is trickier. To help, last week we launched our Big Switch 12, with the cheapest 1yr and 2yr fixes if you pay by direct debit (not avail in N Ireland, sadly), and with 100% renewable electricity. With both, there's enhanced customer service, so if you've problems, we'll try to intervene. But time's running out... (Links below take you via our Cheap Energy Club to compare against the rest of the market, as prices vary by region and use.)

  • Urgent - only 4,000 switches left. MSE WINNER 1: The cheapest 1yr fix (incl MSE cashback). Based on typical use, the Green Network Energy MSE 1yr fix is an average £240/yr cheaper than a big 6 standard tariff for new customers. Yet it's unlikely to last the week, while you can't get it for gas-only.

  • MSE WINNER 2: The cheapest 2yr fix. The Green Network Energy MSE 2yr fix locks in rates over two winters, and as it's for longer, you could save an average £400+ over the next 2yrs on typical use compared to a big 6 standard tariff if you're a new customer. But you can't get it for gas-only. If you don't want to switch often or want price surety, locking in for longer helps. There's no limit on how many can get it, but it ends on 30 Nov.

  • CHEAPEST BIG SIX: Hot British Gas deal and existing customers can get it too - save £200. It's not one of our Big Switch winners, but the relaunched British Gas Energy plus boiler cover Oct 19 tariff is good if you want a big name. The rate is fixed till 31 Oct 2019 and over the next 11mths you could save an average £200 vs a big 6 standard tariff on typical use, plus most homeowners get 'free' £60ish boiler cover. It's open to new & existing dual-fuel (gas & elec) customers paying by direct debit, but you won't see it direct from BG. To qualify, you need to get a 'free' smart meter if you don't have one.

Just want the cheapest? A couple of small, newish providers have cheaper variable deals - yet it means prices can move. To find them, do a full market comparison. For more help on just how easy switching is, see our Switching FAQs.


'£5' Ikea real Xmas tree. Not strictly £5, but buy one of its £25 full-size trees & you get a £20 in-store vch. Ikea tree 

£64 Christmas free-range bronze turkey and meat bundle (feeds 10-12, norm £104). MSE Blagged. 3,000 to gobble up. Incl chipolatas, sausage meat, bacon and goose fat. Delivery 20-21 Dec. Xmas dinner

The complete Harry Potter collection - code gets seven books for £20 delivered (norm £30). MSE Blagged. Also audiobook collections at The Book People

24 craft beers for £45 via Advent calendar (norm £75). MSE Blagged. From breweries incl BrewDog, Sierra Nevada & Thornbridge. Technically a calendar, but more like the size of a crate. Beer Hawk

Outfox the Market hikes energy direct debits by up to 40% - but you can easily switch. See Outfox hikes help.

Christmas train timetables out now - with lots of cancellations. See your Xmas train rights.


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Top pick 0%: Post Office up to 32mths 0%, 2% fee (19.9% interest after)
No-fee 0%: 
Santander* 27 months 0%, no fee (18.9% interest after)

Get comparison site quotes in this order:

  3. Gocompare*
  4. Compare The Market*

Then check insurers they miss: 
Direct Line*

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Admiral* 3.4% rep APR
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k: Admiral* 2.7% rep APR

Standard b'band & line rent: Plusnet equiv £10.24/mth 
Fibre b'band & line rent: 
Vodafone equiv £19.23/mth 

£150 to switch + £50 if you stay a year: HSBC Advance
5% interest fixed for a year: 
Nationwide FlexDirect


£5 off petrol/diesel + more tricks to drive down costs

With pump prices near a 4yr high, we've top tips to put the brakes on soaring spending

Supermarkets are gleefully shouting about their fuel price cuts, but don't celebrate just yet. The average price of unleaded is still 9p/L up on this time last year, and a whopping 21p/L higher than Nov 2015, while for diesel it remains near a 4yr high. To avoid costs hitting top gear, see our Cheap Petrol & Diesel guide - here are the highlights...

  • New. Get £5 off £10+ fuel spend at Esso. Via app at about 500 stations, mostly in big towns & cities (not N Ireland). Ends Sat or when it's been used 16,000 times. £5 off fuel

  • Find the cheapest forecourt near you in 0-60 (seconds). Prices vary widely - eg, in central Manchester we found unleaded 14p/L cheaper than at other garages nearby. So use a clever free tool to find the cheapest fuel.

  • Drive for efficiency (easy does it). You can cut fuel consumption by up to 30% by changing the way you drive. See 7 ways to drive more efficiently.

  • Take a load off to burn less fuel + more clever tricks to make your car efficient. Reduce weight and drag, and your car uses less fuel. This is just one of 5 ways to make your car fuel-efficient.

Ending. Cheap wills - don't leave your family in the lurch. Nov is Will Aid month, which lets you get a solicitor-drafted will for a suggested £95 charity donation - cheaper than some solicitors' £150ish fee. There's hardly anything left for the south of England, with limited availability in the rest of the UK, so go quick. Plus we've blagged up to 44% discounts on low-cost wills.

"Thank you so much for sharing the Job Spotter app - in the last three weeks I've made over £50 in Amazon vouchers, which pays for Christmas."

(Send us yours on this or any topic)



Volunteer to help with food donations at Tesco. Food poverty charity FareShare is organising food collections on Thu 29 Nov, Fri 30 Nov and Sat 1 Dec at Tesco stores across the UK. In one 3-hour shift you could collect enough for up to 600 meals. For more info & how to sign up, see the FareShare website.



How do you rate your energy provider's service? Winter's nearly here, the heating's on and while we're all about slashing energy bills, we know service counts too. So how do you rate your energy provider's recent service?

Independent shops are the best places to haggle. Last week, we asked whether you've haggled on the high street in the last year. While 84% of those who tried their luck at smaller independent shops scored a discount, just 57% did at B&Q - the most haggle-friendly big brand. See the full high street haggling poll results.



Should I split flight delay compensation with my friend? We had a delay and I alone have been working for months to get compensation for both of us. Now I've been awarded money, she's demanding half. Should I split it? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I split flight delay compensation with my friend? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs


- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: 3 to 6 Month Emergency Fund Challenge
- Competitions thread of the week: Flights to Florida with Norwegian
- Old-Style board thread of the week: Christmas 2018 - Mega index and Christmas chat
- Family, marriage, relationships chat: How much do you plan to spend for each child this Christmas?
- Discussion of the week: Brexit and everyday life UK Parliament discussion


Swagbucks - Get £10 bonus when you earn £5 doing surveys
Debenhams - FREE £6ish mini Kat Von D eyeliner via app
WHSmith - FREE £7ish Christmas cards via app
Elle magazine - 'Free' £19ish perfume on the cover of £4.40 mag
Lush - 'Free' £7.50 face mask when you recycle black pots

Toby Carvery - 50% off mains (Mon-Thu)
Harvester - 50% off mains (Mon-Thu)
Prezzo - 40% off mains (Sun-Fri)
Just Eat - 10%-30% off selected takeaways
Subway - 'Savers' menu, incl Sub of the Day, pizza, nachos

McDonald's hacks - 20+ hacks, incl £1.70 off DIY Big Mac
Ikea hacks - 20+ hacks, incl store shortcuts, free hot drinks
Starbucks hack - 'Unlimited' coffee for £1.30 a day
Burger King hack - Get £2.40 off bacon double cheeseburgers
Caffè Nero hack - Stack deals to get 50+ free drinks a year

Quick Forum Tips

25% off Sainsbury's Tu clothing. Suits Tu
25% off wine at Tesco. Partner in wine
Free £9ish hand cream with Marie Claire. How handy



Thu 22 Nov - Good Morning Britain, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am
Fri 23 Nov - This Morning, ITV, Martin's Quick Deals, from 10.30am
Mon 26 Nov - This Morning, ITV, from 10.30am
Mon 26 Nov - BBC Radio 5 Live, Lunch Money Martin, noon. Listen again
Mon 26 Nov - The Martin Lewis Money Show, ITV, 8pm


Wed 21 Nov - BBC Hereford & Worcester, Malcolm Boyden, from 10am, competitions
Wed 21 Nov - BBC Radio Leicester, Ben Jackson, 9.35am, Black Friday
Wed 21 Nov - BBC Essex, Sadie Nine, 11.15am, Black Friday
Wed 21 Nov - BBC Radio Cumbria, Money Talks with Ben Maeder, from 6pm
Fri 23 Nov - 
BBC South West stations, Good Morning with Joe Lemer, from 5am, Black Friday
Mon 26 Nov - 
TalkRadio, Breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer, 9.45am
Mon 26 Nov - 
BBC Radio York, Beth McCarthy, from 7pm
Tue 27 Nov - 
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Lunchtime Live with Jeremy Sallis, 2.20pm



Q: I want to switch to a cheaper broadband provider, but I'm worried about losing service. How long will I be without internet? Bob, via email.

MSE Steve B's A: On the day of the switch you may temporarily lose service, but assuming all goes smoothly, this is usually only for a few hours. Often you don't need anyone to visit your property so if you time it right and do it when you're out, it shouldn't make a difference to you.

Your new provider should let you know when the service is live - it's then normally just a case of plugging in the new router it sent you and setting up your devices, such as your laptop or TV, to connect to the new network. Use our Broadband Unbundled tool to compare the best offers available in your area and potentially save £100s/yr.

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



That's all for this week, but before we go... high streets and shopping centres may now be festooned in Christmas decorations and lights to get you to spend, but when's the right time to do it at home? Some at MSE Towers have seen their neighbours put up Christmas lights - is it still too soon, or are we being bah humbugs? Let us know in our Christmas lights forum thread.

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

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