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Weekly Email
This email was sent
22nd Jul 2009
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email
22 July 2009
Sent: Wednesday 22 July
Highlights below include ...
Swine Flu Travel Q&A BIG Tesco loophole
Theme Park Deals A-Z Reclaim Service Charges?
£7.50 Body Shop Booty, £5 Flights, £10 Specs

An Open Letter to the Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP
Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is?

Dear Mr. Cameron,

I was delighted your party's banking white paper published this week said bank charges were unfair, to quote: "There have been numerous examples of unfair treatment of consumers – the misselling of payment protection insurance and unfair bank charges."

It's the first time I've seen any major party say this. The only shame is it's too late by three years, 593,156 PPI reclaiming & 6,126,175 bank charges reclaiming template letters, and up to £2 billion of payouts.

It was back in the early days when people really needed your help, then bank accounts were being forced shut, and customers who attempted to reclaim were mistreated.

Forgive my slight scepticism that it's no surprise to see the political elite calling these charges unfair now banks have become bogeymen, and we're near victorious at the final test case stage at the House of Lords.

A challenge to you

So I want to ask you to support an act of real political bravery... these unlawful bank charges were taken from people's accounts without asking. No other companies have the power to take our cash in this way; if your energy supplier has a dispute with you, it needs to go to court to get the money.

So surely, once it's finally legally decided they’re unfair, it's only right for everyone who’s had bank charges to automatically be paid back the money without needing to ask for it?

Yes, it will cost. Perhaps £3 billion to £5 billion, but this is about justice, and with the nation’s finances in such a dire state, what better way to immediately stimulate the economy than putting this money back into real people’s hands?

Yours sincerely,

Martin Lewis,

Please feel free to discuss this letter

This has been sent to David Cameron's office, I'll happily publish any reply received. Meanwhile, use free template letters in the reclaim bank charges and missold PPI guides.


Week of Tue 14 - Mon 20 July '09
(Last week's position)

1. Savings Accounts (4)
2. £1 Flights (New)
3. Cheap Travel Money (6)
4. Cheap & Free Flights (7)
5. Freebies, Freebies, Freebies (5)
6. Reclaim Bank Charges (8)
7. Top Cash ISAs (9)
8. Sell Old Mobiles (New)
9. Cheap Package Holidays (New)
10. Cheap Beauty Deals (1)

Savings held on to its top spot thanks to the urgent and cracking Newcastle Building 5% savings deal which MoneySavers flocked to (gone now).

With school hols started, travel articles continued to dominate.

The above excludes daily deals notes

Please suggest friends/family/colleagues get this free weekly e-mail from


The Ones Not To Miss

Swine Flu Travel Help. Cheapest suitable travel ins., compensation & your rights.
While hopefully symptoms will be mild, travel restrictions mean summer holidays could be devastated. Travel insurance's the only protection; credit card section 75 and tour operator cover don't apply here. Check your Travel Insurance: You'll need a policy that includes cancellation cover and doesn't have a pandemic exclusion clause. Yet assume it WON'T pay out: Even with suitable policies, as sufferers aren't meant to go to GPs, getting the diagnosis some insurers require is tough. For safety, presume you'll have claiming problems & may need to complain to the free financial ombudsman service; thus collect evidence. Full info, inc. policy checks & evidence tips in the Detailed Q&A: Swine Flu Travel plus Swine Flu Update: Cheap Travel Insurance Related: Cheap Flights,

Biggest Ever Tesco loophole! Spend £8, get perfume/aftershave & £20 Tesco Rewards vouchers (£12 profit). Buy an £8 fragrance & get 500 bonus points, which are convertible into £10 of wine/cosmetics in-store or £20 of Tesco Rewards, ie you're in profit. Ends 28 July. New Deals List: Tesco Clubcard Loopholes

New! Theme Park Vouchers A-Z. Discounts & 2for1s for theme parks UK-wide. Eg. Alton Towers, Sealife, Dungeons
With the summer holidays here, we're launching a brand new section, tracking any available deals, discounts and vouchers for theme parks big and small across the UK. Just over half the parks currently have deals including Alton Towers: Instant click n print 2for1 Chessington: £49 for 2 adults, 2 kids Legoland: 2for1 with a packet cake mix. Edin/York Dungeons: 2for1 when you buy a newspaper. Full listing and theme park map in the New Deals List: Cheap Theme Parks Related: Days Out Vouchers

Beauty Deals! Body Shop £7.50 filled vanity case (£20 of stuff), free travel shampoos & nail varnish (with mags). Plus a free mascara (£2.50 p&p). See the Deals List: Beauty Deals & Freebies

Yet another Savings Boost! Now 3.3% AER Easy Access (min £1,000). Updated Article
There's yet another crop of new best buys, allowing you to get nearly 7x the base rate with easy access. 3.3% but limited withdrawals. The good news is Coventry BS now pays 3.3% AER variable (min £1,000) including a year's 1.3% bonus. The bad, it only permits four penalty-free withdrawals annually of at least £1,000 each, plus it's operated by post. 3.15% no restrictions: The Alliance & Leicester* Online Saver, pays 3.15% AER variable (min £1) including a 2.65% year-long bonus; withdrawals are permitted any time no notice needed. Alternatively B'ham Mids Telephone Extra pays an identical rate. All these accounts have the full £50,000 UK savings safety protection. Full info & more best-buys inc. top guaranteed accounts and 5% fixed rates in the Updated Guide: Top Savings Related: Safe Savings, Top ISAs

New! Prezzo 2for1, Slug & Lettuce 50% off & Cafe Rouge £10 starter, main & drink. These join GBK burger & fries for £6, Strada 2for1, buy one get one for £1 at Ask and more in the Daily Deals List: Restaurant Vouchers

Got friends who'd like to save? Please tell them about this email

50,000 sub £10 prescription glasses, inc. lenses, frames & UV/glare/scratch protection. It's back, single lens glasses £8-£11.50 all-in. See the Forum Note: Cheap Glasses

Service Charge Reclaiming. One MoneySaver got £400 back... can you?
A London-based MoneySaver says the managing agent of her leasehold flat kept over £400 in service charges from her, as her estimated bills were too high for three years and no refund came. She's reclaimed the money. Can you reclaim? Frankly we don't know if this is a one off or not. So we want people to check their service charges; if it's a widespread problem we'll launch a full reclaim campaign. Full info in the Forum Note: Service Charge Reclaiming

URGENT! £5(ish) European flights. Ends midnight Thurs 23 July. Another sale, Ryanair has a million £5 (inc. some taxes & charges) flights from various UK airports to nearly 80 European destinations, for Aug-Oct travel. To speedily find them see the Updated Guide: £5 Flights Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels

Now ANYONE can get Orange's 2for1 Wed Cinema deal. Free Orange sim card with £5 credit. Just grab this free Sim card with £5 credit, pop it in your phone for five mins on a Wed to count as an Orange customer. See the Updated Guide: Orange 2for1 Cinema loophole

Cheapest Loans 7.9%. Tool Of The Week. Calculate costs, how much you can afford & whether to switch!
The loan market's hell: base rates may be at rock bottom, yet rates have soared and twelve lenders have actually pulled out of the market. Yet know your onions and you can still bag fixed rate loans under 8%. Top Rates: Tesco* typical 8% APR for £5k+, but some may get 7.8%. Alliance & Leicester's* 7.9% APR if you're borrowing over £7,500 The Calculator: This unique tool has three functions... how much will a loan cost? what borrowing's affordable based on monthly repayments? and can you save by switching to a cheaper loan? (more complex than just comparing rates). Up-to-date Guide & Calculator: Cheap Loans Related: Balance Transfers, 0% Spending Cards

Beware FAKE HMRC tax rebate emails. It's very realistic but the revenue never sends tax rebate emails so don't open it. Full info in the MSE news story: Bogus tax email

Loans Calc

Text for free! Special web-tools for no-cost texts to UK or 30+ other countries
If you’ve friends or relatives overseas, texting them can cost a huge 50p a go, yet you can slam this down to nowt! Nifty site Sendsmsnow lets you send to 33 countries, including USA, Canada, India and Poland, for FREE via the web. Sending to the UK: You can get unlimited free texts within the UK with, so if you’re near a computer ditch your mobile and use this instead. Full details, pros and cons, plus how to text for 2p off your mobile in the Updated Guide: Free Texts Related: Cheap Mobiles
, Cheap International Calls

New Cheapest Gas & Electricity Tariff £250 cheaper than avg. bill. Npower's online dual fuel tariff's the new cheapest for over half the UK. Top Pick Comparison Services: Energyhelpline* gives £15 cashback per switch (via these links only). Dual Fuel: Moneysupermarket* £30 cashback, Uswitch* free case of wine & SimplySwitch* £35 Amazon vouchers. Full info in the Updated Guide: Compare Gas & Elec plus cashback

Cheapest Dongle! 5GB mobile broadband at £11/mth; or 1GB for £4.24 via cashback
For those who want broadband on the go for laptops, two cracking new mobile dongle 18 month contract deals. Big download limit: You can get 25% off 5GB 3 Mobile broadband by going via SimplifyDigital* and entering the code AFF09 when at the checkout, making it a market leading £11/month. Smaller data cap: For those likely to download less, Orange's cheapest mobile broadband package is currently reduced to £9.79/mth with a 1GB download limit, yet up to £100 cashback's available via special cashback websites. Incorporate this and it's effectively £4.24 a month. Full details in the Updated Guide: Cheap Mobile Broadband. If you're new to cashback read the Top Cashback Sites guide.

New hotel deals. £15 off, 10% off & more. These join a 24 hour 50% off sale on selected hotels from 9am Thurs 23 July at See the Deals Note: Hotel Sales Related: Cheap Hotels, Priceline Hotels Loophole


The Big & Easy Ways to Save Checklist
Quick links or click the titles for full pros, cons, alternatives & more savings

More MoneySaving

Great 'How to ensure your insurer pays claims' Hunt: What have you done to assure a payout?
It's all very well having insurance, yet if when you come to claim, the company rejects it, the whole thing's pointless. So we thought we'd tap MoneySavers' knowledge to find your top tips on making legit insurance claims. What were you claiming for, what details did you include, how did you speed it up, what tips do you have for others? Add your ideas/read other peoples': Great 'Insurance Claims Hints and Tricks' Hunt Past Great Hunts: View all

Tax Credits Reminder. Check if you're eligible or renew before 31 July. Those already getting Tax Credits must renew by 31 July or payments may stop. Those not should check if they're eligible. Details on how to claim or renew in the Forum Note: Tax Credits. Coming Next Week: Full guide to Tax Credits

Possible £50 boon for Nationwide current account holders. Switch your Direct Debits to the bank and get £50, see the full MSE news story: Nationwide £50 bonus

The £95 parking ticket for taking too long to spend. Shockingly, a motorist was smacked with a parking penalty for taking "too long" spending £400 at a Homebase store. See the MSE news story: Parking madness Related Guides: Parking Ticket Appeals, Private Parking Reclaiming


Q. My flat has a pre-payment meter from the last tenants. Our energy bills are terribly expensive because of this. Is there anything I can do?

A. The fact people on prepayment meters have to pay more is ridiculous, it penalises many of society's poorest - thankfully there's a lot of campaigning at the moment for this to change.

If you're hit, first try to switch to a standard billed meter with your current supplier, though this will usually mean you're credit scored (see credit rating guide). If you're accepted, once it's up and running, then do a comparison to find who the cheapest supplier is (see Gas & Elec guide).

If you can't get a billed meter, don't think you're stuck with just one supplier, while it's limited there is competition amongst prepayment suppliers, both Energyhelpline* or Uswitch* do comparisons.

Discuss: Pre-payment meters
Suggest: A question of the week

(big general issues not personal q’s pls)

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Would you give up a £50 concert ticket because you may have swine flu?
You've booked a £50 tickets for a concert tonight but are feeling slightly achey, snuffley and a bit hot; early swine flu symptoms. It's too late to sell them (you've tried), no refunds or exchanges are possible and you’re really looking forward to the concert. You want to go, but are worried you may infect others. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Would you give up £50 tickets? Previous MMDs: View All

Regular MoneySaver Savvy's now debt-free! £12k paid off in 5 years. Huge congrats to long term site user Savvy who's paid off her last debt. Read all about it in her Debt Free Story

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

Board of the week: Silver Savers (over 50s) MoneySaving
The Silver Savers board offers a wealth of information and innovative ideas for the more mature MoneySaver. Discussions include Paying for care, Tips & tricks for over 65s, 70s & 75s and Funerals & paying for them

Great 'Holiday At Home' Hunt Result
Last week I tapped MoneySavers' knowledge for the best stay-at-home ideas for singles, couples and families instead of jetting off somewhere on holiday. There were some great suggestions including Visit Your Local Tourist Info, Travelodge Pampering Session and Get the kids involved and plan!


Banksy Exhibition - Covent Garden, Beverley Knight Track, Filippo Berro BBQ Recipe Book
Nivea Sun Kids Sample, Wales Mini Rough Guide, Boss Orange Fragrance

Odds and Ends

Martin's Appearances...Weds 22 - Tues 28 July
These are scheduled appearances, though other ad hocs may happen. See the appearances list for updates.

  • Thurs, GMTV, ITV1, sometime between 7:20 & 9:30am. Cheap theme park tickets.
  • Tues, GMTV, ITV1, sometime between 7:20 & 9:30am. Beat budget airlines' extra charges.

This week's Martin's Blog: Apparently I’m an environmental scourge…
"The recession’s end means HIGHER prices" and "Should I give away my ashes hat...". Read m'blogs (or RSS users access)

What's your biggest money vice? This week's poll. Vote and Overspending discussion.

The Good Debt, Bad Debt game. 9,362 voted last week. If a person needs a car to get to work, but can only get a 12% loan with steep repayments, is the debt good or bad? 63% of voters think it's good debt. 37% thought it was a bad debt regardless. See Good Debt, Bad Debt poll results (which include my views).

Archna's Free Game of the Week! Get to the end of the game by sprouting the right bean each time! Sprout

I have a "menial wrist"! That's it for this week. As I'm suffering from a harsh bout of RSI, this anagram site's top result amazed me with its aptness. Great for scrabble!

PS. Thanks for all the kind notes, tips and suggestions about my RSI, very kind. I'm swamped with them though, and for obvious reasons clicking & replying isn't easy. So sorry if you don't get one.

We hope you save some money

Martin & the MSE team

Explanation of * Links

FSA NOTE: Referring people to insurers or insurance intermediaries can in some circumstances require FSA authorisation. For this reason, Martin Lewis of Shepherd's Studios, Rockley Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W14 0EH is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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 is GMTV’s Money SavingExpert and 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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