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Weekly Email
This email was sent
22nd Nov 2017
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 This info may be out of date.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."

22 November 2017


Urgent. Free £130 cash for Christmas

Banks will PAY YOU to switch. Do it now and you can get the cash in time for the big day or just after to help cover the costs

The battle of the banks to tempt you with free cash is coming to a crunching halt in the next couple of weeks as many top deals end. So if you want to take advantage, you need to act now.

Plus if you get your skates on and start the switch quick, the cash could reach you over the festive season. As switching's easy and only takes seven working days, if you dislike your bank, or just want a cracking deal, what are you waiting for?  

see golden rules below for FULL ELIGIBILITY


Halifax - £75
- Free £3/mth if stay in credit
- 6mths' 0% overdraft
c. 10 days
TSB*- £130 (3) (Must apply by Mon 4 Dec)
- Up to £10/mth for 7mths if you jump through some hoops (4)
3% AER variable interest on £1,500
c. 40 days
 First Direct* - £125 (Must apply by Mon 11 Dec)
- Won EVERY customer service poll we've done
- £250 0% overdraft
- 5% regular saver
c. 40 days
M&S Bank* - £125 gift card
- £5/mth added to gift card
- 5% regular saver
- £100 0% overdraft
c. 40 days
Ending. HSBC* - £150 (5) (Must apply by Sun)
- Extra £50 if still with it in a year
- 5% regular saver
- 6mths' 0% overdraft
c. 60 days

(1) Overdraft dependent on credit score. (2) Clock starts when you start your switch, can be the day you apply. (3) To ensure it tracks allow cookies in your browser. (4) £5/mth if you pay out 2 DDs a month + £5/mth if you make 20+ debit card payments a month. (5) Existing HSBC non-current account customers must apply by phone or in branch. Full info: Best Bank Accounts.

  • The Bank Switching Golden Rules. We've highlighted the top deals above but to ensure you get all the perks, follow these steps...

    - Always meet minimum monthly payments. To get all the perks and sometimes keep your account free you need to pay at least the following in each month: Halifax £750, TSB £500, First Direct and M&S Bank £1,000, HSBC £1,750. Though with Halifax & M&S you can get the upfront bonus without paying anything in. See trick to meet min pay-ins below.
    - You need to switch to get all the perks. You must use the banks' official switching services and normally move 2+ direct debits and keep 'em paying out.
    - You need to pass a credit check, but they're often not harsh. To help, our free Credit Club shows your credit score and report.
    - You may also need to go paperless & register for (and log in to) online banking. Not universal, so check.

  • Switching's easy and you're protected from errors. Use the banks' official switching services and the process takes seven working days - your new bank does the hard work by closing your old account and moving direct debits, standing orders and payments.

    If anything goes wrong with the switch, you're protected from interest or charges as a result. Plus, if a payment goes to or from the old account in error, the bots behind the scenes automatically ensure it's shifted to the new account for a min 3yrs. See switching help.

  • Can't meet the minimum pay-ins? Trick to play the system. They're designed so you pay in your salary or pension and use the account as your main one, but for most accounts there's a workaround. As you need to pay in a set amount from elsewhere, say there's a £1,000 minimum but you've only £500, pay in the £500, withdraw or transfer it somewhere else, then pay it back in - and BINGO, you've qualified.

  • Could these deals return? We often see the hot bank switch deals come and go, but there's no certainty, so if these are right for you, why wait?

  • Got an overdraft? Cut interest to 0% & use the free cash to help pay it off. If you often go into the red, focus on cutting your overdraft costs instead. Two of the top accounts above, First Direct and M&S Bank, may give a small 0% overdraft, and with HSBC and Halifax, you could get 6mths at 0%. Use the free cash to help pay it off. See Cut Overdraft Costs for more.

  • The accounts if you can't get an account. While you need to pass a credit check for those above, basic bank accounts don't do such checks (though most do a credit check for ID), as they provide a no-frills, no-overdraft service. See Basic Bank Accounts for full info.

For lots more info and help, see Best Bank Accounts - which includes top deals if you don't want to switch bank.

New Series. The Martin Lewis Money Show, ITV at 8pm, Mon 27 Nov
Watch a £100,000 reclaim and it's not PPI - what are you missing out on?

Over to Martin... "After last night's terrifying live show, we're into the series proper. If you're a parent, grandparent or pensioner, married, or you know someone with Alzheimer's or dementia, I'll be checking you're not missing out on £100s or £1,000s that you're entitled to. Do watch, or set the Betamax."


Saved cash? Shout it from the rooftops.

If this email's ever helped you, please forward it to friends and suggest they get it via



Watch the Budget with us. Join Martin on Twitter for translations of what it really means and MSE Twitter and Facebook for updates, while MSE News will have all the stories in detail. Starts Wed 12.30pm.

Black Friday - bargains or bull? Find out what's hot and what's not

Confirmed big sales this Fri incl Amazon, Argos & John Lewis. Plus predicted Asos, RARE Selfridges & more

Black Friday isn't a day's worth of sales any more, it's more like a frenzied fortnight as stores pump out 'deals' galore through to Cyber Monday. Yet don't fall for the hype - only get what you need and can afford. If you were planning to buy something worth £100 anyway and it's 30% off, it's a saving. If the same item isn't on your list, it's a £70 cost. We've full info & updates on confirmed and predicted offers in our Black Friday deals round-up, here are some of the best...

  • The cross-store deals from the big retailers. Many stores have started their deals already, so if you've your eye on something and that store has a big discount, it's likely to be one of the cheapest times to buy before Christmas. Discounts are likely to change - hopefully for the better - throughout the week.

    The biggies include Amazon (daily deals and short-lived offers) | Argos and Currys (thousands of items on sale) | Boots up to 50% off | Debenhams up to 30% off | John Lewis (big discounts and price-matching). See all Black Friday deals.

    Predictions incl: Asos 20% off | Selfridges RARE 20% off | Apple 'free' gift card with purchase. See all predictions.

  • Discounts on INDIVIDUAL items. Remember, it's only a good deal if it's already on your list. We'll have full analysis on Friday on where to find this year's most searched-for items cheapest, including Amazon Echo, Google Home, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Dyson V8 in cheapest popular products.

  • BEWARE the duds. Retailers are desperate to sell, sell, sell, so many will try to flog almost anything with the tag 'Black Friday'. See our lowdown on how to spot the duds, eg, we've seen a big retailer crowing about a £729 Samsung 55in 4K TV - but we found the same spec TV for £699 elsewhere.

  • Keep up to speed on Friday. While deals land all week, Friday's the big one. Our Deals Hunters will be keeping track from 11pm Thu (we'll allow 'em a few hours' kip). See our Black Friday deals analysis, and Twitter AND Facebook feeds for up to the minute updates incl live video (please excuse tired eyes and bed hair).

PS: Black Friday's huge for broadband providers. We've rounded up the best deals below...


Airport lounge access 1/3 off code. MSE Blagged. A suite deal at Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Edinburgh (norm £18-£40) for 2018 visits. You can also get two free passes to 100s worldwide via an Amex, and if you're quick it may work for Xmas. Full info in Cheap Airport Lounges.

Premium Bond rate boosted from 1.15% to 1.4% - pile in? Read Martin's new Premium Bond analysis.

Cheap card for spending abroad NOW pays you £20 the first time you use it. Specialist cards such as this are one of the best ways to spend overseas, because they don't charge the usual 3%-ish fee on spending or withdrawals, so you get near-perfect rates. The Halifax Clarity card (eligibility calc / apply*) also gives £20 if you buy anything in a foreign currency by 31 Mar. You're charged interest on cash withdrawals till it's paid off, but it's usually only small. Repay IN FULL to avoid the 18.9% rep APR. Full info: Travel Credit Cards.

£10+ West End theatre tickets incl Aladdin & Les Mis. Massive savings across all seat types if you have a Mastercard. Jan/Feb shows. London theatre

£4.50 prosecco via 25% off 6 bottles of wine & fizz. Online and in stores at Tesco (not Scotland). Corking. Pls be Drinkaware.

Hot Sim: £12/mth for 12GB data + unlimited calls & texts. MSE Blagged. Three* newbies can get a 1yr contract at £12/mth for 12GB data + unltd mins & texts. You get 'free' roaming in 24 destinations (incl US and Oz) as well as Europe. Full info and other options in Top Sims.


Black Fri b'band deals: '£13/mth' standard, £20/mth FIBRE

Firms will ram deals down your throat this week, so we've done the legwork to nail the corkers

There are already ads galore for Black Friday broadband deals and for most who've spent years with the same provider the savings can be huge. Prices for standard speeds aren't the cheapest we've seen this year - but for faster fibre they're cracking deals. And the big advantage this week is so many firms have offers, if you want to find a favourite you can. But they're NOT ALL AVAILABLE everywhere so we'd strongly suggest you compare broadband deals in YOUR area with our Broadband Unbundled tool, which checks 14 providers including all the biggies.

  • Just want standard speed broadband? We've seen much cheaper, but if you're not in contract you'll still likely save big. The best deals right now start from an equiv £13ish/mth. See cheapest up-to-17Mb deals for full details. PS: For basic tasks standard speed is fine. Fibre is best for gamers, heavy downloaders & large households.

  • Ends Mon. Up-to-38Mb fast fibre b'band & line £20/mth (or superfast £25/mth) + £20 Amazon vch. Via this Vodafone link*, new broadband customers can get the following on an 18mth contract...

    - Discounted broadband (with unlimited downloads) + line rental. It's one price for both, based on the b'band speed. Up-to-38Mb fast fibre (2x standard speed) is £20/mth, or up-to-76Mb superfast fibre is £25/mth. Both rise by £5/mth after 18mths - no calls included (see call costs).
    - You can claim a £20 Amazon vch. You're sent instructions on claiming within 120 days. It says the voucher's then emailed immediately.
    - It's available to 83% of the UK. It depends on your postcode - you're told if you can get it when applying (or use our Broadband Unbundled tool to see only deals in your area). If you've no line, or you're switching from cable, you may face a £60 new-line fee, but you'll know before committing.

  • Ends Mon. Up-to-100Mb ultrafast fibre b'band, line, TV box and 70+ channels equiv £27/mth. If you've not been with Virgin Media in the last 12mths you can apply via this Virgin link* (goes via comparison site Broadband Genie) for the following on a 1yr contract...

    - Discounted up-to-100Mb ultrafast fibre (5x standard speed) with unlimited downloads + basic TV. It's £11/mth for 1yr, £29/mth after. You get a 500GB Tivo set-top box and 70+ channels - essentially Freeview with the ability to pause, rewind and store shows. You also pay a £20 activation fee.
    - Pay line rent upfront if you can afford to. You need to call up after sign up, but before installation to pay £196 for the year. Otherwise it's a pricier £19/mth. Weekend calls to landlines included - see full call costs.
    - You get a £25 Amazon vch. Automatically sent up to 90 days after sign-up.
    - Cost analysis: Pay a year's line rent upfront and it works out at £29/mth, but factor in the £25 Amazon vch (if you'd spend that much there anyway) and it's equiv to £27/mth (or equiv £30 if you pay line rental monthly).
    - It's available to 50%+ of the UK. It depends on your postcode - you're told if you can get it when applying (or use our Broadband Unbundled tool to see only deals in your area).

Note: If Vodafone or Virgin hikes prices during the term, you can leave penalty-free. You can also sometimes get cashback via a top cashback site - but prices and contract lengths vary.


Warning. DON'T risk losing your car. Is it one of 750,000 untaxed vehicles? The number's tripled since tax discs were abolished in 2014 and despite reminders many forget. Check and avoid a huge punishment

Millions of super-cheap Easyjet seats released TODAY (Wed). For Autumn '18, incl Oct half-term. Cheap Easyjet

Urgent. Virgin Trains up-to half-price sale, incl London-Leeds £16 rtn, London-Manc £22 rtn. Ends TODAY for East Coast (Ldn-Edin line), for Jan-Mar travel. Then it's on from Thu to Mon for West Coast (Ldn-Glas line), for Dec-Jan travel. All aboard

British Gas customer? It's 'ending' standard tariffs - what you need to know. Read our analysis and what you need to do.

Ending. Cheap wills - don't leave your family in the lurch. Nov is Will Aid month, letting anyone get a solicitor-drafted will for a suggested £95 charity donation (cheaper than some solicitors' £150ish fee). Plus we've blagged codes for 50% off Which? wills and £50 off Co-op wills.

£23 Sanctuary Spa set, norm £45. From Thu, incl body scrub/wash, heel/hand cream and perfume. Sanctuary Spa


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Get comparison site quotes in this order:

  3. Gocompare*
  4. CompareTheMarket*

Then check insurers they miss: 
Direct Line*

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Yorkshire Bank* 3.3% rep APR
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k: Sainsbury's Bank* 2.7% rep APR (Nectar custs, 1-3 yrs)

Standard b'band & line rent: Plusnet equiv £13.16/mth
Fibre b'band & line rent: 
Vodafone £20/mth + £20 Amzn vch

£130 to switch + £10/mth till Jun + 3% interest: TSB
5% interest fixed for a year: 
Nationwide FlexDirect


How to spend your time helping those in need have a good Christmas

The festive season's a time for giving, and for those less fortunate it's your time and help that really matters

You don't have to spend lots of money to get a warm fuzzy feeling this Christmas. Charities are always looking for volunteers to help the homeless, hungry or elderly, and we're shouting about it today as many are doing the prep work now. So we've 5 ways you can help those in need during the holiday season.

  1. Help out at a homeless centre. Homelessness charity Crisis is looking for 1,000s of volunteers to help run homeless centres in London, Birmingham, Coventry, Newcastle and Edinburgh. You don't need experience, but they're looking for volunteers with specific skills too, eg, chefs, hair and beauty therapists, tutors and counsellors.

  2. Be there by phone for isolated older people. This is a year-round opportunity, but loneliness can be acute at Christmas. Age UK is looking for 'telephone befrienders' to have a 30-min call with an older person once a week. You'll be matched with someone with similar interests and given online training.

  3. Help stop hunger by donating to a foodbank. December is the busiest month for foodbanks, with 45% more referrals from Citizens Advice and other organisations. To help, you can take part in a 'reverse advent calendar' by donating an item to a foodbank every day in the run-up to Christmas. You could also collect others' foodbank donations at Tesco stores UK-wide from Thu 30 Nov to Sat 2 Dec.

  4. Keep animals warm by making or donating blankets (and toys). Lots of unwanted pets will be spending Christmas in rehoming centres. You can support them by donating blankets, treats and toys. If you're good with a knitting needle, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has instructions on making blankets, toys, and even a bandana (on which calming scents can be sprayed for stressed dogs).

  5. Fund lifesaving jabs for kids + other ways to donate to charity. If you haven't got time to give, and don't know what to buy family and friends, why not agree to give to good causes in each other's name? Our Charity Gift guide is packed with ideas. Eg, £15 gets polio vaccines for 100 kids in need. 

£122ish Nails Inc polish collection £30 all-in. MSE Blagged. 12 polish set incl floral and glitter effects. Nails Inc

 SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Thank you for your PPI guide's information about Plevin. I had been unsuccessful when claiming previously, but tried again and got a cheque for over £5,000."

Aldi's £20-£100 Christmas hampers - any good? Incl wine, prosecco, chocs and biscuits. They've been compared favourably with more expensive Fortnum & Mason hampers. We've lifted the lid. Aldi hampers



Have you got the maths skills to spot the best deals? MSE is working with the charity National Numeracy to help people improve their everyday maths. Try the National Numeracy Challenge to assess your skills and get online help if needed. Then join the conversation in the MSE Forum and see how Martin got on.



How do you rate your energy provider's recent service? Winter's nearly here, the heating's on and while we're all about cutting gas and electricity bills (do a five-min comparison to see if you can save), we know service counts too. So twice a year we test customer service. How do you rate your energy provider's recent service?

Those who haggle with Sky and the AA report the biggest success rates. Last week we asked if you've successfully haggled on anything from digital TV and broadband to credit cards, breakdown cover and insurance. From 1,300 responses, those who tried to haggle down their Sky TV and AA breakdown cover were the most successful, with 56% of Sky and 58% of AA hagglers reporting 'big success'. Interestingly, mobile network Giffgaff and insurance provider Age UK proved the least likely to do a deal, with over 70% of you reporting 'no success' with either. See how others succeeded when haggling. 



How much should I pay my ex for her share of our flat? I own my flat with my ex-partner, who moved out a year ago. I'm now buying her share - do I buy her out at current market value or the value of the property last year when she moved out? Enter the Money Moral Maze: How much should I pay my ex for her share of our flat? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs


- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: Mopping up the mess. My final DFW diary
- Competitions thread of the week: £400 Asos vouchers
- Old-Style board thread of the week: Lots more sneaky ways to save the pennies
- Family, marriage, relationships chat: Best cheap cat litter?
- Discussion of the week: How much do you spend on family at Christmas?


Sleek - £25 make-up set norm £50. Ends Wed
Lidl - £9 Comte de Senneval champagne (norm £11)
Baileys - £12 one-litre bottle (norm £20)
WHSmith - FREE £7ish Christmas cards via O2

Frankie & Benny's - 2for1 on mains
Prezzo - 40% off mains
Cafe Rouge - 40% off mains
Papa John's - 33% off pizzas online

Naked Wines - £35 for 7 bottles and 2 wine glasses
Railcards - £5 off one-year 16-25 and Family & Friends
Timberland - 30% off code
Beer Hawk - 24 craft beers for £55 code (norm £75)

Quick Forum Tips

Free New Covent Garden soup via coupon. Soup-er
25% off Sainsbury's Tu clothing. Suits Tu
Lidl Black Friday weekend offers. A Lidl earlier than usual



Wed 22 Nov - LBC, Budget debrief with Shelagh Fogarty, from 12.30pm
Wed 22 Nov - BBC Radio 5 Live, Budget debrief on Afternoon Edition, from 2.30pm
Thu 23 Nov - Good Morning Britain, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am. See previous 
Fri 24 Nov - This Morning, ITV, Martin's Quick Deals, from 10.30am
Mon 27 Nov - This Morning, ITV, from 10.30am
Mon 27 Nov - BBC Radio 5 Live, Lunch Money Martin, noon. Listen again
Mon 27 Nov - The Martin Lewis Money Show, ITV, 8pm 


Wed 22 Nov - BBC Cumbria, Money Talks with Ben Maeder, from 6pm
Thu 23 Nov - BBC York, money tips phone-in with MSE Guy, 10am
Fri 24 Nov - BBC South West stations, Good Morning with Joe Lemer, from 5am, Black Friday deals
Tue 28 Nov - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with Jeremy Sallis, 2.20pm



Q: Can I claim back mis-sold PPI on a deceased person's account if I don't have the account number but do know which bank? Dan, by email.

MSE Sam's A: Yes you can. However, you'll need to prove you're entitled to inherit their estate (ie, their money, assets and possessions). Our free PPI reclaiming guide and tool has full info, but for inspiration, one MoneySaver reclaimed £35,000 after her late husband was mis-sold, even though the loan company no longer existed.


That's it for this week, but before we go... with Black Friday week here and many feeling the pressure to spend in the run-up to Christmas, you've been sharing the mantras you use to rein in your spending. They include "Know your prices so you don't get ripped off" and "Never impulse buy". Join our Money Mantras Twitter discussion and let us know yours.

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

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