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24th Oct 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 This info may be out of date.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."

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


 

Hack that shop, incl...
New. 'Free' £30 at John Lewis or Waitrose + top tricks at Amazon, eBay, Gap, Tesco and other big stores


This is a cracker ahead of Christmas. If you have a big spend planned at John Lewis (eg, for Xmas) or you regularly shop at Waitrose there's a rare 'freebie' worth £30 from the sister brands via their specialist 'Partnership' credit card.

While some rubbed their hands at MSE Towers, not everyone got excited. "I don't shop at either," was the cry elsewhere. We thought, hmm, good point. So as well as the JL/Waitrose lowdown, we've tricks for lots more big retailers for food, clothes, furniture, beauty & much more...

  • JOHN LEWIS or WAITROSE - New. 'Free' £30 for doing normal credit card spending. This is for new Partnership credit card customers who apply via these specific links (eligibility calc / apply*) - you won't see it direct. Enter code MSX18 when applying and you'll get a free £30 if you spend £250+ at JL or Waitrose within 90 days. You actually get 3,000pts, worth £30 to spend at JL or Waitrose, which'll likely come in Feb. That's on top of the usual spending points the card gives - see JL/Waitrose card for full points info and more help.

    It's rare to find such deals for the duo but it's only a winner IF you'd spend £250 anyway as it's not an excuse to overspend. Just do usual spending and pay it off IN FULL each month - you could even cancel the card when the freebie comes. There's also 0% interest on purchases for 9mths, but other cards give much longer 0% lengths. After the 0% it's 18.9% rep APR (see APR examples).

    - Extra Waitrose tips - incl 'free' tea & coffee. If you have its free loyalty card, you can get free tea or coffee when you buy something - even a 10p banana. Or if you spend £10+, grab a free newspaper.

  • AMAZON - 'Free' £6, the 'is it cheaper to buy in euros?' tool & more. With the online giant there is a host of clever tricks, listed in our Amazon Buying guide. Here are the highlights...

    - 'Free' £6 Amazon credit? Check if you're eligible for £6 'free' credit.
    - Get it cheaper in Europe? A tool checks prices on Amazon's Euro sites, then compares to the UK.
    - 'Free' delivery via cunning tool. It finds small items to take you over the £20 free delivery threshold.

  • IKEA - 20 Money (and time) Saving hacks. Full info in Ikea Hacks, these are the highlights...

    - Get it quicker & skip the tat. How to find store shortcuts.
    - Something broken or missing? Replace parts free.
    - Track down discounted stock. Find Bargain Corners.
    - Stay perky amid the mayhem. How to get free tea and coffee.

  • M&S Free £185 in M&S vouchers if you switch to (and stick with) its bank. New switchers to M&S Bank* get £125 in vchs within a month of the switch and £5/mth more for 1yr. You also get access to its 5% regular saver, while it's well rated for customer service.

    For the £125 you must fully switch, incl 4+ active direct debits, within 3mths of opening. For the £5/mth, you need to pay in £1,250+/mth (equiv to £17,080 annual salary) and keep the direct debits active.

    - Extra tips. Get a 'free' £25 at M&S via an M&S credit card. Or recycle old clothes to get a £5 voucher off a £35 spend at M&S.

  • TESCO - Now get faster Clubcard vouchers, 25% points bonus etc. The supermarket heavyweight is another with lots of tricks, incl...

    - New. 24hr vouchers. Get Clubcard vchs within a day of earning 'em. 
    - Go wallet-free & get 25% extra points. Via a special app.
    - Find the best Clubcard deals. See where you can exchange vchs for up to 3x their value, incl Pizza Express, on train tickets and more.
     
  • NEXT - Hidden codes reveal if stock will be on sale shortly.  Handwritten clues on tags indicate prices are set to drop in an upcoming sale. See Next secret codes explained.

  • SAINSBURY'S - Up to £37.50 bonus via its credit card. New Sainsbury's Bank credit card customers who get its Nectar credit card (eligibility calc / apply*) get 750 bonus Nectar points, worth £3.75 at Sainsbury's, on each £35+ spend at the supermarket in the first 2mths. That's up to a max 7,500 bonus points, worth £37.50, on top of normal points for spending - see Nectar credit card help for full info.

    Yet it's only a good deal if you'd spend this anyway - it's not an excuse to overspend. It's best to repay IN FULL each month given you'd be doing normal spending. The card also gives 29mths' 0% interest on purchases - the longest 0% available - but only borrow if you're disciplined. After the 0% it's 19.9% rep APR.

    - REMINDER. As we told you last week, don't spend Nectar points just yet as Sainsbury's will shortly run a double-up promo. Full info in Nectar Double-Up and lots more tips in Nectar Points Boosting.

  • GAP - 38% off full-price items this week. If you need new clobber you can combine two in-store or online deals (see more Gap tricks).

    - 35% off code till Sat. Valid on full-price items, see Gap 35% off.
    - Get an extra 5% off at any time. Get its free loyalty app to get the deal that's stackable with other offers such as the one above.

  • EBAY - Tricks to win auctions & more. The Goliath is yet another site the cunning MoneySaver can easily manipulate. We've tricks galore in eBay Buying, here are some highlights...

    - Win more auctions. A sneaky sniping tool helps make killer bids.
    - Save by searching for speilling misteaks. Wrongly spelled items get feweer bids as people can't findd them. Use a typo helper.
    - 'Is it cheaper on eBay?' fun checker. Take a pic of something and an app finds similar stuff on eBay. It may not be identical and you may need to do more research but it's a good starter. eBay photo search.

  • BOOTS - How to grab personalised deals. Get both its free loyalty card - called the Advantage Card - and its app to get discounts based on your shopping habits. Also look out for coupons inside its Health & Beauty magazine, which is free if you've got the Advantage Card. Full info in Boots tricks.

PS: The clocks go back an hour at 2am on Sunday, meaning an extra hour in bed. Hurrah. (Though it also means darker evenings.) 

 
 

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.

 

 
 

New. Check NOW if you were mis-sold a payday loan. We've launched a tool & guide to reclaim £100s or even £1,000s - NEVER pay a claims firm


Payday loans are a nightmare for many. They're hideously expensive and for years people have been mis-sold by pushy firms such as Wonga, which has since gone bust largely due to an avalanche of mis-selling claims. These firms often failed to make the necessary checks before approving a loan, making it too easy for vulnerable people to borrow. The huge costs meant people sometimes paid back the loan many times over. Now it's time to fight back...

For inspiration, here's Woody53's story that he posted on our forum: "I paid back £15,000 with lots of extra charges. When I saw the news about irresponsible lending, I reclaimed and received over £5,000 within eight weeks." Join Woody by using our new Payday Loan Mis-selling Tool & Guide. Here's the key info:

  • How to check if you've been mis-sold. Payday loan firms should examine your finances to ensure you can afford the loan and the big fees. If this wasn't done properly and you shouldn't have been lent the money, or if it didn't make costs or the repayment timetable clear, you were mis-sold. See the full mis-selling checklist.

  • What's the typical payout? It depends on your circumstances. People often get payouts of £100s, though the example above shows it can be £1,000s. If mis-sold you typically get all fees and interest back, plus another 8% interest on top of that total - see payouts explained.

  • How to claim - NEVER pay a claims company, our tool does it for FREE. Now that people are having success - 60%+ of people who go all the way to the Financial Ombudsman Service win - claims company vultures are circling. Yet they often take £100s from any payout. Ignore 'em and use our new FREE Payday Loan Reclaiming Tool.

    It's been developed with complaints site Resolver, which we've been working with for three years. We've merged our template letters and experience with its technology. Enter your details - it helps draft the complaint, sends it to the lender, keeps track and makes it easy to escalate to the ombudsman if necessary.

  • Some common payday loan mis-selling questions. Lots more in our Payday Loan Reclaim Tool & Guide.
    - Can I claim if I've paid back my payday loan? Yes, though in general it needs to be less than six years since you took out the loan.
    - Can I claim if my payday lender has gone bust (eg, Wonga)? The answer is not clear-cut - see gone bust help.
    - Will the record of a mis-sold loan and missed payments be taken off my credit file? Usually, but only if you ask for it.
 

Pssst... EXTRA 20% off code for 'secret' Office shoe outlet, eg, get £24 Adidas (£35 elsewhere). The high street chain flogs slightly scuffed & ex-display footwear online at huge discounts, and this week we've blagged you early access to an EXTRA 20% off code. Limited stock. Step this way

How to find lost pension pots - there's £20bn missing. It can be easy to lose track moving from job to job, and new figures show the special pension tracker tool has been used 1.2m times so far this year.

Starbucks hack - £1.30/day 'unlimited' coffee. MSE's Coupon Kid has a trick to cheapen your caffeine fix

Martin: 'Warning. Don't trust student loan statements - especially on the interest.' They're misleading & mean some risk losing £1,000s. Read his updated Student loan 6.3% interest - panic or pay it off? guide.

Advent calendars with wine, cheese, gin etc - are they worth it? We sort the MoneySavers from the MoneyWasters. Advent calendar analysis

 
 

Ends Sun. Super-cheap FAST broadband & line '£17/mth'

Some pay a huge £45/mth for slower speeds - but you can slash costs with short-lived promos such as these  

While Vodafone is best known for mobiles, it's making a splash with some tasty broadband deals this week - but you only qualify if you're not currently a Vodafone mobile or broadband customer. The standout is 35Mb average speed fibre broadband & line at just under '£17/mth' - if you've a need for fibre speed, anything sub-£20/mth is good value. So this is VERY cheap, and only about £2/mth more than the top 'slow' speed deal from Now Broadband, despite being 3x faster. 

We've this week's top deals below, listed by speed - all have just launched but won't be around for long. As all deals are postcode-dependent, use our Broadband Unbundled tool to find the best in your area (links below go there).  

top new-customer broadband & line deals (1)
PROVIDER & LINK  AVG SPEED COST (2) 
Now Broadband
Standard 
11Mb
£14.67/mth equiv (ends 1 Nov) - Pay £9.99 upfront, then £18/mth over 12mths. Claim and use a £50 gift card at Argos, John Lewis or Tesco and it's equiv to £14.67/mth. 
Ends Sun. Vodafone
Fibre 
35Mb
£16.84/mth equiv - Pay £21/mth for 18mths, and claim and spend a £75 Amazon vch to make it equivalent to £16.84/mth.
Ends Sun. Vodafone
Fast fibre 
63Mb
£22.84/mth equiv - Pay £27/mth for 18mths, and claim and spend a £75 Amazon vch to make it equivalent to £22.84/mth.
(1) The definition of 'new customer' varies by provider - see firm-by-firm rules via the links. (2) To get the equiv cost, we factor in all costs, deduct the value of rewards & divide by the number of months of the contract.


  • Don't qualify for the deals above as you're an existing customer? Use Broadband Unbundled to find the best alternatives in your area, eg, TalkTalk charges a decent £18.62/mth equiv for avg 36Mb fibre broadband & line.

  • What broadband speed do you need? Standard avg 10-11Mb speed is usually fine for browsing or light streaming. Fibre - the term for fast broadband due to the fibre cables that deliver high speeds - is best for streamers, gamers or if many use it all at once. Yet even with fibre there are speed differences, and the faster you go, the more of a luxury it is. Big firms give estimated speeds before you sign up, and special tools can help you check your speed.
 

3 potted plants £10 all-in (norm £30ish). MSE Blagged. 9cm gardenia, clematis & hydrangea. 15,000 sets available. Pot plants

Free tool to help detect fake Amazon and TripAdvisor reviews. Not definitive but still useful. Also works with Apple's App Store & Yelp. See fake-review spotter

48 Goose Island craft beers for £48 delivered (norm £76ish). MSE Blagged. 4,000 bundles avail. Beer Hawk

Halifax mortgage-holder since 2010? You could be due some cash back. 10,000s were overcharged - see Halifax payouts.

Shaving set £15 delivered (norm £38). MSE Blagged. Incl razor, 2 blades, gel & body scrub. Grüum set

 
 

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AT A GLANCE BEST BUYS

Longest 0%: Tesco Bank* up to 33mths 0%, 2.69% fee (19.9% rep APR) 
No-fee 0%: Santander* 27mths 0%, no fee (18.9% rep APR) 

Get comparison site quotes in this order:

  1. MoneySupermarket.com*
  2. Confused.com*
  3. Gocompare*
  4. Compare The Market*

Then check insurers they miss: 
Direct Line (incl £40 Amazon vch) 
Aviva* 

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Admiral* 3.4% rep APR
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k: Sainsbury's Bank* 2.7% rep APR (Nectar custs, 1-3 yrs)  

Standard b'band & line rent: Now Broadband equiv £14.67/mth
Fibre b'band & line rent: 
Vodafone equiv £16.84/mth

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

 

5 surprising ways to make money on your mobile

Get paid for market research, to check Airbnb pads, spot jobs, snap photos & more

Many of us are glued to our mobiles - to take selfies, send emojis, play games, or even... make calls. But if you're hooked to one you can also make it pay you, though as various jobs are often out and about, you may need to be mobile yourself (sorry...). So we've gathered the top mobile-friendly tips from our 36 Ways to Make Money Online & Top Online Surveys guides... 

  • New. Become a mobile market researcher. A free app pays you for doing market research, such as checking shops' prices and layouts. It typically offers £6 to £18 per job. Forumite Lenore13 says: "I've signed up to several 'micro job' apps - I've earned £42 in six weeks."

  • New. Get paid for odd jobs, eg, Airbnb property checks. Earn £10-20 a time via an app for tasks such as spot-checking Airbnb properties or taking photos for insurers that need evidence of a claim. See odd jobs.

  • Spot job ads in shop windows - the Xmas countdown is a top time to do it. Get Amazon vouchers for taking pics of vacancy signs and other job ads - windows are teeming with these as firms seek Christmas staff. Forumite benbenandme tried it: "I've been job-spotting for a couple of months, earned £120 so far." 

  • Get cash for iPhone pics (you don't need to be a pro). If you've taken a beautiful or useful photo, you could net anything from £2-£100s via an app. Sell photos

  • Top 25 apps and sites that pay for your opinion. Willing to give views on Little Mix, politics or pasties? You can make cash filling in online surveys - and these days many are via app. 25 Top Paid Surveys
 
£126 TALKTALK HAGGLE - SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: 

"Saved £10.50/mth [£126/yr] by haggling with TalkTalk. I used your broadband comparison tool to show me the alternatives on the screen while talking to TalkTalk. Many thanks."
(Send us yours on this or any topic.)

£30 free-range roasting-meat hamper (£43ish elsewhere). MSE Blagged. All outdoor-reared UK meat. Incl beef joint, steaks, sausage meat & bacon. Meat hamper

 

THIS WEEK'S POLL

Netflix, gyms, Sky - do you use the subscription services you pay for? Subscription services are multi-billion pound businesses. Many know once they hook you in, you don't leave - that's why they offer you free trials to suck you in. So we've selected a range of major subscription brands and categories and want to know if you get value out of them. Do you use the subscription services you pay for?

A typical MoneySaver spends 1-2 months' income on holidays each year. In last week's poll, we asked how much of your income (after tax) you spend on holidays. Over 10,000 responded and 1-2 months' income was the most popular option for couples, singles and families. Interestingly, almost 10% of those in a couple without kids spend 4+ months' income on holidays, while two in 10 singletons don't go on holiday at all. See full holiday spending poll results.

 
 

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA

Can I buy a cheaper baby-shower gift? I've been invited to a baby shower, being held in a function room at a theme park. We've all been asked to pay £25 to get in, but this was roughly what I was planning to spend on a gift, and I'm reluctant to shell out £50. Is it OK to spend less on the gift? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Can I buy a cheaper baby-shower gift? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

THE QUICKIES

- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: Debt management plan dilemma
- Competitions thread of the week: Topcashback hummingbird hunt
- Old-Style board thread of the week: Cooking for one
- Family, marriage, relationships chat: Should he stay or should he go?
- Discussion of the week: I can't afford to go on expensive hen do

 

Bonusprint - 24-page photo book £15 delivered (norm £30)
Ideal Home Show - £10 for 2 tickets to Christmas show
Halfords - FREE winter car check, incl screenwash top-up
Co-op - £5 frozen pizza meal deal, incl sides & dessert
Breyers - £1.50 'low calorie' ice cream via coupon (norm £5)

Toby Carvery - kids eat for '£1' (Mon-Sat)
Pizza Express - 2for1 on mains (Mon-Wed)
Prezzo - kids eat for '£1' (every day)
Pizza Hut - £7ish unlimited lunch buffet (Mon-Fri)
Subway - 'Savers' menu, incl Sub of the Day

Sainsbury's - 25% off Tu clothing, incl Halloween outfits
Lookfantastic - £24.50 Illamasqua beauty box (norm £35)
Smyths Toys - £6 off £50 spend with voucher (ends Thu)
Tesco - 25% off 6 bottles of wine, prosecco & champagne
Krispy Kreme - FREE doughnut via newsletter sign up

Quick Forum Tips

240 Yorkshire Tea Bags for £4 (norm £6.99). Tea-riffic
50% off Jordans Country Crisp. Cereal-ously good
10 kids' books for £10. Read all about it

 
 

MARTIN'S APPEARANCES (WED 24 OCT ONWARDS)

Mon 29 Oct - This Morning, ITV, from 10.30am
Mon 29 Oct - BBC Radio 5 Live, Lunch Money Martin, noon. Listen again

MSE TEAM APPEARANCES (SUBJECTS TBC)

Fri 26 Oct - BBC South West stations, Good Morning with Joe Lemer, from 5am
Mon 29 Oct
- TalkRadio, Breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer, 9.45am
Mon 29 Oct - BBC Radio York, Beth McCarthy, from 7pm
Tue 30 Oct
- BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Lunchtime Live with Jeremy Sallis, 2.20pm  

 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Q: How important is customer service when choosing a new energy supplier? I understand the gas comes down the same pipes whoever supplies it, same with electric, but where does customer service come in? Dave, via email.

MSE Andrew's A: It's down to you as to how important service is, but it can vary massively between suppliers. We've heard numerous horror stories, as well as examples of great service when you've needed to call your supplier.

If service is important to you, use our good service comparison within our Cheap Energy Club to find firms with the best service.

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

 

HOW TO ARRANGE YOUR CUTLERY DRAWER

That's all for this week, but before we go... parts of social media went into frenzy this week discussing the 'correct' way to organise a cutlery drawer. Many seem to opt for (from left to right) large knives, standard knives, forks and spoons - with teaspoons underneath. But is there really a correct way to do it? Share your thoughts and pics over on our cutlery drawer Twitter discussion.

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

 
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