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25th Jul 2018
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email

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"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."

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


Ends Thu. Wow - broadband & line '£8.33/mth'... cheapest in 16mths

That's an annual equiv cost of just £100 before calls. As millions pay £400+/yr, huge savings are possible... but the clock's ticking

Forget the heatwave, the broadband and line rental price war threatens to reach boiling point. On Fri, Sky launched a scorching deal that's the equivalent of £8.33/mth, since then Plusnet's responded with a barnstormer, while Vodafone and TalkTalk have launched hot fibre deals too. All are short lived and as they're switchers' deals, they're only available to new customers. 

To make it easy for you to compare, we use 'equivalent prices' - we add up all costs (barring calls), take off any promotional cashback or vouchers and average it out over the contract.

Can you get 'em? As all broadband deals are postcode-dependent, use our Broadband Unbundled tool to find the best in your area (links in the table go there). All of these deals are available to at least 80% of the UK, so coverage is decent. 

Standard speed broadband - 10-11Mb
Ends Thu. '£8.33/mth' over 1yr contract. You pay £20/mth plus £9.95 upfront, but you can claim a £50 prepaid Mastercard & £100 M&S voucher (don't forget). Factor these in & the price is an equiv £8.33/mth over the year. Note, you don't need to take its TV.
Ends next Tue. '£10.24/mth' over 1yr contract. You pay nothing for b'band & can pay £197.88 line rent upfront & claim £75 cashback (don't forget). Do all that & it's equiv £10.24/mth. Pay line monthly & it's equiv £12.74/mth.
Fibre broadband - 35Mb
Ends Sun. '£18.89/mth' over 18mth contract. You pay £22.50/mth & £9.95 upfront but can claim a £75 vch to use at Amazon, Tesco, Argos or Ticketmaster (don't forget). If you spend it, the price is an equiv £18.89/mth. BEWARE - in our polls TalkTalk's consistently worst of the biggies on customer service.
Ends next Tue. '£19.23/mth' over 18mth contract. You pay £22/mth but can claim a £50 Amzn vch (don't forget). If you spend it, the price is an equiv £19.23/mth.
Fast fibre - 63Mb
TalkTalk   Ends Sun. '£21.39/mth' over 18mth contract. You pay £25/mth & £9.95 upfront but can claim a £75 vch to use at Amzn, Tesco, Argos or Ticketmaster (don't forget). If you spend it, the price is an equiv £21.39/mth. BEWARE - in our polls TalkTalk's consistently worst of the biggies on customer service.
Ends next Tue. '£24.23/mth' over 18mth contract. You pay £27/mth but can claim a £50 Amzn vch (don't forget). If you spend the vch, it makes the price an equiv £24.23/mth.
(1) Usually this means customers who don't currently have broadband with that company - see each firm's rule when you click the link.

Top broadband-switching tips

  • What speed do you need? If you're just browsing, doing light streaming or sending and receiving emails, standard speeds of an average 10Mb-ish should do. Fibre - with avg speeds of 36Mb-ish - is best for large households online at once, gamers and heavy streamers. The faster you go, the more of a luxury it is.

    Big firms give estimated speeds before you sign up, and you can check your broadband speed via special tools.

  • Can I get broadband without a phone line? Virgin is the only major provider to offer it but it's far more expensive than the deals above with broadband AND line. If you won't use a phone, just don't plug one in.

  • Don't want to switch? Haggle. The best savings come via switching, but big broadband firms are some of the easiest to haggle with. In our last haggling poll, 86% of Sky customers who replied said they had success haggling, BT 72%. Full help in Broadband Haggling.

  • Could the providers hike prices? Sadly, telecoms firms often do, though if that happens and you weren't warned before sign-up you can leave penalty-free. But check if there's a better deal first.


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 Top Savings 
- New 1.4% easy-access deal - best we've seen in 2018
- Free £50 boost on 1.95% 1yr fix (equiv 7% on £1,000)

For nearly a decade savings rates have had as little interest as a Love Island contestant has in excess body hair. But things are finally picking up a touch, possibly as an increase in the UK base rate - the Bank of England's official borrowing rate - is now plausible. This week, two new market-leading deals have launched - so EVERYONE should check their current savings rates, and ditch and switch if these beat them. 

  • New. 1.4% easy access - simple, easy option. Coventry BS* pays 1.4% AER (0.4% is a 1yr fixed bonus), yet if you want to take money out often, beware it only allows 3 penalty-free withdrawals a year. Birmingham Midshires* offers 1.35% AER with unlimited withdrawals, but you must make your first deposit by cheque and unusually it closes after a year. Paragon pays 1.31% AER, has unlimited withdrawals and no end date. As these are variable accounts, the rates can change, so monitor them. You can open with £1+ and they full UK £85,000 savings safety protection. Full info and options in top easy-access savings.

  • New. How to earn £50 cashback on near-top 1.95% 1yr fixed savings. Raisin* is a 'savings marketplace', first set up in Germany and now in the UK. It offers a range of accounts from some UK savings providers (though far from all), which its members can speedily switch between without lengthy application forms. Newbies opening an account get £50, and the min deposit per account is £1,000.

    The top-pick Raisin product is ICICI Bank's 1yr 1.95% fix, only a touch less than the market's 2.1% top 1yr fix (with all fixes your money's locked away for the term). Put £1,000 in and over the year, incl cashback, you'll get £69.50 back, equiv to 6.95% interest. In fact with cashback it beats the best 1yr fix when saving up to £33,333 (though you could just put £1,000 in ICICI, and the rest in the top fix to get more). After the year, withdraw or move it to another Raisin account, as there's no further interest.

    - Important: Annoyingly you must claim the cashback. After opening ICICI via Raisin, pay in within 5 working days via a bank transfer to Raisin's partner Meteor Investment Management (MIM) account, and it'll earn ICICI interest within 3 days. Then to claim the cashback, email '' with the subject line 'Launch bonus' and your name within 30 days - it won't remind you. The £50 will be paid within 60 days. Though we should say, as it's newish we've no real customer service feedback yet (do let us know).

    - Are my savings safe with Raisin? Technically your money is held in trust in an MIM client account - with RBS for up to 3 days, then with whichever bank you save with. Yet the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has confirmed in this type of structure you still get the UK £85,000 per person, per institution savings safety protection of the account provider, ie, ICICI (in the few days before it gets to ICICI it's via RBS's protection).

Eat 'free' when you shop at Ikea. To find out how to get 'free' meals at its canteen, see eat for 'free' at Ikea.

Annoyed at Virgin ditching 10 UKTV channels? Tool up on your rights. See Virgin rights, incl Martin's fight back video.

Free £50 Tempur travel pillow. Just for lying down in a store and doing a survey - a freebie to dream about. Free Tempur pillow

Ends Mon: Trick to grab £25 in Nectar points via Sainsbury's credit card. Accepted new Sainsbury's Bank credit card-holders (eligibility calc / apply*) get 500 bonus Nectar pts (worth £2.50) per £20+ spent on it at Sains in the first 2mths, up to a max 5,000 pts (so split big shops to max the gain). There's nowt stopping you getting it for the points, and just paying it off IN FULL. Is it a good card anyway? Its 28mths' 0% spending period is the joint longest, so if you need to borrow within that time (ensure it's planned, budgeted and affordable) it's good. Fail to clear it before the 0% ends, or miss a payment, and it jumps to 19.9% rep APR. See 0% Credit Cards (APR Examples). 


10 overseas holiday hacks before you go

Cheapest euros, free translator, sun-cream trick, EHIC warning & more

If you're counting down the days to an overseas summer adventure, we've packaged up a plane-load of quick tips and tricks to help you stretch your pound further, while enjoying sun, sea, sand and... sangria. So buckle up, here we go...


180+ FREE museums & art galleries, incl V&A (London) & Museum of Science & Industry (Manchester). Perfect for the summer hols. Find your nearest

Secondary school teachers, spread the word about the new FREE financial education textbook. Martin's funded the Young Money charity to write and send up to 500,000 copies of the first-ever financial education curriculum-mapped textbook to all English state secondary schools. Please tell colleagues to expect it. Full info and Martin's video

30% off Christy towels, bedding etc. MSE Blagged. Incl sale, eg, £25 bath sheet for £8.25Christy code

Cheapest Samsung Galaxy S9 contracts for mid/high data users. Vodafone newbies can get the S9 on a 2yr contract with unltd mins & texts. You can choose 4GB data* for £100 upfront, then £23/mth, or 20GB* for £50 upfront, then £30/mth. To get these upfront prices, you'll need to click 'Add Voucher' at the basket stage and use code MOBILES10. This beats buying the phone and Sim separately - usually the cheapest way to buy a new handset - by up to £280 over the 2yrs. S9 deals

Cornerstone shaving set £19 all-in (norm £36). MSE Blagged. Incl personalised engraved razor, six blades, face wash, scrub, gel and balm. 7,000 avail. Shaving set


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Longest 0%: MBNA* up to 36mths 0%, 2.49% fee (19.9% rep APR)
No-fee 0%: Santander* 27mths 0%, no fee (18.9% rep APR)

Get comparison site quotes in this order:

  3. Compare The Market*
  4. Gocompare*

Then check insurers they miss: 
Direct Line*

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Sainsbury's Bank* 3.2% rep APR (Nectar custs, 1-3 yrs)  
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k: Sainsbury's Bank* 2.7% rep APR (Nectar custs, 1-3 yrs)   

Standard b'band & line rent: Sky equiv £8.33/mth 
Fibre b'band & line rent: 
TalkTalk equiv £18.89/mth

Choice of £150 Expedia vch, tech gadget & more: First Direct
5% interest fixed for a year: Nationwide FlexDirect  


New. Cheapest EVER loans - from 2.7% 

As we always say, only borrow if you NEED to. And now if you need £5,000+, rates have never been lower

Well, call us Mystic Meg, but as we predicted last week there's a new cheapest-ever loan of 3.2%, if you need to borrow £5,000 to £7,499. And that's not it, as rates were already at their cheapest ever level for £7,500 to £15,000 sums - at 2.7%. Yet however much you borrow, getting accepted is the issue, so ALWAYS use our Loans Eligibility Calculator first. It shows which (of most, not all) top loans you've the best chance of getting before you apply, without hitting your creditworthiness.  

  • Should you get a loan? We're not saying do it as it's cheap. Only apply if you NEED one, you've budgeted and can afford repayments. If in doubt, don't risk it. Also see our golden rules below for more help.  

  • Cheapest personal loans (but beware representative rates). As all loans are 'representative APR', that rate ONLY needs to be given to 51% of those accepted - others can be charged more. All below are for 1-5yrs. 

TodAy's cheapest loans
Sainsbury's Bank* (needs free Nectar card) - 2.7%-2.8%, Cahoot* - 2.8%
New. Sainsbury's Bank* (needs free Nectar card) - 3.2%-3.3%, Zopa* - 3.4%
Zopa* - 5%-6.9%, Admiral* - 6.7%
Zopa* - 6.9%-7.9%, Ikano Bank - 7.8%. But usually beaten by credit card loans. 
CU Loans* - 8.9% (min £1,500), Zopa* - 9.5%-9.9%. Usually beaten by credit card loans. 

  • With Nationwide? It beats most rates by 0.5 percentage points for Nationwide current account holders.

  • Loan Golden Rules. Full help in our Cheap Loans guide.
    a) Minimise the amount and repay as quickly as you can.
    b) Pay on time or risk a charge and credit black mark.
    c) If borrowing to repay card debt, balance transfers are often cheaper. 

Fun summer activities (and life skills) for 16-17-year-olds for £50. Government-backed Eng and NI scheme incl nights away - gets teens abseiling, canoeing and more during the summer hols. National Citizen Service

"Thank you for sharing the Meerkat Meals deal - I bought £1.17 travel insurance and got 2for1 movies and meals just in time for the school hols."
(Send us yours on this or any topic.)



Do you just head to Amazon when you shop online? Last year, retail heavyweight Amazon reportedly accounted for over a third of online spending in the UK. So we want to know if you compare prices when shopping online, or whether you just head to Amazon out of habit? Just head to Amazon when shopping online?

Roughly HALF the self-employed don't contribute to a private pension. Last week we asked how much you save into a pension - over 8,000 responded. Half of those who are self-employed are not paying into any private pension, while the vast majority of employees are - with over-35s generally saving more towards retirement than under-35s. See our full pension poll results.



Should I report my broken meter to my energy supplier? I have Economy 7 electricity. I've just noticed something wrong with my meter, meaning I'll pay less in future. Should I report it to my supplier? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I report my broken meter? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs


- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: Struggling with debt? Ask a debt adviser a question
- Competitions thread of the week: Fitbit fitness tracker
- Old-Style board thread of the week: Instant Pot/Crock-Pot Express
- Family, marriage, relationships chat: Kids' funny/weird comments
- Discussion of the week: Can holiday provider say price is wrong after booking?


Free beer, ale or cider - 50,000 avail across 2,000 pubs
Brewdog - £20 beer tasting & cheese platter for two
Free tea & coffee - eg, free hot drink via Greggs app
Railcards - how to get a £10 railcard (norm £20-£30)
Wilko - 50% off pick & mix sweets

Toby Carvery - £15 for 2 mains, 2 drinks
Pizza Hut - £7 for unlimited pizza & pasta
KFC - Free wings, fries or popcorn chicken
Just Eat - 20% off selected takeaways
Prezzo - 30% off food (excludes Sat)

Free sports - incl 'Swim Safe' sessions
Free in-store activities - incl pet and garden workshops
Cinema - from £2.50 kids' screenings
Books - 10 kids' picture books for £10 mix & match at The Works
Theme parks - incl half-price entry to Alton Towers or Sea Life

Quick Forum Tips

Free England T-shirt from Sports Direct. Back of the net
Sainsbury's Tu 50% off sale. Tu good tu miss
Aldi Super Six fruit and veg offers. Cool as a cucumber



Thu 26 Jul - Good Morning Britain, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am
Fri 27 Jul - This Morning, ITV, Martin's Quick Deals, from 10.30am
Mon 30 Jul - This Morning, ITV, from 10.30am
Mon 30 Jul - BBC Radio 5 Live, Lunch Money Martin, noon. Listen again


Wed 25 Jul - BBC Cumbria, Money Talks with Ben Maeder, from 6pm
Fri 27 Jul 
- BBC South West stations, Good Morning with Joe Lemer, from 5am
Fri 27 Jul - BBC Radio Leicester with Ed Stagg, 10.45am, cheap things to do with the kids in the summer hols
Mon 30 Jul - TalkRadio, Breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer, 9.45am
Tue 31 Jul - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with Jeremy Sallis, 2.20pm



Q: If two friends are buying a flat together in London worth £500,000 and are first-time buyers, can they both use their Help to Buy ISA and get the 25% bonus on their savings? Dette, via email.

MSE Rosie's A: Unfortunately, as you're buying a flat in London worth more than £450,000, neither of you will be able to get your 25% bonus and use it towards the purchase. However, if you were jointly buying a flat worth up to £450,000 (or £250,000 outside London) you WOULD both be able to use your Help to Buy ISA money and bonuses towards it.

For more on Help to Buy ISAs, and the similar Lifetime ISA which also gives a 25% boost to first-time buyers, see our Help to Buy ISA and Lifetime ISA guides.

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



That's all for this week, but before we go... the annual MSE sports day was held last week in blistering temperatures, and the competition was equally hot. Want to know how everyone got on in the 100m, plank challenge, limbo and good old three-legged race? For the lowdown, and loads of pics too, see our MSE sports day forum thread

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

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