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27th Sep 2017
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 This info may be out of date.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."

27 September 2017


As £35bn of fixed mortgages end & the Bank of England warns rates may rise... EVERYONE check your mortgage NOW

A massive £35bn-worth of fixed rate mortgages end their fixed rates this Sep and Oct - a 5yr high. Do nothing and anybody with one will likely move to a pricey standard variable rate (SVR), paying much more each month. So it's crucial to check your mortgage now. 

What's more, there's a risk rock bottom rates (some as low as 0.99%) could rise. That's because the Bank of England has signalled it could raise the base rate, which underpins many mortgage deals, from its record 0.25% low as early as November. That'd almost certainly mean current best buys disappearing and variable rates rising. 

While there's no certainty, and we've had such predictions before with no movement, with rates so low and unlikely to drop much further, why wait? There are HUGE savings to be had...

JB emailed: "Read your guide, remortgaged, SAVING £200/mth. Delighted."

See if you can save £1,000s with our tried & trusted checklist...

  1. Dig out details of your existing deal. You'll need to get to grips with the bits below to see if it's worth remortgaging (ie, switching to save).

    a) What's the rate? Plus monthly payments & outstanding debt.
    b) What type is it? Fix, tracker, discount, SVR. See Fix vs Variable help.
    c) When's the intro deal over? Eg, when does the 2yr fix end exactly?
    d) How long's the full mortgage term? When must it be fully repaid? Eg, in 10, 15, 25 years.
    e) Will I be penalised? Any early repayment/exit penalties?

    Critically, work out your CURRENT loan to value (LTV) - the proportion of your property's value you're borrowing. Eg, £90k on a £100k property is 90% LTV. For each 5% your LTV drops, usually until 60%, the cheaper the deal. So if your home's increased in value since you got your mortgage, you may gain. See LTV help for full info.

  2. Nab a copy of our FREE 60-page Remortgaging 2017 Booklet. Your mortgage is likely your biggest expenditure, and just because you've done it once, doesn't mean it's the same this time around. So be sure you know what you're doing. Our updated guide takes you through it step-by-step.

    - Remortgage Booklet 2017: Download instant PDF | Order printed
    - Remortgage-help 5-min video: Sometimes it's easier to watch than read. See the short remortgage help video.

    PS: We've a different guide for first-time buyers. While much of the info remains the same, our First-Time Buyers' Guide tells you how to boost your mortgage chances, save for a deposit and use the Lifetime ISA.

  3. Find your top deal in seconds with a mortgage comparison. Bash out your info into our comparison tool (which also factors in fees) to get a benchmark for your top deal, then read on.

    Remortgaging Best-Buy Comparison Tool
    (Alternatively, see our First-Time Buyers' or Moving Home tools)
Links take you to our Mortgage Best-Buy tool
Typical SVR rate 4% £9,500
Fix 2yr at 60% LTV 0.99% + £1,495 £7,515
Fix 2yr at 90% LTV 1.79% + £1,499 £8,190
Fix 5yr at 60% LTV 1.55% + £999 £7,435
Fix 5yr at 90% LTV 2.39% + £900  £8,150
Tracker 2yr at 60% LTV 0.99% + £999 £7,270
Tracker 2yr at 90% LTV 1.84% + £999 £7,990
(1) Assumes fee paid upfront, 25yr term.

  1. Massive savings are possible if you're idling on your lender's SVR. As we said at the top, this is the rate most fixes and trackers revert to when intro deals end. They're often horribly expensive compared with shorter deals.

    To show you the size of possible savings, here are some major lenders' current SVRs (some have cheaper versions for older customers), which now average about 4% - see SVR help for more.

     Barclays 3.74% | Coventry BS 4.49% | HSBC 3.69%
    Lloyds & Halifax 3.74% | Nationwide 3.74%
    RBS & NatWest 3.75% | Santander 4.49% | Virgin Money 4.54%
    Yorkshire BS 4.74%

    So someone moving from a £150k mortgage with 25 years remaining at 4% SVR to a 2yr fix at 0.99% will save about £4,000 over 2yrs - even after taking £1,500 fees into account. See how this works for you: Compare Mortgages Calc.

  2. Use your savings to secure a lower mortgage rate. The lower your LTV threshold, the better the deal you can get. Rates tend to fall for each 5% less you borrow from 95% to 60%, so use savings to get into a lower threshold and you can save big. For example...

    If you've a £150k home, and want a £137k remortgage, that's 91% LTV, and the top 5yr fix is 3.89%. But use £2,000 of savings to reduce the borrowing & you'd be at 90% LTV, where the top 5yr fix is 2.39% -  saving c. £1,400/yr in repayments alone. 

    See how pumping more of your savings into your mortgage can help you drop an LTV band.

  3. It isn't just about the best deal, it's about making sure you'll be accepted. A rotten credit report or credit file error can torpedo a home loan application. So double-check yours ASAP - here's how.

    Lenders must also obey strict guidelines to check if you can afford your mortgage repayments - not just at current interest rates, but also if they rocketed to 6-7%. They want evidence of income, bills, expenses, even eating out. So being frugal in the months before applying helps.

    We're fans of 'affordability checks' - yet they're not logical for many remortgages, and ridiculously, people are being told they can't afford a CHEAPER deal, so are forced to pay more on their lender's SVR.

    These rules stem from UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority's interpretation of the EU Mortgage Credit Directive. We've been campaigning for an urgent review incl writing to the Chancellor, with some success - see Mortgage Prisoner Result. Please email if you've been trapped.

  4. A good broker can match you to the right deal. Mortgages are complex and it can be tricky to know exactly what's best for you. A good broker can not only match you to the right deal - if you've specific circumstances they have often difficult-to-find info, eg, will a lender accept you if you live above a shop or if you're self-employed? See Top mortgage brokers.

    However, a few lenders, eg, First Direct, cut brokers out and only sell direct to the public. So some brokers can and do exclude them - we suggest you use a broker alongside our mortgage comparison, which has all these deals.

  5. Find out how much you'll save with our calcs. Now you know typical rates, use our mortgage calcs to compare 'em and see what you could save:

    Ultimate Mortgage Calculator
    Eight tools to home in on the right answer for you, incl...
    Basic Mortgage Calc | Compare Two Mortgages | Mortgage Overpay Calc | Compare Fixed Mortgages | Ditch Your Fix?

  6. Midway through your mortgage? It could pay to ditch your fix. Use our Ditch your fix? tool to see if you can save by switching from a pricey fix. It won't work for all, as some will face exorbitant early repayment fees - but with rates so low, why not check, just in case?

  7. Does your fix expire any time before April? You could still lock in a cheap deal NOW. Many lenders let you fix your rate 3-7 months ahead, so you can grab it right now and protect against top rates disappearing. But there are risks - see Long lock-in mortgage help.

Saved cash? Shout it from the rooftops.

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Martin's 5 ways to cap credit card costs NOW

Don't wait for law changes, protect yourself. If you've credit card debt, REDUCE THE COST BY £1,000s

MartinThis week, Labour announced - in a move to protect those stuck in a long-term debt quagmire - it wants to cap credit card interest so it can't be more than the amount borrowed. I think that's a good move (see my card cost cap analysis). Yet who knows if it'll happen, so if you've existing credit card debt, take control now with my top five tips...

  1. Take 2mins to see if anyone'll cut your interest. I often talk about balance transfers - where you get a new card which repays existing cards for you, so you owe it instead but at 0% for, say, 40mths. Yet for most with ongoing debt the challenge is being accepted. So our Balance Transfer 0% Eligibility Calc shows your acceptance odds for each card. Even if all you can get is a year's 0%, it can still have an impact.

    Even if your best odds are slim - say 20% - if cutting this debt's cost is your priority, go for it and cross your fingers. There's little to lose from one application and the upside can be huge, as Kelly told us: "Legend. Used the eligibility calc, got 35mths 0% and shifted £11,000 from 29.9%. Shocked by the savings." That's a saving of £4,900 if it's cleared within the 35mths.

  2. Use existing cards to move debt where it's cheapest. This is a technique I call the credit card shuffle. In a nutshell, if you've two or more cards, check all their interest rates (APRs), then aim to move the debt where it's cheapest. Eg, if card A is 18.9% and B is 34.9%, ask if you've any credit limit left on card A; then ask to shift debt to it from card B, up to the credit limit. If asked, some providers (eg, Barclaycard & MBNA) may offer existing cardholders special cheap rates to do this.

  3. 'Snowball' to clear the highest APR debt first. Once your debts (incl overdrafts) are all at the lowest interest possible, focus all spare cash to clear the one at the highest APR as it's growing fastest - then just pay the minimums on the others. Once it's clear, focus repayments on the 2nd highest interest. This gets you debt-free far quicker.

  4. Only one card? Beware minimum repayments. They are cunningly designed to only just cover the interest - when your debt drops, so does your repayment, keeping you near-perpetually in debt. Eg, a 30-yr-old borrowing £3,000 at 17.9% making just minimum repayments on a typical card could be 57 by the time it's clear, at an interest cost of £4,000. Check your situation with our minimum repayment calculator and read my trick to beat the trap.

  5. Can't sleep at night due to your debts? If you can't cope or are struggling to repay even the minimum, get free one-on-one debt counseling from Citizens Advice, CAP, StepChange or National Debtline charities. They're there to help, not judge, and can put you in a debt management plan to take the pressure off. The biggest message I get after people go is "I finally slept last night". More info in the Debt Crisis Help guide and the Mental Health & Debt Help booklet.

Vax up to 75% off code incl £200 cordless vac £50. MSE BlaggedPriority access for cut-price vacuums, steam cleaners etc. Last time loads got bargains, eg, "Got a new Vax for £75, saving £245 - result." Vax sale code

It's back. £1.50 prosecco trick. It's been massively popular in the past. See how to get £1.50 prosecco. Excl Scotland, pls be Drinkaware.

Are you being ripped off on broadband? Take the 2min challenge. Our new Broadband Unbundled tool shows exactly what broadband and line (and TV if you want) is available at YOUR address - takes 2 mins to see if you're overpaying.

Today. Now Easyjet's releasing millions of SUMMER 2018 flights. Last week it put seats till 24 June on sale -  from Wed it's adding those in the crucial summer period. Check if they're worth it: Cheap Easyjet

50% off London black taxis via app. Take advantage of Uber uncertainty. Until Sun. 50% off black taxis


Savings rates are UP (... a bit). Check yours ASAP

Easy access rates are now 1.26%, compared to just 1% this time last year - don't lose out

If you've savings, check the rate now. They're up on this time last year, and for the last few months the top rates have been flicking up and down, with a further upturn this week. Yet it's happening quietly, and many savers are being left behind. So here's how to make your savings work for you... All accounts below have full £85,000 UK savings protection.

  • New. Get 1.26% easy access. Add or withdraw cash at any time. Top payer is Charter Savings Bank which offers 1.26% but you need £1,000+. Yet Ulster Bank (part of NatWest/RBS group) only needs £1+ to open and pays a smidgen less at 1.25%. Full info in Easy-Access Savings.

  • Earn 1.95% if you can lock money away for a year. If you've savings you won't need to touch, top fixed accounts give you a higher rate, for a set period, but you can't access your cash during this time. Among the 1yr fixes Metro Bank offers 1.95% AER (min deposit £500) while Wyelands Bank offers 1.83% AER (min £5,000). If you'd prefer a bigger household name, Tesco Bank pays 1.5% AER (min £2,000). For more info see Top Fixed Savings.

  • Get up to 5% and FREE cash if you're prepared to switch bank. Regular savings accounts pay more if you can save £200-300/mth into them. You have to have (or switch to) their linked bank account, plus switchers can often get other perks such as free cash. Top payers, which all offer 5%, are First Direct, M&S Bank, Nationwide, Santander 123 or HSBC Advance/Premier. Don't want to switch bank? Leeds Building Society pays 2.3% and anyone can open it.

  • Got a lump sum? Get up to 5%. Some current accounts offer high-interest easy access as a loss leader to draw in your custom. You can get 5% on up to £2,500 or 1.5% on up to £20,000, and you don't need to switch. Full help inTop Bank Accounts.
  • Potential first-time buyer? Get a 25% boost to your savings. This is a no-brainer for anyone who may one day want to buy their first home. With a Lifetime ISA and Help to Buy ISA the state adds £250 per £1,000 saved. Click the links to find which is best for you.
Cheap iPhones
Cheapest iPhone 8. Not MoneySaving, and early adopters often pay more, but here's the cheapest way to get one. Cheap iPhone 8 (if you really want one).

Far cheaper - get an EXTRA £30 off already-reduced iPhone 7. MSE Blagged The launch of the 8 means Apple's slashed prices on the iPhone 7. Our code MSE30 gets another £30 off via*. See Cheap iPhones.

Pair the above (or any other phone) with a hot Sim for £9/mth. We've blagged a cheap Three Sim* with 4GB data, unltd mins and texts for £9/mth on a 12mth contract for new customers. It's an 'Advanced' plan so you can roam for 'free' in Europe PLUS 24 more places incl the US and Oz. Full info & higher and lower use plans in Cheap Sims.

Boots 'Star Gifts' are back - incl £40ish Nails Inc beauty gift set £20. Or £30 Millie Mackintosh make-up set for £15. See when they're available in Boots Star Gifts.

Married? Don't be one of 1.9m missing out on a FREE & easy up-to-£662. Only half of all eligible married couples (incl in civil partnerships) have claimed the under-publicised tax break. Check if you can claim. 

3for2 Pandora bracelet charms, eg, three 'petite' charms for £20. Rare discount online and in selected stores. Ends Sun. Charming

20% off lots of Virgin Trains West Coast half-term fares. MSE Blagged. Advance, off-peak tix for 21-29 Oct, eg, Ldn-Birm £13rtn. All aboard


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Longest 0%: Tesco Bank* up to 40mths 0%, 2.69% fee (18.9% rep APR)
No-fee 0%: Halifax* up to 29mths 0%, no fee (18.9% rep APR)

Get comparison site quotes in this order:

  3. Gocompare*
  4. CompareTheMarket*

Then check insurers they miss: 
Direct Line*

Cheapest for £5,000-£7,499: Admiral 3.2% rep APR 
Cheapest £7.5k-£15k: M&S Bank* 2.8% rep APR (1-7 yrs)

Standard b'band & line rent: Sky £190 over 12mths
Fibre b'band & line rent: Vodafone £360 over 18mths

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


Beat the 13% car insurance hike and save £100s 

Our cost-cutting system includes top deals comparison sites miss, eg, last chance £50 Amazon voucher

Car insurance costs have shifted up another gear. They're up 13% year-on-year according to the latest MSE Bills Tracker (which uses Office for National Statistics data). To fight back, DON'T auto-renew; use our system to DO what Sue did: "AA renewal £454. Used your website and reduced to £134". Full help in Cheap Car Insurance & Young Drivers' Insurance, but here's our system...

  • At renewal? Combine comparison sites to find your cheapest at speed. They don't cover the same insurers, so more sites give a wider spread. Our current order's MoneySupermarket*,*, Gocompare* and CTM*. (Why? See comparison order).

  • Not at renewal? Lock in a price up to 2mths ahead. Some insurers' quotes are valid for up to 60 days. These include Aviva* and Quotemehappy - see our list of insurers with lock-in quotes. If your cover's up soon, grab a quote now and if prices rise further you're quids in. If you can get a cheaper deal at renewal, just ignore the quote.

  • Check for hot deals comparisons miss, incl ending free £50 Amazon voucher. Some deals aren't on comparisons, eg, Age UK* offers a £50 Amazon vch (ends Mon). Plus big insurers Aviva* and Direct Line* are never listed on comparisons. See hot deals comparisons miss.

  • Try counter-logical tricks. Full info in Cheap Car Insurance, here are the key ones...
    - Use trial & error to see if comprehensive's cheaper than 3rd party.
    - Can you save tweaking your job title? Ratatat did: "Changed from accountant to auditor - I'm both. Saved £60."
    - Adding extra drivers can save cash. If they're a lower risk, it can bring the cost down - eg, if you're young and adding a responsible older driver.

  • Don't want to switch? Haggle. Find the best price, then ask your provider to beat or match it. See Haggling tips.

15% off Holland & Barrett plus free del via code - works on sale items. MSE Blagged. Food & beauty discounts, ends Sun. Holland & Barrett

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Just haggled a Sky deal for only £32/mth for the second year in a row, covers everything except movies. Would never have done it without your coaching - reckon I've saved £800. Awesome."

£65 Ciaté nail polish collection £18 all-in. MSE Blagged. 12 mini-sized 5ml polishes incl glitter, matte & gel effects. 1,000 avail

Please help test our Wallet Workout. We're trialling a new tool which 'chats' you through the different types of credit cards and loans to find the right info for you, and we want your feedback. Sign up to our FREE MSE Credit Club to try it out (on mobile only for the mo), and tell us what you think via



What time(s) have you found the biggest yellow sticker discounts? We're looking for your insider tips on when you can get the biggest discounts in the supermarkets. Share yours/read others': When do you find the biggest yellow sticker discounts? Past topics: View all



Do you support renationalisation of rail, energy, water and more? Those arguing for privatisation often focus on increased efficiency due to competition. Those against often say firms do what’s best for shareholders, not for consumers. It’s a complex argument, but we’re really most interested in testing public sentiment, so are keeping it simple. Do you support renationalisation of rail, energy, water and more?

The younger you are, the more likely you are to use an app to access your bank... In last week's poll we asked how you access your bank most often, and 10,596 responded. Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger groups are more likely to use an app with 76% of women and 81% of men under 25 favouring the technology, compared with 17% of those aged over 65. Find out how other groups access their bank most often.



Should my friends have paid for my hen do? I got married recently and was expecting my friends to chip in for my share of the hen do (as that's been the custom at those I've been to in the past). They didn't though, and I feel very disappointed. I'm not planning to pay for their share now when they get married. Am I being unreasonable? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should my friends have paid for my hen do? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs


- Debt-Free Wannabe chat of the week: Ask a debt advisor (Stepchange) a question
- Competitions thread of the week: Win 55" Ultra HD LG TV, Now TV Box, 3 Months’ Entertainment 
- Old-Style board thread of the week: Pressure cooker recipes
Discussion of the week: 
Recycle Week


Baileys - £12 Original Irish Cream 1L (norm £20)
Aldi - £50 wine advent calendar. Is it good value?
Toys - incl Mothercare ELC 3for2, Asda up to 50% off
H&M - 10% off & free delivery via website/app sign up
Jersey Plants - £8 all-in for 45 lucky-dip plants

Frankie & Benny's - 2for1 mains
Prezzo - 40% off mains
Domino's - 35% off a £25+ spend
McDonald's - Big Mac and fries for £2 every time hack
KFC - 9 pieces of Original Recipe chicken £6 on Tue only

Microsoft Office - free for students and teachers
Amazon Prime - free for six months
Wagamama - free £10-£11 katsu curry
Apple - up to 10% off Macs & 'free' £224 Beats. Ends Mon
Morrisons - free £5-worth of points

Quick Forum Tips

Up to 50% off M&S sale. On your Marks
Up to 50% off Tesco F&F clothing. Let's all go
Up to 50% off Matalan sale. Doing things by halves



Wed 27 Sept – The Martin Lewis Money Show Roadshow is in York at the Food and Drink Festival – 11am to 4pm at St Sampson’s Square
Thu 28 Sept – Good Morning Britain, ITV, Deals of the Week, 7.40am See Previous
Fri 29 Sept – This Morning, ITV, Martin’s Quick Deals, time TBC
Mon 2 Oct – This Morning, ITV, time TBC
Mon 2 Oct – BBC Radio 5 Live, Lunch Money Martin, 12noon Subscribe


Wed 27 Sept – BBC Cumbria, Money Talks with Adam Powell, from 6pm
Fri 29 Sept - BBC South West stations, Good Morning with Joe Lemer, from 5am, winter tips
Tue 3 Oct - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with Jeremy Sallis, 2.20pm



Q: I'm considering switching current account, but what happens to linked savings accounts when you switch? Are they closed as well? Resha via email.

Rosie BannisterMSE Rosie's A: Yes, your linked savings account will almost always be closed, though what happens to the money depends on your old bank. Some will move it to your (new) current account - others will transfer it into another savings account, which likely pays a lower rate of interest. 

An exception is TSB, which won't close a regular saver if you close your linked current account. 

For easy access, regular and fixed savings top picks see our Regular Savings and Top Savings Accounts guides.

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



That's it for this week, but before we go...modern technology is transforming the way we spend our money, with contactless cards, Apple and Android Pay and even paying with your (smart) watch now commonplace. But last week a new method came along, as a supermarket in west London became the first in the world to trial 'finger vein' payment - allowing you to pay for groceries using just your fingertips. Watch how it works in our short video, then let us know what you think in our Facebook post: 'Is this the future of payments?'

We hope you save some money,
The MSE team

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