Saturday, 16 May 2015

Win a Luxury Barbados Holiday with Personal Butler Service

Win a 5-Star Barbados Holiday with Butler Service
16 MAY 2015
Win a Luxury Barbados Holiday with Butler Service

Enter our prize draw today and you and a friend could be heading to a Sandals Luxury Included® resort, having every need tended to by your very own personal butler. The prize, courtesy of Sandals Resorts, is 7-nights at the brand-new Sandals Barbados, on the white sands of Dover Beach, with accommodation in a Crystal Lagoon Butler Suite with Balcony Tranquillity Soaking Tub. Sandals Resorts has been voted the World's Leading All-Inclusive Resorts for the past 19 years.

The prize includes:

  • Direct return flights with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic
  • A 7-night all-inclusive stay at Sandals Barbados
  • Your very own personal butler
  • All meals, snacks and premium brand drinks at the resort's 18 gourmet restaurants and bars
  • Unlimited water sports, including scuba diving for certified divers
Enter Now »
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£189pp & up -- Croatia Holiday Deals, Save up to £490

16 MAY 2015
£189pp & up -- Croatia Holiday Deals, Save up to £490
View All Deals »
Publisher: Christina Bracewell
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

This Week's Top 20 Travel & Entertainment Deals

Paris, Corfu, Black Forest, Iceland, Israel, Madrid & more
Travelzoo Weekly Top 20

Every week we search more than 1,000 companies worldwide
for their very best deals and compile the Travelzoo Top 20(R).

TOP 20 DEALS -- 13 May 2015

£299pp -- Corfu All-Inc Holiday w/Upgrade, inc Summer Travel
Source: Broadway Travel

£179 -- Devon Escape inc Fine Dining & Bubbly, Was £364
Source: Northcote Manor

£249pp -- Iceland Break with Tours; Fly from Manchester
Source: Fleetway Travel

£99 -- Lake District 2-Night Manor Stay with Daily Dinner
Source: Windermere Manor Hotel

£269pp -- All-Inc Turkey Break w/Boat Trip, from Manchester
Source: Bargain Late Holidays

£107 -- Paris Stay nr Champs-Elysées w/Cruise Tickets
Source: Hotel Etoile Saint Honoré

£15 & up -- Highly Praised 'Barnum' Musical, Save up to 53%
Source: Liverpool Empire Theatre

£139pp -- Madrid 3-Nt Break w/Flights from the Northwest
Source: Qwerty Travel

£355 -- Fly to Bangkok with Etihad from Manchester (Return)

£86 -- Florence 4-Star Stay w/Breakfast & Wine
Source: Hotel Cellai

£349pp -- Sharm 5-Star All-Inc Escape w/Flts fr Manchester
Source: SharmDirect

£109 -- Worcestershire Tudor-Style Manor Stay w/Meals
Source: Hogarths Stone Manor

£799pp -- Holy Land Escorted Tour w/Trips; Fly fr Manchester
Source: Fleetway Travel

£159 -- Peak District 4-Star Getaway w/7-Course Tasting Menu
Source: Losehill House Hotel & Spa

£499pp -- Luxury 7-Night Emirates Escape w/Flights, £400 Off
Source: The Holiday Place

£25 -- Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Guided Walk, Reg £45
Source: Mountain Monkeys

£108 -- Germany: 16th-Century Black Forest Stay w/Upgrade
Source: Hotel Adler Häusern

£299pp -- Deluxe Mallorca Escape w/Meals, fr the Northwest
Source: Luxury Holiday Collection

£129 -- Historic Shrewsbury Stay with 2-AA-Rosette Dinner
Source: Lion + Pheasant

£1899pp -- Maldives 5-Star All-Inclusive w/Suite & Transfers
Source: Luxury Holidays Direct

Publisher: Maire Bonheim
Associate Publisher: Christina Bracewell

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Free Lego, iPhone6 £140 off, overseas Supercard, £86/yr b'band & line, 21mth 0% spend, 'free' Kindle, Ted Baker 20%, £1 knickers

Martin's Money Tips Email. On mobile? See online mobile version.

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Martin Lewis weekly email

Cutting your costs, fighting your corner Martin's Money Tips Wed 13 May 2015
Cards Reclaim Shopping Deals Utilities Banking Travel Insurance Mortgages Income

This week

iPhone 6 £140 off & £12/mth
Longest EVER 0% spending - 21 months interest-free borrowing
£86 for YEAR'S b'band & line rent
Knickers coming right down...
Free Mental Health & Debt booklet
4% Pensioner Bonds close Friday
Free £700 insulation + get £25 vch
Free Kindle Fire with cheap home ins
Rare 20% Ted Baker & FCUK codes
'Free' £4-£5 Lego
Warning: 'Pet insurance £2,000 hikes'
Beauty 'freebies': £11 Clinique serum, £10 Neal's Yard cream
Tesco double-up heads-up
Tesco Direct £20 off £150 code + 1,000 Clubcard points on iPads 50% off spa breaks
Cancel Sky Sports for summer?
'I saved £242 haggling with Sky'
£45 Jawbone fitness tracker
Vote YES on Sentinel card protection
Free tennis sessions & coaching
Ideal Home Show 2for1 code
£10 champagne
Sky Movies £1.50/mth for 3mths
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs

MARTIN'S QUICK BRIEFING: For more tips, alerts & awful puns, follow Martin on Twitter

The NEW King of spending abroad
The free Supercard launches today: unbeatable rates in every country, no ATM fee, no interest, no credit check and lets you earn credit card rewards

The Travelex Supercard* launches today, it's a pilot of the first ever free plastic with near-perfect rates in every country - euros, dollars & more: there's no exchange rate fee, no cash withdrawal fee and no credit check, so anyone can get one (you need a smartphone/tablet).

In the past I've championed the use of specialist overseas credit cards for when you're on holiday. That's why Travelex gave us an exclusive heads-up on this, so we've had time to analyse it. And this innovative new kid on the block does take a bit of explaining. It isn't a credit or debit card, it's, er, well...


Urgent. New cheapest way to spend abroad. The free Travelex Supercard* is technically a prepaid card, but you don't load it with cash. The scheme is a pilot - there's no published numbers cap - but it may close once it has enough people, so if you want it go quick. NOTE: We've heard Travelex is struggling to cope with demand from traffic due to this email. If the site doesn't respond, try again in a while.

Here's how it works:

a. Apply for the card via an app. Go to Supercard (Apple)* or Supercard (Android)* and register, then you are sent the physical card to activate.

b. Link it to your existing debit or credit card. Use the app to connect it to your debit or credit card (Visa/Mastercard, not Amex) and see your pin.

c. Spend abroad on it or withdraw cash like any normal card. It converts the foreign exchange at near-perfect rates - technically, that day's same Visa wholesale rate as banks get - without adding 3% on top as they usually do.

d. It immediately charges your bank account or credit card, IN POUNDS. At its top exchange rate and without fees abroad, even for ATM withdrawals.

e. This is a pilot scheme. It should be accepted anywhere Visa is, but it is brand new, therefore totally untested - so you're pioneering it. While on paper it should be great, take a back-up with you. And of course things can change, and if they do, we'll let you know via this email.

Here's some more key info on it.

- It's free and there's no credit check, so anyone over 18 can get it.
- You can actually link it to up to 5 cards and switch between them.
- On your debit or credit card statement, this just counts as UK spending even if you take out cash abroad.
- If you link it to a cashback or rewards credit card, the card firm sees it as UK spending, so you should still get rewards. See Top Cashback Cards or Top Rewards Cards guides for info (remember: no Amex, though).
- It does charge fees if you pay/withdraw cash in pounds - so never use it here, and if asked if you want to pay in pounds or euros abroad, say euros.

Full info in our new Supercard - Cheap Spending Abroad guide incl how Travelex can afford to offer this.

2. supercardSave £100 per €1,000 spending. Post-election the pound's jumped back to a near 7yr euro high and is up on dollars too. Yet spending the wrong way can kill this gain and more.

The cost of €1,000 (based on 5 ATM withdrawals of €100 each, the rest spending in 20 transactions)

- On the Supercard: £719
- On a specialist credit card repaid in full: £723 (see point 3)
- Cash, via UK's cheapest bureau (pick up in London): £728 (see point 4)
- Cash from the Post Office: £747
- Using a debit card from hell (Halifax in this case): £799 (see point 7)
- Change at airport (not pre-ordered): £819 (see point 5)
3. Cheap spending abroad AND purchase protection (a good backup too). Supercard's key advantages over the old winners - top overseas credit cards - are that anyone can get it and it has no ATM fees. Yet it loses in one area - spend via Supercard and you don't get Section 75 protection.

- What is Section 75?
Pay for something costing £100 to £30,000 on a credit card and the card firm's jointly liable with the retailer if things go wrong. This is useful abroad, as taking things back is tough. It's also good protection when buying from overseas websites. Full info: Section 75.

Yet you only get this if you pay directly on a credit card, eg, usually PayPal payments aren't covered; debit cards aren't either. Using Supercard, even linked to a credit card, doesn't count.

- Get a top specialist credit card as backup and for big purchases abroad. These cards have the same near-perfect rates as Supercard, though if you withdraw cash, there can be fees or interest. Use our cheap travel credit card eligibility calc to find which you've the best odds of getting.

Top pick's Halifax Clarity's* due to low ATM charges. Saga*, Post Office* & Nationwide's Select* (for its customers only) match it on spending, so it's not worth switching. Always repay IN FULL to minimise the 12.9%, 11.9%, 17.8% & 15.9% rep APRs. Full info: Cheap Travel Cards (APR examples)
4. Find the best rates for foreign cash in seconds. If you want some foreign cash in your pocket, our TravelMoneyMax holiday money comparison tool compares over 40 online bureaux to show which give best rates.

There are two 'sales' this week (where rates are temporarily boosted). The TravelMoneyMax tool updates with their rates during sales so you can compare. Worth noting: often, small bureaux up rates via the tool to match.

- Travelex online: All bar euros, Thu 11am-1pm; euros Fri 11am-1pm.
- Post Office online: euros, US & Canada $ & a few more, Sat 8am-Tue 8am.

Don't pay bureaux de change by credit card though, only debit, or it counts as a cash withdrawal, so there's a fee and interest even if you fully repay.
5. Never change cash at the airport, or at least pre-order. Rates are usually dismal as they know you're a captive customer. At the very least if you're out of time, you get better rates if you order online in advance for airport pick-up (you can do this with the Travelex sale above).
6. Top prepaid cards: lock in today's rate. These are like an electronic form of foreign cash. There's no credit check. You just load it with cash before you travel, then use it to spend. If you lose it, your cash is protected.

Unlike all the cards above, here you usually get the rate on the day you load it up rather than when you spend. So if you think the rate's strong now and are happy with it, you can bag it, but of course it can work against you (see Martin's The pound's hit €1.40. Should I buy now? analysis).

Our top picks based on rates and fees are the FairFX euro* and FairFX dollar* cards, specifically via these links, where they're free. Go direct and you usually pay £9.95. Plus, if you're loading £500+, you get an £8 discount. More picks and info for other currencies in Cheap Prepaid Travel Cards.
7. Beware the DEBIT CARDS FROM HELL. The worst way to spend abroad is often on your everyday bank account card (OK, well the real worst is if you pay hideous interest on a credit card, but I'm making a point here). Not only do they add the normal 3% exchange rate fee, they also charge up to £1.50 each time you spend.

So, say you spend £5 on the card. Using one of these cards, plus load and spending, it can cost £6.65 - which soon adds up over a holiday.

Bank of Scotland | Halifax | Lloyds | Santander
TSB | NatWest/RBS (hell only for small spends)

Of course, connect these to a Supercard and it's free. If not, ANY other card, including credit cards (if repaid IN FULL) are cheaper to spend on. Check how much your debit or credit card charges.
8. Cheapest debit card abroad. The Norwich & Peterborough Gold Classic account's debit card has the same near-perfect exchange rates as the credit cards above, and no ATM fees. To get it for free, you'll need to pass a credit check and pay in £500/mth (or keep a min £5,000 in it). Alternatively, Metro Bank gives the same top rates, but only for European spending.

Yet if you're going to switch bank there are more lucrative incentives, such as a free £150 for switching or up to 5% interest and as the Supercard or a credit card give similar cheap spending abroad, why bother with a specific bank account just for overseas spending? Admittedly, there are ways to jemmy the system to do it just for this, but that's a hassle.
9. If asked "Do you want to pay in pounds or euros?" - SAY EUROS. When paying or even withdrawing cash, these days they often ask if you want to pay in pounds or the local currency. In general, always pay in the foreign currency. If you select pounds, the overseas store/bank is doing the conversion, and rates tend to be awful. More in my 'pay in euros?' blog.
10. Say it once, say it loud, 'I've an overseas wallet & I'm proud.' Ever since I first wrote my take a peek inside my travel wallet blog, an ever-growing number of people have outed themselves as travel wallet nerds.

It may be low-tech, but it works: get a 2nd (cheap) wallet for all the things you only use abroad, from specialist plastic to a free EHIC card. For what else should go in there, have a read of the blog.

Blagged for MoneySavers

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Carphone Warehouse launches mobile network. But is iD any good?
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Insurers failing to give clear information on payment options
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Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 13 May 2015
iPhone 6 £140 off, then unlimited calls, texts & data £12/mth - but...'s a refurb. Then again, good refurbs look new, work like new & have warranties to ensure they keep working

The term 'second-hand' covers a big range - refurbs can be a day to 5yrs old. The best have usually been fixed, polished, tested & have warranties. We've a totally new (honestly) Cheap Refurb Mobile guide. Here are the key digits:

  • iphone 6 Unlocked refurb iPhone 6. From today (Wed) 4,000+ Apple-refurbished, unlocked 16GB iPhone 6 handsets are being sold for £400 plus £8 p&p (usually £539). They come with a 6mth Apple warranty (then a further 6mths from the retailer). Plus, as it's online, you've a 14-day 'no fault' refund right. Full info & links in iPhone 6 refurb £400.
  • £12/mth for unlimited mins, texts & data. Just grab a Sim-only deal and pop it in...

    1) TalkTalk Mobile*, ONLY for its b'band custs, £12/mth unltd mins, texts, data (3G). 30-day contract.
    2) BT Mobile*, ONLY for its b'band custs, £12/mth 500 mins, unltd texts, 2GB data (4G). 12mth contract.
    3) Virgin Mobile*, for anyone, £15/mth, unltd mins, unltd texts, 3GB data (3G). 12mth contract.
    4) Three*, for anyone, £15/mth, 300 mins, 3,000 texts, unltd data (4G). PAYG.
    5) iD Mobile, for anyone, £15/mth, 2,000 mins, 5,000 texts, 3GB data (4G). 1mth contract.
    6) Giffgaff*, for anyone, £15/mth, 500 mins, unltd texts, 3GB data (4G). PAYG.
  • It's not just iPhones: 5 tips to get cheap refurbs...

    1. Check out the key sellers. Here's our list of cheap refurb sites. Deals we've spotted currently incl a 16GB iPhone 5S £250 (£459 new), Samsung S4 £151 (£249 new) & HTC One M8 £250 (£345 new). See top refurb deals.
    2. Check for grading: Some sellers grade phones, eg, A "like new" to C "showing signs of wear".
    3. Check the warranty: These are either manufacturer- or retailer-provided, see refurbished warranty info.
    4. Your rights: If you're buying from a trader (not a private seller) your rights are the same as if buying a new phone. So if there's an undisclosed fault, return it quickly for a full refund. See Consumer Rights for full info.
    5. If possible, buy on credit card. If it's £100+ pay directly (eg, not via PayPal) on one (repay IN FULL to avoid interest) and the card firm is jointly liable. Useful extra protection, esp with smaller firms. See Section 75 rights.
    6. Can you insure it? Some won't cover refurbs outright or they won't, as they consider them to be 2nd hand. See Refurb insurance help.

Knickers coming right down. £1 for La Senza pants. Liquidation stock with original price tags online at Poundshop (were £4-£5), plus we've a code for free delivery if you're spending £12+ (on anything). Knickers coming down

Free Mental Health & Debt Help booklet 2015. It's Mental Health Awareness Week. 1 in 4 experience a mental health issue annually, and those who do are 6x more prone to debt crisis. The most important thing to understand is you're not alone - we see this like any money issue. Download & share our 44-page Mental Health & Debt booklet

Last chance: 4% Pensioner Bonds close Friday. 65 or over? Got savings? Urgently look at Pensioner Bonds.

Free insulation worth £700 plus £25 J Lewis/Argos vch. MSE Blagged. It's back. Anyone in a suitable home (not NI) can get free loft & cavity wall insulation and a £25 J Lewis/Argos/Homebase etc gift card. Free insulation

Free Kindle Fire HD with cheap home insurance. MSE Blagged. Many hot freebies with building & contents policies this week. 1) PolicyExpert: Kindle Fire HD6* or £80 Amazon vch*. 2) Age UK: £85 M&S vch (£40 contents only). 3) Together Mutual: £75 M&S vch*. 4) L&G £60 Amazon vch using code MSEMAY15. The Kindle takes up to 80 days, vouchers 120. Important: Get quotes from all & compare to best of Gocomp* & MoneySup*. See Cheap Home Insurance

Longest EVER fee-free 0% spending card - 21mths interest-free borrowing
New. Tesco's launched the longest ever fee-free 0% spending credit card. Done right, it's zero cost borrowing

Credit cards are both the best and worst way to borrow. Worst for: Just borrowing willy-nilly to fill gaps in your income; that leads to a credit dependency and can kill your finances. Best for: Planned purchases (eg, new sofa/to pay car ins) that's budgeted for and repayable on a 0% card within the time limit - as you can borrow at no cost at all.

  • Longest EVER 0% borrowing. Most credit cards charge you around 19% APR interest for borrowing. Yet 0% deals allow you to borrow for free, with no fee, for a set period. The new Tesco Bank* card, the longest ever fee-free, allows accepted new cardholders 21mths 0% on all spending on it, plus it gives Tesco Clubcard points on spending. Here's how it compares...
Before applying, try the free 0% spending eligibility tool to find which cards are likely to accept you
Card 0% lasts Rep APR after (b) Spending rewards
Tesco Bank* Longest 0% 21mths 18.9% 1pt per £ 4 spent
Clydesdale* Longest if you've got Tesco 20mths 18.9% None
Halifax* Joint longest with Clydesdale 20mths 18.9% None
M&S* Good if you shop in M&S 19mths 18.9% 1pt per £2 spent (per £ 1 in M&S)
Santander 123* Longest with fee. You pay £24/yr, but it can be refunded... (a) 23mths 16.5% 3% cashback on petrol, 2% on dept stores, 1% supermarkets
Lloyds* Long-term consistent rate - 6.4% (c) None
(a) Year 1 fee refunded for Santander 123 bank account holders. APR includes fee. (b) Representative rate means only 51% of accepted applicants need get that rate. (c) The rate isn't fixed, but you can reject rate rises if you agree not to spend more. Full info in 0% Cards & APR Examples.
  • The SIX 0% spending card Golden Rules:
    1) Don't use these for shifting existing debt.
    For that, go for an up-to-3 YEAR 0% balance transfer card instead.
    2) Don't just apply.
    The 0% cards eligibility calc shows the cards you've the best odds of getting, thus protecting your credit score from too many applications (sadly, we can't rate eligibility for Tesco or Clydesdale yet).
    3) Clear the card before 0% ends, or the rate jumps to the standard APR (or at least balance-transfer it).
    4) Always pay at least the monthly minimum - on time. If not, you may lose the 0% deal - direct debits help.
    5) Don't let the rewards tail wag the dog. These credit cards give rewards to encourage you to do daily spending. If you take advantage, be careful, always make sure you've got the money to repay. Effectively, you're stoozing.
    6) Never withdraw cash. It's not at the 0% rate. It's often far more, and just doing it can hurt your credit file.

Rare 20% off codes for Ted Baker, French Connection & Matalan. For high brands. A Ted Baker 20% off code, a FCUK 20% code, Matalan 20% code & in-store vch and F&F £10 off £50 code. See ALL Codes & Vchs

Free £4-£5 Lego with 60p-£1.50 newspapers. Vouchers get one of nine toys, incl Star Wars & Batman. Lego

Warning: 'Pet insurance renewal up £2,000'. Barking price hikes after company takeover. Pet insurance hike help

Beauty 'freebies': £11 Clinique serum, £10 Neal's Yard cream, £10 Body Shop scrub... There's a 'Free' £11 Clinique face serum via £4 mag, a 'Free' £10 Neal's Yard hand cream via £4 mag, and a Body Shop 'free' £10 body polish & 30% off code if you spend £10. These and more in our full Beauty Deals guide.

Tesco Clubcard double-up launches Monday. Hold on to your points. What we know so far in Tesco double-up.

Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Virgin Money*
36mths 0%, 2.99% fee

(18.9% rep APR)

No fee 0%: Tesco Bank*
18mths 0%, no fee

(18.9% rep APR)
Get comparison site quotes in this order...
Compare The Market

Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*
Admiral MultiCar*

Zopa* (£5k - £7.5k)
4.5% rep APR

M&S Bank* (£7.5k - £15k)
3.6% rep APR

Skipton BS 1.5% AER
Min £1, incl bonus
Easy access. No transfers.

Coventry BS 2.1% AER
Min £1. No transfers
Loophole: Fixed till May 2019

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Tesco Direct £20 off £150 code, combinable with 1,000 extra pts (worth up to £40) on iPads. Thur-Mon. Tesco Direct's the supermarket's equiv of Argos, with toys, electricals, furniture, etc, so this code can be a winner (always compare). Plus until Sun, combine it with '1,000 Clubcard points' on iPad Air & Air 2. Full info: Tesco Direct Codes 50% off spa breaks sale + 15% extra off code. MSE Blagged.'s running a spa sale till Mon (incl massages, facials, treatments) for 26 venues, and we've blagged an extra 15% off code. Lastminute.

Got Sky Sports or BT Sport for footie? Time to cancel for the summer. If you only subscribe to Sky Sports or BT Sport for the footie, you can cancel & restart it in August - but notice periods mean act now. See Cancel Sky Sports.

SUCCESS OF THE WEEK: (Send us yours on this or any topic)
"Received the MSE email today [with How to beat Sky price hikes in it] and decided to call (I've been with it for 15 years). Offered £23 off for 10 months plus MUTV free for 2 months. Total saving, £242. Well worth making the call." (Good deal, though seriously MUTV? Why? - Martin #MCFC)

£45 Jawbone UP24 fitness tracker (next cheapest £60, RRP £99). Monitors sleep & activity. Cheap Jawbone

£86 for YEAR'S b'band & line rent (after £100 cashback) - equiv £7.16/mth
From BT-owned Plusnet. Some can save £200+/yr compared to big-firm standard line rental and broadband deals

Many adverts yell about broadband costs and whisper the fact you also need their line rental, and that's where it's expensive. In fact, for standard line rent & b'band with BT you pay £360/yr, with Virgin £410/yr. So we also factor in both prices, and this top deal has just returned - it's just £186 over a year and you get £100 cashback. Easy winner...

  • cheap broadbandPlusnet £186/yr broadband & line rent and £100 cashback. MSE Blagged. New customers to BT-owned Plusnet (72% rated its service as good in our Jan 2015 poll) via this unlimited broadband & phone* link by Tue 19 May, get a year's contract with...

    - Line rent: We suggest during sign-up, you opt to pay £155.88 upfront for the year - equiv to £12.99/mth. (Or choose the pay monthly option at £15.95/mth.)
    - Unlimited b'band:
    £2.50/mth so £30 over the term. It rises after. Avail to 90% of UK.
    - Calls included? None. (Weekend calls to landline if you pay monthly.) Call costs are roughly on a par with BT. See Plusnet call cost info and our call cost-cutting tips.
    - £100 cashback. This is the 'blagged' bit: use the link above and you get a £100 cheque within 60 days of the broadband going live. Warning: If you use ad- or cookie-blocking software, please turn it off or it may not track the cashback. For more info, see cookie blockers - if you don't know what they are, it's unlikely you're using them.
    - Need a new line? If you don't have one (or if you've got cable, or in a few cases, Sky or TalkTalk custs), installation's £49.99.
    - Optional free router (£5.99 p&p): If you need one, it sends one 'free', but you pay £5.99 posting & packaging.

    Cost analysis - how good is it? Pay for line rent upfront (excl calls) and broadband and it's £185.88 for the year (pay line rent monthly, £221.40). Then there's £100 cashback, bringing the net cost down to £85.88 for the year, equiv to just £7.16/mth (pay mthly £121.40/yr; equiv £10.12/mth). In contrast, BT standard line rent's £16.99/mth.
  • How fast is it? Free speed test. The first thing to do is a free speed test* to see what speed you're getting. Then check neighbours' speeds* to see what people near you get. The Plusnet deal above is standard 'up to' 17Mbps service but much faster is available if you go for superfast fibre broadband (best for gamers, downloaders, streamers and homes where many people use it at once). The cheapest is £266/yr fibre broadband & line rental.

Ever had Sentinel (AI scheme) card protection? Vote YES for £100s. Sentinel had a card protection plan (similar to CPP) sold via Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, etc. It's agreed to repay possibly £100m+ to mis-sold customers. Letters are being sent NOW asking you to vote on an automatic redress scheme - vote yes. See Sentinel reclaim info.

Free tennis sessions & coaching. 700+ events in Eng, Sco & Wal. See Lawn Tennis Association tennis weekends.

Ideal Home Show Scotland & Manchester 2for1 code. MSE Blagged. If you missed our freebies last month, get a pair of tix for £12-£14. For 22-25 May in Glasgow and 4-7 Jun in Manchester. See Ideal Home Show tickets.

£10 champagne at Asda (was £30) & Aldi (was £12). See all corking Bubbly Deals. Please be Drinkaware.

Sky Movies £1.50/mth for 3mths on TalkTalk TV. Normally £15/mth. See TalkTalk Sky Movies.

Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines

Compare, get £30 dual fuel cashback & alerts if your deal's no longer cheap. Go via the free MSE Cheap Energy Club Top Pick Fixes Comparison.

The savings can be huge. Someone with typical dual fuel usage on a big 6 standard tariff pays £1,155 a year, the cheapest deal's £899.

First Direct*
£125 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)
Get comparison site quotes in this order...


Then check insurers they miss:
Direct Line*

Direct Save Telecom*
with weekend calls
£11/mth (pay a yr upfront)

Post Office*
with weekend calls
£12/mth (pay a yr upfront)

Do a Money Makeover Budget Planner MSE car sticker £13 Travel Insurance

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
The MoneySaving Community

Should I ask my flatmate to subsidise my rent?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... I'm looking for a new flat with a friend, but he earns a lot more than I do. We've found somewhere we both like, but even if he takes the bigger room and pays more I still can't really afford it. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should I ask my flatmate to subsidise my rent? | Suggest an MMD | View past MMDs

'Be Mindful' online course giveaway.
100 to give away for MoneySavers. Want one?

Airline: Ryanair Price: £19.99 each way Ends: Sun 17 May
Our pick this week is Ryanair from £19.99. The sale's on till Sun 17 May. It includes some taxes & charges. It's for Tue, Wed, Thur flights in May and June to 81 destinations from 12 UK airports. To compare prices with other airlines, use the FlightChecker on a £20 return max search. Extra charges warning: Avoid payment and check-in charges - see the Budget Airline Fee Fighting guide. Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance

Quick forum tips

Freebie of the week

Martin's blogs

Martin's appearances (from Wed 13 May onward)

Mon 18 May - This Morning, ITV, Money Monday, 10.30am. Watch previous
Mon 18 May - Consumer Panel, BBC Radio 5, 12pm-1pm. Subscribe to podcast

MSE team corner

Regular team appearances:

Fri 15 May
BBC Radio Manchester, MSE Guy, mortgages, 4.50pm
Tue 19 May
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 2.15pm

Discussion of the week

Working from scratch

This week, our forumites are talking about following a simpler way of life. From making your own oat milk and squash to homemade detergents and cleaners. Join the Working from scratch discussion and share your handy tips.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 137.01 123.30
US Flag $ 154.36 138.47
Turkish Flag TL 403.18 360.52
Rates correct at 12pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: Is your energy company's service any good?

Please rate your current supplier’s SERVICE (not price) over the last SIX MONTHS (or less if you’ve recently switched). If you’ve gas and electricity with different firms, please rate both.

Poll results

What class are you?
We have a long way to go until we reach a truly classless society if the poll results are anything to go by. 54% of people self-identify as middle class while 40% consider themselves working class.

Those 65+ were most likely to feel middle class, with 61% identifying themselves as such.

A surprising 3% of voters said they felt classless.

Other class claims include:

- 0.3% say they're upper class
- 0.7% say they're in the underclass

23,913 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q: I want to switch my account to a bank with better interest rates, but I also have a loan with my current bank. Do I have to stay until I've paid off the loan? Keeley, via email.

MSE Sam's A: Put simply, no. There's nothing stopping you from switching your bank account to one with a better interest rate and continuing to pay off your loan as usual. See our Best Bank Accounts guide for the top deals, including up to 5% interest or a free £150 bonus. While having a debt doesn't stop you from leaving, the new bank will credit-check you (so it could have an impact, but it's unlikely, and it's rarely as harsh as for a credit card or mortgage).

It's actually worth your while to switch accounts, because under the Lending Code, banks have the legal right to transfer cash, known as 'setting off', from your bank or savings accounts to pay off other debts held with them, such as credit cards or loans.

If you're struggling to pay off your loan then read our Debt Help guide for what to do.

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

 Nick's free game of the week: Bearboy and the Cursor

72? But I'm only 35

That's it for this week, but before we go, you may have heard that Microsoft has a tool that tries to determine your age after you upload a photo. It's fun, but beware it's not exactly a model of accuracy or consistency. So you just might be horribly offended or extremely flattered. Either way, share your result in the How Old Am I? conversation in our MoneySavers Arms forum.

Martin & the MSE team

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