Deal of the week
- Amazon launches reward credit card - Online retailer Amazon has this week launched a new credit card offering rewards for spending on its own website and elsewhere.
- Saga launches flat rate loan for over 50s - Over 50s who struggle to meet the criteria of high street lenders can now take out a flat rate loan with Saga Money.
- Get 20% off 400,000 easyJet flghts - Deal of the week: Get 20% off 400,000 easyJet flight.
- Double your kids' Christmas cash - Parents or guardians can boost the value of money given to their kids over Christmas with this week’s deal.
- Earn money from your free space - Whether you are taking out (if you’ve yet to deck the halls) or packing up the Christmas decorations after the festive season, take a look around your loft.
- American Express Shop Small - American Express card members will be rewarded for spending with smaller local retailers this Christmas.
- Free Lasting Power of Attorney services to make sure your wishes are respected in later life - Dementia has become the UK’s biggest killer, with 850,000 people in the UK suffering with the disease, affecting the families of 42% of the population. One company has set up a free lasting power of attorney (LPA) service to make it easier for people to prepare their families in case they are affected in later life.
- Double rewards for Sainsbury's shoppers in time for Christmas - Sainsbury’s shoppers can double the value of their Nectar points if they cash them in now, as the supermarket launches its annual double redemption scheme.
- 4.2% interest overnight – but only for Asda shoppers - As savings rates slump to sub-1%, any way to make your money go further is welcome. See how to get savings for Christmas shopping boosted by a whopping 4.2% overnight - but you'll need to move quick.
- Fee-free investing for children - Even the most modest-sounding percentage based charge can have a hugely erosive effect on our wealth over time, so if you’re looking to invest for children you might want to consider ETFmatic, a robo-adviser that’s promising to waive all platform charges on its children's accounts.
- Mastercard and Android customers get free coffee and tube travel on Monday - On Monday (24 October), Mastercard customers with an Android phone that has Android Pay loaded onto it will be able to get a free coffee in a Café Nero throughout Great Britain, and if you’re in London you’ll also get your travel for free too.
- The mobile-based current account from Monzo - Plenty of current accounts offer a mobile service, but in most cases banks have simply tacked an app onto their existing, creaking infrastructure.
- Get the best pan-European savings rates with Raisin - If you’re fed up with low rates on your savings, you might be able to boost your returns by casting your net further afield.
- Get a mortgage in principle via Zoopla - If you’re looking to take your first step onto the property ladder, you’ll need a mortgage agreement in principle before sellers will take your offer seriously.
- Get your credit score for free - Thanks to a new free service from Experian, everyone in the UK can now check their credit scores with the three main credit agencies without paying a penny.
- Buy and sell unwanted gift cards using Zeek - Zeek is an app-based exchange where you can offload unwanted gift vouchers for retailers you don’t use, or boost your spending power by snapping up other people’s vouchers at a discount.
- Billhub - a hassle-free household bill management tool - Every week Moneywise’s product researcher, Tom Wilson, picks out his favourite deal. This week it’s Billhub – a hassle-free way to avoid squabbles about bills in shared accommodation at university and beyond.
- Fed up with overdraft fees? This could be the account for you - Every week Moneywise’s product researcher Tom Wilson picks out his favourite deal. This week – Virgin Money’s genuinely fee-free current account.
Mortgage in principle
A conditional offer made by a mortgage lender to verify that it will ‘in principle’ give you the mortgage loan you have discussed with it. This helps speed up the house-buying process as it demonstrates to sellers you’re a serious buyer. However, it’s not a guarantee the lender will lend you the money, as this will still depend on a survey of the property and the outcome of credit checks. The offer in principle will be valid for a limited time, usually up to three months.
An overdraft is an agreement with your bank that authorises you to withdraw more funds from your account than you have deposited in it. Many banks charge for this privilege either as a fixed fee or charge interest on the money overdrawn at a special high rate. Some banks charge a fee and interest. And other banks offer a free overdraft but impose very high charges for exceeding the agreed limit of your overdraft.
Lasting power of attorney
Refers to the legal document which allows an individual (donor) to nominate a person or people (attorneys) to make decisions on his or her behalf should they reach a state where they no longer have the mental capacity to make certain decisions. LPA can be divided into two groups: the donor’s financial wellbeing and their health and general welfare. You can choose anyone you trust to act as your attorney provided they are over 18 and not bankrupt when they sign the form and you can appoint more than one person to act and can choose whether they can act together or independently. An LPA is a powerful and important legal document and you may wish to seek advice from a legal adviser with experience of preparing them.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.
Your credit score is a three-digit number (ranging from a low of 300 to a high of 850) calculated from the information in your credit report. Your credit score enables lenders to determine how much of a credit risk you are. Basically, a low credit score indicates you present a higher risk of defaulting on your debt obligations than someone with a high score. If you have a low credit score, any products you successfully apply for will carry a higher rate of interest commensurate with this risk.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.