Deal of the week
- 15% off at Wickes this Easter - The long Easter weekend is a popular time to do DIY, and if that’s what you’ve got in mind, Wickes is offering 15% off everything in shops and online.
- Kids travel free on Brittany Ferries this spring - Families looking for a spring getaway can take their kids to France or Spain for free with Brittany Ferries’ latest deal.
- Boost your ISA savings by up to £100 with Orbis Access - If you’re planning to save into an ISA or Junior ISA before or after the tax year-ends, you can get an extra £100 from Orbis Access before 30 April.
- Earn Avois points as you invest with Nutmeg - Earn yourself a flight or hotel stay by collecting Avois points as you invest with Nutmeg.
- Get 20% off gift cards at Asda and Tesco in time for Mother's Day - Supermarkets Asda and Tesco are offering 20% off certain gift cards this week in the run up to Mother’s Day on 26 March.
- Grab cheap rail rickets in Virgin Trains' flash sale - Rail users can travel on Virgin Trains’ west coast route for less if you buy tickets in its flash sale this weekend.
- Longest fee-free 0% balance transfer credit card launches - Get a 28 month 0% interest balance transfer credit card from Sainsbury’s Bank, with no transfer fees to pay.
- 2% interest on Isa balances until 31 May - Earn 2% interest on cash balances between now and the end of May by opening an innovative finance individual savings account (Isa) with Abundance.
- 20% off Family and Friends Railcard - Get discounted rail travel across Great Britain with a Family and Friends Railcard, with 20% off the cost of the card until Monday 20 February.
- Valentine's Day deals special - Love may be in the air but it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. Here’s our guide to the best Valentine’s Day related freebies.
- Give to charity for free as you shop - Give money to charity for free when you make purchases and switch providers online using Give as you Live.
- 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.
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.
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.
Available from 1 November 2011, the Junior ISA will replace child trust funds (CFTs), which have been phased out. Junior ISAs will have a £3,000 limit and will be offered by high street banks, building societies and other providers that currently offer ISAs to adults. You can invest in either stocks and shares or cash. But, unlike CTFs, there will be no government contributions into each child’s savings pot. Money invested in Junior ISAs will be “locked in” until the child is 18, and the ISA will default to an adult one.
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.
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.
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.
Moving money from one account to another, whether switching bank accounts or more likely transferring the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card that charges a lower – or 0% – rate of interest. Some card providers may charge a transfer fee that can be a percentage of the balance transferred.
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.