Longest-ever 32-month 0% debt shift card, free two-month Family Railcard, summer days out planning now and Debenhams up to 25% off all departments, John Lewis price matching. These are Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Deals of the Week.
Remember, deals can change quickly, even while I’m on the programme. So always double-check the terms and conditions before spending. Plus, while I hope these deals will save you cash, don’t spend if you can’t afford it, don’t need it, or won’t use it.
Web exclusive: Debenhams up to 25% off all departments, John Lewis price-matching
Until Sun 18 May, Debenhams is running one of its biggest sale events of the year with up to 25% off ALL departments such as womenswear, menswear, home and kidswear, though only 10% off beauty and fragrance. And to mix things up a bit more, my team have found bigger bargains on some items which hit the 50% - 70% off point. Now the best thing about this is that John Lewis is price-matching an “unnamed competitor’s promotion”, nudge, nudge, wink wink (it never confirms which competitor but it’s always followed Debenhams), which means if you’ve had your eye on something, now’s the time to pounce as you have the choice of two retailers. At Debenhams, delivery’s £3.99 or collect in-store for free and at John Lewis, expect to pay £3 for delivery or collect in-store for free.
New longest-ever 32-month 0% debt shift
There’s a price war raging, which anyone with existing debts on credit cards should consider taking advantage of. Two new balance transfer cards have launched this week – this is where you shift debt to a cheaper rate by getting a new card to repay existing cards so you owe it instead. The new longest is Barclaycard, which allows accepted new cardholders to shift debts to it at 32 months 0% for a one-off fee of 2.99% of the amount transferred. This is the longest-ever 0% we’ve seen, a year ago the record was 26 months, two years ago it was 22 months.
The increase was in response to last Friday’s launch of a new card byHalifax which is 31 months 0% for a one-off fee of 3%. This card is still useful for those shifting debt off a Barclaycard (as you can’t shift debt to the same brand).
If you do get one of these cards, always obey the 0% balance transfer card golden rules:
Always pay at least the monthly minimum or you’ll lose the 0% deal
Clear the card before the 0% ends or you’ll face a hefty jump to the full representative APR which is 18.9% with Barclaycard, 18.9% with Halifax
Don’t spend on these as it’s not at the cheap rate
Free two-month Family Railcard (and code for £10 off the annual one)
Get a free two month Family and Friends Railcard when you register via this Railcard trial link by Wednesday 21 May. PLUS you’ll also be sent a code to get £10 off the annual card so you pay £20 instead of £30. I’m a big fan of this card as it gets you and up to three other grown-ups a third off rail tickets if there are up to four children with you (5-15), and the kids get 60% off too. Two adults can be named on the card but only one needs to travel with one child to get the discounts.
Once you register, you should receive the card by Saturday 31 May and it’s valid to use until Thursday 31 July. You’ll get the £10 off code with your card and you’ll need to enter it online at the Family and Friends Railcard site between Monday 14 July and Thursday 14 August – you can only get this discount if you’ve taken up the free trial.
Bag cheap activities for you and the kids
With summer comes sunshine, sizzling BBQs and lots of sun-cream (we hope!). But as everyone else may have the same idea as you about visiting certain attractions, it’s best to plan now to secure the gigs and pay the minimal price:
Free tennis sessions and coaching
Game, set, match! You can get completely free tennis sessions and coaching (can cost up to £15 per person) as part of the Lawn Tennis Association’s Great British Tennis Weekend, which is not just one weekend, but over 17-18 May, 21-22 June, 28-29 June and 19-20 July. It’s holding 1,600 events spread out across 900+ venues in England, Scotland and Wales and you can go to as many sessions as you like. You can book online in advance (you need to create an account and agree to being contacted by it) or you can turn up on the day, though it’s subject to availability.
2for1 theme park tickets, including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park & more
Actually this could work out better than a 2for1 ticket if you’re an adult going with a child as generally, children’s tickets tend to be cheaper than adult tickets. With this 2for1 offer, you must buy a full-price child or adult ticket to get the free adult entry. You need to buy a promotional pack of Kellogg’s cereal such as Rice Krispies, Coco Pops, Crunchy Nut, etc (packs available at most supermarkets until 31 July) where you’ll find aGrown Ups Go Free on-the-pack voucher to use at 27 Merlin attractions such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Sea Life centres, Madame Tussauds and more. The best bit is, if you munch your way through the cereal now, the voucher can be used at most attractions until June next year. Yet as the cereal typically costs £3ish and the adult ticket up to say £48 at Alton towers, it can be a big saving.
The vouchers are valid until 30 June 2015 but it can’t be used during special events, hotel events or concerts. It’s also worth calling ahead to check opening times..
Tesco vouchers worth 5x their value on days out
If you’ve a stash of Tesco points, now’s a good time to use them towards family days out. Tesco’s just upped the value of vouchers which you can convert into days out tokens until Monday 23 June. Usually you can get two, three or four times the value of your points by converting vouchers into partner tokens, but, specifically on days out, you can boost them to 5x their value. This essentially means you need fewer Tesco points towards entry tickets to attractions such as Colchester Zoo, Lightwater Valley, Birdworld and Cadbury World. One thing to note is that 2for1s are often available, so check first before converting.