Check your savings rate plus get a 'free' cinema ticket
New top savings, don’t ignore your household enquiry form, ‘free’ cinema ticket, Boots No7 deal and 10% off railcards. These are our 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.
New - top easy-access savings rate at 1.3% (best I’ve seen for over a year)
If you've any savings, check now what they pay. Most are paltry, pitiful, spit-worthily low, some just 0.01% (10p interest per £1,000 saved). Yet easy-access and fixed rates are improving a smidgeon, so if you don’t do anything else, at least move your savings in to one of these.
Now normally I talk about using a bank accounts rather than saving accounts to get the highest interest when up to 5% is available on the smallest amount – you can find those all in Martin’s full ‘Savings Best Buys guide’. But they have terms that have to be met and many just want simplicity. And thankfully on simple accounts we’ve seen savings boost up. All those I mention, are fully regulated UK savings accounts, so you're protected up to £85,000 per person, per institution (useful to know if you haven’t heard of it).
New top easy-access account - 1.3%
Here, you can add and withdraw cash whenever you want. The new top payer is the Bank of Cypruspaying 1.3%, though 0.7% of this is a bonus which ends after a year, while RBS's Ulster Bank pays 1.25% is a straight rate - both are online accounts accessible across the UK. As every basic 20% rate taxpayer can now earn £1,000 of INTEREST (£500 at the higher 40% rate) without paying tax, these accounts are tax-free for all but those with huge savings. So most should go for these over the top 1.05% cash ISA from Leeds BS.
Lock money away to earn up to 2.2%
If you've savings you won't need to touch, top fixed accounts give you a higher guaranteed rate for a time, but you can't access your cash during it. The top payer is Shawbrook at 1.9% fix for one-year (min deposit £1,000), United Trust at 2.05% for two-year fix (min £500), PCF Bank at 2.22% (min £1,000) and NS&I savings bond at 2.2% for three-year fix (max deposit £3,000). You can get fixed cash ISAs too, yet rates are far lower.
Warning! Don’t ignore your household enquiry form
As part of the Electoral Commission's Annual Canvas, every UK household is sent a Household Enquiry Form from their local council to check that the electoral roll is correct and the right people are registered to vote (it won’t register you if you’re not on it).
Many letters are being sent now (though depending on the council you may not get it until early November) and when you get yours you must by law double-check the info is correct and send it back, even if there are no changes. So don't mistake it for junk and bin it. On it, it should also tell you if you’re registered on the optional public ‘open register’ which is used by companies for marketing. If you’re on it, and don’t want to be call your local council and ask them to take you off – there’s no tick box on this form to opt out.
You must return it by the deadline your council sets, which can be anytime until the end of November. If you don’t and you repeatedly ignore the reminders you could be fined up to £1,000. If you miss the deadline, or think you’ve binned it don’t worry – contact your council ASAP and they’ll tell you what to do it, and as long as you return it by the November deadline you shouldn’t be fined.
‘Free’ £10 Sunday cinema ticket with £3 pack of sweets
Buy selected chocolate packs(includingM&M’s, Maltesers, Minstrels, Galaxy Counter and Revels) before Thursday 19 October and you can get a ‘free’ Sunday cinema ticket at participating cinemas, including Cineworld, and some independents such as Savoy Cinemas and Movie House Cinemas, but not Odeon or Vue. You’ll need to buy two large packs (currently (Malt)Teasers block is £1.50 at Sainsbury’s, or £1.70 at Asda) or five small packs (currently £1 at Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s) to get the ‘free’ ticket – just make sure they have the ‘Sweet Sundays’ promotion on them. Register the codes found on the bags online and you’ll receive a voucher which can be used on any 2D films on any Sunday until 12 November. And you can get two free tickets per person, not per household, so you can combine for more. Just don’t eat all the sweets at once!
£34 No7 products for £9
Until Tuesday 29 August, go in store or online to Boots and when you buy any two selected No7 products – the cheapest combo is two £6 nail polishes – you’ll get a free ‘Ready for Autumn’ gift box, which contains mascara, eye shadow, gel finish nail polish and an eye contour brush, valued at around £22ish based on full-sized versions. Plus if you’ve got a £3 off No7 coupon (which you may have got from a previous purchase), you can stack it with this offer bringing it down to £9 all-in for £34 worth of items.The gift set will be automatically added to your basket online, but you’ll need to pick it up from the shelf and take it to the till in store. Delivery's £3.50, or you can click and collect in store for free.
10% off railcards
Go online to the National Railcards website and you can get 10% off four of its big annual railcards (usually only individual cards are discounted not all four) – the Two Together (two adults get a third off if they travel together), Family & Friends (up to four adults can get a third off and up to four kids can get 60% off when travelling together), 16-25 (get one third off standard off-peak and advance fares) and the senior railcard (over 60s gets one third off travel). You need to apply online before 11.59pm Thursday 31 August and enter the code AUGUST10MS, so it’ll be £27 instead of the usual £30. Even if you do one trip worth over £80 – the saving will be worth the price of the card.