Double your Nectar points, Oxfam sale bargains, 30 months 0% money transfer ‘loan’, and check your £50 notes now. These are Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Deals of the Week.
Remember, deals can change quickly. 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: Oxfam sale up to 70% off
If you can’t be bothered hunting through tat for the occasional designer gem in charity shops, the Oxfam website allows you to have a virtual rummage. It's currently running an up to 70% off sale too, meaning you can get some seriously expensive items for a fraction of the price.
Bargains I’ve seen include a £22.50 Burberry coat (was £75, costs about £500 new), a £22 Aquascutum London suit jacket (was £75, £400 ish new) and £25.50 Dolce&Gabbana shoes (were £85, £400 ish new).
New 30 months 0% 'loan' – with 4% fee
Now I normally talk about balance transfers, but less well-known are ‘money transfers’, where the card pays the cash into your bank account. This is effectively a loan but at a far cheaper rate, especially for smaller amounts.
However just because it’s cheap, this isn’t encouragement to do it. New borrowing should only be done when needed, if it’s planned, budgeted for and you are sure you can make the repayments – if not, don’t do it. But this is a great way to clear existing expensive overdrafts or other loans.
Now it’s important to understand money transfers are expensive if you get it wrong, so do read Martin’s step-by-step Money Transfers guide which also includes an eligibility checker to see which cards you’re most likely to get.
The longest 0% money transfer card I’ve ever seen has just launched. Accepted new MBNA card holders can pay money into their bank account at 30 months 0% for a 4% fee (if you’re just doing a normal balance transfer it’s a 2.89% fee).
Contrast this even with the best-buy straight loan which, for £2,000, is about 15% APR.
Yet do ensure you plan to clear the debt within the 30 months or the rate jumps to a large 22.9% representative APR. Plus, ensure you never miss the monthly minimum repayment or you can lose the 0%
Until Tuesday 13 May Sainsbury’s has a double your Nectar points value deal on too. So 1,000 points (worth £5 normally) can be exchanged for a £10 voucher specifically for Tu clothing range, electricals, beauty, home or magazines (there are some exclusions, so check). The most you can exchange for any one voucher is 4,000 points. To do this you need to go into a larger Sainsbury’s and exchange your points for a voucher at customer services. Once done, you’ve until Tuesday 20 May to use the vouchers.
Got a £50 note? Check it’s not about to be withdrawn
If you carry a £50 note beware, check it now as if it’s an old edition, you won’t be able to spend it from Thursday 1 May.
The Bank of England is withdrawing all 63 million £50 notes featuring its first governor Sir John Houblon on 30 April. You’ll need to use the newer £50 note in future, which was introduced in 2011, and features pictures of entrepreneur Matthew Boulton and engineer James Watt.
If you don't want to spend your £50 note, you can swap it in most banks and building societies until the end of October 2014 (Nationwide says there is no deadline for its customers to exchange the notes), though some will only accept deposits from their own customers.
After that, you’ll need post it to the Bank of England – and if you do that, be sure to send it via special or recorded delivery in case it goes missing. The only other alternative is to visit the Bank Of England in London and ask for it to be swapped at face value.