Love is… getting a free £150 for sharing a joint bank account, but go quick…
How you doin’? It’s Valentine’s Day – an over-commercialized celebration that puts peer pressure on people to spend to be romantic (can you bah humbug on Valentine’s Day?)
However, there are some tricks for couples that it is worth taking account of.
If you have a joint account, whether for all finances or just for bills – there’s a way to earn some cash from it. Full help and lots of choices is inMartin’s top best bank account guide, yet one key deal ends tomorrow at midnight.
Switch to the NatWest Reward account and until then new switchers get a free £150 - there's a £2/mth fee but if you use the account to pay your bills by direct debit (energy, mobile, council tax etc) you get 2% of that as cashback. So for single people as the main account or couples with a joint bills account, this is a strong deal – someone with big bills can earn a further £100 a year from it.
The £150 will arrive by 19 April. You must pay in a min £1,500/mth (for most that simply means paying in a salary equivalent to a £21,500 in it), switch and log in to online or mobile banking by 22 March. The deal is open to new and existing customers who switch from another bank, as long as you haven't had to switch cash from NatWest or RBS since Oct 2017.
And don’t forget switching accounts is easy. It takes just 7 working days and your new bank shifts all payments (including direct debits) for you.
Sainsbury’s boosted offer: ‘Free’ £37.50 worth of Nectar points and (if you need it) the joint-LONGEST 0% spending credit card
Sainsbury's Bank has boosted the offer on its dual credit card; not only does it give the joint longest 0% spending with up to 28 months 0% (some may get less depending on credit score, so do a free eligibility check online first to check your chances of getting it) - meaning IF you need to borrow (not just doing it willy-nilly) you can do at 0% interest, but it’s also giving accepted customers 750 bonus Nectar points (worth £3.75 to spend at Sainsbury's, as each one is worth 0.5p there) for every £35+ spent at the supermarket in the first two months, up to 7,500pts, which is worth £37.50 if redeemed in Sainsbury's - and this is on top of the normal 2 points per full £1 spent at Sainsbury's (1pt per £5 elsewhere).
To max it, just do your normal shopping there (it's not an excuse to overspend). You'll need to do 10 spends in the time, but an easy way around this is to split your shopping, eg, if spending £110, put it through as £35, £35 and £40 - each gets 750 bonus pts. But you may get a few looks if there's a queue.
If you are just doing this for the freebie, simply pay the card off IN FULL each month so there's no interest. You could also cancel it once you've got the freebie (or keep spending on it to get the rewards if you regularly shop in Sainsbury’s).
If you're only using it for the 0% period, I strongly suggest you only get it if your purchase is budgeted, one-off borrowing, where you plan and can afford the repayments (eg, replacing a faulty fridge). Do it wrong and you'll get burnt.
And always follow my golden rules:
- Always pay at least the set monthly minimum and don't breach the credit limit or you can lose the 0%.
- Plan to clear the card (or balance-transfer) before the 0% ends or the rate jumps to 20.9% rep APR.
- It’s usually ONLY cheap for spending, so avoid cash withdrawals or balance transfers.
Ends tonight: Top 1.55% easy-access savings. If you want to deposit or withdraw at will, ICICI pays the top easy-access rate at 1.55% AER (including a fixed 0.3% 1-year bonus as long as you keep the account open for the year), but it’s only available till 11.59pm tonight (Thursday). So if you want it, get it open by tonight. Alternatively, if you don’t need access OakNorth pays the highest 1-year fixed rate for standard savings at 2.01% and 2.31% for 2-year fixed. Both ICICI and OakNorth have full UK savings safety protection.
Last minute Valentine’s Day ideas: If you feel you want to get your beloved a Valentine’s Day gift (it’s not compulsory) it’s not too late. Many supermarkets have bunches of 12 red roses for as little as £2, for example, Aldi is selling 12 red roses for £2, Lidl is £4 and Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose, M&S and Morrison’s are all £5 for 12 red roses. However, based on last year on the day itself many cut the prices even lower, so if you’re out today you may get yourself a bargain – though for the quality you’ll tend to find better at your local florist.
Though even better for most, thoughtfulness melts the heart far more than a pricey prezzie. There are free Valentine’s gift cheques online which you can print out and give, where you can promise your loved one a massage (nudge, nudge), brekkie in bed or dinner.
£50 Eurostar returns to Paris, Brussels or Lille: Go online to Eurostar Snap (different from the normal Eurostar site) and you can get Eurostar tickets from London St Pancras to Paris, Brussels or Lille for £50 return, or one-way tickets to Amsterdam or Rotterdam from £30 – the cheapest we've ever seen (you can't book a return). You need to book by 11.59pm tonight though, for travel between Monday 25 Feb and 28 March, and there’s a catch. You’ll not be able to choose the exact time you’ll travel – only a morning or afternoon slot and the exact departure time will be sent to you 48 hours before your trip.
Return prices are normally £58 to £356 through Eurostar's regular booking site, though £58 return fares are very limited, and Eurostar says you'll always get the cheapest last-minute fares via 'Snap', so this is a chance to make a decent saving on a cross-Channel trip.