Round-up of Black Friday and last chance for free £175 bank switch bonus
Urgent warning for first-time buyers, Black Friday deals round-up and last chance for free £175 bank switch bonus. 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.
Urgent warning: Help to Buy ISAs end forever this Saturday – how to beat the deadline and demand.
Whether you're 16 or 116, the most straightforward form of help for first-time buyers is a Help to Buy (H2B) ISA. Save in it and the state adds a 25% bonus towards a mortgage deposit, so each £1,000 becomes £1,250.
Yet it CLOSES ON SATURDAY (30 November). But open one by then, even with just £1, and you can keep saving until 2029 and still be eligible for the added bonus until 2030. The H2B ISA's replacement, the Martin’s full ‘Help to Buy ISA’ guide.
The top payer is Barclays at 2.58% AER, yet if you don’t already bank with them you’ll need an in-branch appointment and most of those are booked up. The top account everyone can open online is Nationwide at 2.5% AER. Yet it is struggling with demand, many who opened it over the last week have told me they haven’t heard back – I’ve spoken to it and it confirms the key is that you submit an application, even if you don’t get money in (though I’d still take a screen grab).
So if you've got teenage children (16 or over) who are eligible and they don't know about it, talk to them ASAP. And while the official deadline is 11.59pm on Saturday, as some providers require you to make in-branch appointments, the practical last chance dates are earlier. This may be a moving feast, so for the up-to-the-minute rundown of rates and deadlines see Martin’s guide linked above.
Black Friday deals – are they bargains or bull? Here’s my rundown…
Look, Black Friday has become the big pre-Christmas discount bonanza. Yet the most important thing to remember is it's ONLY a saving if you were going to buy anyway. So gird your spending loins, and make a list of what you want in advance and don’t be tempted otherwise.
So before I run through the top deals, remember my money mantras - before you buy anything, ask yourself: 'Do I need it, is it worth it, have I checked whether it's cheaper elsewhere?' If the answer to any of those is no, don't buy it. And even if it's yes, ensure you can afford it.
Deals come in two forms. The ones I most like are those with blanket codes or vouchers that operate cross store, as here you can usually buy what you would’ve bought anyway at a discount. Yet there are also one-off deals on individual items, done at places like Apple (gives vouchers on top), Amazon (Echo Dot £22) and John Lewis (Dyson hot & cool fan heater for £300 down from £400) yet I worry here people buy because it’s cheap not because they need.
Here’s some of the confirmed deals…
- Gap 50% off. Online (discount applied automatically) or in-store (though some stores are 40% off) at Gap when you print the voucher from its website from nowtill11.59pm on Tuesday 3 December.
- Selfridges 20% off code: Online enter the code SELFCCE and you can get 20% off from now till until 11.59pm on Sunday 1 December at Selfridges, or register your email address online and it’ll send you a voucher you can print to take in store. Though beauty items is capped at 10% off.
- Fashion retailerLa Redoute has up to 60% off everything online. It’s on now till 11.59pm on Tuesday 3 December. The discount is applied automatically at checkout and as La Redoute sells brands such as French Connection, Levi's and Converse, it means it could work out cheaper, than going direct to that brand’s store. For example Levi’s 501 jeans are £70 at Levi's, yet buy at La Redoute during the sale and you can get the same jeans for £58.
- Kurt Geiger 20% off. Go online or in-store to shoe brand Kurt Geiger and you can get 20% off most items in what it's calling its 'Rainbow Event' which is running now and will continue through Black Friday weekend. There's also up to 50% off selected items, but these will change daily – so it could be worth waiting to see if what you want will get cheaper.
- Body Shop 30% off. Go online to The Body Shop and you can get 30% off most full-price items when you enter the code 14664 (or show it in store) from now until store closing on Tuesday 3rd December.
- AO.com - / Amazon – both already have ongoing deals and have flash deals too on individual items e.g. Echo Dot 3rd gen £22, do price compare though they’re not necessarily cheapest.
- Debenhams up to 50% off: Online and in store (most not all) Debenhams have up to 50% off selected womenswear, menswear, electricals and toys, up to 30% off home and kids, and up to 20% off gifts from now till 11.59pm Monday 2 December. There will also be changing daily offers which won't be announced until the day they begin.
- Laura Ashley 40% off. Online and in-stores till 11.59pm Monday 2 December Laura Ashley has 40% off home and fashion items. There’s no code or voucher – the discount is applied automatically at checkout.- Boots 50% off. For the past week Boots has had up to 50% off on fragrance, make-up and electricals in its Black Friday sale. No code is needed, the discount is applied to products automatically. But it's worth noting that some items were the same price or cheaper elsewhere, so make sure you do your own price comparisons before buying.
- Dorothy Perkins up to 50% off. Go online to Dorothy Perkinsor into a store, and you can get up to 50% off selected items in its early Black Friday sale. Though in previous years it’s tended to boost this sale on Black Friday day itself so it may be worth waiting till tomorrow.
And there’ll likely be much, much more over the Black Friday weekend too.
Last chance - free £175 to switch banks: To help pay for that, over the past few months the bank switch bribe has been hot with offers. But one of the biggies is ending this Monday, so if you want to take advantage - hurry. Switch to the HSBC Advance Account by 2 December (this Monday), and you’ll get £175. You’ll need to pay in a minimum £1,750/month or total of £10,600 over six months (equivalent to £26,100 salary). It also lets you save up to £250 per month in its linked 2.75% fixed regular savings account.
Don’t forget, switching accounts is easy. Within seven days your old account is closed, any direct debits and standing orders are moved across and any payments going to your old account is auto-forwarded to your new one. Plus when opening a bank account you will be credit scored.