Get overpaid Council Tax cash back, hot mobile sim deals, £75 Boots No7 set for £35, last chance to earn £150 bank switch bonus and top 1-year fixed savings. 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.
Moved home since 1993? You may be owed £100+ in overpaid council tax
I've been banging on for over a decade about how 100,000s people are in the wrong council tax band and are owed money. Then I added how to reclaim if you've a 'severe mental impairment' and haven't got the discount due. Now, I’m adding a brand-new council tax reclaim to the list and there's over £230,000,000 to reclaim (see Martin full council tax check and challenge guide which includes info on all three reclaims.
Many aren't aware they pay council tax a month (sometimes a year) ahead. So it's common to be in credit. Yet if you are in credit and have closed the account, most likely because you’ve moved home, or the person living there has died, then you’re entitled to the credit back. Yet often you need to claim it and many don't. In fact data my team have just gathered under the Freedom of Information Act from over 280 councils found that more than £230 million is unclaimed.
Yet I don’t want everyone just calling their council on spec - it'd waste your time and clog up council calls centres. There are lots of factors that affect if you're likely to be owed, and how far you can claim back varies by council. So if you’re someone who’s moved house since 1993, especially if you changed council or local authority area and didn’t pay by direct debit, then search for the ‘council tax refund’ form on their website and fill it in, if not call up the council (far more help via the link above).
Are you paying more than £10 a month for your mobile?
There’s a raft of cheap sim-only deals available at the moment. So if like millions you’re out of contract (and many still pay extra fees for their handset even though it’s paid off) – you may be able to save huge amounts switching to them.
The real key to this is how much data you use, 70% of people use less than 3GB, so unless you watch a lot of TV via your mobile signal, stream films, or games then that’s probably you.
For low users iD Mobile (uses Three’s network) gives 1GB data, 500 minutes of calls and unlimited texts for £5 a month, and it’s a 1 month rolling contract so you can cancel at any time.
Or for 8GB data, unlimited texts, unlimited minutes go online to certain price comparison sites including Compare the Market, GoCompare and Broadband Choices (not available direct) and you can get a Vodafone sim for £10/month – this is very strong pricing and means if you’re paying more than a tenner a month you should ask yourself why (acceptable answers include paying off your handset or huge data use). The one drawback is it’s a UK only sim so you can’t use it abroad.
For high users there are a raft of other deals around which again are very competitive right now, it’s worth doing your research. And remember you can do this and switch your current number over to it in just one working day. You may need to unlock your phone, but provided you’re out of contract your existing firm should let you do this free of charge.
Ends Fri. RBS Free £150 + 2% bills cashback. Until tomorrow (Friday) 11.59pm, switch to the RBS Reward account and you’ll get free £150 bonus, plus for £2/mth fee, you’ll earn2% cashback on your bills you pay from it via direct debit e.g. phone, water, council tax and energy. So if you have average bills you get about £66/yr after the fee, with higher bills it's £135/yr - so the year 1 bonus could top £200. To get it, as well as applying for the switch by tomorrow night, you’ll also need to log into online banking by 12 April and pay in £1,500+/mth (equivalent to a £21,500/yr salary). This is one of a number of accounts offering switching cash bonuses, though the numbers are diminishing. Its strength though is for those who have an account just for bills or joint bills.
£75ish No7 skincare set for £35. Go online to Boots by 11.59pm next Wednesday (13 March) or instore till closing, and you can get a No7 skincare set for £35. There are three different sets you can get (Protect & Perfect, Lift & Illuminate and Restore & Renew) and each contains day cream, night cream, serum and facial oil, which separately would cost you around £75.
Top one-year fixed savings If you’re prepared to lock cash away for a year there’s a new top 1-year fixed savings account from Lloyds-owned Birmingham Midshires paying 2% AER on min £1. You can open and manage the account online, though the opening deposit must be a cheque. Birmingham Midshires is fully regulated which means in the unlikely event they went insolvent you get the full UK £85,000 per person, per institution savings safety guarantee – though it shares its protection with Halifax and Bank of Scotland.