Shift debt to 32 months 0% and some get paid to do it, new free £150 bank switch bribe, January restaurant deals and £9.50 Sun holidays are back. These are our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Quick Deals.
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.
Got existing credit card debts? Get paid to shift them to 32months 0%
It’s the start of the New Year and bills from the Christmas spending period are starting to come through the post box. So if you’ve got debt on existing credit or store cards that you’re paying interest on, and can’t fully repay, you need to listen up. Shifting it to 0% will typically save you around £200 per £1,000 of outstanding debt.
A balance transfer is where you get a new card that pays off the debts on old cards for you – so you owe it instead but at a lower rate, usually at 0%. This means all your repayments clear the actual debt rather than covering the interest – so you’re debt free quicker.
Don’t just apply willy-nilly though, use an eligibility calculator to see whether you’re likely to get accepted first, without it impacting your credit file. Many card firms now have these or you can use Martin’s balance transfer eligibility calculator which shows your odds of getting most top cards.
Yet there’s a stand out new card on the market that’s not only giving the longest 0%, but it’ll also PAY you to shift debt. Apply and get accepted to HSBC and you’ll get 32 months 0%. It does charge a 1.4% fee (£5 minimum), but it’ll credit £25 into your account if you transfer £300+ in the first 60 days – so if you've under roughly £1,700 to shift, the cashback effectively cancels out the fee, and you’re getting paid.
If you are balance transferring, always follow my balance transfer golden rules…
The same brands have many similar cards, check you’re applying for the right one.
Repay at least the monthly minimum or the bank can end the 0% deal.
Clear the card in full by the end of the deal or the rate rockets to 21.9% rep APR.
Never withdraw cash or spend on the card as it’s not at the 0% rate.
NatWest has joined the bank switching price war
Last week I told you that First Direct, the top bank for customer service was offering new switchers £100, and HSBC £150. I predicted then more would join the price war and indeed that’s come true already.
New switchers to NatWest Reward account now get free £150, plus for £2/mth fee, you get 2% cashback on household bills you pay from it via direct debit (energy, mobile, council tax, water etc). So for single people as a main account, or couples with a joint bills account, this is a strong deal - my calculations say an average bill payer will earn £66/year even after the fee. Someone who has big bills could easily earn over £100 a year. You must pay in a min £1,500/mth (simply the equivalent to a £21,500 salary), switch and log in to online or mobile banking by 22 March, and you’ll get the £150 by 19 April.
And 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.
January restaurants deals
After all the heavy-eating during Christmas, restaurants in January get less business so are offering big discounts.
- Until 31 January, buy two get one main meal for £1 at Carluccio'svalid everyday with a Vouchercloud voucher.
- Register details with Frankie & Benny's and you can get 50% off main courses from the 'Mains' or 'Gluten Free' menus every day until 15 Jan.
- Register at Bella Italia and you can get a code for 50% off mains, valid at most of its restaurants from noon Sun-Fri until 8 Feb.
- Register with Pizza Express for 2for1s on mains valid every day (apart from Friday and Saturday) in most restaurants until 31 Jan.
- Many more restaurants including independents doing it too so it’s worth a hunt.
The Sun's '£9.50 holidays' are back but they’re not really £9.50
Collect 10 unique tokens or codes, printed in The Sun every day (55p weekdays, 75p Saturdays) andThe Sun on Sunday (£1.10), from Saturday 5 January until Tuesday 29 January, and you’ll be able to use them to book a ‘£9.50’ holiday between 1 February and 29 November 2019.
Yet you’ll usually have to pay much more than the advertised £9.50, as you must pay for a minimum of four people (even if just two people), so that’s £38 right away, and nearly all parks add on a £20ish service charge for cleaning and gas and electricity, meaning the cheapest holiday is about £60 – still a decent price though.
Enter the codes online (£2.80 card fee) or download a booking formto post off (pay by cheque) by Friday 15 February and select four dates and four parks you want to go to (you’re given one on a first come, first served basis, depending on availability). There are over 330 parks to choose from in the UK and Europe, including Le Beach Garden and Chateau De Galinee in France, San Vito in Italy and Torre Del Sol in Spain (see the full list).