MARTIN Lewis has revealed his top money saving deals for the New Year including how you can get free cash by switching banks.
The financial expert spoke on ITV’s Good Morning Britain about a range of sales on offer this month, so you can bag a bargain as we head into 2019.
Rail fares have risen by 3.1 per cent but Martin gave some handy tips on how you can make your railcard last longer.
For example if you buy your railcard the day before you turn 31, you can use it up to the age of 32.
And if you’re eligible for a 16-25 railcard, you can purchase the three year railcard the day before you turn 24 so it’ll last up to the age of 27.
If you’re looking to grab a bargain in the January sales, he also explained how retailers are boosting their sales by up to 70 per cent with more set to follow.
How to earn cash by switching bank accounts?
After ditching free cash incentives in the middle of last year, First Direct has now bought back its switching bonus of £100.
Martin highlighted how the bank consistently leads the way when it comes to customer service.
He said: “The key to First Direct is that it’s won every customer service poll I’ve ever done in the last six years.
“Eighty-nine per cent of customers rate it great, so if you’re not happy with your bank and you would like a little bit of free cash why not try it.”
When you switch to First Direct you also get a linked savings account that you can put £300 into each month at 5 per cent interest, as well as the offer of a £250 interest free overdraft.
Plus you can boost the £100 bonus by an extra £25 if you sign up via consumer site Money Saving Expert.
Customers will need to deposit at least £1,000 into the account within the first three months of opening it, and make sure £1,000 goes in every month otherwise they’ll be hit by a £10 month fee.
Why should I switch bank accounts?
NOT sure what switching could do for you? Here's what you need to know:
- Switching is easy. Under the switching service, swapping banks should take seven working days. That includes all your payments, direct debits and standing orders being moved too. Just open your new account and then ask your new provider to close your old account using the switch service.
- Make sure you are eligible. Most accounts have certain requirements, such as paying in a minimum amount of cash each month.
- Watch your overdraft. Check your new bank will offer you the same limit — and does not have higher costs for using it.
If you switch to HSBC you’ll also get £150 free cash, but Martin pointed out that its customer service isn’t rated as high.
You’ll also get a savings account where you can save up to £250 a month at a 5 per cent interest rate.
In order to qualify for the account you have to switch within 30 days of opening it and pay in £1,750 a month – which Martin explained is equivalent to paying in a £25,900 annual salary.
The process for switching banks is fairly straight forward – all you have to do is open the new account and your new bank will close your old account and move across your money, direct debits and standing orders.
MORE ON MONEY STORIES
Making your money last until payday can be a stretch in January, but we’ve revealed several ways to stop yourself racking up debt.
If you’re looking to start saving, here’s how you can save £1,500 in one year with the 365 day challenge.
Or if that seems a stretch, the penny challenge lets you turn your change into £670 in a year starting with just 1p a day.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.