Money Mensch

Money Mensch: How to get free votes for X Factor

By Martin Lewis of, October 9, 2009

The much-hyped start of X Factor's phone voting begins this Saturday. Voting for a reality TV show usually means dialing an expensive premium rate number, but there's a new system that could beat this. says you can vote for free if you have inclusive mobile or home phone minutes, or at the same cost as landline numbers, as its advertisers pay for your call.

How does it work?


Money mensch: A guide to the cheapest landline deals

By Martin Lewis, October 1, 2009

People everywhere are infuriated by telephone line rental — or at least it is the first thing on their mind to ask when they spot me. Perhaps it is the idea that after paying hundreds of pounds a year for a facility you are then charged for calls, which makes people’s teeth gnash. Thankfully though, for the first time ever, I have an answer for how you can cut the cost of the line rental and calls.

Why has it taken so long?


Money Mensch: Banks might be 'stealing' from you

By Martin Lewis, September 24, 2009

When your bank takes money from your account without permission, you would call it ‘stealing’. Yet the banks call it ‘setting off’.


Money Mensch: Make the most of your ISA

By Martin Lewis, September 17, 2009

Currently you are allowed to save up to £7,200 in a tax-free ISA and £3,600 in a cash ISA, which is effectively a savings account where you do not pay income tax on the interest earned.


Money mensch: Third-party car insurance is not always cheapest

By Martin Lewis, September 9, 2009

September is car insurance renewal month as, historically, it has been the date of new car registrations.

But one of the important things to note is that while third-party cover would seem to be cheaper — as it only covers somebody else’s costs if you have an accident — recent studies show that many people find comprehensive insurance undercuts the cost of third-party insurance, even though this type of policy covers you too.


Money mensch: Making the most of your tax credits

By Martin Lewis, September 2, 2009

Now the tax credit renewal system is over, millions will be receiving the dreaded letter from the government telling them they have been overpaid tax credits, and will have to pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds back. I want to tackle some of the key questions, so as to let you know what to do.

What are tax credits?


Money mensch: Don’t overpay your student loan

By Martin Lewis, August 27, 2009

On Tuesday, 1 September, some people’s student loans will actually start to shrink. This is because the interest rate follows inflation — the rate at which prices rise — and we currently have deflation (negative inflation).


Money mensch: Don’t be afraid to take on the banks

By Martin Lewis, August 20, 2009

Complain about ISA transfers, bank charges or payment protection insurance and your bank will probably tell you to naff off. Yet do not be discouraged. You can go to the Financial Ombudsman, and it is there that you can expect fair treatment and compensation.


Money mensch: Don’t book flights for friends. You’re not covered

By Martin Lewis, August 13, 2009

It has now become common knowledge that if you pay for something costing over £100 on a credit card, the card company is equally liable with the retailer if anything goes wrong.

This is especially valuable protection when buying flight tickets, as it means that if the airline goes bust you can claim your money back from the card company.

However, after discussions with the financial ombudsman, I have learned that unless the payment is for your partner and/or children, you may not be eligible for a refund of their holiday costs.


Money Mensch: How not to get burnt this summer

By Martin Lewis, August 6, 2009

Don’t fall into the money traps that await you as you embark on your summer holiday. To prevent the possibility of red faces, as well as red backs, I want to give you enough tips to keep you covered.

- sort out your cash