Money Mensch

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


Money Mensch: Call from abroad for free with Vodafone

By Martin Lewis, July 30, 2009

A new promotional deal from Vodafone means everyone, even those who are not its customers, can get dirt cheap calls to the UK from abroad this summer.

From now until 31 August, the network is offering all its customers who opt in to its free ‘Passport’ scheme calls and texts back home (plus the cost of receiving calls) at UK prices from many European and Australasian counties. So this means if you have an inclusive allowance for calls and texts, then you can use this while abroad and they will be free.


Money Mensch Hang up on costly calls abroad

By Martin Lewis, July 23, 2009

Money made from calling abroad, aka “roaming”, is an enormous contributor to mobile networks’ profits. Within the EU, one half-hour call out can cost £12, and you pay to receive calls too; around a fiver for 30 minutes. Outside European boundaries, it can be far worse, sometimes a pound a minute — and that’s when someone calls you! Picking up the phone, even to tell someone you can’t talk, can instantly add 50p to your bill.
However, if you know what you are doing you can slam these costs to smithereens.

Know what being abroad means


Flying budget? get a handle on luggage allowances

By Martin Lewis, July 16, 2009

So there you are, with your suitcases packed, ready to climb aboard an easyJet or Ryanair flight for your summer break.

You have been savvy, knowing in good old-fashioned Jewish tradition that you have got the kitchen sink in your luggage and booked a few extra bags in advance to keep the costs down.

But you have got it wrong.


New tips for holidaymakers

July 10, 2009

Martin Lewis, the JC Money Mensch, urges holidaymakers going away this month not to change cash at the airport. They add seven per cent to your costs.

He says: “Those going abroad this summer need be prepared for a shock. While the cost of flights and hotels haven't risen to a prohibitive level, the cost of buying things once you're there is going to hit like Frank Bruno.


Money Mensch: Mis-selling: get your cash back

By Martin Lewis, July 8, 2009

If you have taken out a loan or credit card in the past six years, you could be in line for a huge payout. Anyone whose bank flogged them useless payment protection insurance (PPI) could get thousands in compensation.

Without doubt, PPI is the biggest mis-selling scandal for years.

The Financial Ombudsman just reported complaints trebling, with 89 per cent of them decided in the consumer’s favour. Not a day goes by without someone emailing me about another reclaim of thousands.

Does this apply to you?


Money mensch: Your guide to repaying the mortgage

By Martin Lewis, June 25, 2009

Should you pay off your mortgage if you have any spare cash? In previous years, overpaying has usually won out. Yet repeated slashing of UK interest rates has left many mortgages at unthinkably cheap rates. These cuts make it less attractive to repay a mortgage rather than save, as home loans are cheaper. Here’s what you should do:

Deal with other debts first
For many people, it is a question of overpaying their mortgage and putting some of their spare cash and savings towards the mortgage, rather than clearing the whole lot in one go.


Money Mensch: Free mobile calls to 0800 numbers

By Martin Lewis, June 18, 2009

Call a 0800, 0808 or 0500 number from a landline and it is free. Call from a mobile and you could pay up to a whopping 40p/minute, meaning a ten-minute conversation clocks up at £4.