Money Mensch

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.


Money Mensch: Meet the insurers who pay to cover you

By Martin Lewis, June 11, 2009

This is an ultimate deal — some home insurers will actually pay to cover you. There is a way to play the system so you not only get a cheap policy, but the insurer gives you more cashback than the policy actually costs.

I am not guaranteeing that everyone will get paid, but this should cut costs by a fortune. The record result I have had from this system so far is a profit of £67 — a huge amount considering you also get a decent insurance policy on the back of it.

What cover do you need?


Money Mensch: A cheap remedy for costly hayfever pills

By Martin Lewis, May 27, 2009

Hayfever sufferers should not have to stump up £100s for medicines. The cost of remedies is nothing to be sneezed at, which is why there are a number of different strategies to slash the cost. It is possible to cut the price of medicines to a fiver for a six month daily supply. The same logic works for other pharmaceuticals.


Money mensch: Rent dvds for free - for three months

By Martin Lewis, May 21, 2009

Tesco’s online DVD service is offering any of its packages completely free for three months. The offer is open to new customers who sign up using a special code before 31 May.

There are six packages to chose from, ranging between a maximum of two DVDs’ rental each month to unlimited requests. Once you have decided which to go for, simply sign up online at, putting the code “TDRXMSRAF8” into the promotional box.


Money Mensch: Play your credit cards right on holiday

By Martin Lewis, May 14, 2009

Spending overseas on some cards can be very expensive. Yet pick the right card and you can smash down the charges.

To get the best deal, you have to prepare in advance. Right now, in fact.

It’s all about stealth charges
The cheapest way of spending abroad is using the right card. Most charges levied when you use a card overseas are hidden. You do not know about them, and they are not broken out in your statement. The biggest ruse is foreign exchange “loading”.


Money Mensch: How to reclaim your forgotten money

By Martin Lewis, May 7, 2009

There is a staggering £850m sitting in dormant accounts. Reclaim it.

Millions of pounds are lying lost in unaccessed bank accounts across the UK that could belong to you or a deceased relative. This is because once an account has become inactive for a number of years, or if statements from the provider are repeatedly returned to them, it is classed as dormant. This means that unless you have an inkling that you had an account with a provider, it is unlikely you will ever find out about it.