Money Mensch

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.


Money Mensch: How to drive down your petrol costs (literally)

By Martin Lewis, April 29, 2009

The government’s 2p-a-litre hike in fuel duty means petrol prices are creeping near the pound-a-litre value again. Yet you can cut the annual cost of petrol and diesel by a third. It is all about combining three easy steps.

Find the cheapest petrol station
Savings of 3 to 5 per cent are possible by switching from the most expensive retailers to the cheapest. Using fuel to drive around and find the cheapest forecourt somewhat defeats the point, so the best way to do this is online.


Money Mensch: Beat the hike in prescription charges

By Martin Lewis, April 23, 2009

Prescription charges in England rose from £7.10 to £7.20 on 1 April (in Wales prescriptions are free, and in Scotland and Northern Ireland they have dropped to £4 and £3 respectively). Yet fear not, there are simple ways to cut the cost.


Money Mensch: The Nationwide card is no longer plastic fantastic

By Martin Lewis, April 14, 2009

Many long-term readers of this column, or my site, will be holstering a Nationwide card specifically to cut the cost of spending when abroad. Yet sadly, this card has decided to stop being plastic fantastic. From May 6 for credit cards and June 1 for debit cards, Nationwide will start charging new and existing customers a 0.84 per cent “load” on spending outside Europe, rising to 1 per cent in July. That means spend £1,000 worth of US dollars on it and it will cost you £1008.40 in May and June, then £1010.00 from July.


Money Mensch: Mums-to-be can now claim a £190 pregnancy grant

By Martin Lewis, April 7, 2009

It is not just a bulge you get if you are pregnant. There is now a financial boon too.

Expectant mums can claim a new Health in Pregnancy Grant (HipG) worth £190. The idea is that you must be having regular check-ups with a midwife or doctor to get it, and they need to sign a form to confirm this.

Its aim is to keep people fit and healthy in the last trimester of pregnancy.

Anyone with a due date on or after 6 April 2009 can claim it once they are 25 weeks’ pregnant.