Forget the gimmicks and life hacks: these products can save you money without you even having to think about it.
But what if you want to save money with minimal effort?
Many of the best financial hacks out there are simply long-term, high-quality products.
Some have been around for many years and a few are new: what they have in common is that you’ll need to make only minimal, if any, changes to your day-to-day routine.
Before you start, just a word of warning: you could incur large fees and interest charges if you don’t use these products properly, so make sure they’re right for you first.
American Express Platinum Everyday Cashback Card
Why not get money back for your normal spending?
The Platinum Everyday Cashback Card pays you every time you spend – 5% for the first three months (maximum £100) then 0.5% thereafter.
You have to wait a year to get that money but it’s effectively free, as the card has no fee.
You just need to make sure you pay off the balance in full every month, to avoid paying the 22.9% interest. To do this, simply set up a monthly direct debit to pay the full balance.
There’s a version of the card with a £25 fee but higher cashback rate – worth a look if you spend more than £10,000 on it.
Check your eligibility and apply for the American Express Platinum Everyday card here.
NatWest Reward Account
You can also get cashback for the boring stuff: NatWest’s account pays 2% cashback on bills.
The Reward Account has a £2 fee but that’ll easily get paid for by the cashback you make: £83 a year for the average customer, NatWest estimates.
Having this account also means you get fees waived on NatWest’s cashback credit card to earn cashback whilst shopping.
Starling Bank Personal Current Account
The days of just having one current account are long gone: Starling’s account is ideal when you travel, even if that’s just the odd holiday.
That’s because the account, which is free to get, also offers fee-free spending and cash withdrawals abroad, at Mastercard’s excellent exchange rate.
Starling has the edge on rivals like Monzo because it also pays interest on your balance (0.5% AER) and offers unlimited fee-free cash withdrawals.
Bear in mind that if you apply for an overdraft with Starling it’ll leave a mark on your credit file: worth considering if you’re just about to apply for a mortgage, for instance.
Find out more about Starling bank here.
Switching your energy supplier could save you £320, but it’s one of those life-admin tasks we never get around to.
Luckily, several companies will now do the switching for you: they move you to the cheapest deal every year.
Some of these services charge a small amount, in exchange for which you get a true ‘whole of market’ comparison. Many auto-switching services allow you to prioritise suppliers with renewable energy or excellent customer service.
You can read more about the pros and cons of these services here.
Santander Everyday Credit Card
If you want to get out of debt, a long interest-free window to pay off your debts is important, but it’s also important to avoid extra fees.
Santander’s Everyday Credit Card gives you 27 months interest free on balance transfer and it’s also fee-free.
The interest-free period this card offers isn’t far off the longest interest-free cards in the market, which are around 33 months.
Just make sure you’re confident you can pay off your debt in that time (our calculator can help you work this out).
Cashback offers for broadband and energy in particular can add up to the hundreds.
Top Cashback’s free Notifier is a plug in for your web browser that tells you when a site offers cashback.
If you click on it, you’ll be routed through Top Cashback and back to the website you were viewing.
The Notifier has another benefit: because you won’t have to search for products using the cashback sites themselves, you won’t be pushed towards products you wouldn’t have bought anyway.
You can download the Notifier from TopCashback’s website.
Yorkshire Building Society Two-year fixed rate mortgage
At the time of writing, this mortgage had the lowest interest rate on the market: a paltry 1.43%.
Not everyone will be able to get this mortgage, of course: you’ll need at least 35% equity in your property and need to watch out for a steep variable rate kicks in after year two.
The point is, however, that you could likely pay less for your mortgage than you are now.
The average two-year fixed rate is currently 2.51%; five year at 2.92% and SVR at 4.90%, according to Moneyfacts.
If you’re paying an SVR, or above those averages, it’s worth considering switching.
By refinancing, and paying even a slightly lower rate of interest, you could save hundreds of pounds.
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