Confusion Over Standing Order Due Dates

Written by Karen Bryan

santander123cxurrentaccountI logged into my Santander 123 Current Account to check that the new standing order for a monthly payment to my M&S Regular Saver was set up. I carried out this check on the 11th, the day before the standing order was due to be paid on the 12th of the month. Strangely, the standing order information showed that the next payment was due on the 12th of the following month.

I did a bit of online research which led me to conclude that, as standing orders can only be cancelled a couple of days in advance of the due date, a standing order due within the next two days doesn’t appear on the online banking screen as you can’t amend or cancel it.

I decided that the only course of action was to log into my Santander current account the following morning to check that the standing order had been paid. If if hadn’t been paid, I’d have then made a faster payment.

In my opinion, this is confusing for customers like me who are looking for reassurance that the standing order will be paid on the next due date.

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My Money Podcast #106

Written by Karen Bryan

The My Money Podcast #106 summaries the Help Me To Save articles below.

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Lodging a Missing Cashback Claim with TopCashBack.co.uk

Written by Karen Bryan

topcashbackThree weeks prior to our trip to Chicago, I booked single trip travel insurance with Aviva. I selected their policy as it offered travel disruption cover including ash cloud. The Aviva cover wasn’t the cheapest, but with the Bardarbunga volcano on red alert. I thought it was worth paying a bit more to ensure that we wouldn’t end up out-of-pocket. As our flight home would be with an non-EU airline from a non-EU airport, we would have been responsible for additional costs incurred if our flight had been delayed.

I booked the Aviva travel insurance through a link on the TopCashBack.co.uk website, which was offering £9.45 cashback on a single trip policy.

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Can You Make Money Doing Online Surveys?

Written by Karen Bryan

£5 notesI thought that doing some online surveys might be a good way to earn some extra cash. I signed up with Ipsos Mori’s I-Say research panel.

I believed that I’d be able to complete the online surveys quickly, as I’ve previously worked as a market research interviewer. I reckoned that being a female aged 55+ who was working full-time would mean that I’d fit the quota for a fair number of surveys. I also thought that as I’m online for a few hours a day, I’d be able to start doing the surveys quickly, before the required number of interviewees was filled.

Within the fist week of signing up to I-Say, I received a few emails from I-Say informing me that a survey was available. However, I was only able to fully complete two surveys, one earned me 150 points and the other 25 points. One survey wouldn’t load on my laptop.  I spent at least five minutes answering questions on two of these surveys, about internet usage and broadband/phone providers,  before it was deemed that I wasn’t suitable for the survey.

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Why I Decided to Buy a Phablet

Written by Karen Bryan

sony xperia z ultra portrait in handA phablet is a the nickname for a mobile phone with such a large screen that it’s almost the size of a small tablet.

I’ve been swithering about replacing my mobile phone for some time. I was attracted to a larger screen, to make it easier to use the on-screen qwerty keyboard and read text on the screen. However, the high price of mobile phones with large screen deterred me from upgrading my phone.

Then I thought maybe I should buy a tablet, as they seemed reasonably priced for their screen size. Closer investigation revealed that the cheaper tablets only offered WiFi connection, which would limit their use.

I’d also decided that I’d prefer a mobile phone which was 4G enabled. so I could pick up a faster mobile broadband signal. This increased the price of a mobile phone.

Using 4G would probably mean that I’d use more data, plus I might want to use tethering (create a personal WiFi hotspot to connect other devices) to get online with my netbook when travelling.

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Vodafone Misleading Customers During Sales Calls

Written by Karen Bryan

vodafoneI recently received a call from Vodafone, with whom I have a monthly mobile phone contract. You know the call that starts off purporting to be about asking you if you are happy with your current service, but soon moves on to a sales pitch.

During the call, the sales rep was trying to persuade me to upgrade my package to include a MiFi device. You insert a SIM card into this device and then you can use your data allowance to set up a personal WiFi hotspot to which you can connect several devices.

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Why You Need to Ensure Your Annuity Rate is Personally Tailored

Written by Karen Bryan

£10 and £20 notes alternative 240Many people, upon reaching retirement age and being provided with an annuity quote from their pension provider will automatically accept the rate offered to them. It is a belief that the rate offered to you by your provider is the best annuity rate available to you; yet a study by the Financial Conduct Authority has found that 8 out of 10 people who stayed with their current pension provider actually missed out on income by not comparing their quote and not switching. To ensure you’re getting the annuity rate that you deserve and have contributed towards, here’s how to get your personally tailored quote for the best rate available.

Calculate your annuity

Visit an online annuity calculator and find out how much your pension fund could actually be worth to you. Be aware though that any online calculator you use will not be able to generate an accurate annuity rate, only a general idea of how much you could receive.

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The Rambling Direct Debit by the Halifax

Written by Demetrius Vouyiouklis

halifax logoI’ve been with the Halifax for a good number of years now and overall, I’d been happy with the service. So far, I’ve kept my current account with them, despite several juicy switching offers by other banks during the past few years.

But the way a Direct Debit (DD) cancellation was treated, makes me wonder whether sticking with the Halifax has been the best policy.

I’d joined the Ramblers about a year ago and paid my initial membership by DD, agreeing to them collecting again on a set later date. However, the Ramblers collected the next DD a month earlier and their response when I contacted them made me decide to leave the club. At that time they said that in order to have my fee returned I’d have to contact the Halifax directly.

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My Money Podcast #105

Written by Karen Bryan

The My Money Podcast #105 features the articles below.

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Is Airbnb Better Value Than a Hotel?

Written by Karen Bryan

When attending an Airbnb event in London in December, I received a £40 Airbnb voucher. This was handy as I wanted to attend the Edinburgh Travel Tweetup the following Wednesday, wearing my travel blogger hat on that occasion. The Tweetup finished at 10pm and I wasn’t keen to drive back to Berwick upon Tweed on a winter’s night.

I’d had a quick look at the Travelodge website for a hotel in central Edinburgh and found the Travelodge Edinburgh Princes St for £45 on a Flexible rate for the one night midweek stay. The cheapest Travelodge rooms are usually found by booking well in advance on the non-refundable Saver rate.

I was hoping that I’d find a private room with an en suite bathroom in a central location through Airbnb for around the £40 value of my voucher. I found a luxury snug in Edinburgh’s Queen St for £46, including the £6 Airbnb fee.

luxury snug queen st seating area

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