Are you taking advantage of introductory credit and savings offers?

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Many banks entice new customers by giving them some great deals. The latest one I have seen is by Halifax offering £100 cash and £5 cash each month to customers who change their current account to them. In order to qualify you have to deposit £1000 and then change 2 direct debits to come out that account. I don’t know about you but I certainly have 2 direct debits that can easily be changed, one for my phone bill and one for broadband. I could change these over and that £100 would get me 3 months free services. Not bad for filling out 1 hours worth of paper work.

Even more important than current accounts is a savings account. If you have your money sitting in an aged saving account you will actually be losing money! There is a high chance that your bank will decrease the rate of interest after the first year and then year on year it might also decrease. This means you have to be willing to open new savings accounts every year to get the best rate of interest. It’s still very unlikely that you will ever get a rate of interest that matches inflation do actually match and surpass inflation you need to be investing in stocks and shares. However lets leave that for another post.

Your credit card may also be costing you more than it should if you have not changed it in a while. Many credit cards have a 0% introductory rate that rises to 19.99% after 12 months. Other bonus can include air miles, cashback and even money of purchases in certain retailers. This means that you should change your credit card yearly. Make sure you cancel your last card because taking out too many cards if going to lower your credit rating. A safe bet would be to cancel your current credit card a month before it runs out then take out a new one a month after.

Should you save in long term accounts?

Some banks can give you great rates providing you can save money in the account for a minimum of 5 years. You shouldn’t treat this as a liquid account as if you take money out you are fined your interest. That coupled with the rate of inflation will mean your money is become more and more worthless by the second. If you don’t trust the stock market or don’t want to pay people to manage an investment portfolio then this option may be for you on some of your money you can afford to tie up for a long period of time!

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