This Sunday (7 January), BT is hiking its prices for millions of customers.
For example, before calls its unlimited standard broadband will be £2/month more expensive at £43/month including compulsory basic line rental, and £50/month for unlimited fibre – far more expensive than the market’s cheapest.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis revealed: “Yet if you’re out of contract, there’s a way to slash your cost and still effectively stay with BT(ish).”
Plusnet is another brand within the BT group and until Tuesday it has the cheapest standard broadband and line deal, for new customers (which includes people currently with the BT brand though not Plusnet itself) – equivalent to around £13/month before calls – so a huge saving.
Martin said: “That price comes if you can pay just under £200 for upfront line rental (or just a couple of quid more £18.99/month if you pay monthly) and then for the year the broadband is just £1/month (at the end of the contract £10/month).
“Yet within 10 days after activation, you’ll also get an email telling you how to claim £50 cashback, which you must do within 2 months. Factor that in and you’re paying £162 for the year.
“Plus its customer service rating is actually higher than main BT’s with 54 per cent saying it was ‘great’ in a recent poll, compared with BT’s 25 per cent.
“And currently newbies to it (or who left in the last month) until11.59pm Tuesday, can get 12month standard unlimited broadband & line deal for equivalent£13/month – which is the cheapest on the market.”
The bank switching price war is also reheating, and with money tight it is worth considering, according to Martin.
Switching takes just seven working days, the new bank closes your old account and moves all direct debits, standing orders and payments, plus the free cash can be paid within a month of switching – for the vast majority it’s a simple process. All credit-check when you apply.
For a full rundown see ‘Martin’s Top Pick Bank Accounts’ guide yet in brief (all have criteria such as ‘a need to have a number of direct debits etc – so do check)
Martin said: “HSBC newbies switching to the HSBC Advance account get £150 then £50 more if you’re still with it after a year. Plus you get access to a linked 5 per cent regular savings account where you can put up to £250/month for one year.
“Some also get a 6month 0 per cent overdraft (depending on credit score you’ll either get the full 6months or not get one at all). The minimum pay in (i.e. getting your salary in) is a hefty £1,750+/month, equivalent to a salary of £26,100.
“First Direct’s won all my customer service polls for seven years, and currently gives switchers a free £100 (more via some sites).
“You’ll need to pay in £1,000/month to get the cash and keep the account free – if not, it’s £10/month.
“You’ll get the cash within 28 working days of your first pay-in. Plus you get access to its 5 per cent fixed regular saver, and some get a £250 0 per cent overdraft.”
He added that M&S Bank gives new switchers a £125 M&S gift card (within a month of switching, min two direct debits), and for the first year it’ll add another £5/month to it as long as you pay in £1,000/month. It also offers a 5 per cent fixed regular savings account and to some, a £100 0 per cent overdraft.
For more of Martin Lewis’ money saving tips visit the Money Saving Expert website.