My weekly round-up of your personal finance questions.
I love hearing from you, whether it’s on the blog, social media, YouTube or on email. Often you’re asking me questions about your finances, and I’m always glad to help if I have the time.
But I realised that my answers could also be useful to other followers. So I’ll be putting my responses to the best questions into regular articles here on the blog.
Keep reading for some of the questions I’ve been asked, plus the video live from last week with even more!
Watch last week’s Q&A
Watch my answers to questions in the weekly Q&A on YouTube
Should you use American Express abroad?
Is Amex not a good card to use overseas ?
Justin via the blog
Hi Justin. You’ll get charged fees that far exceed the cashback you earn. So it’s best to not use them unless there’s some kind of additional offer (perhaps on a hotel) that will earn you a hefty amount of cashback.
Can I open another bank account without switching?
I have one current account open but want to open two more without closing this one. Is that possible?
Raj via Instagram
Hi Raj. Yes absolutely. Full switching is usually only required to claim one-off cash incentives or if you want to move all your banking over.
So you can open up more accounts without closing the old one – just check the terms and conditions if they offer monthly rewards. Most don’t require switching but sometimes they do.
If you do want to nab switching bonuses in the future you can open up a second account now that you know you won’t want to keep, and then switch that later on.
Is Wise good for overseas spending?
Any thoughts about the Wise card (TransferWise) ? Even though there is a fee, exchange rates are good and money can be transferred in advance when the exchanges rates are low.
Hari, via the blog
Hi Hari, I think Wise can be useful if you are paid in a different currency, such as Dollars. For Euros then Monese does this transfer for free. But for everyday spending, then you’re better off with one of the cards in this guide that are completely fee free.
Are bank rewards taxable?
Are monthly rewards and switching bonuses regarded as taxable income?
GardenGeek, via the blog
They can be! It depends on the bank and benefit. Some will class it as interest, so it comes out of your personal savings allowance. Others it’s just a freebie.
And it can vary too on how you claim the reward. Halifax for example says the following about the £5 reward if you get if from saving £5,000 in the account
“If you choose to keep £5,000 or more in your account, the Monthly Reward will be paid ‘net’ after the deduction of income tax at the rate set by law (currently 20%). The gross value of the Monthly Reward before income tax is taken off is £6.25. If you’re a higher rate tax payer, you may have to pay extra income tax on the Monthly Reward. If we have deducted more tax than you have to pay you may be able to claim it back from HMRC.
Can someone else open a Lifetime ISA for me?
Can I have a LISA and just pay 4K in at once and then have a family member open one and do the same thing
Vik, via YouTube
You can only have a LISA for you personally. So if they open one up it will be for their first home/retirement
Can I set up Direct Debits with credit cards?
Can you set up direct debits on a credit card? I spend about 500 a month on direct debits. Would I be able to get cashback on these purchases?
PersonalBest, via YouTube
Sadly not. But you might be able to pay some bills with a credit card. You’ll need to check with each provider to see what they allow.
Can I watch NOW offline?
With regard to your article on alternatives to Sky, does “Now” only allow you to stream as opposed to download. For example, I tend to flick through football matches I have recorded on Sky, which would not be possible if I have to sit through every second of a match.
Jan, via email
You can watch on-demand and fast-forward through old shows at any time, and you can download to a device like a phone or tablet to take on the move with you.
Do credit cards protect my purchases?
Watching some American YouTube content I just heard them say that they use a credit card to buy electrical goods/mobile phones as certain cards cover the items if they are damaged or faulty
Seems like a cool idea for free insurance on electrical items I just wondered if there was a uk equivalent to this or if it only applies over the pond?
Jordan, via Instagram
Yes! There’s a a law called Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act which protects that any purchase of an item that costs more than £100 (not a cumulative total). If there’s an issue such as it being faulty or doesn’t arrive then the credit card company is equally liable
How to ask me questions
The best ways to get in touch is in the Andy Clever Cash Facebook community
Just post your question any time, or ask me live in my weekly Q&A each Thursday (which is also on Instagram and YouTube).
You can also comment on individual blogposts and videos or ask me questions via these channels:
I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer all questions but I’ll do my best.