Ask Andy #30: Your money questions answered

My regular round-up of your personal finance questions.

I love hearing from you, whether it’s on the blog, social media, YouTube or 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 this week with even more!

Watch the latest Q&A

Watch my answers to questions in the weekly Q&A on YouTube:

Can I switch two accounts at the same time?

Is it okay to switch over two current accounts at the same time ? I’ve just made a switch to santander for their £130 but have another current debit account which I never use but thinking to set up two debits there and switch that over to natwest since I have a savings account with them

Tabis, via Instagram

Yes you can switch more than one account at the same time. I’ve done it myself recently. The only impact will be on your score for short time. So it’s two applications very close together, which will have more of an impact than one switch followed by another switch a month after. Here’s more on the impact of opening new current accounts on your credit score.

Do I need to pay in the full amount each month?

Some Switches require you to pay in a certain amount each month. Does this mean I can just pay the money in and then immediately take it out and repeat for each month?

Alex, via the blog

With the Halifax Rewards account, let’s say I’m not going to have the full £1500 getting paid in this month. Is there a way I can get it by moving my own money around? Like bank transfer or would it have to be paid into the account in cash over the counter or another way?? Thanks

Laura, via the blog

I’ll answer these two questions together.

In terms of switches, that’s right. Unless it specifically says the money needs to stay in the account until you get the bonus (eg with Virgin Money) then you can just withdraw it straight away.

And it’s a yes again for Laura, absolutely. You can do a bank transfer in smaller amounts. So you could pay in £500, withdraw it to another account. Pay it back into Halifax, withdraw it again. And then pay it in again for a final time. That’s your £1,500 sorted for the month.

Are Premium Bonds safe?

Hello Andy I was helping with my wife with a spare 10k she has and opened a fixed 1.36% 1 year. But then saw your Info about premium bonds and was thinking probably that would be the best thing

Ia there any chance you can lose money? Or the downside is you may just not win anything 

Janeiro, via Instagram

Hey. So with Premium Bonds your money is totally safe, and it’s practically easy access (maybe up to a week to withdraw money). So yes the only danger is you might not win anything at all.

You’ll get more money in a 12-month fix at 1.36% than in Premium Bonds unless you are incredibly lucky. That £50 cashback is a decent extra on top too. So if you’re happy to lock the money away it’s a decent option, so don’t worry about the choice.

Here’s more about how Premium Bonds work.

Should I open a TSB current account for the regular saver?

Dear Andy

Do you think the new TSB Monthly Saver paying 2% is worth it? I don’t have a TSB Current Account.

Andrew, via Instagram

I wouldn’t. Though this is a high-paying account, you’re limited to just £150 a month as a deposit. This means you’re looking at £19 a year in interest if you put in the full amount.

But if you can open a 1% account with a different bank (either one you already have an account with or one that doesn’t require a current account with them – see a list here) you’d make just under a tenner. So you’re effectively going through all the admin for the sake of £10ish.

I also don’t rate the TSB Spend & Save accounts – you don’t get much in return for the actions required to get the cashback.

So personally I’d avoid it unless you already have a TSB current account and have already taken advantage of other options like Virgin Money’s M Plus current account or the Claro app.

What’s the best card to spend with abroad?

Hi mate, I’m going to Dubai in November. Can you recommend me which debit and credit card to apply for?

Tirath, via Instagram

Hi Tirath. So unless you specifically want a credit card, I’d go for one of a few current accounts that offer fee-free spending. First is Chase Bank as you also earn 1% cashback on most spending. If that’s not for you then look at Starling Bank. You can treat them as prepaid cards and transfer cash from your main current account. Here’s more on The best travel debit and credit cards.

Should I switch away from my cash ISA?

Hi Andy, just found your you tube site which I find very informative. Can you advise please: I have a cash ISA with HSBC paying 0.02%. Wouldn’t I be better of having my money in my newly opened Virgin savings account paying .35% even though I will pay tax on the interest? Thanks, Heidi.

Heidi, via Instagram

Hi Heidi. So it can depend on how much money you have in savings. Each year we all get a Personal Savings Allowance. For basic rate taxpayers it’s £1000. For a higher rate taxpayer it’s £500. This is how much interest you can earn tax free.

So if your ISA earnings aren’t anywhere near the allowance level you can earn interest wherever you like – and ideally at the highest rate.

So you can actually beat the 0.35% from the Virgin Money account by choosing an easy access account (the best right now is 0.66%) or even Premium Bonds. Here are The best savings accounts right now.

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 Wednesday (which is 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.


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