Ask Andy #37: 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 live Q&A

Most Tuesday evenings you’ll find me live on YouTube and Instagram answering your questions. It’s probably the best place to ask!

Here’s the latest video:

This week’s extra questions

If you’ve asked me a question elsewhere, you might find the answer below!

Can I have more than one account?

Sorry if this is a really stupid question but can I have two current accounts and more than one saving account (with different providers)?

Amy, via YouTube

Not a stupid question at all. And yes you can have multiple current and savings accounts across any number of providers. Here’s more on why this is a good idea.

Will buying a phone on a credit card help my credit score?

I don’t feel very educated about how to build my credit score etc…although I am registered with Clear Score and appear to have a good score currently. I’m trying to think of ways I can continue to add positively towards my credit score with the way I purchase things etc…

I already have a credit card linked to my other current and savings accounts with the Cooperative bank and usually pay it off in full every month. I’m planning to purchase a new phone in the new few months and am wondering whether it may be beneficial to get a 0% credit card for this large purchase (which I have the money to pay off over time). Would this help build my credit score or am I best just putting it on my existing credit card?

Gemma, via email

I think if you’re already using a credit card, the best thing you can do to boost your credit score is to focus on making sure you use it every month on normal purchases and then clear the full balance each month. I don’t think another credit card will help really.

However, paying for a phone upfront is often cheaper! So a 0% credit card (or if it’s an Apple or Samsung you can sometimes get 0% finance deals directly with them) will allow you to get a better deal. Though do check as sometimes there are contract deals from networks which can be cheaper.

There’s plenty on the blog about credit scores and improving them, so they might be worth reading

Andy’s YouTube

Watch new videos every week on the Andy Clever Cash channel, plus a regular live Q&A

Can I pay for Prime monthly?

Hi Andy I’ve just watched your video on Amazon prime with regards reducing the outlay and I’m one if those that pay the £7.99p/m fee, is it possible to cancel month on month like you can with say Now etc?

Tony, via Twitter

Yep, absolutely. So you can just pay for the months you need to use it (or pay £5.99 if you only want streaming). This is a really good way to see if you can go without Prime for some or all of the year, and save you money at the same time. Here’s more about my year without Amazon.

Can I change bank accounts without my husband knowing?

I would like to take advantage of all the amazing offers you tell us about but I have a bit of concern.

My husband does not recommend chasing offers and so on.

We have a joint account, joint mortgage and we are in the last phase of paying off our mortgage hence we will not be remortgaging again.

I have my own personal account and credit cards but I don’t know if it will be advisable for me to proceed with taking advantage of these offers, like credit cards and new current accounts and so on.

We both have a very good credit rating but I don’t want to do anything that would affect either his or my credit rating.

I automatically set up a direct debit for all of my bills an expenses so I don’t think I will default on any payment.

I want to ask you if you think if I can do any of these offers in my name without him knowing or affecting him in anyway.

Jane (name changed) via email

So there are a few things here Jane…

I’d be worried about you feeling you need to hide financial things from your husband. This can cause all sorts of problems, so perhaps try and have a conversation with him about how you feel. This article I wrote for Metro newspaper has some basics that might help, but there will be other places you can go for ideas of how to start the chat

If the accounts are in your name then you are entitled to change them as you wish. Each time you apply for a new current account or credit card there will be a credit check. But doing just one or two will have very little impact, especially if they are spaced out a little. Though you have a joint account and mortgage which will appear on both credit reports, this kind of activity won’t impact him. Only if you got into large debts would there be an issue.

With cashback credit cards you’ll be fine as long as you clear the full balance each month. You might also need to just make sure you don’t “double spend”, where you think you have more money in your current account than you actually do – as it’ll be needed to pay off the credit card.

I hope this was helpful!

Andy’s podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

Can I reverse a bank switch?

I recently followed your advice and switched from my Halifax bank to Nationwide & completed the switch which was completed on 24th December & I received my £125 reward about 5 days later. 

Unfortunately, I’m very unhappy with Nationwide’s customer service already. For example, since my switch, a refund from Currys for a faulty hoover has been issued (I paid through PayPal from my Halifax card which obviously now is cancelled due to the switch), the refund still isn’t showing in my Nationwide account so I rang them, they said “no, refunds to cards are not included in the switch guarantee, it’s only regular payments such as wages that are included, you’ll have to call Halifax and sort it out”.

So I called Halifax and they said that the refund is included in the current account switch and that nationwide should sort this out & ensure I get my refund to my nationwide account. So I read online the full current account switch guarantee and it plain as day says refunds to your old bank card/account are included in the switch guarantee.

So I called nationwide again and they still said that’s not the case, I told them it definitely is and I want it escalating to management or complaints whoever can sort it out. The young lad on the phone said he couldn’t because it’s Bank Holiday etc.

If you don’t mind advising me please?, I have tried researching online but can’t find an answer. My questions to you are:

1. Is it possible for me to reverse the switch and have my Halifax account back or is it too late for that? 

2. If it’s too late to reverse the switch, how long do I have to wait until I can switch again either back to Halifax or first direct (as I was happy with both those banks previously)? 

3. And if I do a switch to another bank soon can Nationwide take the £125 switch reward back?

Jessica, via email

Sorry to hear you had this experience. Certainly put in a complaint and ask for not just the refund to be processed, but I’d also request a goodwill compensation payment.

All money into the account should be redirected, so if Currys has refunded you the payment should have been sent to Halifax and redirected to Nationwide. 

I know sometimes Paypal could be an issue (I had difficulties getting a refund for a Travelodge stay once) so it might be worth checking that Currys has processed the refund.

It’ll be too late to “reverse” the switch, but you can open up a new account at a different bank and then switch into it. Sometimes banks have a limit of how soon you can come back after a switch so perhaps check with Halifax (if it’s been four years since you left FD then that’ll be fine). Or you can look to see if other banks will offer a switching bonus (here’s the latest list).

And don’t worry, Nationwide won’t take the money back. There’s nothing in the terms to say you have to keep their account for any set time once you have the cash.

Good luck!

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 Tuesday (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. I tend to look once a week at all the messages, so you might have to bear with me for a reply!

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.