Ask Andy #39: 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 get savings without a current account?

I wanted to open a savings account, but I’d have to open a current account with that same bank…I don’t really need another current account & don’t want to close my main current account. Is there a way around this?

I.e. is it possible to keep my main bank account…then open a current & savings account with the other bank..& standing order from my main to the new current, then standing order to the savings account? If that made any sense!! Thanks for any reply

Mich, via YouTube

Yes, lots of savings accounts are available without opening a current account. In fact many savings providers don’t even offer a current account. So you can transfer the money straight from your existing current account into the new savings account. Here’s my list of the latest best buy accounts.

Should I ditch Amex for Chase?

I wanted to clarify something… I have had the Amex everyday platinum cashback card for 2 years and spend enough to get 1% cashback. I opened a chase account in October after you reported on it, and I’m currently using Amex as my main card, and using the chase where Amex isn’t accepted.

Is this the best way to combine them, or should I be using the Chase 1% debit card over the Amex everyday platinum?

Tom via email

If you’re already on the 1% cashback with the Amex then you could stick with it, but bear in mind a couple of factors:

  • Each 12 months on Amex you start again on 0,5% until you’ve spent another £10,000 in that membership year.
  • You only get paid the cashback on your card anniversary, whereas Chase pays immediately.
  • If you cancel the Amex before the anniversary year is up, you lose all the cashback earned in that period
  • You need to spend £3,000 on the Amex Everyday Plat to get any cashback

Andy’s YouTube

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

Can I switch a savings account?

Old regular savers that have expired for example in BoS , do they count as current accounts valid for a switch?

Charles, via comments on the blog

Sadly it has to be a full current account, not a savings account, for a switch. More on switching here.

Can I use a credit card for my bills?

Can I register for Direct Debit (Eg: Virgin Media, Thameswater) Bills using Amex Credit Card ? I researched a lot, no luck, can you help me?

Muralidharan, via YouTube

Hi, sadly you can only pay Direct Debits from a current account and not a credit card. If you need extra direct debits, then I’ve a guide here to some options. You can however usually pay the bills directly with a credit card.

Andy’s podcast

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

Will a new fridge save me money?

Do you think it is worth buying a good second hand fridge to replace the one that came with the house .? It is icing up all the time, I have checked out all the self help videos to no avail. It is a very old appliance and presumably with the fault, and age is wasting electricity. I am obviously looking for ways to reduce my energy bills as much as possible.

Betty, via YouTube

Interesting one. A new one will use less electricity to power. But you’ve got to factor in the cost of buying again. It could take a long time for the savings from energy use wipe out the upfront cost, though it does depend on how old / bad the current ones is. 

For example, an average A rated fridge freezer will probably cost £76 a year to run, while a A+++ one is £38. If you paid £380 for a new freezer, it’d take 10 years to break even. So you could wait until it breaks to buy again, or take the plunge now.

Are Premium Bond prizes interest free?

Can you pull your money out from premium bonds at any time? Also is the winnings interest free and does it count towards your interest free limit e.g. £1000 or 500 based on income

Kushal, via YouTube

It should take a few working days to withdraw the cash, but at times it can be longer, so I’d always have some money elsewhere too. And all winnings are tax free and don’t count towards your Personal Savings Allowance.

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!

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