Ask Andy #50: 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!

Where should I save £80,000?

Quick question and appreciate your advice. We are selling our house and our new house will be ready beginning of next year. This will leave us with around £80,000.00 where should we put it? Low risk as we need to reinvest in approx months but would like to try and make our money work for us.

Ian, via Instagram

Hi Ian, if you need access in less than six months, then the best easy access account is via Chase at 1.5% (Virgin Money pays 1.56% but only up to £25,000). If six months is OK, then you can get a fix at 2.01%. There are other options, which are listed in my best buy savings account guide.

Can I get cashback from Chase by topping up a prepaid card?

Quick question: This morning I read your review of the Halifax Reward account and you mentioned “you can add money to a Revolut or Monese current account. These app-only bank accounts both have the option to do this via debit card, so choose this rather than a standard bank transfer. Once you’ve paid the money you can transfer it out of Monese or Revolut back to Halifax (or any other bank). This is a useful option if you spend with the Chase debit card rather than a cashback credit card.”

Does this mean that you can earn 1% cashback on a Chase card by making debit card payments into a Revolut or Monese account? I don’t have a Revolt or Monese account currently in order to check this, but it if this is the case I will get one

James, via email

Sadly not as Chase excludes “account and prepaid card funding”. What I meant in the review was you could use this Halifax/Monese trick to spend the £500 on your Halifax debit card if you don’t have a cashback credit card to pay off (perhaps because you are using Chase).

Andy’s YouTube

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

What is an active Direct Debit?

My question is, if you have a current account and direct debits have been paid from that account and then switch to another account using the switch service, are those ditect debits still classed as active after the switch? Even if those direct debits have not yet been paid from the new current acc that you’ve switched into? 

So I opened a Santander current acc and switched to Lloyds using the switch service. Before switching had a few DD set up with the Santander acc and paid from the acc and now that I’ve switched to Lloyds I want to know can I now switch to another bank (Nationwide) or do I need to wait for the DD to be paid from the Lloyds acc first?

In my Lloyds app I can see the DD under the DD section and even got a letter about it – just want to know if these DD can be classed as active before I switch to Nationwide as it requires active DD.

Shakib, via email

Usually yes, though Nationwide told me that they require the direct debit to have been paid from the previous account before switching to be classed as “active”. Of course, they might not check , but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here are some quick ones you can set up though, if you need to.

What card is best to use in the USA?

I’m looking for a credit card to use in USA any recommendations please other than Halifax?

Cathy. via the Facebook group

I’d look first at a free-free debit card if that works for you. Here’s my full guide, but the top picks are:

  • Chase Bank (Debit card) 1% cashback
  • Barclaycard Rewards (Credit card) 0.25% cashback
  • Starling Bank (Debit card)

Andy’s podcast

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

Can I cancel my Barclaycard once I get the bonus?

Got a question regarding the Barclaycard Avios Plus. What if spent £3000 in the first month. Can I cancel it after the first month. I recall you mentioned that the earliest is 3 months. But can I do it after the first or 2nd month?

Mitch, via Instagram

Yep! As soon as you’ve got those extra points and they’re sitting in your Avios account there’s no need to keep paying. Perhaps it’s best to switch down to the free version though.

You will however miss out on the upgrade voucher that comes from a £10k spend in a year, though I’m not sure it’s worth paying the monthly fee to get this. Here’s my full review of the card.

How to ask me questions

The best way to get in touch is in the Andy Clever Cash Facebook community

Just post your question any time, or ask me in my live fortnightly Q&A every other Tuesday (which is on Instagram and YouTube).

I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer all questions but I’ll do my best.

If you want to contact me via other channels I tend to look once a week at all the messages, but it can take longer – so you might have to bear with me for a reply.

You can also comment on individual blogposts and videos or ask me questions via these channels:

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