Ask Andy #53: 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

Every couple of weeks on a Tuesday evenings (though sometimes on a different day) 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!

Do I have to accept the energy rebate?

I would like to have the option to donate to someone who would benefit from my £400 payment. My partner and I are financially comfortable, and receiving the payment does not feel right.

Hackney66, via YouTube

Though you can’t avoid the £400 (which will comes as six lots of £67 off your bill), you could send the same amount from your current account to a charity of your choice if you want. Or you can take part in #Donatetherebate here.

Should I use my Amex abroad?

We now have an AMEX GOLD CARD – thanks to your great advice – and we are building up the points ! We will probably use it on our forthcoming cruises but can I ask your advice on another point?

All the charges on the cruises will be in dollars and we will have to pay a 2.99% charge to convert £ to $ – will this negate any AVOIOS gained? We also have a STARLING debit card which does not charge a fee, would this be a better alternative do you think?

Kevan, via email

Yep you’re right – don’t use the Amex for overseas spending. That charge will wipe out any points you earn.

Starling is a really good option, though Chase is also fee-free and earns 1% cashback for year one. Here are the best cards to use abroad.

Andy’s YouTube

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

How do I move Direct Debits?

Perhaps a silly question, how do I move direct debits from one account to another account without switching/closing my account?

Gloggsy, via the Facebook group

You’ve got a couple of options. If there are quite a few you want to move over you could see if your bank allows for a partial switch. This doesn’t close the old account, but also doesn’t come with the switching guarantee.

Or you can contact each supplier/business directly and change your details. Some will let you do it on your online account, others might require you to call up or send it it writing.

Can I put my student overdraft into savings without spending?

You mention taking out the overdraft at the start to move into a savings account (and earn interest). Does this mean you can choose to take out this overdraft sum at any time or must you wait until you are in the ‘minuses’/have run out of income?

Ella, via YouTube

Hi Ella, so let’s assume your balance is zero. If you transferred, say £500 to a savings account, you’d effectively be spending £500 and bringing your balance to minus £500.

If you are going to use your student overdraft for this purpose, it makes sense to only use it for this. So all your other spending comes out of a different account. Here’s more on student bank accounts.

Andy’s podcast

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

What happens to my credit card when I switch bank?

Thinking of switching banks but have a credit card with them that was only available to current account customers at the time etc.

What would happen to the credit card if anything once the account is switched?

Deb, via the Facebook community

There’s no one answer as it’ll depend on the bank and the card. You’ll need to check the terms and conditions with the bank to find out. It could still be a requirement that you have the current account open to keep the card. Or there might be a fee added if you don’t have the current account.

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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