Ask Andy #62: 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 (usually on a Sunday or Tuesday evening at 7pm) 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:

https://youtube.com/live/SQ-g_bPOg4U

This week’s extra questions

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

Should I switch Amex to Nectar via Avios?

Is it still worth converting my Amex reward points to Avios before converting to Nectar, or is it better/easier to convert direct from Amex?

Matt, via the Facebook community

If you’re going to use the Nectar points then I’d absolutely take the effort (it’s not much) to boost their return via a first swap to Avios and then to Nectar. You’ll get 0.67p rather than 0.5p per point this way.

If you don’t fancy doing it, then make sure you look at the other options available at the same 0.5p rate, such as gift cards at other retailers.

Am I ruled out of the First Direct switching offer?

If I opened a regular saver with HSBC in 2020, does that exclude me from the First Direct switch?

Matt, via the Facebook community

The only HSBC account that rules you out of First Direct’s £175 offer is an HSBC current account, so a savings account is fine. However, I believe the regular saver required you to have a current account with the bank.

Andy’s YouTube

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

Why is the credit card charging me hundreds?

Been having a look over the Pre Contract credit infomation [for the M&S Reward credit card] and there’s a box which states that the total amount I would have to pay is £1,345! Why is this?

Keiran, via the Facebook community

Looking at the screenshot you also shared, this amount is based on a scenario where you spend £1,200 on the card when you opened it and paid it off in 12 monthly installments – as opposed to clearing it completely when you receive the first statement. So that £1,345 figure is made up of the initial (imaginary) £1,200 spend and another £145 extra in interest over a year.

How do I pay tax on savings?

If I earn enough interest to go over my Personal Savings Allowance, how do I pay the additional tax?

Anon, via the Facebook community

The banks report the interest you earn to HMRC so if it’s over your Personal Savings Allowance they’ll adjust your tax code for the next financial year to claim it back. However if you fill in a self-assessment form you’ll need to declare it there instead.

Andy’s podcast

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

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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