Ask Andy #63: 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/xN2_5m6ravU

This week’s extra questions

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

Should I close a credit card before applying for another?

Is it generally recommended to shut down a credit card before applying for a new one or is it not really an issue? My score comes back as “excellent” in my current situation but I want to minimise any chances of getting declined. In addition to this, on the soft check i did with my bank, I noticed that I still have an ex partner from over 15 years ago on my record as we shared a joint account. I understand that I need to apply to the TransUnion to get her removed. Again, is it worth doing this now or wait until the application has gone through? Cheers

Lewis, via the Facebook community

Sadly there’s no clear answer about cancelling cards as you get new ones. Having too much credit available can be a bad thing to lenders, but having too little can reduce your “credit utilisation” rate. However, I’d certainly wait to cancel (if that’s what you want to do) until you’ve got the new card as you might end up wit no card at all.

And when it comes to the notice of dissociation, you’ll need to send it to all three credit reference agencies if the account is showing on them. Do check too that the joint account is closed, as old accounts should be removed after they are closed, usually within 6 years if not sooner.

Should I get an N&SI Green bond?

Are the green bonds worth taking out please?

Andy, via the Facebook community

These Green Bonds pay 3% over a 3-year fix – a rate that can be easily beaten on even easy-access accounts, including by many building societies. Though not necessarily “green” they won’t be investing in anti-environmental businesses and are probably better places for your money.

Andy’s YouTube

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

Can I share an Avios account?

Regarding the BA Premium Plus CC 70k Avios bonus offer. Would I be correct to assume two people who are eligible for two separate cards, can use a single BA executive club account to collect the points or does it have to be two separate accounts? Is this even the best way to approach this scenario? Thanks in advance!

Richard, via the Facebook community

You’d need to open your own Executive Club accounts and earn the points that way, but you can connect them via a “household account”. This would mean you can pool points, though when you use them it takes a proportion from each member based on the points each has available.

So if you had 100,000 and the other person had 50,000, and you wanted to spend 50,000 points, rather than split it in half, you’d use 33,333 and they’d use 16,666 points.

Will switching hurt my credit score?

I’ve followed some of your guides recently to get some current account switch rewards but I just wonder if this has a big impact on my credit score?

I keep track of my credit score and notice that some banks have done a hard search on me when opening current accounts and my score has gone down slightly. I had an advice note on one credit score provider that said I should try to limit the new accounts that I open – but does it really matter?

I’m on a 5-year fixed mortgage rate so it’s not like I’ll be looking to change that any time soon and I’ve never taken out a loan, nor do I intend to if I can help it. So is it ok to continue opening various accounts to get as many rewards as I can?

Any help/advice would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Michael, via email

Yes, there will be credit searches for the new accounts, and you’ll lose longevity on the accounts you switch away from. For the latter you might want to keep really old accounts rather than switch them (and use a dummy account instead). But not really anything to overly worry about unless you have important applications on the horizon. More is explained here.

Andy’s podcast

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

How do I balance transfer?

I am looking to do a balance transfer from one credit card to another before my 0% ends in March and would like to see what’s the best way of going about it.

Anthony, via email

Your best bet is to check eligibility on a comparison site to get a sense of the options (though it won’t include every card out there so you might want to also look direct too).

From the results, I’d go for whichever is a) most likely to accept you, b) has a 0% length that suits you and c) has the lowest transfer fee (if one at all). More is explained here

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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