Ask Andy #51: 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!

What are cashback sites for?

I’ve never used any cashback sites. How do you use them and any recommendations? Is it just for big things like insurance or can you use them on individual products in the shops?

Jacqueline, via the Facebook group

You can potentially use a cashback site for any purchase, from your broadband and insurance through to clothes, train tickets and online supermarket shops.

I recommend TopCashback and Quidco (or both) for most purchases, though Airtime Rewards can be a good addition on top. There are welcome offers for all of them listed here.

To use them you first make sure you don’t have any windows open in your browser for the retailer you want to buy from. Then open up the cashback site and search for that shop there. Click through to the shop’s website and buy as normal. This video explains more

Will I get switching cash if the offer ended before the switch completed?

I switched from my current bank to HSBC and met all the conditions to get their £170 cashback.The switched happened on day seven but the deal was withdrawn on day six. Does that mean I have lost the deal?HSBC website indicates that the switch needs to have been complete in order to qualify for the cashback.

John, via the Facebook community

Hi John, if you started the switch before the deal finished you should be ok as the fastest a switch can happen is 10 working days. The money should be paid within 30 days of the switching completion, so keep an eye on your account. If the money doesn’t arrive then contact HSBC to find out why / complain.

Will switching hurt my credit score?

I have been using your superb guide on your website to take advantage of the many bank switching offers. However, obviously this involves opening many different bank accounts. Will this affect my credit score? Or is simply opening bank accounts not going to affect my credit score?

Robbie, via email

Yes you’re right it could have an impact, both by opening a new account and by closing the old account. But it shouldn’t be too major – I’ve written more about it here.

Did I miss the Monese cashback offer?

I opened a new Monese account in June …does this count as a new account to qualify for the 1.5% cashback starting on 1st August does anyone know please ?

Alice, via the Facebook group

Sadly that will be the case. The offer has run twice, once at the every end of June and again for the second half of July. Both had strict criteria about when you could open the account to get the cashback later in the year, along with when you had to deposit £250 into the account. More on the offer here.

Our podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, our award-winning podcast, presented by Editor-in-chief Andy Webb.

Episodes every Tuesday.

Should I wait to switch?

How long should you wait between switching to allow your credit rating to recover?

Heather, via the Facebook group

Experian recommends waiting three months between any credit check, though from my experience it can depend on how strong your credit file is and what other applications you have on the horizon.

If it’s pretty decent and you don’t need anything like a mortgage, loan or 0% credit card in the next six months then any minor damage done in the short term won’t be an issue.

There are certainly months where I’ve made four or five applications for bank accounts, credit cards and phone contracts and all have been fine.

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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