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Finance deals 2013
Finance is one of the Internet's great success stories, and the ability to compare offers from financial services providers online has revolutionised the way we shop around for our cards and bank accounts.
How to save money with HotDeals
At HotDeals.co.uk we work hard to bring you the very best deals, voucher codes and special offers currently available from the big banks - and from the purely online finance brands too. Check our continually updated list, and you could get a better deal on your next financial product, putting a little extra money into your bank account as a result.
The full range of finance products is huge, from bank accounts and credit cards to insurance and loans, and we're constantly on the lookout for the next best deal to bring to you. It could be an incentive to encourage you to open a new account, or it might be a quick approval process that gives you access to a financial service faster than you could get it on the high street. So if the banks, building societies and online brands make it possible, we'll bring it to you in our listings.
While most credit cards offers (such as 0% balance transfers and special offers on zero-interest accounts) appear at the start of the year, it’s always worth while checking back regularly to see what new discounted offers and voucher codes crop up throughout the year. From discounts on insurance to special offers on savings and loans, at HotDeals.co.uk you’ll find a wealth of finance deals to make your money go that bit further.
Very nearly all of us have at least one bank account, but many people choose to keep their same current account for most of their working life. Like sticking with the same gas or electricity supplier, this can be a financial mistake - and the Banking Code means that if you choose to switch to another bank, all of your funds should be moved across with the minimum of fuss. Even your standing orders and Direct Debits will be transferred for you too.
Typical deals on current accounts range from cash incentives or free railcards when you open a new account, to VIP treatment if your salary is paid into the account and is above a certain monthly amount.
Savings accounts can help you to make the most of any spare funds you have available to you. But this is perhaps the most complex single part of the financial services market of them all. Different accounts offer different interest rates, different rules about how much tax you pay, and different penalties for early withdrawals. As such, the offers are widely varied as well, and you might be able to get a particularly good level of interest if you agree to lock your funds away for 12 months or more.
However, if you’re looking for quick approval if you have a certain amount to deposit, or favourable treatment if you open a current account as well as a savings account, then there are plenty of choices and discounts available that will make your money go further and work harder.
It's easy to forget that insurance is a financial product. For a start, it's often provided by a specialist insurance brand, rather than by your bank or building society. However, at its core, insurance exists to protect your finances, by covering any losses you incur due to accident, disaster, theft or loss. Typical policies can cover anything from your home (including the contents of your garden) to your car, accidents that happen on holiday - or flight cancellations - and even the health of your pets.
Taking out insurance is not just about the financial benefits; it is also about peace of mind. You are perhaps not so concerned about the short-term cost of the policy, but instead are usually thinking of the long-term knowledge that, if something happens to your home, car, holiday or pet, it will not fall solely upon you to meet the (often significant) costs of putting it right.
Understandably, insurance policies often apply to the things you care about most in life. It covers the family home, which contains both your property and your memories, your car, which for many people is linked closely with your ability to get to and from work, your holidays, which are hard-earned but can go wrong if you are stranded abroad or injured while overseas, and your pet, who for many people is an important member of the family. Deals on insurance, then, are not always about making it cheaper, but might just be about getting the best possible level of coverage for your money. To find the best special offers and voucher codes on everything from pet and travel insurance to cover for your car or home contents, keep checking back to HotDeals.co.uk when your renewal’s due.
Credit cards and loans
The flipside of the financial services market comes when you have little money of your own, and need to borrow some, either for significant purchases or to have a bit of financial flexibility. Credit cards allow you to do this for the short term, and can be quite manageable if you make sure to keep up with your repayments. Loans are usually a longer-term option, and may make use of some of your valuable possessions as security - giving you access to more funds at a usually lower interest rate.
The exception to this is payday loans, and these can give you emergency spending money if something unexpected happens, at an interest rate that, while high in annual terms, can equate to a fairly reasonable fee over the course of just a few days or a single week.
Personal loans can cover modest amounts of money without putting any of your possessions at risk - although you'll still need to keep up with your repayments. Debt consolidation loans can help you to tackle your monthly outgoings if you've lived beyond your means in the past (and are a step towards financial security, rather than a further step away from it). Homeowner loans can unlock some of the value of your home to cover short-term costs, while avoiding the most formal aspects of a mortgage. At HotDeals we find special offers on loans and deals that will make managing your money a little easier, even when times are tough.
Across all of these products, there are certain incentives that you should be looking out for, as they come up time and time again. Interest rates are one area to focus on - and you should be looking for high interest paid on positive current account and savings account balances, and low interest charged on negative balances, and on credit cards and loans.
High credit limits are good if you can manage them carefully enough, and that can include the overdraft on your current account. Similarly, high levels of cover on insurance products are always a good sign. Low charges on withdrawals, low monthly fees on accounts and cards, and low excesses to be paid on insurance claims, can all help you to keep your budget under control.