Get an annual tastecard subscription for £4.10


tastecard logo *

You can get an annual tastecard for just £4.10 with the Daily Mail this weekend (it usuallly costs around £30): simply purchase the paper today, next Saturday and Sunday, sign up and enter the codes on the website, and you can get a free annual subscription.

The tastecard gets you around 50% off food or a 2 for 1 deal on food at a number of restaurants (this usually excludes Fridays and Saturdays). It’s usually on offer for around £30.

You’ll need to act fast though, as you need to buy all three editions of the paper to be eligible for this deal. The Daily Mail is included in the Waitrose free newspaper offer, so if you’re spending £10 on groceries, you’ll be able to get the paper for free.

Shop Small is back for 2 weeks – get 50% off your shopping, dining and more!


shopsmalllogoShop Small is back for another year, starting today and running until 21st December. Like last year, you get £5 back when you spend £10, but unlike last time, there’s no limit on the number of retailers you can go to.

There’s a variety of shops, food stalls and pubs on the list, so I’d highly recommend you take a look, and make sure to register your card before you head out.

How it works

  1. You need to register online with your card(s) before you shop.
  2. Check out the list of eligible locations by popping in your postcode on the Amex Shop Small site. The map isn’t very good, so I’ve made one for the City of London.
  3. Spend £10 in store on your registered Amex.
  4. You’ll get an email confirming your purchase shortly (this will take longer if you’re using ExpressPay contactless).

Tips to get the best value

  • You can use this offer in conjunction with any other offer, so long as the spend on your Amex is over the £10 threshold – e.g. Taste Card, Vouchers, etc.
  • Cards on the same account (supplementary cards) are eligible for the promotion in their own right, excluding MBNA, because they have the same account number.
  • The discount probably won’t work if you try to use it in different branches of the same shop. To stay safe, use it only in one of the locations.
  • If you have multiple Amex cards (including cards issued by Barclaycard, Lloyds, TSB and MBNA – mostly frequent flyer rewards cards), each of these are treated separately. Make sure you register each one!
  • If you don’t see the credit in a week or two, or the merchant doesn’t take Amex, get in touch with customer services: call the number on the back of your card, or send an email using secure messaging: they were pretty good in getting the credit added manually last time. This also applies ifthe retailer doesn’t accept Amex.

Free tube travel with Contactless

London underground by doug88888

London underground by doug88888

There’s currently two deals on the London Underground to welcome their acceptance of contactless card payments in addition to the Oyster Card.

If you’ve got a contactless MasterCard or contactless American Express card, you can get some free travel simply by tapping in using your credit card rather than your Oyster…

American Express: £5 off when you spend £5

With a contactless American Express card, you can travel around London up to the value of £5. You’ll need to spend £5 in a day, as TfL charge you at the end of each day. Sign up on the Cardmember Offers website, and use your card before 30th November to get your credit

MasterCard: Free travel on Friday 14th November

If you’ve got a contactless MasterCard (remember that the Metro Bank card is a MasterCard debit card), you can get around London completely free simply by tapping in and out using your card this Friday. You don’t even need to register! Full terms available on the MasterCard website

via Londonist

American Express: Drive a car? Get £10 off a £50 at Esso

There aren’t usually that many deals on petrol, so if you drive a car, this one’s for you. Simply sign up on the Cardmember Offers website, fill up with £50 of fuel and you’ll get a £10 credit. It’ll probably work with non fuel items too, if you’ve got one nearby. Expires 24th November

London Restaurant Festival is back – 3 course meals from £10


London Restaurant Festival

The London Restaurant Festival is back in town for 2014 from 8th October – whilst the offers don’t seem to be quite as good as it was last year (the only place that you can now get a £10 meal is now Prezzo…) it’s got a pretty wide variety of cuisines across Central London. Like last year, you can get a number of the already discounted menus at half price (if you manage to spend exactly £25 in two different restaurants over the course of the festival).

If you’re not a fan of set menus, then a number of these restaurants also accept Taste Card/other discount vouchers, but you need to make sure you’re spending around a multiple of £25, and ensure you go to two different restaurants between 8th – 27st October.

So, to take advantage of the offer:

  1. Register your American Express card(s) for the offer here (excludes corporate, prepaid and non-UK issued cards)
  2. Book your table on the website, and check that they’re on the participating merchants map
  3. Go to the restaurant, and make sure your bill (including service) comes to around a multiple of £25, and that you’ve got a registered card for each £25. Ask the waiter to split your bill into £25 chunks on your Amexs
  4. Repeat at another restaurant on the deal (before 27st October – you’ve only got two weeks!)

P.S. – haven’t got an Amex? You’ve probably still got time to apply – check out my recommended card blog post

Bon appétit!

Unlimited broadband for £2.50 a month, including line rental!


eeI’ve recently come to the end of my free Sky TV and Broadband subscription (a special offer when Sky bought O2’s home broadband division), so I’ve been on the look out for some great deals for a new plan. I don’t live in a Fibre area (apparently we’re too close to the exchange), so this plan is ADSL.

You’ll need to be an Orange, T-Mobile or EE customer, but you’ll probably already have an Orange SIM card somewhere for all of those 241 Wednesday cinema offers. If not, just pick up a free SIM card online, or from your local supermarket (it’s usually about £1). You’ll need to use this SIM card every 90 days to qualify, so you’ll probably have to top it up with £10.

How to sign up:

  1. Get an EE sim card – you’ll need the mobile number to complete your order
  2. Go to the Quidco site, sign up (if you haven’t already, we get to split a £2.50 sign up bonus…), and go to the EE Broadband page
  3. Make sure your Adblock is disabled, and click through to the EE site. Make sure to select to pay your line rental in advance, complete your order and wait for your new router to be delivered

How good is it?

EE broadband download speeds seem slightly slower than Sky – I was getting 19Mbps, and am now getting 17Mbps. Although, I’m not really complaining, since there’s a pretty big price difference between the two. Upload speeds seem fairly stable between the two.

There is traffic management on EE broadband for P2P and usenet at peak hours (16:30 – 01:00), so if you’re a heavy downloader, you’ll need to switch to off-peak times or get a VPN.

They also didn’t seem to put through my line rental saver on my first bill – I called up and they’re giving me a refund for the price paid so far though.

Seen this elsewhere?

They’ve written about this on Money Saving Expert, but give you a link through their own cashback site – they’re offering a £100 voucher, but you can get £130 cash through Quidco (with a 7% bonus for Amazon vouchers if you are a premium member) – as there’s an asterisk next to their deal, you can see they’re getting paid – and judging from the cashback available elsewhere, you can see where £30 is going…

More cashback?

Note that this offer seems to be flipping between Quidco and TopCashback – when it’s on TCB, you get £136.50 cash (£143.32 in vouchers) if you are a premium member (£5 a year). It seems like it should be back on TCB in a week, but it’s up to you to decide whether you want to risk it coming back.

How it’s calculated:

The headline £2.50 price is based on taking out the £132 annual line rental, which should be wiped out by that £130 cashback. Don’t forget that this is eligible for 3% cashback with the Santander 123 current account too.

Note that cashback isn’t 100% guaranteed – but I’ve never had an issue before.

£5 off £10 in Tesco and more with 4sq Amex deals

foursquare logo

foursquare logoFoursquare Amex deals are back – whilst they’re not as good as they’ve been in the past (especially that infamous £5 off £5 deal back in November 2012 which got me writing this blog), £5 off a £10 spend at Tesco is still a pretty good deal.

Here’s the deals that are available:

  • Tesco: Spend £10, get £5 back
  • Argos: Spend £30, get £10 back – remember, a lot of Argos stores stock gift cards – you’ll therefore be able to use this offer on more than what’s in the catalogue!
  • Primark: Spend £30, get £10 back
  • Ask, Pizza Express, Zizzi: Spend £30, get £10 back – you can use this with any other offer, such as vouchers, Taste Card or Orange (EE) Wednesdays at Pizza Express, as long as you charge £30 to your Amex – you could end up getting £60 of pizza for £20 (hopefully not all for yourself!). Alternatively, most of these restaurants sell gift cards, so you can just come back another time.

You’ve got until 31st July to claim these.

How do I sign up?

  • To use the foursquare offers, you need to register an account with foursquare, then sync your foursquare account with Amex,
  • Open the app on your smartphone and sign in. Either search for the shop by name, or hit the search bar, and select specialsspecials
  • Pick the shop you want to redeem the offer for. Don’t tap the ‘Special’ link yet!specials
  • Scroll down on the checkin screen, then tap the ‘Special’ linkspecials
  • Hit ‘Add to Card’. You’ll be notified that your offer has been addedspecials
  • All UK issued Amex cards are valid for this offer, including those from MBNA and Lloyds. You won’t get an instant notification about the credit if you’re not using an Amex issued card though, but it should still show up on your statement.

Tips and tricks

  • If you’ve already signed up but can’t remember which card is linked to each account, search for “Your card is synced” in your email
  • If you’re signing up for multiple foursquare accounts with gmail, try adding a ‘+amex1’ after your username, such as [email protected] Gmail treats the +amex1 as a label, and delivers it all to your inbox!
  • There’s a limit on the number of cards that can claim these offers. Make sure you grab the offers you want to use quickly – once loaded they should stay on your account (try to leave the ones you know you won’t use for other people…)
  • You can use this offer on each supplementary card you have too (unless its an MBNA one which has the same number…)

via David Lyness

On O2? Get yourself a £1 lunch every Monday at Domino’s/railway stations, and free Caffe Nero on Fridays


o2prioritylunchIf you’ve got a mobile from O2 (or have one of their SIM cards to register the O2 Priority app), you can get a £1 lunch today (and every Monday) thanks to their Priority scheme (available as an app for Android and iOS, and as a web app for Blackberry and Windows Phone).

The lunches include a one-topping four slice pizza at Dominos, or a sandwich, crisps and drink at Upper Crust, Caffe Ritazza or Pumpkin (all stores found at your local railway station).

The offer runs from 11am to 3pm every Monday, and you’ll need to use the app. There’ll probably be a few queues too, so I’d avoid the main lunch hour if I were you.

Full terms and conditions for Caffe Ritazza, Dominos, Upper Crust and Pumpkin are available on the O2 rewards site.

Via Digital Spy

Edit: There’s now an offer for a free hot drink at Caffe Nero every Friday.

You get this for your £1:


Free burger at GBK with PayPal


gbklogoPayPal is currently running a promotion with Gourmet Burger Kitchen to give away 13,000 burgers to users (max 1 per person) who check in and pay using the PayPal app. The app is pretty simple to use, is available for all platforms (including WP7), and uses your existing login details.

I haven’t redeemed this yet, but based on the terms and conditions, you need to accept the offer using the app, check-in with the app when you’re in the restaurant, then tell the server that you’re paying with PayPal. If you spend £6.75 or more (the price of their cheapest burger), you’ll get £6.75 off.


It appears that you can just open any GBK restaurant within the app now and click on the voucher to add it to your offers – would advise doing that to make sure you don’t miss out on being one of the first 13,000. It’ll then be “automatically applied to next eligible purchase”. You’ll then have until 17th April to redeem your offer.

Also, you should be able to use this offer with tastecard or other vouchers, so long as you spend over £6.75. That could potentially mean two free burgers.

Terms and conditions are only available in the app, but I’ve posted them here.

Metro Bank to charge for non-EU transactions from 18th March



If you’ve got the Metro Bank account, you’ll have received a letter informing you that they’ll be charging for using your card outside of Europe: 1.9%, plus an additional £1 fee each time you use a cash point.

To be honest, this possibly shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Visa (as does MasterCard, I believe) charge a 1% fee for handling non-EU transactions, and banks that offering 0% were simply absorbing that fee. In an age where profit margins (especially on current accounts) are being squeezed (and remember that Metro Bank is currently losing money), this was probably unsustainable.

What isn’t great is the additional charges that have been placed above and beyond the 1% fee: Metro Bank will charge 1.9% for non-EU transactions, with an additional £1 fee for using a cashpoint. Whilst this is lower than many of the other banks (they usually charge around 3%), it’s still 0.9% above and beyond what they’re getting charged by MasterCard.

What’s your alternative?

Norwich and Peterborough are still offering a current account that offers free overseas usage, but they come with usage rules or a monthly fee of £5 applies. You’ll need to:

  • Pay in £500 a month, and:
  • Either make at least five transactions a month (you may be able to cycle money through there using standing orders), or keep a balance of £5000 in your account (this really isn’t worth it, as it’s a non-interest bearing account. If you kept it in a Lloyds Vantage or Santander 123 account at 3%, you’d be earning £10 a month after 20% tax)

Interestingly, their “light” account where you wouldn’t have to pay in the £500 monthly is being withdrawn from tomorrow – I wonder whether this is in response to Metro Bank’s new charges.

Personally, I’m lucky to still have the Santander Zero Current account, which is unfortunately closed to new customers, but the future of that account is probably also in question too.

This really isn’t great news if you’re travelling outside Europe after 18 March. It’ll probably be cheapest to purchase travel money in advance of going abroad (try TravelMoneyMax from MSE for a comparison – usually the best rate is by prebooked your currency exchange and picking it up in London), and try to keep spending to one of the credit cards that offer better rates.

£120 worth of Cinema vouchers for £37


Vodafone Cinema RewardThis offer is a little bit involved, but if you’re planning on spending £120 in the cinema before 31 July 2015 (and possibly for a year longer if you get a gift card), this could be a pretty good deal for you!

Your initial outlay is £70, but you’ll get £33 back from selling the phone (plus you get a month of Vodafone usage too), making the final cost just £37.

Buying your phone – deadline 31 December 2013

I’ve bought the Nokia Asha 210 Black, because it’s the cheapest phone that fits the criteria for the deal (smartphone costing over £50).

You need to make sure to buy the £20 “Freedom Freebie” with your phone to get the offer, and it doesn’t seem to be working online, so you might need to go into store to get your phone.

You should receive your special “Freedom Freebie” voucher and a popcorn shaped brochure containing a special code which you’ll need to pop into the Vodafone site to activate your offer.

Activating your SIM – deadline 14 January 2014

You need to activate your SIM with the “Freedom Freebie” code enclosed in the pack in order to be eligible for the free cinema vouchers.

Registering for your cinema voucher

Inside the popcorn brochure (pictured), you’ll find a scratch-off card. Go to the site on the card, enter your code and details about your phone (I think you’re meant to use the phone number of the SIM included).

You’ll be texted a link which you need to click to activate your account, so make sure you have it handy.

Selling the Phone

You’ll want to grab the IMEI number off the phone before you sell it – you need to enter this into the site to activate your cinema credit.

I’ve sold my Nokia Asha 210 to CEX for £33, which works out to a £17 loss (which you’ll make back on your cinema vouchers, of course!). They provide a prepaid label, so you can just drop it in at the Post Office, and that’s insured up to £20 when you get a free proof of posting.

Claiming your Credit – January to December 2014

You need to claim £10 credit each month. It’s not yet clear how this process will work, but it states that you’ll just have to log in to the website each month.

If you don’t claim the credit in any given month, you’ll lose the opportunity to claim that month’s £10.

Unused credit should accrue and must be used by 31 July 2015, at which point it’ll expire.

Using your Credit

It appears that you’ll get a prepaid Visa card with your balance loaded that you can use at any cinema in the United Kingdom. There doesn’t appear to be any restrictions on what you can buy within the cinema (not that they could find out, since it goes through the Visa processing network).

It’s not yet clear whether you can redeem your voucher online.

If you’re getting close to 31 July 2015, and you’ve got credit left, you can probably just buy a prepaid gift card from the cinema of your choice to extend the life of your balance.

Plus, you’ll probably be able to register your card with Quidco if you’re spending in Cineworld to get an additional 3% cashback.

Make sure you read their terms and conditions – this is based on my reading of it.