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Ferdinand    413

I am attempting a thread where we can identify ways of buying effectively using long-term offers and discounts.

I am thinking about reward/cashback, discount or trade accounts etc. I'm not quite sure how this will work, but thought it worth a try.

The aim is to create a laundry list of possibilities that self-builders can use to get benefits or knock a few percentage points off their costs.

Note that, even though I think that short term or "flash" offers should be posted elsewhere, this list may still go out of date and offer terms may change, so readers should check the details personally at source and make no assumptions.

This thread does not contain financial advice, obviously, and is merely to flag up potentially beneficial offers.

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand

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What a good idea. It's a good idea because it adds value for our members

The only hiccough I can see is that the list will need to be maintained. But on the other hand it's a topic that will be referred to a good deal I am sure. So, I'll pin the topic and keep a close personal eye on it. 

Thank you Ferdinand.

Ian

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Ferdinand    413

Travelex Supercard - No Foreign Exchange charges when buying goods abroad. 

The card presents as a Debit Card, which you can use to charge through to any Visa or Mastercard Credit Card using an App on your phone. Exchange rates are the standard Mastercard rate.

There is no credit check on applying, just an identity check, as it is not a credit product.

* The advantages are:

1 - There are no FX charges while abroad, either for purchases or for ATMs, while many cards charge 1-3%.
2 - You can backend the purchase onto your Visa / Mastercard Credit Card, so you get the credit period, and any benefits that come with the card for purchases, or any cashback etc.
3 - It can be used anywhere a Mastercard is accepted.
4 - You can avoid any fee charged for using a Credit Card.

* The disadvantages are:

1 - There are charges for use in the UK - £1 plus 1% of the value of the purchase. If your "reward" on the linked card is more than 1% it may be worthwhile still.
2 - I believe you do not get the purchase protection that comes with using a Credit Card directly (ie CC provider is not equally liable), but for eg small purchases and some things which will need no comeback (eg meals in a restaurant, tickets) this should be no issue.

* Best use:

Abroad for purchases.

* Notes

I am not clear whether purchases made on a foreign website from the UK will result in a charge or not, but 1% is still less than most cards. Update: I am told charges are *not* applied.

There will be an article in the Moneysaving Expert email newsletter today (10m readers), so it would be good to get your application in early if you are going to apply, as they may have capacity problems.

My information via Headforpoints, here:
http://www.headforpoints.com/2016/06/15/travelex-supercard-relaunches-and-its-still-free-should-you-get-one/

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand

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Ferdinand    413

Wickes 10% "Trade" Discount Programme

Wickes have a "10% off all purchases over £10" programme, which may be able to be accessed by self-builders.

You don't get a trade card, but you do get regular email updates, and an ID Number, which you need to quote when buying.

In my local store they have a ring-binder of people in the scheme, for the 90% of occasions when I forget my number.

You register in your local store, and take it from there. My suggestion would be to register when making a significant trade-like purchase - for example a bathroom suite or two dozen bags of Postcrete (for which Wickes are about the cheapest source with their "5 for 4" standard offer). And don't talk like a retail customer.

If you have already identified Wickes as your best source for product X, it is a nice bonus.

Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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JSHarris    869

The Wickes one works well, and well worth checking Wickes against their parent company, Travis Perkins, as most of the time using Wickes with 10% discount is cheaper than TP with a trade account, often by 10 to 20% (don't ask me why this is - I've had the debate with TP, where I have an account, and they don't know...............).

Also, if you're over 60, then B&Q give a 10% discount on Wednesdays, you just have to apply for a Diamond Club card.

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Oh, and if you get your electricity through a Bulk supplier (PM for details if you like) you get 5% off at B+Q. So, what happens if I go on a Wednesday? Get 15%?

(I might be over 60 if you look at me in the dark)

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Alexphd1    46

Even with discount cards etc I have found online is usually cheaper and most online places accept Amex (usually through PayPal) this is great for airmiles (Avios BA). 

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daiking    113
1 hour ago, Ferdinand said:

Wickes 10% "Trade" Discount Programme

Wickes have a "10% off all purchases over £10" programme, which may be able to be accessed by self-builders.

You don't get a trade card, but you do get regular email updates, and an ID Number, which you need to quote when buying.

In my local store they have a ring-binder of people in the scheme, for the 90% of occasions when I forget my number.

You register in your local store, and take it from there. My suggestion would be to register when making a significant trade-like purchase - for example a bathroom suite or two dozen bags of Postcrete (for which Wickes are about the cheapest source with their "5 for 4" standard offer). And don't talk like a retail customer.

If you have already identified Wickes as your best source for product X, it is a nice bonus.

Ferdinand

 

 

It is also worth investigating the fringe benefits associated with any sort of schemes you are a member of.

I'm member of a scheme via work for childcare vouchers (Edenred) which in turn has a affiliate benefit scheme of retail and online discounts.  Via this I'm able to buy B&Q gift cards with an 8% discount and Wickes cards with normally a 9% discount but currently its 13%. These cards can be reloaded as and when required. Used in conjunction with in store discount it really helps.

Does something like the CSMA offer similar incentives? Trade/Professional membership institutions?

 

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ProDave    660

Screwfix do their "trade" versions known as plumbfix and elecrtricfix that give you a few percent discount and a monthly trade account. Plus you can use the trade entrance if you go to the shop and get free coffee. You usually have to prove you are in the trade so not that easy but some self builders might manage it.

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JSHarris    869
3 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Screwfix do their "trade" versions known as plumbfix and elecrtricfix that give you a few percent discount and a monthly trade account. Plus you can use the trade entrance if you go to the shop and get free coffee. You usually have to prove you are in the trade so not that easy but some self builders might manage it.

I found that "proving" a trade qualification as an "electrician" was easy with Screwfix.  They say they need evidence of membership of ELECSA, NAPIT or whatever, but they accepted my 35 year old City and Guilds 15th Ed ticket without question!

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ProDave    660

It was even easier for me. I had been using Screwfix before they launched plumbfix and electricfix, mostly buying electrical stuff,. so when they launched electricfix they simply asked me would I like to join? and that was it.

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Onoff    730

A friend who's a qualified spark with his 236 went into our local Screwfix to set up an Electricfix account. Equipped with his old C&G certs the staff made a big play of checking them etc. They then turned to his LABOURER who was idly flicking thru the catalogue in the background and said "Would you like one too?". No checks nothing. 

Often depends on which member of staff is on. I always try and go to the Electricfix counter with my card even if I'm buying "wood preserver" for home. I rang and got my card but they actually took details of my C&Gs. It was a new thing back then though. The "exclusive" entrance away from the peasants, always free tea/coffee and occasionally doughnuts and sausage rolls do it for me! xD One weekend when the trade counter was shut I was standing behind Joe Public who was buying a consumer unit and back boxes. The S'fix bloke said "It might be worth you getting an Electricfix card if you're going to be buying a lot of stuff".

They're more interested in pound notes than C&Gs. 

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Vijay    58

Using 0% transfer credit cards is a good way of getting some interest free credit for up to 2 years. There are a lot that don't charge any fees for the transfer and as long as you pay the monthly minimum and pay it off (or transfer again) at the end of the period, it's interest free.

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Bitpipe    235

I've just discovered Quidco and they give a 2-3% cash back discount for Screwfix, Underfloor heating store and many, many more online stores, even the obscure place I bought our illuminated bathroom mirrors from. This is in addition to any cashback you get through your credit card.

Easy to register and you just need to click through to the site via quidco to get the cash back.

Kicking myself somewhat as there's more than a few quid that I would have saved over the last 12 months but better late than never!

I got a Howdens account just by turning up (looking suitable scruffy).

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ProDave    660

If using a 0% credit card, transfer your ballance, then put it in a drawer and DO NOT use it for general purchases.

That's because any payments you make go first to paying down the 0% balance, so if you just paid off what you spent in a month, that balance would not go down and you will be charged interest on it at the normal higher rate.

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ragg987    43

Some companies will also offer discounts for other reasons, usually to avoid fees associated with a card payment or late payments. Examples I agreed recently:

  • 5% discount by paying by bank transfer in advance for a kitchen. Vendor agreed to take a £100 credit card deposit so I get additional protection.
  • 10% prompt payment discount - i.e. cleared funds by invoice due date

I will generally ask for a reduction if the deal is a reasonable size. The way I look at it, they can only say no.

  • Like 1

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Ferdinand    413
56 minutes ago, ProDave said:

If using a 0% credit card, transfer your ballance, then put it in a drawer and DO NOT use it for general purchases.

That's because any payments you make go first to paying down the 0% ballance, so if you just paid off what you spent in a month, that ballance would not go down and you will be charged interest on it at the normal higher rate.

I think that is not quite right, as UK law requires credit card companies to apply payments to the type of balance with the highest rate of interest first.

http://www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk/wm_documents/Good news for credit card.pdf

 

I've just discovered Quidco and they give a 2-3% cash back discount for Screwfix, Underfloor heating store and many, many more online stores, even the obscure place I bought our illuminated bathroom mirrors from. This is in addition to any cashback you get through your credit card.

Easy to register and you just need to click through to the site via quidco to get the cash back.

Kicking myself somewhat as there's more than a few quid that I would have saved over the last 12 months but better late than never!

I got a Howdens account just by turning up (looking suitable scruffy).

For the record, there is also TopCashBack which is similar.

They have different deals for different retailers.

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand

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ProDave    660
13 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

I think that is not quite right, as UK law requires credit card companies to apply payments to the type of balance with the highest rate of interest first.

http://www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk/wm_documents/Good news for credit card.pdf

Ferdinand

Perhaps the law has changed?  We had to go the 0% credit card route about 7 years ago, when a certain bank that uses a dark coloured horse as it's logo shafted us and having verbally agreed a small extension to a small mortgage, when it came to do the paperwork they had "tightened their lending criteria" and we no longer qualified for any mortgage with them, let alone a small extension to the one we had.  This was after we had paid the deposit for new windows and doors so a 0% credit card became the best way to finance it. The T&C then definitely said payments went first to paying down the 0% ballance.

If they were the last bank standing I would not give them, the pleasure of any of my banking business again, having been a trustworthy loyal customer for 30 years before they shafted us.

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DeeJunFan    43

I use Revolut Card.

Its an app you get on your phone and they give you a Virtual Multi-currency debit card.  You can also request a physical card (Free of Charge)

You can then add Euros/Stg/Dollars etc to the card and exchange them between currencies and no charge

I've mainly been using it to bring Euro savings up and convert to Sterling.  Can top it up from Euro Debit card, Convert and transfer into Sterling bank account.  Its a great card and fee free for the moment.  You get the spot rates from xe.com/ucc which really can't be beaten.

You can also use it at ATMs to withdraw whichever currency you need at that time.  If you shop on-line they use the local currency and convert using spot rate at the time of purchase.

Only issue for a self builder is you are limited to 30K per annum.  But you can have one per person so should cover most eventualities. 

They dont support over the phone transactions so thats a fair limitation for bulk orders.

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Ferdinand    413
1 hour ago, daiking said:

 

It is also worth investigating the fringe benefits associated with any sort of schemes you are a member of.

Via this I'm able to buy B&Q gift cards with an 8% discount and Wickes cards with normally a 9% discount but currently its 13%. These cards can be reloaded as and when required. Used in conjunction with in store discount it really helps.

In general you can get for non-branded Gift Cards. Again, these discounts should stack.

Tesco

4% back in Air Miles for Gift Cards bought at Tesco, since they give you 150 clubcard points when you spend £50 (which is the minimum amount, and should bne the multiple), which translate to approx 360 Avios or Virgin Air Miles, worth around £3.60. Plus 0.5-5% on cashback or rewards via the card you use to buy the Gift Voucher. Sometimes they have offers, or you can leverage Clubcard Vouchers more using the Tesco "Boost" programme at eg Pizza Express.

Morrisons

Up to 10% back in discounts on Petrol / Diesel via Morrisons Petrolsaver via vouchers printed at the till.

The scheme is 1p per litre reduction on a purchase of up to 100l of petrol or diesel for each £10 spend on Gift Vouchers and they stack, so £1000 of Gift Card spending will get you 100p/litre off, which is basically a free tank of up to 100 litres (which can include I believe however many approved fuel containers as they allow, which is I think 10l).

Plus 0.5-5% on cashback or rewards via the card you use to buy the Gift Voucher. Plus Morrisons More points, which are worth about 1% off the bill.

I find Morrisons more useful, as they are close, and do Currys, Halfords, Amazon, Evans Cycles, and B&Q Gift Cards.

I did a worked example over at the other place, which I will copy across later.

Ferdinand

 

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Ferdinand    413

I think that is not quite right, as UK law requires credit card companies to apply payments to the type of balance with the highest rate of interest first.

http://www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk/wm_documents/Good news for credit card.pdf

Ferdinand

Quote

Perhaps the law has changed?  We had to go the 0% credit card route about 7 years ago, when a certain bank that uses a dark coloured horse as it's logo shafted us and having verbally agreed a small extension to a small mortgage, when it came to do the paperwork they had "tightened their lending criterea" and we no longer qualified for any mortgage with them, let alone a small extension to the one we had.  This was after we had paid the deposit for new windows and doors so a 0% credit card became the best way to finance it. The T&C then definitely said payments went first to paying down the 0% ballance.

Yes, I believe it changed since then.

F

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Ferdinand    413

A thought occurred (ding!).

 

I have just gone for double glazing for a (rented) house, and paid my deposit through my agent to the DG company.

 

I should actually have paid direct via Credit or Charge Card, because I then have section 75 (ie joint liability of the card provider) protection, which gives me comeback against both the DG company and the CC provider.

 

Analogy for self-build: if I am buying materials direct, rather than through the Builder / Contractor, then I have that extra protection for faults with whatever I have bought, rather than just potential claims against a small builder who may go bust.

 

I do *not* have that protection if I have paid with BACS or FastPay, but payment by Debit Card provides some protection but less than a Credit Card.

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand

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richi    17
On 6/15/2016 at 10:51, ProDave said:

Perhaps the law has changed?

 

Yes, it has.

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richi    17
On 6/15/2016 at 09:50, ragg987 said:

Vendor agreed to take a £100 credit card deposit so I get additional protection.

 

Shouldn't be necessary. As I understand it, the £100 minimum is for the entire transaction, so you could in principle charge just a penny card deposit.

 

However, #IANAL.

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