Credit cards Family health insurance Used car loans Apartment insurance Lecky bills
You'd need to be about as thick as Ashley Cole to have one of the dreadful Ulster Bank standard credit cards. They are rubbish. These useless bits of plastic have an interest rate double that of the cheapest card on the market. AIB's click card is an internet-only card; for those who can't use the interweb, try NIB's credit cards. Based on €5,000 credit card debt.
Best: AIB Click -- 8.5 per cent
Avoid: Ulster Bank standard Mastercard -- 17.9 per cent.
Saving: Up to €470 per year
contact www.aib.ie or your local branch
Family health insurance
Trying to figure out which health insurance policy fits your family best is ridiculously complicated. The insurers spend ages trying to muddy the waters between policies. Check out the www.freetocompare.ie website which crunches through the waffle. Health insurance for a family with two kids. Semi-private room plus basic day-to-day cover.
Best: VHI First Plan Level 1 -- €1,830
Avoid: Aviva Health Level 1 Everyday-- €1,960
contact www.vhi.ie or 1850 444444
Used car loans
The scrappage deals are pretty good. There hasn't been a better time to buy a car for yonks. But can you get your bank to cough up? A loan of €20,000 repayable over five years for a used car. Figures from www.freetocompare.ie
Best: BoI Finance -- €409.28 per month
Avoid: Ulster Bank -- €437.38
Saving: €1,686 over term of loan.
contact www.bankofireland.ie or your local bank
Apartments are usually partially covered under annual maintenance fees. But contents aren't usually included. Contents cover of €60,000 for a 35-year-old couple in an apartment in Dublin's Docklands. Alarmed. No claims for five years, excess €200. Including accidental damage cover.
Best: Chrome Insurance -- €135.00
Avoid: Benchmark -- €358.00
contact www.chromeinsurance.ie or 1890 247663.
Switching your electricity away from the gold-plated, hyper expensive ESB is a no-brainer. It takes less than five minutes. All you need are your bank account details and an old ESB bill. Bord Gais is up to 14 per cent cheaper, with green energy provider Airtricity up to 13 per cent cheaper than ESB. The highest savings can be made if you are already a Bord Gais customer and agree to pay by direct debit. Based on a €1,000 annual bill for a three-bed semi.
Best: Bord Gais €875
Avoid: ESB: €1,000
contact www.thebigswitch.ie or 1850 485868