Saturday 25 November 2017

Reef-it-out-quick savings accounts

Europe hasn't gone away. We're back to the fears over a euro collapse again. For about the bazillionth time since 2008.

While it's a rather good idea to hedge the risk with a sterling or dollar account -- talk to Nationwide UK -- it's also smart to have money in a demand account where you can get your hands on it if Greece defaults (and then Spain, and Italy, and Holland). Probably won't happen, but the next month will be hairy. You might as well get a bit of interest on your cash while you sweat bricks. On €10,000 in a demand account. At least you'll have a bit of cash when we return to the ice age if the whole shebang implodes.

Best KBC 3.25 per cent

Avoid Investec 0.25 per cent

Saving €300 over a year

contact www.kbc.ie or 1800 51 52 53

Gas & electricity

And so Bord Gais trumpets the fact that it is the cheapest provider of electricity in Ireland. It should spend a few quid on a new calculator rather than splashing it out on sponsoring the Grand Canal Theatre. We'd like cheaper gas instead of slightly cheaper tickets to the world bodybuilding championship or Psychic Sally on the Road. Airtricity's two-year contract is cheaper than Bord Gais's best deal, according to figures from bonkers.ie. We've done the sums for someone on a standard ESB tariff paying €125 per month by direct debit and another €125 per month by direct debit for gas from Bord Gais. And why isn't Bord Gais cheap for gas?

Electricity

Best Airtricity two-year contract €1,290.78 per year

Avoid ESB €1,500

Saving €209.27

contact www.airtricity.com or 1850 818110

Gas

Best Flogas Direct Debit €1,298.05 per year

Avoid Bord Gais standard €1,500

Saving €201.93

Combined savings €411.20

contact www.flogasnaturalgas.ie or 1850 306800

Credit cards

What's not to like about a 22.7 per cent interest rate? Ehh... The ECB interest rate is one per cent, so the credit card people charge almost 23 times that rate. How can AIB have the best and worst cards? Aren't they supposed to work for the taxpayer? Is it any wonder people throw eggs at bankers? On a €1,500 maxed-out card over a year.

Best AIB Click 13.6 per cent APR

Avoid AIB Be Card 22.7 per cent

Saving Up to €136.50 over a year

contact www.aib.ie or local branches

Mobile broadband

Plug it in and off you go. Who needs a phone line anyway? For the cheapest bog standard dongles, try Meteor. It has enough welly to shift a butterfly. Average monthly costs -- including equipment and installation -- from the telecoms regulator.

Best Meteor Broadband to Go (7mb) €10.41 per month

Avoid eMobile Pre-pay (7mb) €24.07

Saving €163.92 per year

contact www.meteor.ie

Annual travel insurance

Online travel insurance policies are wonderfully cheap -- until you read the small print. One of the niftiest deals is the Multitrip.com Premier policy costing just €25.99. But that competitive €25.99 policy suddenly becomes a €34.43 one once you add the "administration charge" or the €3.50 cost for "postage" or even the 99 cent bill for sending a text message with the policy details. Last time we looked a stamp cost 55 cent and a text cost around 12 cent.

Best 123.ie Silver cover €30.93

Avoid AA Ireland €47.06

Saving €16.13

contact www.123.ie or 1890 221123

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