Author Archives: David Mann

About David Mann

With an avid knowledge for all things financial, David applies his expertise to help people navigate the maze of financial products available and figure out which will best help them make the most of their hard earned cash. He joins uSwitch with more than 15 years’ experience in various consumer banking roles both nationally and internationally.

Capital One pulling rewards credit cards could be the first of many, warns uSwitch

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With Capital One pulling its reward scheme on Monday 1st June, David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch.com, says: “The writing could be on the wall for reward cards if other lenders take the lead from Capital One. The EU cap on fees – which was initially heralded as a win for consumers – has become a double-edged sword. Instead of helping protect people from high charges, it may have brought about the end of free rewards for savvy card users as card providers try to make up for lost revenue.

“For anyone who pays off their balance in full each month, these cards can give you a regular bonus. Our own research shows that almost two million Brits have enjoyed a free holiday this year thanks to the rewards they’ve racked up.

“The good news is that there are still plenty of great deals out there, such as the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday and Santander’s 123. But with RBS also pulling its cashback offer in September, you’ll have to be quick to get your hands on one before the plug is pulled.”

For more information visit www.uSwitch.com or call 0800 093 06 07

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About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

Five million Brits using reward credit cards for free holiday perks

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  • Almost five million people (27%) have enjoyed holiday perks for free by paying on plastic[1] and impressive 1.6 million have got their whole holiday for free
  • A third (33%) have used their reward credit card to pay for groceries and a quarter (26%) for Christmas or birthday presents[1]
  • Six in ten (60%) Brits have a reward credit card[2], with men more likely than women to have one
  • Extra security when making purchases is the main reason for having a credit card (48%), but more than four in ten (43%) say they have one because of the rewards they offer[3]
  • Supermarket loyalty schemes offer the best value – almost six in ten (58%) say they offer good value for money, while less than four in ten (38%) feel the same way about airmiles cards[4].

With Capital One set to pull its reward scheme, new research from uSwitch.com, the price comparison site and switching service, reveals that nearly five million savvy credit card users are enjoying free holiday perks by paying on plastic[1].

While nearly three million people have enjoyed a hotel stay (15%) and 2.5 million a return flight (14%) for free thanks to the rewards they’ve racked up with their credit card, an impressive 1.6 million Brits have got their whole holiday for free (9%)[1].

But although some are enjoying a little bit of luxury thanks to their hard-earned rewards, many others are using them to help keep their bank balance in check by getting essentials for ‘free’. A quarter (26%) have bought Christmas or birthday presents, while a third (33%) have filled up their shopping trolley with groceries courtesy of their credit card rewards[1].

Men are more likely than women to spend their rewards on a treat – a third (33%) enjoying a free return flight, upgrade or holiday compared to just a fifth (20%) of women – women are more likely to use theirs for groceries (35%) or gifts (28%)[1].

Six in ten Brits (60%) have a rewards credit card in their wallet – and it is men who are more likely than women to be enjoying something for nothing[2]. These freebies can be offset by interest charges, but with seven in ten (72%) clearing their balance every or most months, it seems savvy shoppers can enjoy the high-life without the high fees[5].

The promise of something for nothing is driving people to snap up certain credit cards. Although the extra security offered by a credit card (48%) is the main reason for having one, more than four in ten (43%) do so for the rewards[4]. Fewer people get theirs because of the expense of big purchases (42%) – previously a core credit card spend.

But with so many different reward schemes on offer, it can be hard for people to make a decision. Supermarket loyalty rewards seem to offer the best value for money – almost six in ten (58%) say they offer good value for money[5]. It’s hardly surprising that the supermarkets fare so well – not only do they play on loyalty by boosting rewards when money is spent in-store, but they also tend to offer rewards and generous 0% on purchases and balance transfers.

Straightforward cashback cards are also very popular (56%) and a sign that boosting your bank balance – instead of enjoying luxuries – is still a priority for many people[5]. At the other end, less than four in ten (38%) feel airmiles cards offer good value for money. With most airmiles deals still needing to have their taxes paid for, for some people they just don’t add up.

David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch.com, says; “Getting something for nothing seems like a dream, but enjoying free flights or holidays just for putting the weekly shop on your credit card is a reality for many savvy spenders. Reward cards are hugely popular, and it’s clear to see why. As long as you pay off your balance in full every month, using your credit card for every day expenses – as well as big one-off purchases – can give you a real boost.

“Whether you want to spend your points on a treat or make a dent in those monthly food bills, there are plenty of cards out there that can help. However, with Capital One pulling their scheme in June, and RBS planning a similar move at the start of September, these deals may not be around for ever. Signing up to a great card today could help make the Christmas shop lighter on your wallet, or even pay for next year’s holiday.

“But with so many different schemes to choose from – from supermarket loyalty points, to airmiles or cold hard cash – it’s important to think about how much you’ll spend, and where. Some cards come with an annual fee – but if you spend a lot on your card this could pay for itself. And of course, racking up interest by not clearing your balance in full could end up costing you more than the rewards. So if you can’t pay of your balance in full each month then a rewards card might not be right for you.”

Best Reward credit cards

Reward type Credit Card Rewards Annual fee RAPR
Cashback American Express Platinum Cashback everyday Card 5% cashback in your first 3 months (up to £100)
Up to 1.25% cashback thereafter
no fee 19.9% APR
NatWest Cashback Plus Credit Card OFFER – 10% cashback on UK restaurants/bars spending (April 1st – June 30th)
0.5% cashback on all other purchases1% cashback on supermarket shopping and from selected retailers
£24 annual fee 21.9% APR
Rewards Tesco Bank Purchase card with 1000 points 17 months 0% on purchases & 3 months 0% on balance transfers (2.9% fee)
1000 Clubcard points if you make a purchase or transfer a balance within 2 months of account opening
1 Clubcard point for every £4 spent in each purchase transaction
no fee 18.9% APR
Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Credit Card Double Freedom points on UK supermarket, petrol station and all Transport for London
0% interest on balance transfers for the first 18 months (2% fee applies)
0% interest on purchases for 6 months from account opening
no fee 21.9% APR
Airline British Airways American Express® Credit Card 9000 Avios when spending £1000 within the first 3 months
Companion Voucher when you spend £10000 in one year
1 Avios for every £1 spent
no fee 15.9% APR

Source: uSwitch.com

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Notes to editors

Research referred to in the release was conducted online by Opinium from 9th to 16th March 2015 among 7,086 credit card holders. All figures are based on uSwitch.com analysis. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults aged 18+.

  1. When asked “Have you ever collected enough rewards for any of the following?” 15% said hotel stay; 14% said a return flight; 9% said an entire holiday package; 7% said car hire; 6% said a flight upgrade. In total, 27% said one of these. 26% said Christmas/ birthday presents; 33% said groceries. According to the UK Cards Association, there are 30.1 million credit card holders in the UK. Therefore, the number of people who have each perk is as follows: Hotel stay (15%): 0.6* 30,100,000 * 0.15 =  2,709,000; Flight (14%): 0.6* 30,100,000 * 0.14 = 2,528,400; holiday (9%): 0.6* 30,100,000 * 0.09 = 1,625,400; car hire (7%): 0.6* 30,100,000 * 0.07 = 1,264,200; flight upgrade (6%): 0.6* 30,100,000 * 0.06 = 1,083,600; One of the above: 0.6* 30,100,000 * 0.27 = 4,876,200
  2. When asked “Do 60% of people have a rewards credit card?” 41% said ‘yes as part of my main credit card; 19% said ‘yes – separate to my main credit card’. In total, 63% of men said yes, 56% of women said yes.
  3. When asked “Why do you have a credit card” 6% said ‘to collect air miles’; 26% said ‘to collect reward points’; 20% said ‘to earn cashback on all my purchases – in total, 43% said one of these. 48% said ‘to benefit from extra security when making purchases online; 42£ said ‘to pay for a big purchase.
  4. When asked “For each of the following types of reward card, do you think they offer good or poor value for money?”, not including those who said ‘don’t know’: Reward points:15% said very good value for money, 38% said good value for money; Cashback:19% said very good value for money, 37% said good value for money;airmiles:11% said very good value for money, 27% said good value for money; Shopping store loyalty schemes:19% said very good value for money, 39% said good value for money.
  5. When asked “Do you pay off your credit card balance in full?” 57% said ‘every month’; 15% said ‘most months’.

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

Retailers win credit card customers’ hearts and minds – and wallets

uSwitch.com research of over 7,000 credit card customers reveals that retail brands John Lewis, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are offering a real alternative to the big banks – with customers saying that they offer better customer service, better value for money and are more trustworthy. 

  • Retailers run riot: John Lewis sweeps the board winning four of the 13 awards including Best Overall Satisfaction, while Tesco Bank, Sainsbury’s Bank and M&S Bank win a further four between them
  • Banks at bottom: the high street banks fail to win a single award, but building society Nationwide claims a hat-trick, winning Best Branch Customer Service, Best Online Customer Service and Best Website
  • Appy customers: credit card providers American Express and MBNA are the only other providers to break the retailers’ stranglehold, taking home awards for Best Mobile App Customer Service and Best Mobile App respectively
  • Mind the gap: the research reveals a 47% difference in levels of customer satisfaction between the best and worst provider – the biggest gap ever[1]. 

With fewer payday lenders in the market following tougher regulation, demand for credit cards is soaring – as is competition. However, the 2015 Credit Card Awards from uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service, reveals the biggest ever gap in customer satisfaction (47%) between the best and worst providers[1], with the retail giants leaving the big banks in their wake when it comes to customer service and value for money.

Ethical superstore John Lewis shows it can bring its high street reputation to its banking offerings, winning four out of the 13 awards – including Best Overall Customer Satisfaction and Best Value for Money. Another retail favourite, M&S Bank, continues to perform well, scooping the awards for Best Overall Customer Service and Best Mobile Website. In the battle for the best supermarket credit card, Sainsbury’s and Tesco battle it out, taking a top spot each, but ASDA is snapping at their heels, coming second in one category and third in two.

Nationwide breaks up the retail stranglehold, winning awards for its branch and online customer service as well as its website. The building society has built on its top current account offering by ensuring that all customers – whether they bank online or in a branch – get the best customer service. Card providers American Express and MBNA are the only other winners, picking up awards for Best Mobile App Customer Service and Best Mobile App respectively.

The news is not so good for the big banks though – not a single one has managed to scoop an award, but instead, they find themselves at the wrong end of the tables for most categories. Customers are disappointed with nearly every aspect of their service including value for money, rewards and customer service.

With mobile payments threatening to make cash and cards a thing of the past, and people wanting to access their accounts on the go, the top providers have enjoyed a varying degree of success across the range of online and mobile awards. But even the winners of these have work to do – the levels of satisfaction for mobile-related categories are the lowest across the whole awards.

In a bid to boost bank balances, value for money is more important than ever. But so is the idea of getting money for nothing – putting reward credit cards front and centre for many customers. In this category American Express has fallen to fifth place since last year behind retailers John Lewis, Tesco Bank, ASDA and M&S Bank – who prove that loyalty points are the reward of choice rather than cashback. 

David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch.com, says: “It’s great to see retailers keeping the big banks on their toes. With their huge presence on the high street, but without the tarnished reputations, they are best placed to win over the public’s hearts and minds.

“As families try to boost their bank balance with cashback or simply ensure their household budgets stay in the black, getting value for money may be more important than great customer service. But there’s no reason to sacrifice one for the other. The research shows there are credit cards that combine great rewards or cashback and top-notch customer service all in one.

“With more people turning to credit cards, it’s vital that families looking for a great deal don’t lose sight of their needs and realise that looking further afield from a traditional high street bank could help them get the best card for them.”

Winners:

Category Winner
Overall satisfaction John Lewis & Waitrose Partnership
Most Trusted John Lewis & Waitrose Partnership
Best Overall Customer Service M&S Bank
Best telephone customer service Sainsbury’s Bank
Best branch customer service Nationwide
Best online customer service Nationwide
Best mobile website customer service Tesco Bank
Best mobile app customer service American Express
Best Value for money John Lewis & Waitrose Partnership
Best website Nationwide
Best mobile website M&S Bank
Best mobile app MBNA
Best rewards John Lewis & Waitrose Partnership

Source: uSwitch.com 

Mike Jackson, Director, Financial Services, John Lewis Partnership, says:At John Lewis we are committed to offering our customers excellent value and service and we’re thrilled that the John Lewis & Waitrose partnership cardTM has been recognised for this. Winning four awards, including ‘Overall Satisfaction’ and ‘Most Trusted’, particularly when they’ve been voted for by credit card holders, is a real achievement and recognition of our commitment to customer service. We’d like to thank all our customers for their support.”

CreditCardAwards_2015_Infographic

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Notes to editors

Research referred to in the release was conducted online by Opinium from 9th to 16th March 2015 among 7,086 credit card holders. All figures are based on uSwitch.com analysis. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults aged 18+. The full tables of results are below.

  1. Best Credit Card Provider is John Lewis Partnership with a score of 83%; worst is Vanquis with a score of 28%. Overall scores are the average of net scores (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) for all individual measures.

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on Zopa and Metro Bank partnering on peer-to-peer lending

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Commenting on the news that Metro Bank is partnering with Zopa to lend its funds on the peer-to-peer platform, David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch.com, says: “This could be a win win – Metro Bank could benefit from the traditionally high returns peer-to-peer lending can offer and there will be more cash in the pot for borrowers. For those locked out of loans from the traditional ‘Big Four’ banks, peer-to-peer lending can offer a much needed alternative, preventing them from resorting to payday loans.

“Seeing a challenger bank invest may also allay some of the fears people have and be a green light for anyone looking to boost their savings by investing their money into peer-to-peer lending. For despondent savers allowing their money to languish in low earning savings accounts and ISAs, a return of up to 5% with these schemes could be an attractive proposition.

“Would be investors have historically been cautious of using a peer-to-peer lender, in part due to a lack of FCA regulation. Although they are now regulated by the FCA, as with all investments your capital is not protected by the FSCS and is at risk. Other saving opportunities, such as current accounts, still offer some attractive interest rates, and may prove to be the last obstacle before peer-to-peer can truly hit the mainstream.”

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About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on annual Financial Ombudsman complaints data

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Reacting to the latest Financial Ombudsman Service data, which shows a 278% rise in complaints over packaged accounts, David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch says: “It’s encouraging to see PPI complaints finally levelling off, but there could be another storm brewing – mis-selling of packaged accounts. Replacing one scandal with another really isn’t good news.

“Banks need to be transparent about what is included in packaged accounts. Offering people clear and simple information so that they can see exactly what they’re paying for and how much it will cost them will help stop them feeling ripped-off.

“As for those who still don’t feel that their bank is giving them the service they deserve, with more choice offered by challenger banks and switching taking just seven working days, it’s easier than ever to vote with your feet.”

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About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on Lloyds Bank lending report highlighting confidence in repaying debt

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Commenting on data from the Lloyds Bank lending report, highlighting Brits’ confidence in paying back debt, David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch.com, says: “While borrowing grew by record amounts in March, people shouldn’t bite off more than they can chew. Low interest rates won’t last forever – consumer confidence to pay back debts needs to be combined with a realistic and actionable plan to manage repayments.

“It’s important to keep an eye on your rate and the best deals, to make sure you’re not paying over the odds. If you’ve got a great rate, a word of warning – introductory deals won’t last forever, so make sure you either have slack in your monthly budget to cover an increase or even better, plan to switch or move your debt so you don’t get caught out.”

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About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on latest current account switch service figures

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Commenting on the latest figures from the current account switch service, which show a year-on-year increase in the number of switches of 7%, David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch.com, says: “Two things were key in making the seven day switch really work – boosting confidence in the switching service and ensuring the market was competitive enough to make switching worth it. These figures show that confidence is up, which is half the battle.

“In recent months we’ve also seen the market heat up. As well as switching incentives of up to £150, current accounts are becoming increasingly attractive thanks to high interest rates and monthly cash rewards. Only recently Barclays made a U-turn and introduced a reward scheme following highly competitive cashback offers from Halifax and Santander. High interest paying accounts, such as those from Nationwide and Lloyds, are also leading to people switching their current account in order to make their savings work harder.

“This growing confidence, along with small sprouts of competition, means that we are now seeing people starting to vote with their feet when they’re unhappy. Hopefully, this behaviour will lead to a virtuous circle, where banks have to stay on their toes and continue to offer better deals. Then the seven day switch can become the real game changer we were all hoping for.”

For more information visit www.uSwitch.com or call 0800 093 06 07

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About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on RBS and NatWest forcing customers into higher overdraft fees

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Commenting on the decision made by RBS and NatWest to move loyal customers to new current accounts with higher overdraft fees, David Mann, money expert at uSwitch.com, says: “This will come as nasty shock to tens of thousands of customers who will be left out of pocket – it seems that loyalty really doesn’t pay. However, the silver lining for affected RBS and NatWest account holders could be that they take this as an opportunity to switch to a new, better account.

“With competition for new customers really hotting up, there are many accounts out there that could leave you better off. Barclays has today introduced its new Blue Rewards programme that will heavily reward customers, Halifax offers a £5 monthly cash reward on current accounts and Santander’s 123 account with cashback could boost your balance if you have a hefty grocery spend or high utility bills.”

For more information visit www.uSwitch.com or call 0800 093 06 07

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About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

uSwitch comments on Barclays Blue Rewards

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Commenting on Barclays new rewards programme, David Mann, money expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Anything that appears to give people money for nothing is often too good to be true. But despite a monthly fee, this programme really does appear to leave its customers better off – just for banking with them. Any boost to your monthly income is very welcome and rewarding loyalty with more cash for customers who do more than just their everyday banking with Barclays is the cherry on top.

“However, Barclays does appear to be missing a trick by not including its credit card customers.  It’s also important to note that customers have to be signed up to either online or mobile banking to benefit – which could see some people miss out.

“The bottom line is there are plenty of ways for people to make their bank accounts work for them – and put more pounds in their pockets. Barclay’s new scheme could work out to be a great option for loyal customers who have a range of products with the bank, but it may not be the best choice for everyone. Halifax offer a £5 monthly cash reward on their current account and Santander’s 123 account could boost your balance if you have hefty food spend or utility bills. Taking the time to investigate all your options could really pay off.”

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About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.

Political apathy crippling young people’s future finances

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  • A quarter of 18-34 year olds (25%) have no idea that being registered to vote has a significant impact on their credit rating[1]
  • Despite the voter registration deadline just 11 days away (20th April 2015), up to 3 million 18-24 year olds have not yet registered to vote in this year’s general election[2]
  • 54% of young Brits don’t know that their credit report affects their ability to secure a mobile phone contract[3], buy a house (23%)[4], and apply for a credit card (30%)[5] or bank loan (33%)[6]
  • uSwitch has launched, ‘It’s My Report’, a campaign with the backing of over 15,000 consumers, to drive a change in the way consumer credit reports are created and shared in the UK.

Millions of young Brits are missing out on a good credit rating because they aren’t registered to vote. A quarter of 18 – 34 year olds (25%) have no idea that not being on the electoral roll affects their ability to buy a house, secure a phone contract, or a bank loan, according to new research from uSwitch.com, the price comparison site and switching service[1].

According to the National Audit Office, almost six million 18-24 year olds are eligible to vote in this election. But, with only 11 days to go until the voter registration deadline (April 20th), recent research has discovered that half – up to 3 million – of them have not yet registered to vote[2]. This will have far-reaching consequences on young people’s finances because lenders use the electoral register as one of the main ways to verify names and addresses of applicants – ultimately impacting credit scores.

The uSwitch.com research also reveals widespread confusion amongst young Brits about how their credit reports affect their everyday choices. Over half (54%) don’t believe it impacts on their ability to secure a mobile phone contract[3], buy a house (23%)[4], apply for a credit card (30%)[5] or bank loan (33%)[6]. Instead, nearly half believe age (45%)[7], marital status (35%)[8] and Facebook profiles (26%)[9] are key contributors to their credit report, when in fact they have no impact.

Recent changes to the electoral registration system has further compounded the problem for young people. According to the Electoral Commission, 920,000 young people have been wiped off the electoral roll, mainly due to parents and universities not being able to register them on their behalf[10].

David Mann, money expert at uSwitch.com, says; “Political apathy is crippling young people’s future financial choices. The fact is, you can never have an ‘excellent’ credit score without being registered to vote, as lenders use this information to verify the names and addresses of applicants.

“A poor credit rating can be the final nail in the coffin for young people who are already facing challenging conditions, with youth unemployment at an all-time high and many trapped in ‘generation rent’.

“More needs to be done to educate people about the significance of credit reports and how they affect everyday choices. We have launched ‘It’s My Report’ to help young people to take charge of their financial CV and be able to not only better manage their money, but ensure they can secure their financial future.”

It’s My Report’ is calling for three fundamental changes:

  1. Every person in the UK should get free access to their full credit report, including their credit score, once a year. This will allow them to verify everything is correct and get any errors fixed, as well as better understand all the pieces that make up their credit score.
  2. A change in the law to make it mandatory for a person to be given the specific reasons why they have been turned down for credit, when details from their credit report were a factor. This should be alongside free access to the full report used to make that decision.
  3. A standardisation of the credit score scale used in the UK, so your score always means the same thing, regardless of the company you get it from.

Sign our petition for change at ItsMyReport.com

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Notes to editors

All research referred to was conducted by Opinium unless otherwise stated. Opinium Research carried an online survey of 2,023 consumers aged 18 – 34 between 7th – 9th October 2014. Percentages and figures not used in grossed up calculations refer to the proportion of the whole sample unless otherwise stated.

  1. When asked ‘do you think they generally have on your credit score / report’, 25% of those asked believed that it didn’t have a significant impact or didn’t know.
  2. Research conducted by BBC’s Newsbeat http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/31859916. According to National Audit Office, there are an estimated 5.7 million 18 to 24-year-olds eligible to vote in this election but half of young adults have not yet registered to vote in this year’s general election – equating to almost 3 million young adults
  3. When asked ‘looking at each of the following, which, if any, do you think could be affected by your credit score / report’, 46% said yes to getting a new mobile phone contract.
  4. When asked ‘looking at each of the following, which, if any, do you think could be affected by your credit score / report’, 67% said yes to buying a house.
  5. When asked ‘looking at each of the following, which, if any, do you think could be affected by your credit score / report’, 70% said yes to credit card
  6. When asked ‘looking at each of the following, which, if any, do you think could be affected by your credit score / report’, 67% said yes to getting a loan.
  7. When asked, ‘thinking about each of the following, how much of an impact, if any, do you think they generally have on your credit score / report’, 45% said yes to age having a significant impact.
  8. When asked, ‘thinking about each of the following, how much of an impact, if any, do you think they generally have on your credit score / report’, 35% said yes to marital status having a significant impact.
  9. When asked, ‘thinking about each of the following, how much of an impact, if any, do you think they generally have on your credit score / report’, 26% said yes to Facebook profile having a significant impact.

Research conducted by the Electoral Commission, February 2015 http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/24/million-voters-missing-roll-electoral-commission-students-block-individual-registration

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.

uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.