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Recommendations and referrals

I’ve used a fair number of online services over the years, many of which allow me to recommend them upon which I may receive a small credit or other benefit, and often the you may receive a welcome bonus having been referred rather than just signing up directly via their website. Click on the retailer name to visit their site via my referral link.

Shopping

If you buy anything online, you should check whether the retailer offers cashback via one of the popular cashback websites such as TopCashback or Quidco.

I also provide myself many “employee perks” with discounts of hundreds of brands (Tesco, Sainsburys, Starbucks, Apple, Odeon Cinemas etc) via Perkbox. You can get 10% off by signing up using my link.

Mystery Shopping

You can get free food at a number of popular high street chains AND get paid for it by becoming a Mystery Shopper

Banking and finance

Zopa

I joined Zopa in the very early days as I like the concept of “removing the middle man” in the lending/borrowing market and I think peer-to-peer has a bright future. I’ve certainly received a very good rate on my lending over the past few years, and have experienced very little bad debt.

Funding Circle

A similar concept to Zopa, but lending to businesses rather than consumers. The government now endorses this peer-to-peer approach by fulfilling the final 10% of loans on the Funding Circle platform. They don’t have a referral link but you can get £50 sign-up bonus if I refer you via email.

GoCardless

If you need to take DirectDebit payments then these guys only charge a flat 1% fee which compares very well with the market and is much lower than merchant credit card fees and PayPal. Signing up via my link also gives you £50 of fees back.

Investments

Nutmeg

I use Nutmeg for ISAs and pensions. Whilst they have no online referral link, I can get you 3 months of fee-free ISA management by referring you. Just drop me a line with your email address.

Seedrs

If you’re interested in investing in start-ups and early-stage companies, Seedrs is a good online platform and community for VC investments.

Credit cards

American Express Platinum card

30,000 reward points as a sign-up bonus, travel insurance and points on everything you spend this is a great card to earn Avios, Virgin or other travel points which you can then cash in for free flights or hotel stays. Add in travel insurance, hotel loyalty scheme upgrades and airport lounge access it’s a great card for the frequent traveller. £450 annual fee.

Tesco Mastercard

For the few places I encounter that don’t accept Amex, I use my Tesco Mastercard as a back-up. This earns Clubcard points on all spending which can be redeemed at hundreds of retailers, or converted to Avios or Virgin miles. Tesco do not have an automated referal link, but you can get 1000 bonus clubcard points if I refer you once you’ve applied. Just contact me when you’ve been accepted.

Virgin Atlantic

Earn 2 Virgin Flying Club miles on all your Amex spending and 1 Virgin mile for Visa spend.

Sign-up bonus: 18,500 Virgin Flying Club miles with your first purchase within 90 days

On-going benefits: Double miles for spend on Virgin flights and holidays, Premium Economy reward upgrade on an Economy redemption after spending £5,000 per year (two can be earned per year), companion voucher (valid only on a paid flight in a flexible booking class in any cabin) when you spend £7,500 in a year.

Travel

AirBnB

If you’re interested in staying in unusual places without breaking the bank, this is a great way of finding some hidden gems. Everywhere I’ve booked using it has been excellent and often cheaper than a hotel or motel.

TravelPony

Because they don’t advertise their prices to the public, they are allowed to undercut the popular sites as they are counted as a private members club. Get credit when signing up using my link.

Uber

Whilst not available in every city, Uber is becoming a very popular way of booking taxis and mini-cabs. Get your first ride free by signing up with my link.

Virgin Atlantic flying club

With travel to the US becoming more frequent with Synergy and Summit no longer being held in Europe, I joined the Virgin flying club, their frequent flyer scheme. You can fund this by flying Virgin of course, but also they have a Virgin Credit card, and you can convert across American Express Membership Reward points, and Tesco Clubcard points. You will get 2000 bonus miles on your first economy flight if I refer you (or 5000 for premium economy, 10,000 for Upper Class)

AwardWallet

If like me you are a member of a large number of hotel, airline and supermarket loyalty schemes, it can become a bit of a headache managing all the accounts. AwardWallet allows you to store your credentials to hundreds of popular loyalty schemes in one place, and displays all your balances, and importantly, any expiring loyalty points, in one page. They have mobile apps available so you can check your balances whist on the road too.

Miscellaneous

Web hosting

Slightly biassed I know (as I’m a director) but do consider XenCentricHosting for your web hosting needs.

Electric and Gas utilities

I recently switched to Bulb who provide 100% renewable energy to your home. You can get £50 off your first bill by switching using my link.

Discounts

I use Perkbox to provide a whole range of discounts to my staff (e.g. me!). They give discounts at a huge range of outlets such as Vue Cinemas, free mobile phone insurance and discounts on many high street retailers.

Free food

OK you have to “work for your lunch” a little…become a mystery shopper and get free food at many popular high street food outlets and pub chains.

Wine

NakedWines have a awesome selection of great tasting wine, and if you sign up via my link, you’ll get £25 credit to spend on whatever you like.

Online training

Trond has some great online training videos and tutorials on his XenAppTraining.com site (and not just for XenApp, despite the name!)

NowTV On demand TV & movies

I signed up to NowTV just before xmas as they had a 30 day free trial which meant free Sky Movie Channels and thousands of on-demand movies. The service utilises your existing broadband connection, and you can play on laptops, tablets, smartphones and even Google Chromecast, or you can purchase a NowTV box for a tenner. They have three packages available: Entertainment, Movies and Sports , and signing up via my referral links will give you a £10 high street voucher. You can also hack the box and install the Plex media player making it one of the cheapest media streamers you can buy!

Broadband/Cable TV

I’ve used Virgin Media fibre cable broadband for many years and it provides market leading speeds (in the UK at least). There is no online referral link, but I can refer you via email and you’ll get free installation (usually £49)

Overseas calling

Having in-laws living overseas can get expensive on international calls, so I use LocalPhone to provide a local UK number that automatically redirects to my overseas numbers.

Mobile phone

Get a free giffgaff Sim

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