The cup that cheers

It may sound like a plot from the latest Indiana Jones movie but a 2,500 year old gold cup that’s spent 60 years under a bed is very real indeed.

The antique treasure that pre-dates the birth of Christ was handed down by rag-and-bone man William Sparks, who acquired it in the 1930s. It is now expected to fetch £100,000 at auction.

The current owner of the cup, Mr Sparks’ grandson John Webber, may appear to be very fortunate indeed but research for MoneyExpert.com has found that millions of us have unclaimed rewards and vouchers, which in total make up a very considerable sum.

Not only are we failing to make the most of hard-earned reward points, but many of us are also paying twice for products such as life and health insurance.

MoneyExpert.com gives some top tips making the most of what you’ve got.

Money for nothing

Research for MoneyExpert.com found recently that 83% of customers have failed to cash in on some £4.25 billion worth of gift vouchers, credit notes, loyalty points and Air miles. On average, 57% of British adults have amassed reward points on credit cards worth an average of £42, while one in five of us are yet to redeem air miles typically worth £162.

Those Airmiles alone could suffice for a nice European getaway, but with banks and credit card providers competing with ever more rewarding policies, there’s certainly plenty to be gained.

Cashback!

Cashback credit cards have experienced a bit of a renaissance over the last year, and while some offers may sound miserly and insignificant there are definitely some to look out for.

Abbey’s credit card offers up to £50 cashback off your supermarket shopping and American Express will pay back 5% of all purchases in the first three months. With prices at the pumps heading up and up the Shell Mastercard from Citibank looks a good option paying a 3% rebate on Shell fuel purchases and a 1% return on all other purchases.

The new breed of credit cards from the likes of the supermarket banks and the football clubs across the country also offer innovative reward schemes. Provided by MBNA the football credit cards have a decent enough typical APR of 15.9% and offer rewards such as discounts on travel and shopping, and various club specific bonuses.

Doubling up

With providers no longer competing just on interest, either paid or charged, choosing a product can be complicated. But it’s hugely important to know just what you’re being offered or you could end up either not claiming what you’re owed or even paying twice for a certain service or product.

Packaged accounts have grown in popularity recently, and with many offering a broad range of incentives such as travel insurance or mobile phone cover it’s all too easy to double-up on protection.

The likes of Halifax and Lloyds TSB offer car breakdown cover from the AA and the RAC with their packaged accounts and with many already members of those organisations it’s all too easy to simply carry on paying when you’re entitled to the cover as part of your packaged deal – so check the details and get what you deserve!

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