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Jul 09

Ask Jasmine 1: Your Questions, Answered

Welcome to Ask Jasmine, the column where I round up some of the questions I have received from readers each week. This week, I answer questions about Avois flight loyalty points, investing in whiskey and the best money apps out there.

I hope these answers can help you with any questions you may have. Don’t forget to leave any questions you have in the comments below or email me on help@moneymagpie.com.

 

How can I spend my avios points?

Can you help me please? I have had over 20,000 [Avios] points for some time now and don’t know what to do with them. I have tried to contact British Airways but they never answer me.

What can I do with them?

Thank you for your question. I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been able to get much help with this so far. Luckily for you, I am on hand to help!

Avois points are a reward currency which can be collected by British Airways Executive Club members. You can collect Avios points with both British Airways and their partners. Such partners include John Lewis, M&S and Apple. So, every time you spend in these stores, you collect Avios points!

These points are collected when you book flights, holiday packages, hotel stays, other accommodation and car hire through British Airways. You can also collect points on holiday extras, such as airport parking, transfers and more.

There are plenty of ways to spend British Airways Avios points. You could book a flight entirely with your points, if you have enough. You can book to any destination worldwide. If this is the case, however, keep in mind you will need to pay a small cash amount to cover taxes, fees and carrier charges. If you don’t have enough points to pay for an entire flight, you can use them as a part payment for your booking. Plus, you’ll receive points back on your flight, even if you paid for it in part with Avios!

If you already have a flight booked, or don’t have enough to pay for the flight in full, you can use your Avios points to upgrade your seats. Where there is availability, you could upgrade to business class, or if you are feeling flush, to first class and experience the high life. If you are happy with the cabin you are in or are lucky enough to already be in business or first class, you could use your points to pay for your luggage or to choose your seat in advance.

When you land at your destination, you can spend your Avios on great hotel and accommodation deals at thousands of hotels globally. You could also use them to pay for Avis or Budget car rental, both at airport and non-airport locations, and make your holiday easy with transport at your fingertips.

You could also spend these points on fun experiences to make your holiday really memorable. When on holiday, you may relax with a little tipple. You can spend your Avios on popular wines, champagnes and beers too!

I hope this helps you. From Jasmine 🙂

 

Investing in whisky

Hi Jasmine, going back to your write up on Saturday the 25th June 2022 in The Daily Mail, in relation to Whisky. I have tried to get some information on all of the sites you gave with no result, my Husband had some whisky given to him years ago and I thought maybe I have some that would be good to sell.

I have a Glenfiddich Special Reserve Scotch Whisky in a tin, a Grand Old Parr in a box, and a Dimple DeLuxe scotch whisky in a box. Can you please help?

Thank you for your question – I hope you enjoyed the column. When it comes to whisky, there is a huge market for it right now. In fact, rare whisky was the best performing collectible of the last decade. It sounds like you have some interesting bottles on your hands. I have done some research and hope these answers can help you.

A lot of the time, it depends how old or rare the bottle you have is. The most sought-after bottles are those which are limited edition or bottled before the year 2000. If your whisky was bottled before the 1990s, there is a premium on these. People are willing to pay the big bucks for older bottles. Of course, unopened bottles, larger bottles and those in their original box or packaging are worth more too.

According to  Whisky Hammer, a bottle of Glenfiddich 12-year-old special reserve typically sells for anywhere between £20 and £30 a bottle, with a bottle selling just last month in June 2022 for £25. However, bottles have sold for up to £40 in the last five years.

With the Grand Old Parr you have, it really depends on how old it is, it’s size and whether it is a limited-edition bottle or a standard bottle. A standard 50cl bottle in the box tends to sell for between £15 and £30, however a bottle from the 1950s/60s sold for £86 in 2017 at Whisky Auctioneer.

Whiskey Auctioneer also shows winning bids for 75cl bottles of Grand Old Parr range from £15 to £50. I have found that the more expensive bottles in this range tend to have a slightly older date, from the 1950s or 1960s.

Many of the winning bids for Dimple De Luxe 12 year or 15-year-old whisky have been around £19 for a 75cl bottle. Many bottles from the 1970s and 1980s are also around the same. Bottles from the 30s to the 50s have sold for up to £85, however.

As you can see, whisky changes price depending on the brand too. Some types of whisky are more sort after than others. I often tell people to remember whisky tends to increase in value over time. The Wealth Report from Knight Frank suggests whisky rose in value over the last decade by an average of 582% across each of the ten years.

My advice to you would be to speak to a professional on this matter. There are many online auction houses where you can call up and discuss your whisky with them. You may also have an auction house near where you live which will give you advice and guidance on how much your bottles may be worth and how to go about selling them.

Find the contact details for Whisky Auctioneer here. Find the details for Whisky Hammer here.

I hope this helps! All the best, Jasmine 🙂

 

money saving apps

money saving apps question ask jasmine

I have come across apps to help you save without any big cutbacks, and I am wondering how much they cost, and can they be attached to any bank account and does one have to be technically minded? What do you think of them?

Thanks so much for your interesting question. Money saving apps for your mobile phone are becoming a regular occurrence in today’s economy. As technology changes, so does our finance (something I am still unsure of from time to time!).

Most of them are fairly straight forward to use, luckily. I find you need to spend a little bit of time exploring the application and everything it encompasses to work out how to use it properly and get the most out of it.

Here are two popular money saving apps, how they work and how much they cost (if anything):

Plum

Plum markets itself as a way to make your money go further. It allows you to save money without thinking about it, by automatically saving small amounts of money here and there. Plum’s basic tier is free to use and allows you to round up your transactions, make automatic deposits and weekly deposits and gives you a nudge on payday to see if you want to deposit extra.

Plum Plus is £1 a month, but you get your first month for free! Plum Pro costs £2.99 a month. Of course, the more you pay the more features are available to you. If you are really serious about saving or have a particular goal in mind, you may consider the paid version.

You can find out all about the varying costs and what is included in each subscription here. You can find out all about the services Plum offers here.

Moneybox

I first heard about the Moneybox app through my colleague Izzy, who uses it herself. With Moneybox you can save, invest, begin your first home fund and combine old pensions, all in one easy to use app.

You can save and invest your spare change, set up weekly and payday deposits and also make one-off deposits whenever you want. It is easy to use and there is plenty of help and information available on the app and the Moneybox website.

For investment accounts, such as Stocks and Shares ISAs, General Investment Accounts and Lifetime ISAs, Moneybox charge small fees. There is a fixed subscription fee of £1 a month, but you get your first 3 months for free! The fee remains £1 no matter how many accounts you open. This fee covers all transactions and all investing costs and is charged at the end of each month by selling down your largest holding.

There is also a platform fee, which is 0.45% of the value of your investments. This fee accrues daily and is charged monthly, by selling down your largest holding. In addition, you will also pay an annual fund fee of up to 0.58%. This covers fund management costs and transaction costs.

Here’s what my colleague Izzy had to say about the Moneybox app – I find it is always nice to hear from someone who has actually tried and tested something before using it myself!

Izzy says:

“I absolutely love the Moneybox app. So much so that I have recommended it to a few of my friends. It is so easy to set up and my savings have built so much more than I thought possible. I tried to save alone for so long and always struggled. Not only does the app help me achieve my goals but motivates me to stay on track. I can’t recommend it enough! Plus, I know my money is totally safe as the app is regulated and protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.”

I hope you are a little clearer on the best apps to use for saving. With best wishes, Jasmine 🙂

 

Do you have a question for me? Leave it in the comments below, or email me your question on help@moneymagpie.com. I may just answer it in next week’s Ask Jasmine column.

Speak next week!

 

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence. 

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