To say that these are uncertain times would be a huge understatement. And with workers in bars, restaurants and shops getting laid off right across the country, people's finances may come under pressure like never before. That's why it's never been more important to switch and save on your bills to ensure you're not overpaying.
At bonkers.ie we know that switching saves. Yet every year people pay more than they need to by not switching. But if ever there were a time to ensure you're getting the best value, now is that time.
So here’s our guide on how to compare prices, switch provider and save big on your most common household bills to help keep your finances in shape over the coming challenging months.
1. Compare and switch gas and electricity suppliers
As covid-19 continues to spread around the country, it’s inevitable that our energy consumption will increase as more and more of us either work from home or find ourselves spending more time at home due to self-isolation or being laid off work. And as bill payers know all too well this will lead to an increase in bills down the line. However, this doesn’t have to be the case because the good news is that you could save almost €400 a year just by switching your gas and electricity provider.
That’s because most of Ireland’s energy suppliers offer discounted rates to brand new customers as a sign-up incentive. However, these deals usually expire after 12 months. At this stage, if you don’t switch, your supplier will revert your plan to standard pricing and you’ll pay more for the exact same service.
Switching gas and electricity supplier is super quick and easy. All you need to switch is your GPRN and MPRN (which can be found on your gas and electricity bills), a recent meter reading and an estimate of how much energy you use each year. And if you can’t find the key to open your meter box, let us know and we’ll send one out to you.
Around 27,000 people switch electricity supplier, and 11,000 switch gas supplier, every month, so why not join them! It's quick and easy to switch and can all be done online in a few minutes.
2. Switch broadband, phone & TV provider
The next month or so is going to see most of us spend a lot more time indoors so a good broadband connection and a decent TV and video-on-demand streaming package is going to be more important than ever.
However, staying connected online and up-to-date with the latest TV shows is by no means cheap, with the average bill for these services now costing over €100 a month. More if you include a sports package. However there are huge savings to be made by shopping around and switching. That’s because, like energy providers, broadband, phone and TV providers save their best deals for brand new customers and regularly offer half-price incentives for six months or more to entice customers to switch.
And the good news is that bonkers.ie lets you easily compare speeds, prices, channels and offers from all of Ireland’s main providers. You can also search for broadband-only deals or packages with phone and TV, whatever best fits your needs. And once you’ve found the right deal for you, you can place your order on our site in just minutes.
So if you’ve been with your current provider for more than a year or two, see what great offers are out there right now on bonkers.ie and put some more money back into your pocket.
3. Change current accounts
Most of us are now avoiding cash and using our cards as much as possible to try avoid catching covid-19. However fees for card usage can quickly add up.
Some banks will charge you as much 20c for every chip and pin transaction, while others will charge you nothing. Some will even charge you for contactless transactions, which seems insane as we're supposedly trying to move towards a less cash-based society.
Current Account - N26
- Mobile & app banking
- Online account access
- Apple Pay & Google Pay
And on the rare occasion you withdraw cash, some banks will charge you as much as 35 cent every time you do so.
Equally, different banks offer different extras such as mobile payments (like Apple Pay and Google Pay) or access to emergency cash.
Our current account comparison service lets you easily compare the different account features and charges from all of Ireland’s providers and will quickly show you what your monthly fees would be. Right now you could save up to €145 a year by switching to the bank with the lowest fees.
Worried about the hassle of switching? Rest easy - the Central Bank has in place a code of conduct for switching to make the process as easy as possible which all banks must comply with.
4. Switch your mortgage
Your mortgage is likely to be your biggest monthly expense for years so this is one bill that you don't want to overpay on!
And while this bill takes a bit more effort to switch, the extra time you might have at home in the coming weeks means it's the perfect time to stop putting it on the long finger.
Our mortgage calculator lets you easily compare interest rates, offers and cashback incentives from all of Ireland’s mortgage lenders and will quickly show you what your monthly repayments would be. And once you’ve found the right deal for you, you can arrange a callback from one of our qualified mortgage advisors who can arrange your new mortgage.
So whether you’re a first-time buyer, a home mover, or looking to switch mortgage, we’ll take the hard work out of finding the best deal and could help you save hundreds of euro a month on your repayments.
Right now a mortgage holder who’s paying a rate of 4.5% with €250,000 remaining on their mortgage could save almost €300 a month by switching to the best rate. It's a no brainer! And even if you are on a far more competitive rate of 3.5% you could still save up to €150 a month.
5. Get cheaper mortgage protection insurance
Mortgage protection is compulsory for mortgage holders in Ireland, but many people are paying more than they have to. And remember, you don’t need to take out insurance with the same bank that gave you your mortgage!
bonkers.ie lets you easily compare prices from Ireland’s main insurance providers. Whether you’d like a single policy, a joint policy, or a policy with added benefits, we’ll search a wide range of policies across multiple insurers and produce a quote for you in just seconds.
And because your policy must run for the length of your mortgage, even a small saving of €5 or €10 a month would still add up to almost €2,500 over the lifetime of a 20-year mortgage. Not bad!
6. Transfer your credit card balance
We all know that we should pay off our credit card bill in full at the end of every month. But nobody’s perfect! And with people's finances likely to be hit hard over the coming weeks and months, it's fair to say many people's credit cards will take a hammering.
So that's where switching comes in...
Most credit card providers have special introductory offers for those looking to switch, such as 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for the first six to 12 months, which can be a great way to help you clear your existing credit card debt faster or to avoid paying interest on new purchases.
So check out our credit card comparison service. It lets you easily compare interest rates, balance transfer options, and card features from Ireland’s main credit card providers and will quickly show you where you can find the lowest interest rate and best switching deals.
7. Get cheaper life insurance and serious illness cover
Having adequate life and serious illness cover is all part of good financial planning. But that doesn't mean you have to pay more than you need to! So if you’re looking to save money on your insurance costs, we can help.
Our comparison service lets you quickly and easily compare quotes from Ireland’s main insurance providers. And once you’ve found the right policy for you, you can apply online on our site in just minutes.
And remember if you used to smoke and have been off the cigarettes for at least a year, you can apply to your insurance company to be put onto non-smoker rates, which could see the cost of your premium halved in some cases. Another reason to kick the habit!
Switch with bonkers.ie today
The easiest money you’ll ever earn is the money that you’ve saved as they say. So start switching today and enjoy spending those new found savings!
It's easy. It's free. It's bonkers.ie!