Send loved ones a Christmas present to spend: Our top tips on how to give cash smartly and safely
- With fewer people visiting shops money is set to prove a popular Christmas gift
- Here we explain how you can send money securely this Christmas
- Some banks allow mobile customers to pay in cheques by uploading a photo
- Vouchers are popular but if retailer goes bust you may not get your money back
Money can be the ideal present.
In fact, just over half of us intend to gift cash this Christmas, with a quarter giving more because of the pandemic, according to research by investment firm AJ Bell.
Here, we share our top tips on how to send it safely…
With fewer people visiting the shops and travelling this Christmas, cash will no doubt prove a popular choice of gift
Wrap up a gift of money
If you’re sending cash in the post, make sure it is packed securely and not visible from the outside. Avoid posting coins, as these can fall out of envelopes.
Royal Mail recommends paying extra for its Special Delivery Guaranteed service, which offers compensation if valuables — including cash — are lost.
A letter weighing up to 100g would cost £6.70 to send this way, and you will be covered for up to £500. A cheque may be a safer option, but they are valid for only six months.
Direct from Santa
Sending money directly to a loved one’s bank account is the fastest option.
If you have not transferred money to them before, you must register them as a new payee online or via a mobile banking app. To do this you will need their name, bank account number and sort code.
Double-check the details before hitting send, as it can be hard to claw back money sent to the wrong account.
Your bank should warn you if the account details do not match the name. If you are not online, you can make the transfer by phone or in a branch.
You can also make a deposit into a child’s Junior Isa (which children cannot access until they turn 18).
The maximum you can pay in this tax year is £9,000. To make a payment by phone or via the provider’s website, you need the child’s client number, name and date of birth.
Goodwill goes premium
Anyone can buy premium bonds for children under the age of 16 — but you must let the parent or guardian know, as they manage the money until the child turns 16
Premium Bonds are a popular gift choice for parents and grandparents. The bonds are entered into a monthly draw, with around two million prizes available, ranging from £25 to £1 million.
For each £1 bond you hold, the odds of winning a prize are 34,500 to one.
Anyone can buy bonds for children under the age of 16 — but you must let the parent or guardian know.
You can apply online (at nsandi.com/products/premium-bonds) or by post, or call 0808 500 7007. The minimum investment is £25.
But be warned, the bank has struggled to handle customer calls in the pandemic — leading to long waiting times.
Holly jolly High Street
Vouchers can seem like the ideal money gift, but if the retailer goes bust, you may not get your cash back.
Last week, shoppers at Topshop and other stores in the collapsed Acadia group were told they could only use gift cards for half their orders.
Many shoppers also lose out because of strict expiry dates. Cards are typically valid for 12 to 18 months (though some, such as iTunes gift cards, do not expire).
A safer option might be a multi-store gift card, such as Love2Shop (love2shop.co.uk).