Questions Of Cash: Do I lose cashback when my card goes?

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Q. Since December 2004, I have had a More Than credit card on which I get 0.8 per cent cashback, payable annually in October. I have now been informed by the card issuer, Lloyds TSB, that the card will be withdrawn in June. My cashback will be lost unless I accept a replacement Lloyds TSB platinum credit card, which does not provide cashback. Since the cashback was my only reason for having the More Than card, I see no reason why I should have to use this. I now stand to lose my accumulated cashback of about £60.
BH, Whitehaven

Lloyds TSB confirms that it is withdrawing More Than cards, but insists that you are not required to accept its offer of a Lloyds TSB card in its place - nor will you lose your cashback if you refuse the offered card.

Your cashback will be paid to you as promised. According to the independent price-comparison service Moneyfacts, several issuers still offer cashback on credit cards - Abbey, Amex, Bank of Ireland, Leeds Building Society, Morgan Stanley and Yorkshire Building Society.

Q. My 80-year-old mother lives in a private warden-assisted development, paying high maintenance charges. She has received a letter saying that she owes £97 for April 2002, which has just shown up on the landlords' records. I have power of attorney for my mother and wrote a letter to them disputing this. The home now says it was the fault of the bank, Nationwide.
GF, by e-mail

Resolving this has proved impossible. You have power of attorney for your mother's affairs, which would normally be accepted by Nationwide. However, where Nationwide (or any bank or building society) is advised that a customer is mentally incapable and has granted an enduring power of attorney, there is a requirement under the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act 1985 to have the power of attorney registered at the Court of Protection.

In your mother's case, this has not been done, with the result that Nationwide is unable to divulge any details about your mother's account, either to you, or to us. You have understandably decided that discussing this matter with your mother to obtain her authority to ask questions of Nationwide would distress her and is inappropriate.

Stephen Pallister, tax and trusts partner at Charles Russell Solicitors, confirms that Nationwide's explanation of the legal situation is correct. But he adds that from 2 April 2007, it will no longer be possible to create new enduring powers of attorney, and people will then make "lasting powers of attorney", containing more safeguards for the donor, but requiring more work for it to be put in place.

Q. National Savings & Investments (Questions of Cash, 22 April) claims that the Premium Bond numbers generated by Ernie each month are entirely random. Yet I have the maximum holding in Premium Bonds - accumulated over 47 years - and have never won a prize over £100. All my winning bond numbers have the sequence two numbers, two letters, six numbers.

Some of my earlier bond numbers have the sequence two letters, six numbers, and one set has the sequence one number, two letters, six numbers. It seems as if earlier bonds get drawn less often.
GS, Chichester

Elen Thomas of National Savings & Investments says: "Your reader has differing sequences of Premium Bond numbers because the earliest numbers had only nine digits. As demand for Premium Bonds increased, we had to introduce 10- and 11-digit numbers. Ernie is capable of producing all three types, and has no bias to one type, as he is simply a random number generator. While it seems that new bonds win more often, this is because there are more new bonds than old ones. In July 2004, the jackpot win of £1m was won with a nine-digit Premium Bond, part of a £17 purchase in 1959."

Q. At my local NatWest, the cashier asked me if I had a mortgage with the bank. When I said no, she asked me if I would take the bank's £1,000 mortgage challenge. I explained that we had recently remortgaged with Bradford & Bingley and were in a fixed deal for two-and-a-half years.

A second cashier insisted that we could get £1,000 if NatWest could not beat our existing mortgage. The poster for this £1,000 challenge mentioned mortgages with the Halifax and other lenders, but not B&B. I filled in the form and handed it in. No one from NatWest responded so I phoned and was told that the offer did not apply to fixed deals, like ours.
AC, Manchester

NatWest apologises and admits that it needs to consider the training of some of its staff. The £1,000 mortgage challenge, which ran earlier this year, was only aimed at customers of Halifax, Abbey or Lloyds/C&G -as stated on the posters.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. Please do not send original documents. Write to: Questions of Cash, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; cash@independent.co.uk.

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