Readers' lives

Your Money Each week we answer your letters on everyday financial concerns

I have received information concerning the arrangements for N&P credit cards following the society's takeover by Abbey National. It seems they are doing away with the ID photo on the cards. Does anyone else issue cards with a photo?

AW, West Sussex

Only the Royal Bank of Scotland. It offers bank and credit cards with a laser-etched photograph and signature.

The bank says the cards have been a huge success, with a 99 per cent reduction in fraud on its Highline multi-function card and an 85 per cent reduction in credit card fraud. RBOS says photocards cost around pounds 1 more to produce than conventional cards. Abbey says the extra cost does not justify the savings from reduced fraud.

RBOS offers credit cards with rates of 23.2 per cent for purchases and 25 per cent for cash withdrawals. There is the usual interest-free period and the annual fee is pounds 10.

From October, the photocard option will be extended to holders of RBOS's Low Cost Mastercard - no annual fee and an APR of 14.5 per cent. But there is no interest-free period. This won't suit those paying off bills each month, but could appeal to those running card debts.

The bank says photocards do not provide perfect security. But developments in biometrics, which measure unique features such as fingerprints and voices, should lead to better security.

How long after a husband's death can a woman claim the widow's bereavement allowance?

ST, London

Widow's bereavement allowance lasts for a maximum of two years. It can be claimed for the tax year during which your husband died and the next, unless you have remarried before the start of the new tax year. Like the married couple's allowance, widow's bereavement allowance is worth a fixed 15 per cent of pounds 1,790, or pounds 268.50 a year.

You can claim it up to six tax years late. There is no equivalent tax break for widowers.

Write to Steve Lodge, personal finance editor, Readers' Lives, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, and include a telephone number. Do not enclose SAEs or documents that you wish to be returned. We cannot give personal replies and cannot guarantee to answer every letter sent to Readers' Lives. We accept no legal responsibility for advice.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam