Couples Perks by Martin Lewis

Love is…a financial advantage! I’ve been swamped with successes after my last column on the marriage tax allowance, which gives many couples a free £212. And it got me thinking… what are the other financial boons to being in a relationship you can make work for you?

couplesperksSo I’ve pulled together key twosome perks. With some you need to be married, but most allow anyone to, ahem, do it together.

Must be married or civil partners

For my first batch of tips, cohabiting doesn’t do it, only marriage (including civil partners) counts.

One of you a non-taxpayer, the other paying basic 20% tax? FREE £212

3 million couples are missing out on an easy, but underpublicised, tax break launched last April. It lets the non taxpayer give £1,060 of their tax-free allowance to the taxpayer. This means £1,060 of income they were taxed on at 20% is now tax-free – a £212/year gain.

After my last column on it, a rather flattering Debbie emailed: “Easy, we’ve a backdated refund and saving of £200+/yr. Who needs to win the lottery when you’ve Martin Lewis?”

To do it, the non-taxpayer just needs to register at Apply now for this tax year, and you get it for every year going forward.

Full service breakdown cover, £42 for two. gives home start and onward travel for £42/year – a corking deal. Yet this covers any car you drive, and any your spouse drives too, at no extra cost. It’s a pay and reclaim policy, so a recovery operator is sent out, and you pay them, then send your receipts in to get the cost back.

A joint policy can also be cheaper than two single policies with the AA and RAC. e.g., a joint RAC basic policy is £80, but a single is £50 per person. Go to for more.

You can pass on your inheritance tax allowance.

While not a nice thought, when you die everyone can leave an ‘estate’ (all property, savings, valuables) worth up to £325k without inheritance tax coming off it.

Yet, there’s never tax on what you leave to your spouse if they live in the UK, and if you die, their allowance rises by the amount you didn’t leave to others. So if you left them everything, they could leave £650k tax-free. Also if you die, ISAs can be passed over and stay ISAs too.

For ALL couples – married or not

These work for all couples (and sometimes even just friends), but most need a trusting financial relationship.

Get a £6,000 boost toward your first home together.

If you’re a first-time buyer, save in a Help to Buy ISA and you’ll get a 25% bonus on top towards a mortgage deposit, up to a maximum £3,000. And if you’re buying together, get one each, so that’s a maximum £6,000. If one of you has owned before, the one who hasn’t can still get one.

You’re allowed to save £1,200 in month one and £200/month after. Even if you’re buying soon, it can still be worth it, as Laurence emailed: “Thanks to MSE, me and my partner both opened Help to Buy ISAs in December. Now we’re buying, we’ve got the min £1,600 each, and will get a total £800 bonus.” For my full guide to whether it’s right for you, and all the best buys go to

Get a YEAR’S 2for1 cinema together for £2ish.

Those darling TV meerkats (or annoying little pests depending on your view) run a promotion where, if you become a customer, you get access to 2for1 cinema tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a year.

Yet it isn’t always your best deal. So here’s a trick. Get yourself a one day, UK-only travel insurance policy and even if you choose not to travel, technically you qualify. The cheapest I’ve found them at is £2. And then you’re due the 2for1s.

Together, you can save up to £60,000 tax-free at 3% interest