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You know Christmas is just round the corner when the Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor finals are on your TV. And for 2016, both of the shows’ finals are set to air just one weekend apart – the X Factor finishes this weekend (11 December) while Strictly has its big finale next weekend (17 December).

If you vote for your favourite contestants in the finals, it might cost you a bit, especially if you dial the premium numbers. But there is a way to vote for free on both Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor – we’ll take you through how to do this.

Strictly Come Dancing

Whether your favourite dance is a Charleston or a Cha-Cha, it’s easy to fall in love with the magic of Strictly. And if you’re rooting for a particular couple to win, make sure you don’t just call the first number you hear – it’s probably the most expensive way to vote if you’re using your mobile.

The standard 11-digit numbers – these begin with 09 – cost 15p a minute when you’re calling from your landline. But if you ring these from your mobile, you’ll pay an extra access charge of up to 55p – meaning the total fee can be as much as 70p.

Instead, you can vote for free on the Strictly website – the link will appear when it’s time to vote. You’ll just need to register for a free BBC account and make sure you sign in. When you’ve done this, you can vote online for free three times a week.

And if you want an extra vote, listen out for the number that starts with 62252. This is a Mobile Short Dial Code and it will cost you just 15p a minute, with no access charge.

X Factor

If you’ve loved the performances of Saara Aalto and 5 After Midnight on the X Factor this year, you’ll probably want to help your favourite win the competition. You can vote over the phone using the standard number starting with 09 if you’re using a landline – just remember to stay away if you’re on mobile.

The 09 numbers will cost 35p a minute and if you call from your mobile, you’ll have to pay that access charge again – meaning a total fee of 90p. Instead, look out for the Mobile Short Dial Code if you want to vote by phone – this is a fixed cost of 350p.

And what’s more, you can download the X Factor app on iOS and Android if you want to vote online for free – get this from the X Factor website. This gives you five free votes a week – more than enough chances to help your favourite win!

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