NBC10 Consumer Alert: Phony Bargains

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lollapalooza 2014
Steve C Mitchell/Invision/AP

In today's economy, it seems we're all looking for a bargain so we can save money.

But the questions is, are those bargains really saving you money or, are there better alternatives?

The thing about bargains is, many of them come with so many rules and restrictions they could end up costing you more than what you bargained for.
For example:

Frequent Flyer reward cards:
These days the benefits have actually shrunk with some airlines now increasing the number of miles needed for a free flight, reduced flight schedules, added booking fees on reward flights, as well as annual fees for having the card -- it could end up costing you a bundle!

A better alternative:
Experts say to try a cash-reward card instead.

Some offer up to 5 percent cash back on purchases like gas and groceries...things you're more likely to be spending on.

Now let's talk about Overdraft Protection:
Many banks offer it automatically when you open an account. However, consumer advocates say it's way for banks to earn money at your expense, with the average overdraft fee costing you at least 27 bucks.

A better alternative:
Experts recommend finding a bank that will let you opt out of overdraft protection and instead link up your account to a savings account--which could then back up your checking account in the event of a bounced check or withdrawing more than you have.

Get More: 8 Phony Bargains and Better Alternatives

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