These 6 Companies Ripped You Off in 2022. Here’s How to Fight Back in 2023
As if the pandemic didn’t take enough from us, there are companies you are using right now that are totally taking advantage of you. Some in a really big way, and most you had absolutely no idea were pulling the wool over your eyes.
But you’re no sucker! Now that you know, you’re ready to fight back. Here are the worst companies that are practically stealing your money — and what you can do to save it.
1. Your Credit Card Company: Ask This Website to Help Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
No, like… the whole bill. All of it.
While you’re stressing out over your debt, your credit card company is getting rich off those insane interest rates.
But a website called AmOne wants to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
You don’t need a perfect credit score to get a loan — and comparing your options won’t affect your score at all. Plus, AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
It takes less than a minute and just 10 questions to see what loans you qualify for — you don’t even need to enter your Social Security number. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.
2. Your Credit-Monitoring Service
Are you paying a company to watch your credit report? You might be, because you know how important a good credit score is to buy a car, take out a mortgage or even open up a business.
But if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — stop paying anyone to monitor it for you. You can get the same help from a free website, like Credit Sesame.
Within 90 seconds, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).
James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.*** “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.
Getting your free credit score takes only 90 seconds.
3. Your Investments: Get $5 Worth of Free Stock
If you have investments, you likely have a broker — someone who manages your investments and offers advice. If you’ve worked with them for years, you might not even notice that you’re losing a little cut of your investments with each trade. These fees can be a percentage of each transaction or a flat fee. Either way, it’s a rip-off.
But an app called Stash lets you own pieces of well-known companies, like Amazon, Apple, Google and more for $5 or less.
Seriously — with only a few dollars, you can invest in thousands of stocks and ETFs, which can help you grow your investing portfolio and reach your retirement goals. The best part? Some companies may even send you a check every quarter for your share of profits, called dividends. If these companies profit, so can you.
It takes two minutes to sign up, and your investments are protected. With Stash, investments are held by their custodian, Apex Clearing Corporation, a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money comes with protection.”2
Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.3
4. The Gas Station: Let This Free App Save You $40/Month on Gas
How far out of your way should you drive to find a great price on gas? At what point are the savings no longer worth it?
An app called Upside makes saving on gas straightforward with cashback offers that don’t involve any mental math. It maps out participating local gas stations where you can beat the pump price by as much as 25 cents per gallon.
People who use the app regularly save as much as $40 a month. That’s cash money deposited straight into your PayPal or bank account. Or redeem it for a gift card from popular brands like Amazon and Starbucks.
Here’s how to pay less for gas: Just download the Upside app, set up a free account and check the map to find participating stores near you. When you’re ready to fill up, claim an offer, tap “Check In” when you’re at the pump and pay with your linked card — easy money for a few seconds of your time.
You can cash out any time, and you’ll get your money within two days of initiating a transfer.
How many free tanks of gas can you get with an average of $148 in annual earnings? Download the Upside app and use code PENNY25 to get an extra 25 cents per gallon off your first purchase.
5. Your Car Insurance: Cancel it
Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But don’t waste your time hopping around to different insurance companies looking for a better deal.
Use a website called EverQuote to see all your options at once.
EverQuote is the largest online marketplace for insurance in the US, so you’ll get the top options from more than 175 different carriers handed right to you.
Take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about yourself and your driving record. With this information, EverQuote will be able to give you the top recommendations for car insurance. In just a few minutes, you could save up to $610 a year.
6. The Grocery Store: This Company Will Pay You up to $526.44 to Skip it
Running errands is the worst. Seriously. After a long day of work, the last thing you want to do is go to the store and deal with the traffic and the crowds.
We get it. That’s why we like a free site called Rakuten — they’ll pay you to skip going to the store and shop online instead.
No, really. They work with just about every online store you probably shop at, and they can make sure you get some cash back every time you buy — up to 15% cash back.
We talked to Denver resident Colleen Rice, who’s earned more than $526.44 in cash back since she started using Rakuten. For doing nothing. She just uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights.
It takes less than a minute to open a Rakuten account and start shopping like you normally would. You just need an email address.
They’ll pay you with a check in the mail every few months or deposit it to your PayPal account. Talk about money for nothing.
Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
2To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value. Apex Clearing Corporation is a third-party SEC-registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.
Remember, not all stocks pay out dividends. And there’s no guarantee any stock will pay dividends in a quarter or year. Dividends may be subject to additional taxes, and are considered taxable income. Please refer to the IRS for additional information.
Investing minimums for fractional shares start at $0.01 for a Personal Portfolio
3Offer is subject to Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the Bonus, you must complete the following steps: (i) successfully complete the designated registration process of opening an individual taxable brokerage account (“a Personal Portfolio”), (ii) link a funding account (e.g. an external bank account) to your Personal Portfolio, AND (iii) initiate and complete a minimum deposit of at least five dollars ($5.00) into your Personal Portfolio. In the event you only complete the designated registration process to receive the Financial Counseling Service (as defined in your Advisory Agreement) or do not otherwise complete the account opening process for an individual taxable brokerage account (“Personal Portfolio”), you will not be eligible to receive the Bonus.
The Penny Hoarder is a paid solicitor of Stash.
This information is for educational purposes only. This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value. All product and company names are trademarks ™ or registered ® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.
***Credit Sesame: Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.