1. Paribus: Get money back while watching Netflix
Paribus is a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up for and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Amazon, Walmart, or one of the other 25 retailers listed on their website, it will track the price and get you a refund anytime the price drops. The best part? You get paid and don’t have to do anything!
Here’s an example to illustrate how it works… Let’s say you purchase a pair of headphones on Walmart.com for $200. The next week, they go on sale for $120. Like Macy’s and Nordstrom, Walmart offers a price guarantee for the first week after you buy something, so you’re owed $80! Paribus automates this entire process in the background for you, so you literally do nothing and get $80 back on your credit card statement.
2. Credit Card Price Protection: The most underutilized benefit banks want you to use
The best kept secret in the credit cards rewards space is the policy called price protection. Imagine if Paribus extended to all your purchases on or offline? If you buy with the right credit card, it’s even better! You actually are covered for up to 90 days. We tracked 5000 items purchased with a Chase Sapphire Preferred® and calculated that the average user would have gotten the equivalent of 14.7% cash back.
Here’s an example: You buy a new computer for $1200 with your Chase Freedom® in September. Then on Black Friday, the price drops to $800. You can file for a price adjustment and get the $400 back in a week. Pretty awesome, right?
There are some limits to credit card price protection. First of all, each card has a single item limit and yearly cap. The Citi and Chase applicable cards allow up to $2500 per year in cash back and $500 per claim. Chase has you covered for 90 days whereas Citi offers 60 days of protection. Discover and Capital One also offer similar protections such as the Discover it®- Cashback Match™ with No Annual Fee” Business Card or from Capital One®-Get The Card That Helps You Get The Car.
Rumor has it that Paribus is automating credit card price protection, so that could be the ultimate double whammy. If you think the price might change, the quick takeaway is always shop online and offline with a card with price protection. Check out some of the best price protection cards *.
3. Acorns: Save money by buying a Starbucks latte
Have you heard of the concept of rounding up? The idea is that you buy things every day that aren’t round dollars numbers. You spend $1.32 here, $4.79 there and so on. What if you could take all the extra change from your transactions and put it in a virtual piggybank. After a few months, you’d have a few extra dollars in your account, but over time, the piggybank could become really meaningful. Plus, what if that piggybank was smart, investing and earning compounding interest on every dollar you round up.
That’s where Acorns comes in: Link up your credit card and bank account. For every non-round dollar purchase you make, Acorns will round up your purchase to the nearest dollar. Just bought a tasty latte at Starbucks for $4.50? Acorns will deposit $.50 into your account. Then, Acorns will automatically invest in a recommended stock portfolio based on your age, risk tolerance, time horizon and investment goals. Have a few extra bucks lying around? Now you can add money directly on top of your rounded-up savings.
What does Acorns cost? The fee structure is $1 per month for accounts under $5,000 and 0.25 percent a year for portfolios over $5,000 Acorns uses bank-level security, and the website and app are secured with 256-bit encryption. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation insures Acorns accounts up to $500,000.
4. Udemy: Become a personal finance guru in 2 hours
Want to get smarter about personal finance in general? Sometimes it’s best to take a really effective and easy-to-follow online class from Udemy. Instead of paying for an expensive advisor or accountant, get smart fast from your own computer. Save more, invest smarter, reduce loans and retire earlier!
Udemy is the leading marketplace for online learning. In our favorite course, personal finance experts give their suggestions and tips that go above and beyond to help you protect your financial future.
If you like what you see or want to learn more, you can always go deeper on any of the topics including investing, accounting and saving.
5. Piggybank: Old School but It Works
There’s nothing like an old school piggybank to keep your change in. Here are a few of our favorites from Nordstrom.com.
*Check the fine print on cards to confirm price protection as policies are subject to change and not all cards offer the same protections.