The Fine Print of the Freebie

Today’s consumers are bombarded with offers claiming to provide discounts and freebies that you can’t live without. How many of those discounts are really worth taking advantage of? Before making a decision, it is important to read the fine print. The same advice can be used when trying to find the best current account.


No one wants your business more than a bank. You’ve probably seen some of the current bonuses and perks being offered to new customers. If you open a checking account, the bank will make a small deposit of cash for you. If you start up a savings account with an automatic transfer from your checking account, you get another bit of cash or even free tickets to a sporting event.

Signing up for a credit card with the bank could be even more lucrative. They offer to give you cash back after your first purchase or even a number of gift cards if you spend $500 right away. With the current accounts or credit cards, these bonuses could be enough to lure you into a making a commitment.

Before you sign up or apply for anything, read the fine print. Banks that offer to give you money towards your checking or savings account have requirements that must be met in order to get the cash. Sometimes you are required to sign up for direct deposit. Other times you need to open the account with a specific amount of money, usually over and above the minimum requirements.

Closing accounts could also affect your bonuses. If you close a checking account, savings account, or credit card prematurely, you may be responsible for paying back any bonus money that you received. For most consumers caught up in this situation, it is a complication they never saw coming. Find the best current account based on what you need, not what you are going to get as a bonus.

Supermarket Specials

You browse the advertisements for the local supermarket and you plan a grocery list. You may even plan your entire meals throughout the week around what you are going to buy. Unfortunately, after getting there, you realize that things aren’t what they seemed in the advertisement. Once again, the fine print completely changed the deals and discounts you thought you were getting.

One of the most common deals is receiving a coupon off your next shopping order when you spend a certain amount on a purchase. For example, customers that spend $100 on groceries will receive a coupon for $20 off their next grocery purchase. The fine print says that you have to use the $20 coupon within two weeks and it will only work if the purchase is over $100. Now, in order to take advantage of the savings, you need to make another trip to the store soon and spend more money than you may have planned.

Stores often offer price matching for items sold at other grocery stores. It seems like a great deal. You can shop at just one grocery store and still take advantage of all the others’ discounts and sales. The fine print states that you can only price match the exact same item and there is a limit to the number of items you can match.

As a consumer, the best thing you can do is read all of the information given on a deal, discount, or promotion. Check to find out what the limitations are. If they are something that will work for you, take advantage of the deal. If you aren’t sure, skip over this one and wait for another one.

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