Once upon a time I was a unpaid summer intern at a financial services company. My boss had a half an hour a day where he would call people trying to get a sale which he appropriately called ‘dialing for dollars.’ I don’t think people need a financial advisor as you could do it for much cheaper all by yourself, but, today I will talk about how a different version of ‘dialing for dollars’ can work for you.
If you are willing to play the credit card game you will have to cancel your card at the one year mark or pay an annual fee. However, it is possible to call the credit card company and ask if they have any retention offers. I just did that for a United card which has a $95 fee and they offered a $50 statement credit. That is a pretty good deal because now for $45 I am able to keep the card and its perks. The perk that is valuable for this card is that there is more saver award availability which could save me a lot of points. Earlier this year I was also able to get a $40 credit for my SPG card. Some cards will not give you money but instead offer you extra points to stay. So before quitting, ask, because as my dad told me, you can’t get what you don’t ask for.
Is your cable bill, phone bill, or internet bill seem to be too high? Well even if it isn’t, call the company and tell them you are considering switching providers unless they have any better offers. I try to keep my bills to a minimum, so I only have experience with calling the internet company which I was able to get $15 off a month.
Keep your eyes open
The concept behind ‘dialing for dollars’ is to look for opportunities to save money which is perfectly aligned with the mission of this blog. So I will share another opportunity I jumped on this week. My wife and I were waiting in line for ice cream and I saw a Lyft advertisement. Having no car we occasionally use Lyft, so I read it and it was a code for free rides, which later turned out to be $5 off up to two rides. And there is my Hamilton for the week.
I also was able to save money with airline miles this week. I needed to book a flight that is less than two weeks away that was $350. Paying was an option since booking with AA or United points within 21 days of a flight have a $75 fee, so $75 plus 25,000 miles isn’t a great deal, but probably better than all cash. However, I went through all the miles we had I came up with a plan that cost 11,000 Southwest miles, 10,000 British Airways miles and $11.20 saving me miles and dollars.
Opportunities are not always going to jump out at you, so you’ll need to keep your eyes open. I challenge you to call and see if you can’t save some money. Worse case you are out a bit of time. Good luck and go save some money.