I’ve meet many people who don’t take advantage of deals out of fear they are being tricked.
For example, the Chase Freedom card is giving 5% cash back for restaurants right now. The Chase Freedom card is free. So there has to be a catch, right?
Well yes and no. There is a catch, but it doesn’t have to be for you.
Chase is hoping you spend so much on the card, you need to carry a balance. And then you pay more in finance fees than you get in cash back.
But this person doesn’t have to be you.
I posted a offer for a free $10 gift card when you download three free books on Audible earlier this week. (The offer has since expired. You can still get the 3 free books, but not the gift card). This is a deal that sounds too good to be true.
But it can be a good deal. You just need to be vigilant. The deal requires that you download one book per month in order to get the deal. So in July, August, and September, you will need to remember to download a book in order to get your free item.
In addition, it is hoping you forgot you signed up for the subscription. Since you need to be subscribed for three months to get all your free books, this increases the likelihood you’ll forget to cancel.
This is exactly what they want.
But since you’ve identified what they want, you can fight back.
In this case, I’d set myself four meeting requests. Three of these requests will remind me to download my free books. One of those requests would remind me to cancel my subscription.
By paying close attention to how this deal can profit off of me, I was able to prevent against that.
The same thing is true of credit cards. If they are trying to get you to carry a balance… don’t. Try to figure a plan to hit minimum spends without overloading your card. If you can’t figure out a plan, don’t take the deal. That’s the only time it will be “too good to be true”.
But if you can stay on top of a deal and plan ahead, deals will never be too good to be true. They’ll just result in free things.