Today, we have a guest post from 10xTravel reader, Anton Pronichenko, about a fun money-saving service he has been using to save money that he can put toward travel.
Hello 10xT readers,
Hopefully, you have already experienced or will soon experience some amazing travel thanks to miles and points. I believe the possibilities that are created out of earning lots of points can usually be categorized in two ways: saving money, and lifestyle inflation.
Let’s say you’ve been saving up for years to visit your parents and extended family abroad, planning for $1,000 round-trip tickets to a destination for you, your spouse, and your children. Points make it possible for you to save those thousands of dollars that you would have spent on flights and reunite your family for a much cheaper price.
The other alternative is lifestyle inflation. Arguably the next step of your development as a points expert; you may have never dreamed of flying first-class and would never have spent the money on the sky-high first-class ticket prices. Now, all your points make it possible for you to push your lifestyle to new heights and make the impossible possible: first class flights.
Though both are equally amazing and inspiring, in this post we will focus on a new way for you to save some hard-earned cash that you can put towards your travel.
What is Trim?
Trim (no 10xT affiliation) is a free financial assistant in the form of a Facebook Messenger or text message chatbot that saves you money while you do pretty much nothing. It includes some pretty cool basic financial tracking features and it’s quickly become my favorite recent money-saving scheme for the following reasons:
Feature #1: Subscription Tracking
Trim was started in 2015 when its founders realized they were paying for renter’s insurance for an apartment they no longer lived in and subscriptions for services they no longer used.
Once you sign up and link your card, the first thing Trim does is analyze your spending and show you a list of your recurring charges on that account. Besides giving you insight into your recurring charges, Trim offers a quick and easy way to cancel them.
For example, write “Cancel Spotify” and Trim will automatically send a template email or call Spotify and cancel your subscription. Some subscriptions may fail to be canceled in this fashion, yet at a minimum, you were made aware of the subscription and can cancel manually if you’d like.
Feature #2: Constant Internet/Cable/Phone Bill Negotiation
The next service Trim offers is one of my favorites. By linking your Comcast internet or phone provider bills, Trim will automatically and continuously negotiate your rates with these companies and try to earn you any savings. For example, when Trim determines that internet service is down in areas near you, they will contact your provider using their automated bot technology and battle to earn you back some money.
This is one of two features that are not free (the other is Amazon Price Protection). Trim will charge you 25% of what they saved you on your bill, leaving you 75% of the savings. In my case, Trim saved me $25 so far, charged my card a total of $6.25 (25% of $25), and left me $18.75 as pure savings (75% of $25).
Feature #3: Automatic Amazon Price Protection
Another super nifty feature of Trim is its Amazon Price Protection service. This service also charges 25% of whatever Trim saves you—still a worthy service.
Here’s how this works: if you buy an item on Amazon using a card that has the price-protection benefit—such as the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card—and the price drops within 90 days, Trim will file a claim with your credit card company about the price difference.
I was surprised to find a random email one day from “Card Benefit Services” with a claim filed by Trim trying to save me $10 on a mattress purchase I made almost 3 months ago. If the claim is successful and Trim saves me $10, I will receive a check of $10 from Chase, be charged $2.50 by Trim (25% of $10), and keep the remaining $7.50 as pure savings.
Feature #4: Easy VISA Savings
Visa Savings feature is the other of my two favorites (hard to choose). Savings is a cash-back program for Visa cardholders that Trim makes very accessible and easy to use. For example, Trim and Visa had a deal (expired 9/1) in which you would receive $1 statement credit back if you spent $5 or more at any restaurant using a Visa card and had previously activated the deal.
For me, I saved $1 on a roughly $10 purchase each time I went to the local food truck—10% savings each time! Each time the offer was activated, I would receive a Facebook message notifying me that I saved $1 and a prompt to reactivate the offer by simply writing “Activate”.
The Visa offers are not constant throughout the year. Included below are some of the offers that I have had activated to give you an idea of what is offered and possible:
Financial Tracking Features:]
On top of all of these cool services, Trim offers some simple financial tracking features. For example, writing “spend amazon” returns my total spending on Amazon for this month. I have not explored these functions much as I use Mint for my financial tracking, but if the features keep advancing at a fast rate I could see myself transitioning to using Trim more for general finances tracking.
I would highly recommend you sign up for Trim and start saving some money. I have difficulty deciding which feature is my favorite when comparing automatic Comcast bill negotiation, automatic Amazon price monitoring, and claim-filing, and the super easy Visa offer enrollment.
The travel game is, of course, about opening credit cards and earning points for free travel, but cutting your costs and saving money—especially when it’s so easy— is important to continue pushing your lifestyle forward and reaching your financial and travel goals.