4 Things You Might Not Know You Can Save On At A Warehouse Store

The typical mental image of shopping at a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club is shopping carts overflowing with bulk packs of toilet paper and kitty litter. But those who have actually shopped at these places know that you can purchase a lot more than just huge packages of the bare necessities. And in addition to the stuff you’d find at most superstores, warehouse clubs may have some additional perks you won’t get too many other places.

The folks at SmartMoney put together a round-up of unexpected warehouse club savings. Here are some of the highlights:

Gasoline: “Warehouse clubs tend to price their fuel at a loss to get shoppers in the store, so members who live close to their club can save a bundle on gas.” SmartMoney cites one example of a PA Sam’s Club where gas is $.13/gallon cheaper than at the least-expensive competitor.

Insurance: SmartMoney reports that BJ’s offers a 10% discount through Liberty Mutual, while Costco promises savings of “up to $485.66″ through Ameriprise.

Tickets: Buy your tickets to movie theaters and amusement parks in advance at the store to save upward of 30%.

Cars: Some warehouse clubs offer pre-negotiated car prices with local dealerships that can save you up to 10% of the sticker price. “I wouldn’t join a club just for the car-buying service, but if you’re a member already, you’d be foolish not to take advantage of it,” Phil Reed, consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com tells SmartMoney.

6 Offbeat Warehouse Club Savings [SmartMoney.com]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. hewhoroams says:

    Also, vacations and gift cards.

  2. Marlin says:

    A lot of states have Min price for Gas so that part is not true for all.

    You can do better on car prices as well, just takes alittle more work.

    Insruance from costco was much higher then what I have found.

    Like all things YMMV on thesew tips.

    • cowboyesfan says:

      What state sets a minimum price for gasoline?

      Do they set a maximum as well?

    • StarKillerX says:

      Didn’t know they set minimum gas prices. I’ve seen signs saying things like “We sell cigarettes at the minimum price allowed by law” and I’ve always wondered why the state can set the price on an item? I mean if a store is willing to sell something at cost, or even at a loss, why should the State be able to keep them from doing so?

      • Lt. Coke says:

        For crops it makes sense – overproduction of a crop one year can destroy a farm’s finances for a decade. I’m not sure why it’s that way for cigarettes, but it may have something to do with it being considered a vice.

      • sonneillon says:

        It is a way to provide a subsidy without directly using tax dollars. It also allows a state to stabilize the supply of a good. And it allows a government to set a minimum you can pay people. Price floors are a useful tool if used correctly.

        • tooluser says:

          A tool for what?

          A tool to punish the populace with artificially high prices?
          A tool to create unjustified tax revenue for the state?
          A tool to inflict a moral judgment on people who pursue products as old as humanity itself?

          Do tell what the usefulness of this “tool” is.

          • hobochangbar says:

            “A tool to punish the populace with artificially high prices?”

            Meant to prevent the big guy from setting up shop next to a independent gas station & low balling the price, below cost even to shut down the competition.

            “A tool to create unjustified tax revenue for the state?”

            Gas tax is per gallon, not a % of price.

            “A tool to inflict a moral judgment on people who pursue products as old as humanity itself?”

            Yes, that’s it, you’ve found them out!

          • Billy says:

            What’s does “unjustified tax revenue” mean?

          • sonneillon says:

            to protect the supply of strategic resources and ensure that production is split across several groups. Things like food, water, power gas need to have tight pricing controls, they are too important to national security. A price floor means that producers of those have an incentive to create a surplus and if people pay an extra 20 cents a unit to ensure that everyone has access, well fuck them, the needs of everyone are greater than you.

    • bigTrue says:

      Insurance – My girlfriend and I just switched from State Farm to ameriprise through Costco. We pay the same amount per month, but only have 5 payments instead of 6 since they give you a grace period month. Saving about 130 bucks total on two parts PLPD (no fault state, minimum required insurance on two beater cars) plus renters insurance. It also includes roadside assitence at no extra charge since we have the Executive membership at CostCo.

      Michigan doesn’t have minimum price on gas, but I live near the ghetto. It’s a 10-15 minute drive in traffic plus a long wait for gas that is only 3-5 cents cheaper than the ghetto no name gas station around the corner for me with a very short wait, if ever. I do hit CostCo if I need gas and happen to be near, but I usually hit the local place. Adding in a 10-15 minute wait time to save 50-70 cents doesn’t make sense to me.

      Michigan has a minimum booze price, so we save nothing there.

    • alexwade says:

      My local Sam’s Club is about 2 cents cheaper on regular gas. However, they are 12 cents cheaper on 93 octane. All the gas stations in my area have a 15 cent difference between grades, so if 87 is $3.50, 89 would be $3.65, and 93 would be $3.80. My Sam’s Club would have the 93 octane at $3.68. I need the 93 octane in my 2004 350z. I tried running 87 in my car but the engine would knock at low RPM’s. So Sam’s Club has saved me money on gas. I’ve saved enough on my Z alone to pay for the membership each year.

  3. Rebecca K-S says:

    I want a Costco. :(

  4. Nick says:

    I second that YMMV. Gas at discount clubs can be sketchy (lowest-possible quality acceptable under law). Get the quote for a car price, but then go to another dealer and ask them to beat it–they will. (i.e., the no-hassle price isn’t the best). Gift card are a definite savings–most places I see offer $100 worth of cards for $80.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      Warehouse club gasoline comes from the same distributor terminals as the gasoline from all the branded gas stations in the area, there’s just a different package of additives included in the branded gasoline that’s put it at the same time the tanker is being filled. The various brands have all sorts of propaganda about how their additives are inherently superior, but as long as the trucks, tanks and pumps are well maintained and the filters are good, there’s very little functional difference between generic “regular unleaded” and Shell or Chevron “regular unleaded.”

      • Buckus says:

        Seconded. The amount of “Additives” they add to a tanker truck is something like a gallon or two. In 10,000 gallons. So, if you really want the benefits of the additives, instead of paying for more expensive “Chevron” or “Shell” gasoline, it can be cheaper to just go to the auto store and pick up an additive for 2-3 bucks.

        • IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

          the question is why did shell sell costco gas to undersell themselves, you have to remember that the same factory that makes chicken breasts has the mechanically separated chicken line, not everything that comes in the pipeline is filled with nuggety goodness and it costs a lot to burn off/”spill” the waste where a costco will still pay a decent price for “mixed” or soiled gas

          • Crim Law Geek says:

            Because Shell owns the fuel distributor (or the refinery that supplies the distributor). Joe Blow owns the local “Shell” station down the road from CostCo. The fuel distributor sells him Shell’s gas at the same price (plus the fee for Shell’s fancy additives), which is were Shell makes its money. The big money on gas is made long before the retail sale (most of it at the well).

            • Powerlurker says:

              Yeah, a lot of people don’t realize it but pretty much every step of the oil business operates about at cost except for extraction. They way you make the big bucks is by getting your crude out of the ground cheaper than the next guy. It’s surprisingly close to the Econ 101 perfect competition model.

          • tooluser says:

            Mechanically-separated chicken tastes just like other ground chicken, and has a much higher calcium content, making it nutritionally superior.

            And it costs less.

            Mmmm, Soylent yellow!

      • TheRealDeal says:

        Theoretically, you’re correct, but I attempted to use Costco premium fuel (rather than my usual QT premium) and while it was about 10 – 15 cents cheaper per gallon, I got 10% WORSE gas mileage. This is possibly due to the fact that I’ve got a turbocharged car, but after trying it for three tanks or so, I won’t fill up at Costco any more.

        As soon as I switched back to QT fuel, my mileage was back into the normal range.

  5. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Welcome to Costco’s. I love you.

  6. Dryfus Ranon says:

    I like the prices of caskets there.

    • TerpBE says:

      …but I hate having to buy them in an 8-pack.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Buy them? Aren’t they free near the exit?

        I got the Tropicana casket last week, but this week I grabbed the Listerine one that I think I’d rather be buried in.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Ever notice that that area of Costco is the most deserted area of the store? I walk through that “dark corner” of the store and rarely do I see anyone there. lol.

      For Halloween, wouldn’t that be a great gag? Have a guy/girl stand in the casket area of Costco wearing a dark robe holding a long sickle and giving out free candy to the customers (talking with an English voice).

  7. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Have also used them for house painters…

  8. rpm773 says:

    My father-in-law says he gets pretty good rental car discounts through Costco. I’m not sure who the rental agency is, though.

    • theyoungandthebetrayed says:

      Plus you can set it up so that every time you rent a car with your Costco Amex you get insurance added for $18 total (not per day). They’ll try to scare you by saying credit card insurance doesn’t cover “loss of use” charges but Costco’s policy most certainly does.

  9. Magical Pig says:

    AAA of North Jersey also offers Pre-Negotiated Car Price with select dealers. Not sure about other AAA’s.

  10. bluevideo says:

    I can ‘vouch’ for the Ameriprise discount on car insurance. Saves us about $400 a year over AAA and $700 over GEICO, and I’ve compulsively shopped around and never found anything else that came close. (And the one time my car got smacked into last year, everything after went peachy.) Well worth the membership fee on its own.

    Also, $1.50 hot dog and drink, just sayin’.

    • nocturnaljames says:

      geico is a ripoff..

      • exit322 says:

        I always had pretty good luck with Geico…we got a better deal with a different company due to us also having homeowners insurance and a few other things, but Geico always did OK by me.

    • tonsilpool says:

      Yes, but if you want 2 dogs and only 1 drink they still charge 3 bucks. :-(

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      When I worked at Costco (just out of college), we called ‘em “Death Dogs”. Yum.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Insurance quotes and rates are such an odd thing and I’ve found that no one person gets the same deal with the same company. Whenever I hear from someone about a great rate that they receive, another person will say, “nope not me I got a high quote from them”. Obviously the reasons are tix, driving habits, credit, living circumstances, etc.

      GEICO gives me high quotes and I have had no tix since 2001 and a credit score of above 750 on average. Farmers? forget it. AAA? No way! Unitrin Direct? They’re the bomb. Yet years ago I told my gf about this company and she got an insane high quote from Unitrin Direct and it didn’t make sense because she had great credit and no tix also. I’ve gotten quotes year after year for the past ten years from other companies and no one has beaten Unitrin. Yet for others, this ain’t the case. Two weeks ago I bought a new Fiat 500c and my yearly rate only increased $200.00. My Ford Ranger was my previous vehicle.

      And with my experience with Unitrin is that the new rate will not be a “interim rate” in which they’ll surprise me with a “bend over because we got your new rate coming” in two weeks (surprise, surprise, surprise). They’ve never done that to me and what they quote me, I pay iwth no future increase surprises. They’re the only insurance company that has been this way with me and the number one reason that I remain a customer (besides the lower rates).

      It seems rates for any individual are subjective and exclusive and mean nothing to another potential customer.

  11. cornstalker says:

    I cut my auto insurance bill in half by switching to Ameriprise, saving me $70 per month (which basically paid for the price of my membership).

  12. markvii says:

    Generic medications tend to be cheaper at Costco than a drug store. This especially goes for the generic versions of Claritin and Zyrtec.

    • ellemdee says:

      I second that. Some generics are a LOT cheaper there. Drug & chain stores have their own store brands of most common OTC medications, but they still enjoy charging a hefty markup. At Costco, a year’s worth of store brand Zyrtec is less than $16 and a similar sized bottle of generic Claritin is even cheaper. Depending on the package size, CVS charges up to almost $1/pill for their store brand Claritin, while Costco charges a few cents per pill.

    • OMG_BECKY says:

      BEWARE: Cipro is poison!

  13. atthec44 says:

    There is a Costco opening about 2 miles from my home and they’ll be selling gas. I wonder how this will work with Wisconsin’s minimum gas mark-up law.

    • Steve says:

      in Middleton it’s usually about the same price, but on mondaynit was 10c gal cheaper than elsewhere. Plus the Amex rebate of 3 or 4%

  14. majortom1981 says:

    The sams club by me usually runs 100 gift certificates to some good resteraunts for $75

  15. yellowdog says:

    I’m an “executive” Costco member, and the fuel savings we get in our 2-car household almost pay for the entire membership. We also save quite a bit on our auto insurance, and have found Ameriprise to have great customer service during those unfortunate times we’ve had to make claims.

    I also buy our tires at Costco. Their prices are fairly competitive with other tire retailers. A minor gripe I have is they only carry pricier name brands, like Michelin and Bridgestone, and you can get better deals on more generic brands at places like Discount Tire. But where Costco shines is their customer service after you’ve bought the tires.

    We use Costco’s optical department for our family’s vision needs, and find this to be a much better deal than paying for vision coverage through work and needing to work with a traditional optometrist, which always involves hefty co-pays.

    We get 2 rebates per year – once in February (cash back from what we’ve spent on the Costco AmEx), and once in August (“extra” cash back from being an executive member). This is, of course, very dependent on your personal spending levels, but our August rebate alone usually matches what we pay for the executive membership (~$100).

    Yes, via couponing and other methods, you can beat Costco’s food prices at supermarkets and WalMart food centers if you put your mind to it. However, we’ve found that the food quality at Costco is generally as good, if not considerably better, than WalMart and supermarket store brands. Costco’s meat section in particular is great.

    I will say that you can easily beat Costco’s prices on things like books, DVDs, and similar items on the internet. And you can often find better prices on larger electronics online as well. But Costco’s return policy is generous, and much more convenient than having to wrap something back up and schlep it to UPS to return it.

    Plus, we just enjoy wandering the aisles at Costco every couple of weeks. They’ve done a good job creating a “treasure hunting” atmosphere, which takes just a bit of the typical drudgery out of shopping.

    Cool story, bro…

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      I’m about to head down to Costco and check out their optical services; I have several pairs of vintage frames I want to have fitted with lenses, but I’ll need a new prescription first.

    • Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

      I recently got a Costco membership, and I was wondering about tires. How are they when you come in to get them rotated?

      My local Les Schwab won’t even rotate tires without an appointment, and the Tire Factory I go to, well, you never know, anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours waiting in a cold, smelly waiting area.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I want one….but I live in Missouri, too close to Bentonville AR where the Waltons are kings. :( It’s only Sam’s for me.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      “Plus, we just enjoy wandering the aisles at Costco every couple of weeks”.

      lol,,,me too. I like wandering the aisles and its kind of like therapy if I have a bad day at work. No one bothers me, no one butts into my life, and I usually end up buying something I need.

  16. shepd says:

    Costco offers (or offered) their own lower cost roadside assistance as well. It can be “free” with purchase of an higher grade membership as well.

  17. KillerBee says:

    10% off sticker price is nothing to get excited about. You should be able to get at least that without even trying.

  18. donjumpsuit says:

    Rental cars

  19. TerpBE says:

    Contacts and glasses at Sam’s Club seem to be a lot cheaper than elsewhere. I bought my contacts for $28/box when my eye doctor wanted to charge $45.

  20. Outrun1986 says:

    My biggest saving so far have been on Tire repair. Sam’s fixes flat tires for FREE even if you didn’t buy your tires there as long as you are a member. Other places around here charge $25 or more to fix a flat and try to sell you a million things while you are in there. Sam’s does not do that, just a free repair and off you go. They also offer other things for free like tire balancing. We usually get 1-2 flats a year so the tire repair easily pays for the membership itself.

    I wouldn’t buy electronics from Sam’s because I don’t think their selection is that good and better and more current products can easily be found online for better prices.

    • LanMan04 says:

      How many flat tires do you get each year? What’s their membership cost per year?

      • Mom says:

        Personally, I haven’t had a flat in 7 years, but I went through a run where they were doing roofing on my condo, and I was getting about one flat per month, so at the time, this would have been a good deal for me.

    • baquwards says:

      If you have a Discount Tire in your area, they will fix a flat for free, no membership required. Their customer service in this area is stellar from my experience. So this is another good option for tire repair.

      • tooluser says:

        Ditto on Discount Tire, which seems to be the same company as America’s Tire Co. which is near me. Fantastic service, they have fixed a flat for free on tires I didn’t buy there, and their estimates for when they will finish the job are always spot-on.

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      A caveat on the free tire fixing: If the puncture on the tire is outside the parallel grooves on your tread, even if it’s far enough from the sidewall, they won’t touch it, citing liability, and will instead offer to sell you a new tire.

      You’ve been very lucky with your flats.

  21. LanMan04 says:

    Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you. Welcome to CostCo. I love you.

  22. Joe says:

    Thank you for your quote request. Unfortunately, we are not accepting new applications for auto insurance in your state. We continually review where we offer auto insurance, so please check back with us in the future. (Florida)

  23. TinaBringMeTheAx says:

    Plus, go at the right time of the day, and you can make a meal out of all the free samples they give away!

  24. Kate says:

    My sister got her hot tub there.

  25. LCE167 says:

    Two years ago I had a prescription for generic Ambien. I was in a Walmart and thought to have it filled. When I asked the price I was told it was around $45 which surprised me. I decided to take the prescription to Costco since I was headed there anyway. Thirty day supply – $5.68. If I’m paying I don’t even consider going anywhere else.

    • NCB says:

      I want a Costco and a Trader Joe’s nearby.

    • lukesdad says:

      Yeah, having had no prescription insurance for about a year I found that Costco was by far the cheapest for my name-brand – no generic yet available – medication.

      $57 and change for a 30-day supply vs. the next best at Walgreens for almost $70.

  26. proliance says:

    Wait, who is offering BJ’s for 10% off??

  27. GTI2.0 says:

    Never had the car buying service make sense. I was able to get an additional 15% off both times, which is a huge chunk of money when we’re talking about a car…

  28. umbriago says:

    Another one is alcohol! The drinkin’ kind. My Costco sells beer, wine and liquor. And it’s a bargain compared to liquor stores and carryouts (anyplace, really). They don’t carry everything, but if you like wine, it’s paradise. Some great bargains to be had.

    Not all states allow Costco to sell alcohol however…man, you don’t know what yu’re missing!

    • jbandsma says:

      Here in SC, Costco and Sam’s are not allowed to require membership to purchase alcohol. And the price is still cheaper than at the ABC store.

  29. LicenseRestoration says:

    10% off sticker? That’s it? You can do better than that easily.

  30. SharpTenor says:

    Pre-negotiated car prices rock! I used USAA’s service this month and saved a TON on a new car!

  31. bread angel says:

    Lots of amazing bargains at Costco, but by far the best is the roasted chicken for $4.95. It is excellent, better than anything I have ever made at home. After eating it hot, I make a chicken salad out of the leftovers, and then boil up the bones for a chicken broth.

    My absolutely best Costco bargain was buying their stock when in was still Price Club in the late 1970′s. It was recommended by an old boyfriend who went to their first store in San Diego. The boyfriend is long gone, but I still have my Costco stock.

  32. lawnmowerdeth says:

    Sam’s club will patch tires for free, even if you didn’t buy the tires there.

  33. JonBoy470 says:

    I have an embarrassment of riches nearby, with a Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale all within 10 minute drive. With all three in close proximity I’ve been able to comparison shop, and ended up with Sam’s Club, as they seem to undercut Costco ever so slightly on the things we tend to buy there.

    The gas is definitely cheaper, usually by 5 cents per gallon or so. Not necessarily worth a special trip, but if I’m out that way anyhow…

  34. nikalseyn says:

    I am sure you can find some bargains at Sam’s club, but then you would have to pay them to shop via their membership fee and then also have to put up with the WalMart arrogance and lack of customer service. I thus shop at Meijers.

  35. HomerSimpson says:

    Gas is usually only 5 cents cheaper at the clubs here than nearby places. Even then nothing saying another station further down the road isn’t even cheaper than the clubs. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that much of a price difference around here

  36. JDnCT says:

    I have been a Costco’s member for close to 2 decades now. I do almost all of my household and grocery shopping there. Upgraded to the Executive Membership 5 years ago, best decision ever. Between gas, grocery and using the AMEX card for all my other non-Costco items, I get back $600 – 700 a year in cash rebates.

    The prices at the store are in line for the quality of the products, I find their meat selection to be far above the average compared to the local grocer, and generally priced better.

    The tire service at Costco’s is great too, good quality tires, priced accordingly. Stop in any time to have them pressure checked and aired. Get a nail, just drop off the car, wander the store for a bit and they fix it. No cost, no hassle.

    Of course since moving the CT the nearest Costco is about 30 miles away, so I don’t go every weekend like I did in CA. Fingers crossed for that new shoreline Costcos.. someday.

  37. icerabbit says:

    Tried the car buying thing once but it didn’t work out as advertised. Too slow response, limited number of dealers, marginal discount.

    I highly doubt they sell gasoline at a loss. They sell at a lower price because they’ve got volume, do their own distribution, …

    • JonBoy470 says:

      It is unfortunate that new car dealers have formed a cabal that has enshrined their monopoly on their antiquated business model for new car sales in much of the US. I would totally buy a car directly from Costco or Sam’s if that were actually possible. Hell, I’d order it online and have it delivered to my house on the back of a flatbed if I could, but that’s a whole other discussion.

      As it stands, these “car buying services” are great for people who want to avoid much of the hassle and don’t mind if the convenience costs them a few hundred extra on a $29,000 purchase.

  38. suez says:

    Wish I had a Costco near me. I do have a BJ’s Club right up the road (and a membership) but they don’t sell gas or cars.

    And BTW, is it me or did the membership price jump yet again? Last night I was told mine expires at the end of the month and it’ll be $50 to renew. I don’t remember it being that high last time.

    • ElDiablo says:

      Go talk to the CS folks. I went in thinking I’d have to pay $50 for 12 months. They offered me $40 for 14 months and I didn’t even have to ask. Another option (depending on how often you frequent the store) — let it expire and they will probably send you an offer to re-up your membership for less than $50.

    • LastError says:

      Yeah. BJs recently raised the membership prices. Costco just announced they are doing the same thing.

      YMMV if you try to get them to give you a break.

      Sams says they are not raising rates.

  39. Kodai says:

    If gas is $0.13 per gallin cheaper, you’ll burn more in gas than you’ll save if it’s just 5 miles out of the way. That’s not even including the extra time to drive out of your way.

    Look for cheap gas, but don’t go out of your way to get it.

    • hobochangbar says:

      I do that math too & generally don’t worry about a few cents difference. But I travel between Chicago & SE Wisconsin a lot. In addition to gas being ~$.30/gal cheaper they have Sentry grocery with gas discounts based on particular items. It varies but can be .04 up to .10 or more per gallon off of gas. Occasionally they add another .25/gal off if you spend more than $50. I’ve gotten up to nearly $2 off per gallon buying things I normally do anyway at comparable prices. And their gas is competitive even before the discount. One customer had their price down to .53/gal while I was pumping one time. Max is 15 gal though so can’t fill up the RV at that rate. My car is

  40. NickDanger3deye says:

    I got my car through the Costco program 6 years ago, and it was about 5 percent cheaper than the best price I got otherwise. Costco’s price on contact lenses saves me enough to pay for the yearly membership.

  41. Billy says:

    Why shouldn’t someone join a club just for the car-buying service? If you’re saving significantly over the amount of a membership, it only makes sense.

  42. scoosdad says:

    BJ’s sells iTunes gift cards at about 10% less than face value, something you might not expect.

  43. FLConsumer says:

    ” At Sam’s Club, a 55″ LG HDTV with 3D capability runs $1,397 — $303 less than the same model at Best Buy”

    No sh*t Sherlock! Anywhere is better than Best Buy to buy a TV. Very rarely has Best Buy ever been the best place to buy anything. Esp with their 15% restocking fee.

  44. LastError says:

    Meh on the Ameriprise insurance at Costco. I got a quote for a six-month term (the only kind they offer) and it was indeed less than my current insurance for the same coverage. There was a lot to like about it.

    HOWEVER, Ameriprise wanted a large chunk up front. For months 2-5, the monthly payment would be higher than I pay now. The sixth month would have had no payment (because you essentially prepaid it). It worked out to about $30 a month less, when averaged, compared to my current policy. But the hassle factor was through the roof.

    Then the policy renews with the big balloon payment again at month 7.

    Maybe this works for people with a lot of cash flow but the main reason many people change insurance is to lower the monthly payment, not make it actually worse.

    I ended up staying with my current insurance. Maybe I pay a little more but I never have to deal with odd payments and they only renew policies annually, not twice. It worked out to be less hassle and less drain on cash flow.