Billshrink is an incredibly helpful service that lets you know when you could be spending less on a service that you use. But when things go wrong, it’s a little silly and not helpful at all. Ben reports that he keeps receiving these notices about how he could spend more money on his Verizon Wireless bill.
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BillShrink compared the new iPhone 4 to the Droid Incredible, the Evo 4G, and the Nexus One to see which one is the cheapest in total cost of ownership, and the results were somewhat surprising given the iPhone’s reputation as a money gobbler. If you opt for the cheapest data plan AT&T offers, the TCO for the iPhone 4 is the only one of the four devices that comes in under the $2,000 mark. But beware! That “cheapest data plan” conditional is a pretty tricky one.
Harry’s got a problem: the Bank of America card he’s had for years is paid off, but now it’s been set to explode in Harry’s wallet if he ever uses it again because the variable APR will jump to 29.99 percent. What’s worse, his other card has been canceled. Now Harry doesn’t know if he should start using the BofA card or back away quietly from it.
Greg wrote to us and said that he’s in the market for a new credit card: “I canceled my Chase card because they raised my interest rate to 29.99% + prime. What credit card companies should I be looking at for a replacement card? What are their perks, their drawbacks?”
I spoke with Samir Kothari, the co-founder and vice president of products at BillShrink.com, to see what he thinks about the CARD Act and how it will change the credit card marketplace.
If you’re in the market for a new cell phone and calling plan, the sheer number of options is terrifying. According to Billshrink.com, there are (theoretically) 10,000 possible combinations of voice plans, data plans, other add-ons, and … I think I need to lie down. But wait! Here’s a nice, objective cell phone plan comparison chart that can help you make sense of all this madness!
Yo gang it’s time for another Consumerist meetup with free beer!
Date: January 21, 2010
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Place: Dylan Murphy’s – 1453 3rd Avenue (between 83rd and 84th), NYC
We’re hooking up with our friend Bob Sullivan of MSNBC’s Red Tape Chronicles to do a panel discussion on what’s really bringing down the American consumer: poor math skills.
You may think that buying an iPhone with AT&T service is an expensive commitment, and you’d be right. But as this chart from BillShrink shows, your total cost of ownership (TCO) for any of the latest smartphones is going to exceed 2 grand over a 24-month period. In fact, the highly-praised new Motorola Droid on Verizon works out to exactly the same TCO as the latest iPhone.
When Wally first got his Capital One credit card, the interest rate was 12 percent. Then they raised it to 22.9 percent. Now they’re going to raise it again—the day after Christmas—to 25.9 percent.
As we noted yesterday, the average cellphone user is paying at least fifty cents to one dollar per minute because they’re only using 32% of their minutes. To make sure you’re on the plan with the best value, services like BillShrink and MyValidas can help you analyze your cellphone bill and see which plan you should switch to based on your actual minutes used.
Beverly, who always pays on time and recently started paying off her balance in full every month, just saw the rate on her Capital One card more than double, from 13.9% to 29.4%. That’ll teach you to not help sink the economy, Beverly!