Whether it's car payments, Amazon Prime, Netflix subscription, Spotify, or cable and cell phone, you've likely never paid one of those bills manually. And why should you? Automated bill payments take away the burden of writing your payment dates down in your calendar, and even worse, forgetting payments and paying late fees.
However, everything has pros and cons. And for automated bill payments, the biggest drawback is sometimes you'll end up paying for things you aren't using anymore. When's the last time you went to the gym? I bet you forgot you were paying for it even though you aren't going. How about Netflix? By now, you've probably moved on to one of its competitors but totally forgot to cancel your Netflix account.
That's why apps like Truebill are so great. It's the best way to fight the cons of bill payment automation by keeping track of personal financial data. But does it really work? In this article, we'll get more in-depth of the Truebill app to see if it's a good option.
How does Truebill work?
Once you download the Truebill app, you'll need to connect your bank account or credit card account. Truebill takes security seriously with 256-bit SSL encryption and read-only access. Your information won't be shared with third parties, but you will see some ads for credit card and insurance companies.
Once you sync your accounts, like a bank statement, you'll be able to see everything you've frequently spent money on. Oh yes, your spending habits at Taco Bell will be on there.
Next, you'll be able to choose the service you wish to utilize. The different services include:
- Lowering bills
- Monitoring subscriptions
- Electric saver
- Monitoring for outages.
Lower My Bills
Are you tired of overpaying for something as essential as a phone bill? To save money on that bill, all you need to do is connect your bill either by taking a picture of it or logging in to your Truebill account. Then, Truebill's team investigates hidden discounts and promo rates available to you.
Next, Truebill will negotiate your bill for you. You won't be downgraded and none of your services or features will be lost. Instead, your bill is lowered through rate negotiation or one time credits applied to your account.
Once the negotiation is complete, you'll be notified by email how much you'll save on your next bill and what was done to get that discount.
After you sync your accounts, Truebill gives you a rundown (in 2 minutes or less) of all your transaction information and flags recurring bills and changes to bills. It also notes bills into your calendar so you can see precisely when bills get taken from your account. You can look at the previous payments of that bill from months back to see if the amount has changed over time.
With the information you're provided, you can cancel subscriptions, change your behavior, and more.
Monitoring for outages
Everyone experiences cable and internet outages here and there. With that in mind, Truebill implemented a monitoring for outages feature. Every time you have an outage, Truebill will request a credit to your account.
People with certain (lower quality) cable providers may be able to benefit from this feature the most. Truebill says they can save their users about $96 on internet and cable bills per year!
Did you know it's possible to shop around for cheaper electricity? The answer is yes. Truebill teams up with Arcadia Power to search for the lowest price per KW of electricity on the market. Once the deal is found, you'll be notified, and you can save up to 30% on your power bill.
The best part is a lot of this power comes from renewable energy sources.
Truebill's regular account vs. premium account
Both accounts don't have any signup fees. However, you'll pay in different ways for each type of account.
When you hold a regular account, you pay for Truebill's negotiating skills. This takes time and money. As a result, Truebill charges for it, and it's an entire 40% of the annual savings. That means, if you save $100 per year, Truebill will take $40. In the end, you only truly save $80.
However, you'll only be charged IF the bill negotiation is successful.
As a Truebill Premium user, you can choose your own price anywhere between $3 and $12 per month, depending on how many features you want.
Premium features include balance syncing, premium chat, cancellations concierge, unlimited budgets, smart savings, custom categories, and more.
You can cancel or downgrade your premium subscription anytime.
Is Truebill Premium worth it?
Let's say you rarely get an overdraft fee, but you made a mistake, and now you have one. You can let Truebill know and they'll request a fee waiver on your behalf. The average overdraft fee is $35, so upgrading to Premium to avoid this fee in case you're late could be beneficial.
Plus, if you want to cancel a subscription, getting in touch with these companies can take forever. To save you time, Truebill will take care of the waiting and canceling for you. All you need to do is let them know. If you're a busy person, this feature alone might make Premium worth it.
Truebill pros and cons
- Save money on bills
- Refunds fees and monitors for outages
- cancels unwanted subscriptions
- Could potentially save you hundreds of dollars
- Takes a huge chunk (40%) of your savings
- May not negotiate with every service provider
Overall, Truebill is quite a robust app. It sets out what it's meant to do, which is lower bill costs, get rid of unneeded bills, and save you time by having the app do all that for you.
The biggest downside is the huge chunk it takes out of the money you save. 40% is a lot. But if you think about the effort that Truebill uses to help you save money on bills — staff, time, wages — you may understand why they need to charge so much.
Despite the charges, users are still able to save a decent amount of money. Besides, why pay for it if you don't need it anyway?