14/10/2015 – Después de casi 15 años en la banca, he sido testigo de primera mano de cómo operan los bancos y ganan dinero. Eso ha influido en cómo elijo productos e interactuo con las instituciones financieras. Aquí está mi consejo sobre cómo puede obtener el máximo provecho de su banco.
1. Beware of direct mail.
To win in direct mail, banks don’t need to have the best product in the market. Instead, banks just need to have the best product in your mailbox on that day.
Whenever you receive an offer in the mail, go online and shop around to ensure you have really been offered the best deal.
2. The best offers are for new customers.
Banking is a constant battle for customers. To win, big sign-on bonuses — like 40,000 bonus miles — are offered. If you are looking for the best deals, you will have to switch to a new product. Those lucrative offers are rarely made available to existing customers.
There is a simple reason. Most banks have acquisition teams that are paid based upon the number of accounts booked, and they are ready to spend.
And then there are “existing customer” teams looking to generate as much profit as possible, and they are less generous.
3. Be honest with yourself and focus on long-term value.
Statistically, most people will stay with their new product for a long time because it isn’t fun to switch financial products every year. Some people travel the world switching from bonus offer to bonus offer. which is known as travel hacking.
But most of us do not, and the data shows it. Credit-card companies are also getting better at identifying and rejecting these “gamers.”
Whenever I do the math on a financial product, I choose a product based upon long-term value rather than short-term bonus offers. Sign-on bonuses are nice, but they are not the main reason I take out a product.
4. Avoid add-on insurance products.
Finance companies continue to make a lot of money selling insurance products with loans and credit cards. I have seen lending businesses generate 30% or more of their profit by selling credit insurance that covers you in case of death, unemployment, or disability.
The sales pitch usually sounds like this: “For less than the cost of a soda a day, you can provide your family with peace of mind.”
Almost always, these products offer horrible value. Look for a good-term life insurance and long-term disability policy that covers all of your needs.
And for unemployment, you are wiser to self-insure through an emergency fund.
5. Everyone spends more money on plastic, including you.
Study after study shows that people spend more money when they use plastic, including debit cards. When you carry around a finite pile of cash, you tend to spend less money.
And the more plastic you have in your wallet, the more you are likely to spend.
I carry only one card in my wallet, and to make sure I stay in control, I have set up alerts that send me a text message with my balance every day. If I switched to cash, I would spend less, but I remain in denial.