Another seemingly worthwhile web site that promises to lower your bills
I'm about to make it worse. So far, BillShrink only assists customers in shrinking their bills with cell phone plans and recently, credit cards. It seems obvious that they hope to expand into other types of bills, however, and so they're probably worth watching for awhile.
It works like this: Type in a little information about what you're looking for in a phone plan, and now credit card plan, and using a bunch of variables -- for instance, with the cell phone plans, they have signal maps and plan rates at their disposal--they'll tell you what service plan you should be using with your carrier, or if you should dump your phone service and find a new one. And now they're taking that concept and using it with credit cards. Do you want one with the lowest rate possible? Something with the best rewards possible? Whatever your needs, BillShrink purports to be able to give you the best plan out there. The Washington Post recently wrote about them, as did the Dallas Morning News, CNET News, the Consumerist and on and on.
Not that there aren't other worthy sites out there that won't try to help you find the best rates for your wallet. I wrote about LowerMyBills.com for Entrepreneur Magazine as early as 2000, and Mint.com, which recently came out, helps with finding the best credit card plans for people and in organizing finances in general. And the DNA of CreditCards.com, which (full disclosure) I've written a few articles for, is all about comparing credit cards and finding the best deals--as well as existing as a portal for impartial information about all forms of plastic payment including debit cards.
All of this makes one obvious thought even more obvious. As the economy tanks, one sector of the corporate universe is probably going to do better and better: the industry that helps consumers save money. Whether these sites work wonders for you or not, you have to appreciate them for trying.
Geoff Williams is a freelance journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).