Trust is something large companies are taking advantage of more in recent years because the ‘lazy tax’ is worth billions of dollars to them each year. The companies we rely on take advantage of us knowing that we are less likely to shop around for mortgages, credit cards, insurance and utilities if they keep us slightly happy.
Those of you intending to shop around for better rates may consider using a comparison website to find the best deals. Well, you may get taken for another ride by using these websites too. Comparison websites promise to save you money by finding the best deals online, but we’ve got some information to share with you that will change your opinion.
The majority of comparison websites are sales engines geared to drive business towards banks and insurers who pay large amounts of money in listing fees or commissions to rank high on the search results when a customer searches. That’s why you may have noticed that the true bargains don’t appear because they maintain their cost effectiveness by not paying these large fees / commissions. That means those cute little meerkats from comparethemarket.com.au come at a cost.
To give you an example of the ‘lazy tax’ that the big banks charge, the big four have been under fire over their unnecessarily high credit-card interest rates. ANZ caught the public eye by launching a card that charged 11.49%, which was seemingly low. However, when I checked the Choice – Compare, Ditch and Switch website, I found seven companies offering below 10% cards. Funnily enough none of these companies or their cards showed up in the results of Finder.com.au, Comparethemarket.com.au or Creditcompare.com.au.
Therefore if you want to save more money you need to look outside the mainstream. The ANZ card looked great compared the other more expensive options on the comparison websites, but compare their 11.49% with the 6.99% Solo Credit Card from the Police Credit Union and it’s almost 50% cheaper. If you don’t like that, why not consider the 8.99% card that offers a 3.99% rate for the first 6 months from the Community First Credit Union?
If you feel that you have lived many years being miss-lead after learning this information, then don’t lose complete hope because Canstar.com.au is one website that you can trust because companies don’t pay to be listed there. Canstar’s business model is to make money from subscriptions, advertising and licensing of its gold star awards for marketing, meaning those stars have to be earned not bought. To validate this statement Choice conducted an investigation in 2014 which found that Canstar is the only comparison website worth visiting for true results. During this investigation Choice also found that even one comparison website they reviewed was owned by an insurance company. Disgraceful.
What you must not do is blame yourself either, because a quick search on Google will provide results such as ‘2017’s Top Low Interest Cards’ and Finder’s ‘Top 10 Credit Cards of 2017 – hand picked by our experts’. The truth is they are not at all. What these titles are really saying is: “These are the comparisons of products that we have been paid to advertise, plus we may receive commission if you buy.”
The best product for you may not even be listed at all within your results. If you are looking to be money savvy and find great deals and discounts online, I would suggest using trusted and reputable websites that offer quality information and that don’t have a hidden agenda.