The Tour
 71 Gems
 12 Goofs 

 Site Map


Special Report: Credit Cards

Site Search:
Google Custom Search

 B. Franklin,

SmartConsumerTips Logo 
Gems of Consumer Wisdom
Health • Safety • Financial Freedom









   Tour's End:  Your Benefits Summary   

Using these tips can really make a big difference in just a few years.  All consumers can benefit -- whether affluent, impoverished or anywhere in between:

  1. Improve your finances.  Save thousands in the areas of energy conservation, savings, insurance, credit and utilities.

  2. It's about more than money.  It contains many health and safety tips that can protect you and your loved ones from harm.

  3. Build a financial safety net.  Protect yourself from unpredictable financial losses caused by disasters, layoffs, lawsuits, accidents and so on.

  4. Pass it on!  It will be a great help to those of your friends and family who will benefit from your act of kindness.

  5. Uncertain times lay ahead.  Economists disagree on America's economic future -- and most Americans aren't saving enough for retirement even if the economy does do well.

"If Not Now, When?"

Another form of self-sabotage is procrastination.  When we make an excuse to put off doing something good for ourselves, we often never get it done.  If you don't do it now, then when?

You are now empowered to give a significant boost to your own life, and of course that means giving a boost to the lives of those you love.  Don't miss out on this golden opportunity!


  Quick Tour Guide 

  1. Two Trillion-Dollar Mistakes  
  2. Security Steps You Must Take  
  3. Get Maximum "Cash Back"  
  4. Surprising Auto Safety Facts  
  5. Is It Time To Switch?  
  6. It Pays To Eat Right  
  7. Right-Size Your Insurance  
  8. Your Best Conservation Bets  

Your Benefits Summary

1. Two Trillion-Dollar Mistakes

How To Get Better Interest Rates.  A money market account (or "MMA") is a FDIC-insured savings accounts (unlike money market funds, which are not insured.)  Most MMAs let you write 3 checks per month.  Banks require a minimum balance, usually between $500 and $2,000.  Many people settle for mediocre MMA rates offered by a local bank; you can compare rates and get a better deal at BankRate's MMA Rate Search page.  BankRate's MMA rate quotes are fairly accurate, but when it comes to mortgage rate quotes, the only reliable quote is the one printed in the mortgage contract.

Compare Rates

How To Invest Wisely.  The best short advice we can give you is to base your investments on advice from a local fee-only financial planner.  Fee-only means that the planner doesn't get a commission for selling you anything, and therefore is likely to be unbiased.  You can learn how to find a good financial planner using this five-page tutorial by Money Magazine.

View Tutorial

The Most Rewarding Job Of All Is...

It may well be learning vital consumer wisdom.  In the short time it takes to browse this site, you'll pick up proven tips that if you apply them will improve your health and safety, and benefit you by thousands of dollars.  While other jobs may pay more, they also take much longer to bring similar benefits.


Back to top

2. Two Security Steps You Must Take

Don't Fall Prey To Crime.  It will only take a few minutes to review our best personal safety tips (printed out, it's less than one page.)

View expert tips

Don't Fall Prey To Crime.  It will only take a few minutes to review our best personal safety tips (printed out, it's less than one page.)

View expert tips

Secure Your Home From Burglars.  One of the tipsheets from the free Special Report "The World's Best Consumer Tips" covers home security in depth.  If you wan to print this expert guide, it's about four pages.

View expert guide

Quote:  "Those who are incapable of committing high crimes do not readily suspect them in others."

~ Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), French Writer and Prince de Marcillac


Back to top

3. How To Get Maximum "Cash Back"

Don't Settle For Inferior Rewards.  The most rewarding choice for most people is the Citi Driver's Edge Card -- even if you don't drive much.  In the first year, you'll earn a full 6% rebate on what they call "everyday purchases" at gas stations, drug stores and grocery stores (all other purchases earn 1%.)  In succeeding years you'll still receive a full 3% rebate on everyday purchases.  The rebate is paid in credit that you can convert to points.  It's not cash, but most people will probably prefer receiving points because some of the ways to redeem them are even better than getting cash.  The Driver's Edge card also pays a nice "drive rebate" bonus:  Every year you'll earn $1 for every 100 miles you drive one car.

Some consumers prefer the Blue Cash® Card from American Express®.  This card also pays you cash back on "everyday purchases" but there's a catch.  Your first $6,500 of purchases gains only a 1% rebate on "everyday purchases" and 0.5% on all other purchases; afterwards you'll receive a 5% rebate on everyday purchases and 1.5% on all other purchases.

Offers as generous as these could be taken down at any time, so don't miss out.  Click "Expert Guide" to see a page that shows how to get the most out of the Driver's Edge card.

View Driver's Edge guide

If You Carry A Balance...  A zero-interest card can save you a bundle.  For example, if you transfer $5,000 from a card that currently charges 12% interest, you'll save $750 in fifteen months. Alternatively, some cards allow "lifetime low-interest" transfers:  Depending on the card you choose, you'll pay 2.99% to 4.99% interest on transferred balances for as long as you carry those balances.  For best results, consult this one-page Expert Guide:

View expert guide

Are You Getting Your Fair Share?

When you buy anything with a credit card, the credit card company gets a fee of up to 3% from the merchant -- a cost that is of course passed on to you the customer.  If your rewards card pays less than 3%, it's like you're sending part of your salary to your credit card company!


Back to top

4. Surprising Auto Safety Facts

A Quick Auto Safety Course. presents most important safety tips on one web page.  For example, here's two things to remember for your next car purchase:

  1. Here's a Bright Idea.  A New Zealand study concluded that brightly colored cars are about twice as safe from traffic crashes as hard-to-see cars colored green, brown or black.  Silver cars were the safest -- they were estimated to be half as likely as white cars to have an accident.

  2. Electronic Stability Control.  These "ESC" systems can prevent rollovers and spin-outs.  They reduce traffic fatalities by 15% for most cars, and 25% for SUVs.  They're now standard on about half of all models, and will be required on all new vehicles by 2012.  They shouldn't be confused with much less effective traction control systems.
This brief but effective crash course in auto safety takes up just one web page, which comes out to about four printed pages.  Visitors will also be treated to some entertaining "spoof tips" that should make them smile.

Visit Auto Safety Hub

What Makes For A Good Driver?

A good driver knows how to anticipate and avoid problems.  Other drivers just react to road situations -- and sometimes it's just too late.


Back to top

5. Is It Time To Switch?

Question Your Phoning Costs.  The site most recommended by consumer advocates is  They compare and rate a wide range of phone companies.  A good second choice is the Cognigen Rates Calculator.

Satellite TV Is Now Practical.  Dish Network starts at $19.99 per month.  Installation is free and you'll receive a credit on your bill of $100 ($200 if you sign up for HDTV.)  If you sign up today, you'll also receive a free digital video recorder and a free movie channel package for the first three months.  DirecTV starts at $29.99 per month.  Those prices are for 40-channel packages; most people will choose to pay about $40 to get more channels at either site.

Explore Your Internet Alternatives.  Here are three ways to save big:

  1. Broadband DSL is available from Verizon DSL for about $18/month.  Their site says "$14.99 per month" but in practice their taxes and surcharges will tack on a few more dollars.  Apply online and get a $25 Target gift card and your first 30 days free, with modem included.  A survey by J. D. Power (article) shows that Verizon DSL's customer satisfaction is significantly higher than average.

  2. Sites that offer unlimited dial-up service for about $10 per month include NetZero, PeoplePC and Netscape.  A survey by J. D. Power (article) shows that consumer satisfaction is highest for PeoplePC.

  3. Free dial-up service is unusual now, but it's still available from

Outsmart Marketers By Thinking Long-Term...

Clever marketers get your money in affordable monthly installments, hoping you won't notice how it adds up to a big financial drain.  Think of the large amount of money you'll save when you turn the tables on them!


Back to top

6. It Pays To Eat Right

Junk Food Really Bites.  Fortunately the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association have come together to produce an excellent nutrition guide at  They've put the nutrition information you really need onto just one page of expert tips titled Eat Right.


To enjoy even more longevity and vitality, visit  We objectively compared dozens of books and sites concerning the subject of optimal health and judged it to be the best health-planning site. asks you a few questions to find out about your particular health situation, then gives you expert step-by-step guidance that can really help you feel better and live longer.  You'll spend about 5-10 minutes answering their quiz, then you'll get a customized health guide that prints out to about ten pages.


Quote:  "The greatest wealth is health."

~ Virgil (BC 70-19), Roman Poet


Back to top

7. Right-Size Your Insurance

Don't Overpay.  Smart shoppers can often cut their costs in half.  Here's how to save:

  1. Insuring multiple cars with the same company will save up to 30%.
  2. Dropping collision coverage will save 15-30% (at least raise your deductible.)
  3. Dropping comprehensive coverage will save up to 15%:  A visible anti-theft device is good enough protection.
  4. Comparing rates can really save a bundle.  Ever since InsWeb merged with Quicken Insurance, it's become the best one-stop place to compare rates from many companies.  The whole process takes about fifteen minutes.

Don't Skimp.  This subject is too deep to cover here, so we suggest you get the free Special Report The World's Best Consumer Tips.  We'll go over the worst insurance traps and show you how to right-size your insurance.  You'll also receive tips on how to save money when insuring your life, home and health.

Is Your Insurance Company Loyal To You?

A study by the Consumer Federation of America and other consumer groups concluded that the insurance industry is piling up the highest profits in 50 years, while coverage has been cut back in many cases.  The only way to know is to check.


Back to top

8. Your Best Conservation Bets

Teach Your Computer To Get Smart.  Just see this easy tutorial to see how.  Also, if you have a lot of peripherals or audio/video equipment, plug as many as you can into one power strip and turn them all off at once.  You'll save hundreds more over the years because you'll avoid the "vampire mode" that most electronics enter when turned off, still sucking juice.

View this tutorial

Conserve Hot Water.  Showers are a big part of both your energy bill and your water bill.  A household that uses a low-flow showerhead for 2 showers per day will save about $750 over five years.  Another idea is to just take fewer baths and shorter showers.

Do A Home Energy Audit.  Call your local power company and find out how to get one.  If you're the self-reliant type, you can try visiting EnergyGuide's Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit.

Visit EnergyGuide

Use A High-Rebate Gas Card.  Some cards will pay you a 5% rebate on all your gas purchases.  The Consumer Card Report site has an expert guide to the best gas cards.  The Citi Driver's Edge Card will pay you rebates of 3% to 6% on all your everyday purchases at gas stations, drug stores and supermarkets.

View this expert guide to gas cards

Quote:  "A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children."

~ John James Audubon (1785 - 1851), French-Creole American Naturalist


Back to top

You've Crossed The Finish Line!

Anyone who finishes this mini-course in consumer wisdom has won a great triumph for their own lives.  You'll now be much healthier and safer, and your savings will add up to thousands in the coming years.  And with the free Special Report The World's Best Consumer Tips you'll quickly pick up a lot more essential consumer know-how:
You'll discover the top twelve medically proven keys to good health.  Learn them today and enhance your quality of life.

Would you like to find out the 25 worst consumer mistakes that each year tragically sabotage the lives of millions?  Uncover them all now so you can be sure you never make them.

Plus five more super-helpful tipsheets covering energy savings, crime prevention, finance, insurance and medical savings.

Reserve Your Free Copy
While You Still Can...

Free offers are often rotated on this page, so this Special Report may not be available tomorrow.  We love it when people get so enthused that they eagerly forward these amazingly effective tips to their friends!  The only step needed to get your free report today is to fill out the simple form in the right column.

Ready to live your dreams?  Then sign up for the free Special Report "The World's Best Consumer Tips" today:
Request Your Free Report"The
World's 7 Best Consumer Tips"
 Your Email:
 First Name:
(100% private -- no spam, no ads)

Back to top

 HomeQuick TourThe Tipsheets12 GoofsWeb LogCalendarList of ExpertsSite MapMedia Room
Mission StatementPrivacy PolicyContact InfoDisclaimer and Terms of UseB. Franklin, Printer
© 2007, Consumer Freedom Alliance • 14241 NE Woodinville-Duvall Rd. #182 • Woodinville, WA • 98072-8564
This site best viewed by IE 5.0 or above, or Firefox 5.0 or above. • A C.O.P.P.A. compliant site.