From the Magazine

4 Simple Questions You Can Ask to Help You Save Money

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They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and that’s especially true when it comes to your finances. In fact, money pros say that there are several incredibly smart questions you could be asking at the pharmacist, while traveling, and more, to help save you boo koo bucks. Whether you’re picking up a prescription or booking a hotel, experts reveal that the secret to keeping more cash in your wallet may be one question away. Find out how below!

Ask for a Lower Price on Your Rx 

When filling a prescription, ask the pharmacist, “Is there another option for a lower price?” advises Tori Marsh, health insights analyst at GoodRx. Though pharmacists were once blocked from revealing lower-cost alternatives by insurance contract “gag clauses,” new regulations allow them to disclose savings, whether it be through the use of a manufacturer co-pay card or by buying a 90-day bulk supply of medication instead of 30 days, leading to discounts of up to 50 percent. The catch? They’re only obligated to do so if you ask! 

Customers are also advised to ask, “Is using insurance the best option?” since, in some cases, the retail price is actually lower than a co-pay.

Ask for a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate

If your credit score recently increased, ask your card issuers if you can get an “interest rate reduction” says Jason Reposa, CEO of MyBankTracker.com. “A higher score means you’re more likely to repay balances… so they may be willing to lower your rates.” 

In fact, in a recent survey from Compare Cards, 81 percent of folks who asked for lower interest got an average rate reduction of six percentage points! 

To further raise your credit score, you can also ask, “Can you increase my credit line?” A higher line improves your credit utilization ratio (how much debt versus how much credit you have), which counts for up to 30 percent of your credit score.

Ask About Special Promotions at Hotels

To nab a lower nightly rate at a particular hotel, skip the toll-free central booking number and call the reservation desk for the location where you’d like to stay, advises Tracey Nesbitt of SoloTravelerWorld.com. Then ask, “Are there any current or upcoming specials or promotions?” The employees there may have more leeway when it comes to cutting a deal for that specific hotel, Nesbitt notes. 

She added: “They’re more knowledgable about upcoming events, such as local festivals or conferences, and slow periods for their location that can increase availability and therefore lower pricing.”

Ask for Discounts on Your Auto Insurance

If it’s been more than six months since you renewed your car insurance policy, call your provider and ask, “What kind of discounts do I qualify for?” advises Joel Ohman, a Certified Financial Planner and founder of Auto Insurance. “A recent life change could make you eligible for a lower rate.” 

He continued: “For example, you may have reached an age bracket that gets you a price break, or maybe you drive less because you retired or telecommute, qualifying you for a low-mileage discount.” 

Additionally, your insurer may have new promotions, such as discounts for pre-payment or opting-in for electronic statements.

Happy saving! 

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

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