The Privacy Tax, Part I

At one point in my life I was getting rid of all rewards cards. I decided I was willing to pay a bit more for things than everyone else in order to secure my privacy. Companies will know less about me. This is the hidden cost of privacy. It’s much easier to sell your personal information and reap lots of benefits. However I quickly lost that game and decided to give in and these purchases add up. Looking at my Raise app, I’ve already saved $228.92. I’m sure that has helped me to buy a share of Apple and Square which have already appreciated in value! I have a Costco card. I get wonderful (sometimes 4%) back each year, however they know everything about what I buy and when I buy it.  How do I know this? Once I bought an item from Costco that was recalled and they sent me a letter about it. In this case, my personal information was being used for good, but it could just as well been used to market more products I don’t need anyway. Lately I’ve been using Raise like crazy. I’ll walk into a store, buy the cheapest thing I can get away with and then buy a gift card for 5-10% off using the app. When I check out at the register I’ll use the electronic barcode on the screen of my phone. I do this all the time at Old Navy, Lowes and Target. It’s become my first instinct before going anywhere to see if Raise has a discounted gift card for sale first. Seeing a movie? Look up AMC or Atom. Need to buy an airline ticket? See if they have discounts for your favorite airline.

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