by CI Staff
Free (2 credit cards); $45 for up to 10 credit cards
iPhone app for identifying “grey charges” on your credit cards.
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Are you familiar with the term “grey charge”? In essence, these are charges that appear on our credit cards that we agreed to at some point but have forgotten about, such as a recurring membership, free trials that resulted in paid subscriptions, etc. According to BillGuard, there are approximately 233 million grey charges posted to U.S. credit cards each year, resulting in over $14 billion lost by consumers annually. These charges tend to be small enough that many consumers don’t even notice them in order to dispute them. According to BillGuard, the charges are typically in the $12 to $18 range.
The new BillGuard iPhone app helps you identify questionable charges on your debit or credit card so, if need be, you can dispute them and save yourself money. When you first use the BillGuard app, you are prompted to set up a passcode that is separate from your iOS passcode. This prevents anyone who gains access to your iPhone from being able to access your transaction information. By granting the service access to your credit card accounts, the app sends you notifications as questionable charges appear on your card. You provide your login credentials for your credit card’s website, but BillGuard encrypts this information and maintains read-only access to your account. This means that anyone who may breach the system can only view your transaction data, not make transactions using your information.
BillGuard uses algorithms to detect questionable charges and sends you notifications when any occur, as well as placing them in the Priority section of the app. You then have the option of verifying charges you know to be valid or getting help for those you’re not sure about. If you choose to get help, the app provides information to help identify the charge, dispute the charge or save it for later. Over time, as you approve or question charges, the app learns which charges to flag as questionable. BillGuard’s vast vendor database helps you dispute charges, as BillGuard can send emails directly to the origin of most disputes.
Under the app’s Recent section you can view recent purchases, and under the Recurring section you can view a list of recurring charges the app notices. The All section breaks down every transaction charged to your credit card. The app categorizes transactions automatically and you can tap an individual transaction to view additional information about it.
The app is free for those needing to track up to two credit cards. If you want to add more, there is a one-time charge of $45 for managing up to 10 cards; however, until the end of August 2013, a special rate of $9.99 is in effect.
Free (2 credit cards); $45 for up to 10 credit cards ($9.99 until August 31, 2013)