Where is your money going every month — and how much of it is going toward bills that are too high or subscriptions that you don’t really use?
Maybe you signed up for more streaming media services than you can watch or listen to in a lifetime. Maybe you pay your monthly gym membership more often than you visit the gym. Maybe you’ve stopped reading your cable or phone bills because the numbers just make you grumpy. If that sounds like you, you might want to look into Truebill.
Truebill is a money management app that can help you save money by negotiating or canceling the bills and subscriptions that are currently taking up a huge chunk of your budget. According to Truebill, 80% of users saved money by using the app to lower their bills and cancel unnecessary subscriptions — and the average Truebill user saves $512 per year.
While Truebill’s basic budgeting and financial tracking features are free, you’ll only get access to its money-saving tools if you sign up for a Premium subscription. This means that you should think carefully before opening a Truebill Premium account; after all, if you’re going to add another recurring bill to your budget, you had better make sure the service you’re paying for is worth it.
What is Truebill?
Truebill is an app that is designed to help you manage your money and work toward your financial goals.
What makes Truebill different from other financial management apps like Mint? In addition to helping you track your financial transactions and balance your budget, Truebill also helps you cancel your subscriptions and lower your bills. Truebill will even contact major telecommunications providers like T-Mobile or AT&T and negotiate a lower bill on your behalf, though the service comes with a cost (40% of any money you save).
The basic Truebill app is free, but users can also sign up for Truebill Premium, a choose-your-own price service that allows you to pay between $3 and $12 per month. You can also sign up for an annual Truebill Premium membership at $36 or $48 per year. Premium users get access to additional features, including Syncing Your Balance, Premium Chat, Cancellations Concierge, Custom Categories, Unlimited Budgets and Smart Savings.
How does Truebill work?
In general, Truebill works like many other popular financial tracking apps. Connect your bank and credit card accounts, then download and categorize transactions to determine whether you’re sticking to your monthly budget and working toward your long-term financial goals.
That said, Truebill has some unique features that set it apart from its competitors — including its offer to contact your service providers and negotiate lower bills.
Like most popular personal finance apps, Truebill allows you to see your bank, credit card and investment balances at a glance. Categorize your transactions so you know where your money is going, and use your spending information to gauge whether or not you are sticking to your budget.
Truebill also makes you aware of upcoming bills and can even send you balance alerts when your balances drop below a certain threshold.
Truebill Premium users get access to Truebill’s Smart Savings tool, which lets you automatically transfer money from a checking account into a Truebill Smart Savings account. This account is FDIC-insured, but you will not earn any interest — which means that you might be better off putting your money into a standard savings account.
The big advantage that Smart Savings offers is the ability to pause automatic transfers if your checking account drops below a certain balance. This lets you save for the future while helping to ensure that your checking account still has enough money to cover your bills and day-to-day expenses.
Truebill wants you to be aware of how much money you’re putting toward subscription services every month. If you have the free version of Truebill, it will tag any recurring payments to show how much money you’re spending on services like Netflix, Spotify and Birchbox.
See related: Best cards for streaming services
Truebill provides a free guide to help you cancel nearly any monthly recurring charge you no longer want to pay, whether you need to say goodbye to your gym membership or cancel the subscription to Club Penguin that you completely forgot you had.
If you sign up for Truebill Premium, the Cancellations Concierge will cancel your subscriptions on your behalf. This can be useful if the subscription cancellation process requires you to contact customer service and wait on hold or if you are trying to cancel a service in the middle of a membership period. The Cancellations Concierge can also help you cancel services that are notoriously difficult to get out of, such as cable or phone plans.
Negotiating bill payments
If you’d like Truebill to negotiate lower monthly bill payments on your behalf, start by letting the service know what bills you’re paying every month. Truebill can identify and analyze your bills when you connect your bank and credit card accounts, but you can also upload a photo of a recent bill if you prefer to do it that way.
Once Truebill is aware of what bills you’re paying every month, Truebill will begin searching for discounts, promo rates and other bill-lowering options. Then, a Truebill team member will contact your service provider directly to negotiate a lower bill on your behalf.
Truebill will never downgrade or cancel your service — instead, they’ll work to lower your bill either on a monthly basis or through a one-time credit.
If Truebill successfully lowers your bill, it takes 40% of the savings as payment. This means that if your bill is lowered by $100, Truebill will take $40 — but you’ll still be saving $60. If a team member cannot lower your bill, there will be no charge.
Is Truebill safe?
Truebill uses bank-level 258-bit encryption to store and secure your data. It’s online servers are hosted through Amazon Web Services (AWS), a secure online data storage service that is also used by the Department of Defense. Data stored on Truebill’s servers cannot be accessed by a third party — and Truebill will never sell your data to anyone else, ever.
Truebill connects to your banks and financial accounts through Plaid, a third-party API that helps you log in to your financial institutions through Truebill’s app. The information you send to Plaid (usernames, passwords, etc.) is never seen by Truebill or stored on its servers, and Plaid uses encrypted tokens to provide Truebill with access to your recent transactions.
Is Truebill safe? While we can’t say for sure that a service like Truebill will never be hacked, Truebill uses top-of-the-line security to keep your information as secure as possible.
Truebill vs. Mint
Truebill and Mint provide many of the same services. Both apps allow you to connect your bank, credit card and investment accounts and help you categorize transactions, stick to a budget and work toward financial goals. Plus, both apps let you check your credit score — which can be useful if you are trying to build your credit history or lower your interest rates.
However, only Truebill provides bill negotiation and subscription cancellation services to users who are willing to sign up for a Premium membership.
When you’re thinking about Truebill versus Mint, the important thing is to ask yourself what features you’re really looking for in your financial tracking app — and whether you want to pay for them.
Mint is a completely free app, but Truebill’s most unique services are reserved for its Premium members. Mint is also owned by Intuit, a financial software company with a long history of providing reliable, reputable products including QuickBooks and TurboTax.
While some people will undoubtedly benefit from signing up for Truebill Premium and using its bill negotiation and subscription concierge tools to lower their monthly payments, other people may be able to use a free service like Mint to identify which recurring monthly charges they no longer want to pay — and then negotiate, lower or cancel those bills themselves.
Since Truebill takes 40% of everything you save through one of its negotiations, it’s worth asking yourself whether you can get the job done on your own. Saving 100%, after all, is better than just saving 60%.
If you’re looking for a digital solution for managing your budget, pruning subscription services and lowering your monthly bills, Truebill might be right for you. Just keep in mind that some of the most competitive features offered by the app come at a price.
The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.
Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer with a focus on personal finance and habit formation. She spent five years as a writer and editor at The Billfold, a personal finance site where people had honest conversations about money, and she regularly teaches classes on how to build your income as a freelancer.