1. Credit card payment insurance


For a monthly fee, many credit card companies offer an optional insurance policy: they’ll cover your payments if you become disabled or unemployed. Financial advisors explain that most of these programs are rife with complex rules and restrictions, and recommend using the money you would have spent on insurance to pay down your balance instead.

2. Premium gas

istock/Massimo Merlini

You may think that filling your tank with premium rather than regular will help your car run better and longer, but according to Car and Driver magazine, you’d be wrong. A recent study by the magazine revealed that high-octane gasoline had no effect, except on ultra-high performance vehicles.

3. Unlimited cell-phone minutes

istock/Courtney Keating

You may think you need a cell phone plan with unlimited minutes, so you have the freedom to talk as much as you like without incurring extra fees. But most people don’t exceed the number of minutes offered in even the least expensive plans from most carriers (about 700 per month for a family plan). Check your usage amount on bills for the past several months before choosing a pricier plan.

4. Automobile service warranties


The manufacturer warranty you get when you purchase or lease your car is legit. The one you’re offered via a postcard in the mail, in all likelihood, is not. According to an investigation by the Better Business Bureau of St. Louis (home to several warranty companies), nearly $3 million in repairs that should have been covered according to contracts were not. What’s more, over 90% of those who purchased such insurance found the process to be “misleading or improper.”

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