Personal Finance 

Four Companies I’d Promote for Free

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FMF shared his list of companies he promotes for free and asked for everyone to share their list so here’s mine:

  • Vanguard – Not surprising, I’m a big proponent of Vanguard as well. They currently have my SEP-IRA, Rollover IRA, and my fiancee’s regular brokerage account; every single time I’ve talked to someone there, they’ve been courteous and able to help me within minutes. I had a couple tricky situations too but they were able to easily tell me how to fix it and I was on my way. Plus, their funds are ridiculously cheap…
  • Costco – Again, another one off FMF’s list, I heart Costco because of their low prices and their money back guarantee (I’m fine with them not taking back electronics after six months, screw the people trying to game the system) though sometimes the long lines can be a little frustrating if you want to walk out with only a couple things. I like how they’ve expanded their line of products to include more seasonal items. I love their ribeye steaks, great prices and pretty good cuts, and their tire center.
  • GEICO – For my demographic, I pay pennies for auto insurance and Geico is part of the reason why. I’ve been with them for as many years as I’ve been driving and every bill the amount they charge gets lower and lower. Just this past month I renewed my policy and the price had fallen $25 to $301.00, you can’t really beat that! (I don’t carry comprehensive or collision insurance, though if I added those with $1k deductibles the total would only be $607.00 — hmmm maybe I will get it.) Plus they have the Caveman and Gecko commercials.
  • Kingston – These guys make RAM and are currently owned by Micron but they have a lifetime warranty on their products that I’ve used twice without any complications whatsoever. In each case I just read them some numbers off the chip, they asked for my address and bam… next memory in a couple days.
{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “Four Companies I’d Promote for Free”

  1. Michelle says:

    You like Geico only because you’ve never had a claim or any other problem. Someone put in a fraudulent claim against me, and Geiko just wne ahead & paid them even after:

    1) I submitted professional photos (at a claim shop) documenting the total lack of damage to my car.
    2) I submitted my own photos of my car backed up against a truck of the exact same model of the claimant’s to show there was no way my little car could have damaged his huge truck’s back bumper, and
    3) I spent 2 hours on the phone with various people there begging them to look at the photos and tell me how I possibly could have caused that damage.

    So, they pay anyway, and my insurance record gets dinged cuz they did so. I had to pursue this case because there was NO WAY I was going to pay higher insurance because they are so stupid. After spending many hours talking with MANY stupid, lazy people at Geico, I finally get a guy whose wife had a fraudulent claim against her. HE got it and fixed my insurance record. It still showed they paid out, but I was now shown as “not at fault.”

    Idiots. I’ve gotten the best deal and the best service of my life going through Costco (one of your other favorites). They use Ameriprise, which has been wonderful so far. Plus, you can pay your premiums with a credit card. I bet you could save even more money with them – plus you won’t risk your sanity, insurance record, or finances should you actually need to use your insurance.

  2. Chris says:

    I’m surprised Geico gave you such a hard time with a fraudulent claim. I’ve heard of insurance companies being reluctant to pay, but not so eager to pay that they ignore obvious fraud!

    I also had this happen to me several years ago. I got a letter in the mail regarding my “claim” and as soon as I talked to a rep on the phone (this was State Farm at the time), it was all cleared up. I verified my information, told them the vehicle had not been in an accident, and that was that.

  3. Joseph says:

    I completely agree that you should check out Ameriprise (formerly American Express Insurance) through their discount with a Costco membership. (Check it out through

    I found them to be significantly less expensive than Geico, who I switched from. I live in a geographic location with one of the highest auto insurance rates.

    As far as Geico service, I found them to be very good. Thankfully, I never had a false claim issue.

  4. Scott says:

    Ameriprise gives me the creeps – maybe their insurance is better than their investing.

    Something no one has noted here yet is that not all of us have clean driving records. I currently have AllState and am stuck with them for the forseeable future because I have had a few, how do you say, “minor violations”. AllState (and most insurance companies I believe) will only run a check on your driving record if you make a claim or drastically change your plan – otherwise they’ll just keep on taking your payments and smiling all the way to the bank. So as long as I don’t make a claim (meaning no accidents or comprehensive claims) my rates won’t change. Yes, I’ve even asked my agent the last time I had “minor violation” and he told me as long as I didn’t have an accident they wouldn’t know the difference. But why am I stuck? Because if I try to go anywhere else, they will run a fresh check on my driving record and charge me more for the “minor violations” (ok, ok, a couple speeding tickets – I have a lead foot). I’ve checked and both Progressive and Geico have caught the tickets and raised their initial quote to higher than what I’m paying now.

    One other note about AllState I learned from my agent – those new commercials they’re running about accident forgiveness aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. What they don’t tell you is they have the option to drop you at any point with those plans. The legacy plan I have with them right now has no forgiveness but I can make collision and comprehensive claims any time I want and they can’t drop me 🙂

  5. More Companies Others Promote for Free

    Last week I wrote Companies I Promote for Free, a piece that detailed a set of companies that I love, talk about, and recommend all the time. A couple other members of the MoneyBlogNetwork posted their lists of companies as

  6. Tim says:

    companies like geico are very large, and not everyone is going to have stellar experiences. i like geico, too. however, my policy just renewed, i paid in full, and then a month later get another bill which increased the premium. considering my driving hasn’t changed, i called and they changed it and reflected a lower premium than what i was originally charged. two days later i get another bill that still shows an outstanding balance. another call and they finally take the amount off showing that i owe nothing. i’m not happy about this, but i’m still overall content with the company.

  7. Cream says:

    Crucial is the memory you mentioned in your old post. Micron owns crucial, not Kingston

  8. Glen says:

    A word of warning about $1k deductibles on your auto insurance: I’ve had Geico for years as well, and overall have been really happy with them. We had hail damage on my wife’s mini-van, and I didn’t notice it for months until one day when the light hit it just right. I had even looked for it, because cars parked all around us during the storm were damaged. Anyhow, they had us get an estimate and sent us a check, which was great, except we had a $1000 deductible. We didn’t bother getting it fixed, just paid off the van so the lien holder would sign the check over to us. What I found out later is that the amount you choose as a deductible for Comprehensive has almost no effect on your premium (unlike the Collision deductible). So be sure to check it out, you may decide it’s worth going with a $100 deductible on Comp and $1000 for Collision.

    Another tip- if you’re rate isn’t going down every year and you’ve been with them a while with no tickets or accidents, call them up and see if they’re drop your rate. I did that a few years ago and saved a couple hundred a year. I’m waiting for a few tickets they apparently haven’t noticed to drop off before I do that again though 🙂

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