With retailers feeling the effects of customers who can't get credit, shoppers with cash in their wallets have the ultimate bargaining chip when it comes to getting good deals. Cash discounts may not be as plentiful as in the past, but there are still some places where cash is king. Here are some things you can often get cheaper with cash. (Saving money can be a chore, but these tricks put money in your pocket with no effort at all. For additional reading, refer to 5 Painless Ways To Save More Money.)

IN PICTURES: 8 Easy Ways To Slash Your Holiday Budget

  1. Gas
    While many gas stations - especially those in the large national chains - offer one price no matter how you pay, some stations are still offering a deal for cash customers. Gate Petroleum, based in Florida, unveiled a program earlier this year that offers a discount of three cents per gallon to customers who pay with cash purchased fuel discount cards. In a recent survey by gas comparison site GasBuddy.com, 3% of the more than 15,000 respondents said more than half the stations in their area charged a lower price for cash, and the same percentage said nearly all of their local stations offered cash discounts.
  2. Property Taxes
    Many municipalities offer a discount (sometimes called a rebate price) to homeowners who pay their taxes by a certain date. In Florida's Miami-Dade County, for example, paying your taxes in November (within a few weeks after receiving the bill) will get you a discount of 4%. The discount decreased by 1% each month until March. (Understanding how property taxes work will ensure that you won't be overcharged. See How Property Taxes Are Calculated.)
  3. Gym Memberships
    Many gyms and fitness centers offer special rates to customers who commit to a membership for a certain period of time (usually at least a year). You don't necessarily even need to pay it all upfront - usually you can agree to an automatic monthly charge to your credit card or checking account. The downside: it can be difficult to get out of a gym membership once you've signed on the dotted line, as anyone who has ever attempted it can attest.
  4. Cars
    Walk onto a dealer's lot with cold hard cash and you are almost guaranteed to get a great deal. Bonus: you will save a fortune in interest. You would of course get similar savings - on a much bigger scale - if you can buy a house without financing, but that's something few people would be able to do these days.

IN PICTURES: 5 Keys To Unlocking A Better Credit Score

  1. Medical and Dental Procedures
    Doctors and hospitals know that insurance companies will attempt not pay full price, so they will often inflate their prices to factor in that wiggle room. If you don't have insurance, ask if the doctor or hospital can adjust their charges. These providers spend a lot of time chasing down people with unpaid bills, so if you can pay right away, it's often worth it to them to knock the price down a bit. Discounts seem to be especially common when it comes to braces. For example, Central Florida Orthodontic Specialists offer an 8% discount to clients who pay in full within 30 days of the initial appointment when braces are put on.
  2. Insurance
    If you don't want to pay your insurance premiums in yearly or semi-annual chunks, many companies will now let you pay in monthly installments, although there is usually a "service fee" tacked on. It's generally only a few dollars each month, but that can add up at the end of the year. Some companies waive this fee if you agree to an automatic monthly electronic payment.

The Bottom Line
When shopping around for good deals, be sure to mention if you're paying in cash. In many cases, you might get rewarded with some nice savings. At the very least, you'll have the advantage of knowing you won't have to pay off a large credit card bill or loan. (Find out how a simple calculation can help you uncover the most efficient companies. Check out Understanding The Cash Conversion Cycle.)

Find out what happened in financial news this week. Read Water Cooler Finance: Barack Obama Vs. The World.

Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    10 Companies That Yuppies Love

    Learn about 10 companies loved by the modern Yuppie, including how this demographic's impressive buying power has boosted these companies' earnings.
  2. Home & Auto

    4 Areas to Consider Roofing Material Types

    Roofing your home is very important, that’s why you should choose a roof specifically designed to handle your area’s climate.
  3. Investing

    4 Things Millennials Can't Live Without

    Millennial investors are different from those in previous generations. Here are four Gen Y needs which are instrumental to understanding them.
  4. Credit & Loans

    Travel Tips: Avoid Exchange Rate Headaches

    How to avoid the most common issues and hassles raised by exchange rates while traveling abroad.
  5. Investing News

    How 'Honesty' Could Pay off for Jessica Alba

    Is it possible that Jessica Alba is one of the savviest businesswomen on the planet?
  6. Investing

    Top Tips for Picking a Wealth Management Firm

    The advisor managing your assets has the potential to change your retirement fate. Here are some tips to get you started on finding the right one.
  7. Personal Finance

    Invest in Costco? First Understand Its Balance Sheet

    A strong balance sheet sets a company apart and boosts investor confidence. How healthy is Costco based on an analysis of its balance sheets from the last two years?
  8. Investing Basics

    The 5 Reasons Why RadioShack Went Out of Business

    Learn five reasons why RadioShack went bankrupt: store concentration, online competition, product concentration, management issues and financial missteps.
  9. Professionals

    Robo-Advisors, the Ultra Rich’s New Best Friend

    Explore the services offered by robo-advisers, and learn how their substantially lower fees can represent significant savings for the ultra rich.
  10. Budgeting

    The 5 Most Expensive States for Child Care

    To get a better sense of how child care costs can fluctuate, here's a look at the costs of child care across the country.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Substitute

    A product or service that a consumer sees as comparable. If prices ...
  2. Fast Fashion

    Definition of "fast fashion."
  3. Internal Rate Of Return - IRR

    A metric used in capital budgeting measuring the profitability ...
  4. Duty Free

    Goods that international travelers can purchase without paying ...
  5. Online-To-Offline Commerce

    A business strategy that draws potential customers from online ...
  6. Chargeback Period

    The timeframe during which a credit card issuer can dispute with ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How can I invest in electronic retailing (e-tailing)?

    Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What factors make it difficult to compare performance ratios between retail stocks?

    Companies that operate in the retail sector significantly differ in terms of their profitability and efficiency, making stock ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!