BillGuard protects you from transactions called “grey charges”, which are sneaky little (or big) amounts that companies charge you when you’re not likely to notice. It also alerts you when there appears to be a charge that was initiated somewhere far from you. You can use the BillGuard app or the webpage and it also gives you a few additional, convenient features.
- Screens transactions
- Track spending
BillGuard focuses on screening transactions and notifies you if it thinks you've paid unnecessary, unfair or deceptive fees and charges. BillGuard calls these suspicious charges "grey charges". It puts your transactions into 3 categories of legitimacy. Most transactions will be deemed acceptable, some are considered "unsure" or a data breach. You can check on the individual transactions easily when you click on a category. Users can dispute a charge just as easily, by clicking the transaction and clicking the dispute button.
BillGuard is an online program and app that protects you from "grey charge" transactions, and alerts you when there appears to be a charge that was initiated somewhere far from you. Some highlights include:
- Flags suspicious charges
- Discussion threads
- Categorized spending
- Read-only account access
- Clean design
When you do so, it's added to a list of suspicious charges so the software knows what to do next time it comes across that same transaction. Once you've disputed something, the dispute resolution process begins. You can send a message directly to the merchant and wait for a response to arrive in your email inbox.
If you're not sure if a charge should be disputed, you'll see a thread of posts and comments from other users and even statistics about how many people have flagged the charge. You may choose to be a part of the discussion, if you feel inclined to do so.
BillGuard also gives you coupons at your fingertips. It' a useful feature and gives you extra convenience, but you'll probably end up checking other coupon apps, in addition to this one, when you really want a good deal. It also has an easy to use interface with a simple and clean design.
You'll also be able to track your spending and visualize it in graph form. The app automatically categorizes transactions so you can find out what you've been spending on. For example, you can easily find out how much you spent on gasoline in any particular month and compare it to any other month.
BillGuard has read-only access to your accounts, which means it can't initiate transactions from your bank or credit card. It also employs some really smart security advisors from some top web security groups.
- Not a personal finance program
- No advanced budgeting
- No financial planning
It's a simple product because it's really supposed to solve only one problem: grey charges. It's not a personal finance program with advanced budgeting and financial planners, it's just about minimizing extra debits and teaching you where they come from. That being said, it does offer some basic categorization of your expenditures, and lets you know how much you've spent recently, gives you coupons.
While BillGuard is not a super-comprehensive financial management product, it is best used along with other personal finance management applications.
The Bottom Line
If BillGuard were to partner with another personal finance site, which offer a wide range of features, you'd have everything you need in one website. While their "grey charges" is a unique feature, BillGuard can't be used for all your financial needs. We recommend combining BillGuard with another financial management tool to utilize its potential. Those that use BillGuard can expect the following from the service:
- Well-kept design
- Organized financial process
- Easy set-up
- Limited tools and features